The ever-popular Marie Kondo has been sweeping through our homes, teaching us how to tidy things up through her famous KonMari Method™.
I’ve seen countless stories about people cleaning out their homes in the ever-popular KonMari Method™. They are discarding anything that doesn’t spark joy and that’s a really great thing. I’m all for that kind of cleansing because I could easily get rid of at least half of all my stuff that doesn’t bring me joy and still be fine with what I have. I’m absolutely convicted that extravagant living is surely not how God wants me to live, so I admit to needing work in this area of my life. I see people feeling the freedom it brings when they have accomplished the Marie Kondo mission that makes room for more joy and space in their lives and in their homes.
But I keep thinking there’s something more important, more pressing I must apply Marie Kondo’s KonMari Method to first.
Instead of taking inventory of my home, I need to do a cleansing sweep of what matters most.
If I want joy in my life, I need to start at the core of where joy is birthed…
The epicenter of my decisions, my perspective, my abilities- My heart.
Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)
And gosh, this is going to be a hard job to complete.
If I took a tour of the over-filled rooms, the cluttered closets, and the packed drawers of my heart- I would find scattered scraps of feelings and beliefs that are in desperate need of elimination. I would discover a whole lotta stuff that fills my heart with anything BUT joy.
I’m afraid to say that much of what I’d find would reveal big barriers that create a huge hindrance to living my life to the fullest. I need to rid my heart of so much junk I’ve held onto for far too long and purging out all the impurities will take lots of sorting and sifting and a good dose of strength and courage too.
If I were to start somewhere, I would begin with shame and regret. These two are like stocked closets, overflowing with outgrown outfits and worn-down shoes. They are like old dusty boxes filled with mementos of mistakes made and keepsakes of opportunities missed. When will I accept that I have outgrown them? Why do I hold onto them as if they were treasures tucked away to be used over and over again at any moment of weakness?
I need to search through them with a discerning eye and realize they are obsolete, archaic even, and they only serve to keep me captive in a prison of timeless torment. They constantly punish me with sharp jagged edges poking into my worth and reminding me that I don’t deserve to feel too much joy. I need to kiss those strongholds goodbye and quiet the cluttered criticism that sucks the very breath of joy right out of me.
Then there’s doubt. Doubt threads itself in every possible pocket of my heart. There are the incessant doubts in myself – my ability to do well, be well, and live well. These doubts saturate my life in every possible way, preventing me from appreciating the glorious gifts I’ve been given. They refuse to allow me to freely step forward into every decision I face in my work, my parenting, my marriage, and throughout my day-to-day life.
Then there’s the heart-crushing doubt about God that disguises itself as unbelief, robbing me of the joy of relishing in His goodness and trusting in His presence. This kind of doubt can unravel me, bully me down a well-worn path of questioning and uncertainty. These deep grooves in my heart gather dirt and debris that mucks up my identity, my worth, and my faith. Cleaning out all this dangerous doubt would bring freedom to trust in who I am and who He is, resulting in more room for confidence, courage, and peace.
And tightly wrapped around my heart is fear. Fear can sometimes feel like a trap, keeping me from moving out of my comfort zone where I could explore possibility and opportunity. It births its menacing forms of anxiety that can slide through my veins and paralyze me with its constant barrage of worrying thoughts and frantic fretting. It feeds on my insecurities and my imagination enough to give it the nourishment it needs to take over my life with a power it doesn’t deserve.
It’s like a blanket of soot, covering all the bright places in my heart where hope and freedom and joy should shine. I need to scrape and scour at the burned layers to make a clearing for all that light that’s been buried below. I can only hope that I’d be able to release its grip on my heart so panic and dread no longer consume me.
And just like any major house-cleaning project, my heart-cleansing pursuit will surely reveal more junk that needs to be looked at and disposed of to create a clearing for better things and bigger dreams to unfold.
I have my work cut out for me.
This particular Marie Kondo mission seems much more complicated than cleaning out my sweaters and packed cupboards, but it’s the heart work that must be done if I am to free myself of all that keeps me from experiencing joy. I may not be able to tackle every nook and cranny of this inner-self work, but I’ll do my best to let go of what I can and hope that in time, I’ll have the strength and stamina to sort through the rest.
And once I’m free from much of that shame and regret, doubt and fear, maybe I’ll be ready to tackle my home.
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 (ESV)
Would you join me?
What doesn’t spark joy in your heart? Marie Kondo THAT.
I’ll join you. I need the same. And I DEFINITELY need to Marie Kondo my fears.. and shame and regret.
Ever since Cassidy brought that book home, I have honestly been thinking about what sparks joy and what doesn’t. Not material things, really, because I tend to hold onto things.. but I’m thinking more along the lines of what you’re thinking. A good season to do it too.
I love that you were thinking exactly what I was thinking, T! It is so needed for us to truly embrace more joy in our lives. It’s a lot of work though. I hope we both can clean out the shame and regret and FEARS. How liberating would THAT be?
Robin Kramer says
“What doesn’t spark joy in your heart? Marie Kondo THAT.” —> drop the mic.
Yes! This is so true! Just like the KonMarie method (is that the right terminology?) removes junk and clutter so we can better appreciate what we have, removing the clutter from our thinking and our hearts gives some breathing room for contentment and faith to take hold.
Love this! Such a smart analogy!
I’m so glad this spoke to you, Robin! 🙂 It had been on my mind for a long time and I’m glad to finally write it all out. XO
Marie Kléber says
I love the way you penned it Chris.
Decluttering our homes show us that there’s much more to deal with. Everything starts from within. May we find what matters to us, the joy to be and the peace to breath in.
Thank you, Marie! I love how you put that. It should be framed and put on a wall! 🙂 It’s beautiful.
Lynn at Every Day with the King says
Wow, this is the de-cluttering process we all need.
If only your idea would become as popular as the house cleaning craze!
Lynn, thank you! And yes, if only *this* type of tidying up was a hit. Just imagine the impact it would bring on this world if people had more joy in their hearts.
lisa thomson says
yes, I will join you, Chris. You’re such an incredible inspiration. How beautifully written and expressed. I need to do this, too. Memories of the past that bring sadness and shame I really need to let go!
Thank you so much, Lisa. I’m so glad this spoke to you and motivated you to dig into those memories and clean them out. I have so many of them too, friend. Oh, so many…
Janine Huldie says
OK, not sure how I missed this, but I will most certainly join you as it is high time I do a bit of Marie Kondo with my own heart. So, thanks for the challenge and definitely off to try to do a bit of this now here. Hugs and truly can’t thank you enough <3
Thanks for reading this and for diving into this tidying up too! It’s a helluva project, but I think it’s going to be worth it. 🙂
Kristi Campbell says
Oh friend! I love this so much. Sharing on my page! I have had this anti-marie kondo thing and thought it was because when we moved, I purged SO MUCH stuff (now I need to make spreadsheets out of my notes for taxes gah), but I think you’re onto something here. I have a lot in my heart and mind that needs to go first. I never thought of it like this and thank you! xoxo
Kristi, I’m SO glad this spoke to you! I also bet it was amazing to purge so much stuff before your big move… I can imagine how freeing that must have been and I know I need to surely “tidy up” around here too- BUT really it’s not things that bring us true joy. Sure they can get in the way of living our best life, but really what gets int he way is inside of us, not in our home. That’s where the real work needs to be done. XOXO