I tend to stack things: papers, laundry, scrapbook materials, books, oh! the list could go on and on. If it can be piled, I pile it. Mostly this is an unconscious act; a pile of school papers gets started slowly, 2-3 sheets at a time. “I’ll grade this later,” “I’ll file this on Saturday,” and soon the pile is 5 inches thick. As so it is with clean laundry, books and other stackable materials. The stacks become a hindrance to the peacefulness and tidiness of my home.
It struck me this week, how I also tend to do this with my heart issues. I set aside hurt feelings, a harsh tone, selfishness, etc. to be dealt with later. However, too often later doesn’t come. As a result, I begin to get irritable, frustrated, sad and unkind with those around me. I get “too busy” to spend time daily with God which, of course, perpetuates the stacking.
Now that I am aware (and convicted) of my stacking, what steps can I take to reduce the stacking and avoid stacking in the future? Whether the stacks be physical (paper, laundry, books) or spiritual (attitudes, feelings, and sins), the starting point is the same. Confess my stacking to God. Ask His forgiveness as well as strength and wisdom to deal with things promptly and purposefully.
Some good practices to cut down on stacking in my home:
- Handle a piece of paper only once. As soon as paper, books, whatever, come into the house or into my possession, I need to put them in their places.
- Have a place for everything, including a library shelf or basket for borrowed items.
- Recycle or throw away things I no longer need or have room to store.
- Enlist the help of my children with age appropriate chores.
To avoid stacking in my heart:
- Deal with wrong attitudes and hurt feelings right away-as soon as I’m made aware of them.
- Keep short accounts of my sin.
- Make my time with God a daily priority.
- Ask God to continue to reveal piles that need to be dealt with.
- Be on the look-out for the warning flags-unkindness to others, frustration, irritability, etc.
- Rely on God’s Word and the Holy Spirit to guide my thoughts and actions.
Below is one of my favorite quotes:
A cup brimful of sweetness cannot spill even one drop of bitter water, no matter how suddenly it is jarred. Amy Carmichael
My cup can only be filled to the brim with sweetness if I’m walking closely with the Lord, obeying and leaning on Him. My desire is that my heart not be filled with stacks, but of sweetness; His sweetness and goodness.