I really do not like to clean. Hear me now, I REALLY do not like to clean. I like to have things clean and organized, but getting everything into that state is no fun at all. When I was young and would go visit my dad, my mom would gut and clean my room while I was gone. I would get so excited to come home to a freshly organized room. Each time my mom got my room in order, I vowed that I would try my hardest to keep it clean because I really did prefer my room that way.
Now that I am older and a stay at home mom, a lot of my time is spent keeping my home in order. That part of my “job” has had the potential to cast a shadow over my existence. I have often looked upon my state in life as though I was stuck spending the majority of my time doing things I do not like to do. It is a glum outlook, to say the least.
Lately, I have had a huge motivation to rid my home of as much stuff as I can. I want to simplify. I have it in my mind that if I have less stuff to maintain, it will be easier to keep everything in order. Let’s hope that is the case.
Ridding my home of stuff has caused me to think about the value of ridding my mind of the mental clutter. What about all the time I have spent lamenting the fact that I have to spend a good chunk of time cleaning my house? That is some valuable mental space being occupied, leaving no room for productive, life-giving thoughts.
Sometimes we need a little “Spring cleaning” in our heads. It is easy to keep thoughts around in our heads for too long. As they sit there, they clutter the mind and make it hard to decipher where the good stuff is.
I have never seen the show “Hoarders,” but I can only imagine the homes of some people that really have a hard time getting rid of stuff. I feel like many of us might be mental hoarders, and we have gotten used to living with a “stuffed” mind. “Stuff” could come in many forms, a few being: having too many commitments, harboring unforgiveness, or allowing one thing to be too consuming. (Unless it’s God, we do not want to be consumed by anything.)
The Lord knows that dealing with infertility has the potential to clutter, if not clog ones thinking. There are far too many reminders of pregnancy or the desire for a child. Our bodies remind us, especially if we are in tune with our cycle. If you go to the store, chances are you will encounter a mom and her child(ren). If you drive down the street, there is a good chance you will see a tiny head peeking above the window in the backseat of a car. Friends and family have children or are having children. Kids are everywhere – which is a beautiful thing, but it can be difficult when you are fighting to keep a clear mind when it comes to a deep-seated desire for a child.
Since there are so many triggers when it comes to giving the desire for a child the appropriate (healthy) amount of mental space, we need to arm ourselves with the tools needed to keep our mind clear.
For me, this looks like:
Only allowing myself to think (for longer than 30 seconds) about my desire for a child when I am spending time with God. This can include my own personal time with Him or when I am with close friends, sharing life. I am committed to not sharing with anyone and everyone because that means that I MAY be making infertility a bigger part of my identity than it should be.
I am committed to turning my thoughts toward the positive. Rather than dwell on what I do not have, I celebrate life in others. When I see a pregnant woman and my heart begins to sag, I try to pray for her (in my head) right then and there and then move on. Moving on is easier if I immediately fill my mind with things I am genuinely thankful for.
We all have good days and bad ones. We have days where we feel strong and like we can take on the world. Other days, we feel we are fighting an uphill battle. Regardless of the type of day you find yourself in, ridding yourself of mental clutter will aid you. Thinking about and dwelling on your desire will not accomplish anything valuable.
When I was little, I did not want to get rid of any of my toys until I could see a value in doing so. Once I learned the concept of a garage sale and the fact that I could make a little money by letting go of my things, I was much more receptive to letting go. I remember going into my room and scouring the place for anything I could part with. I hope you can see the value in letting go of some of the things that clutter your mind. Take some time today to do a little mental spring cleaning.
Filling your mind with God’s truth is like putting screens in your brain. It allows the fresh air (good thoughts) to flow through and clean out the stuffiness. The screens (God’s truth) filter out the “bugs” that do not need to be in there (consuming thoughts, unhelpful thoughts, condemning thoughts, lies), allowing the healthy stuff to flow through.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things” (Philippians 4:8, emphasis added).