I heard God loud and clear, I thought.  I knew exactly what I was supposed to be doing, and how to achieve it.  I was on my way to serve the Lord in the way that I wanted to, I mean He wanted me to.  Then suddenly one day it was all foggy.  It was as if I somehow I got off of the path that was lighted before me.  I didn’t know where I went wrong, but I was lost to say the least.  Everything that I thought I was supposed to be doing didn’t feel right anymore.  I could not see the big picture, or well anything at all.  When I called out to God for guidance, there was no answer.  It was as if He had turned His back on me, and I was no longer the person He wanted for the job.  How could I have been so sure of His plan just days before I hit this dead end?  Did I misunderstand or was I not called to do what I thought after all?  I don’t usually have doubts in my faith as I feel it is unshakeable, but I have to be honest that this was as close as I’d ever been.  Where did He go?  I sank into a sort of mild depression as I tried to figure out my next move.  I prayed and prayed and still it was crickets.  Meditating did not even help as this is when I take the time to just be silent and listen.  The evil one has a way of getting into our heads, and I assure you that this seemed a very opportune time.  He has a way of making us doubt that we are even worthy of carrying out God’s plan.  I was starting to feel this unworthy, rejected feeling.  It was not a good place to be and something had to change.

                With my mind being so jumbled I started watching, “Tidying Up” on Netflix and I was finally  inspired to do something.  I threw myself into decluttering my home.  I went room to room and sorted out what items I needed, and those that did not serve a purpose other than taking up real estate in my closet.  I was not aware of the emotional aftermath this experience would have.  There was so much stuff!!!  My family had surrounded ourselves in material things that we didn’t use or need.  The frustration of putting laundry away into packed drawers, and having everything fall out of the cabinet while trying to get out just one thing.  Don’t get me stared on the junk drawer. It was overwhelming and shameful.  When it was all finished I had over twenty bags of donations to the local shelter and several boxes of miscellaneous items.  It was almost immediate that I began to feel some weight lift off of me.  The fog was clearing.  My stress level had came down so much that I hadn’t recognized how much I had until it was gone.  Once my environment was organized I turned to myself.  With less time cleaning and straightening up the mess, I began to exercise again.  Yoga has always been a great form of movement and endorphins for me.  More fog lifted.  There was more time to spend with my children.  We began playing again and having fun as a family.  I truly did not realized the amount of my headspace that was taken up with the clutter.  I felt free again, and that’s when it hit me.  I had been so consumed with what I wanted and needed to get done that it was coming between my relationship with my Heavenly Father.  I had combined what He wanted me to do, and what I thought He wanted me to do.  Those are two very different things.  I walked right off of the path.  He didn’t go anywhere, I did.  I turned into a mind hoarder, and all of these other things piled up until I couldn’t see or hear Him.  

                See, the teacher doesn’t talk to you while you are taking the test.  They talk to you during the lesson.  I realized that it was me getting in my own way after I cut the clutter.  There was no way that I was going to be able to serve the Lord in the capacity that I am intended to with my priorities out of whack.  I needed to see the reality of the situation that my family, my health, and my environment all play the most important roles in my success outside of God.  He needed me to see that I was getting it wrong.  The only way to show me was to let me tread for awhile and figure it out.  Of course, I do not doubt that He led me to this conclusion, even though at the time I didn’t think He was there.  Suddenly once the clutter was gone, the path was lighted again.  It is the same path, but now I have a new passion and a new way of going about it.  I know that I need to keep my mind clear of things that get in the way of God, so that I may hear Him clearly. 

                It’s easy for us to bury ourselves in things that we think are comforting.  We surround ourselves with people that we think are doing us good, when in fact they are distancing us from what really matters.  The clutter comes in all forms.  If there is a person in your life that is all consuming and toxic to you, it is okay to cleanse yourself of them.  It does not mean that you don’t love or care about them, it is just that they are getting in the way of you achieving your destiny.  I call them energy zappers.  You know the type that call you and talk about themselves for an hour, then when you start to talk about your day they suddenly have to go.  They take from you whenever they need something, but they are not there throughout the day to day to cheer you on and be there for you.  This takes your energy away from those that are really adding meaning to your life.  Mind hoarding is another form of clutter.  All of our thoughts are consumed with one thing.  This can be stress from work, or someone that upset you that day.   Let it go when you come home.  Organize those feelings and thoughts.  Get out of your own head so that you can enjoy actually living in the now!  Lastly, get your environment in check.  When you come home from a stressful day, it is so much easier to leave it at the door if you are not overwhelmed with more to deal with.  On the days that I am a stay at home mom, it is so much easier for me now to enjoy my time with my boys when it takes me half the time to tidy. 

                God is always with you and guiding you, but sometimes all it takes is us to get out of our own way and make room for Him.  I imagine that He is just sitting there shaking His head and thinking, “Oh Nicole, what the heck are you doing now.  I’ll wait….”.  Patience isn’t always my strong point.  I am definitely an instant gratification kind of gal, but alas, God does not work on Nicole standard time.  He will wait on us, but we also need to wait on Him.

Peace & Love friends,

Nicole

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