Sunday, October 4th, 2009

Digging out of Chaos — LIES!

[updated: one missing lie added]

There’s been lots of time to think, digging out of the chaos of the walk-in junk drawer that’s supposed to be my study. (It was worse than the pictures show. They were taken AFTER I started working.)

As I dig out, I find myself uncovering decades of lying to myself.

Here’s the list, so far. Originally I was tweeting them one by one. Responses confirm I’m not the only one who tells herself these lies:

Digging out of chaos–LIE # 1. I paid good money for that. I can’t give/throw it away.

Digging out of chaos–LIE #2. I got that from my (fill in the blank). I can’t give/throw it away.

Digging out of chaos–LIE # 3. That thing still works. I can’t give/throw it away.

Digging out of chaos–LIE #4. It’s so ugly I can’t stand looking at it, but it’s still usable. I can’t throw/give it away.

Digging out of chaos–LIE #5. I haven’t used it in 3 years, but I’m sure I’ll need it sometime. I can’t throw/give it away.

Digging out of chaos–Lie #6. I missed the deadline for product return. But someday I’ll list it on Ebay. I can’t throw/give it away.

Digging out of chaos–Lie #7. It doesn’t fit, but I’ll surely be be small/large enough next year. I can’t throw/give it away.

Digging out of chaos–Lie #8. It doesn’t match anything else I wear, but I like the color so much. I can’t throw/give it away.

Digging out of chaos–Lie #9. My children will value this some day. I can’t throw/give it away.

Digging out of chaos–Lie #10. It’s still in the original box! This is going to be worth a lot someday. I can’t throw/give it away.

Digging out of chaos–Lie #11. I’ll find someone who still has the [office machine] that uses that part. I can’t throw/give it away now.

Digging out of chaos–Lie #12. It’s a souvenir from that wonderful trip to [fill in the place]. I can’t throw/give it away.

Digging out of chaos–Lie #13. I’ll move this to the [attic. garage. basement] till my children need it. I can’t throw/give it away.

Digging out of chaos–Lie #14. The perfect organizing system will store everything. I won’t have to throw/give anything away.

Digging out of chaos–Lie #15. I’m the only one who knows what to do with each item of my chaos. No way can anybody help me.

Digging out of chaos–Lie #16. I’m so ashamed of this mess. No way can I let anybody help me.

Digging out of chaos–Lie #17. So many self-help books. Surely there’s a way to fix my life without shoveling out from under the mess.

Digging out of chaos–Lie 18. Planning the job & wearing work clothes all day is almost as good as actually clearing away the mess.

Digging out of chaos–Lie 19. My living room & dining room are neat, so things aren’t really out of control.

Digging out of chaos–Lie 20. I’ll just sort all this stuff into stacks and then it will be neat.

Digging out of chaos–Lie 21. Nobody else sees my bedroom, so it doesn’t matter what it looks like.

Digging out of chaos–Lie 22. I’m the only one who lives in the midst of mess like this. No way can I let anybody into my house & life.

Digging out of chaos–Lie 23. I’ll never be able to dig out, so I’ll just have to get used to living like this.

Digging out of chaos–Lie 24. It’s just normal that stuff, stuff, stuff. is burying what I’m stuffing inside–and burying me.

Digging out of chaos–Lie 25. There’s nothing I can do about this mess that’s burying me. I’ll never be able to follow my dreams.

Digging out of chaos–Lie 26. The wind has changed. The sky is lowering. Maybe Mary Poppins will drift in, snap her fingers & I’ll be dug out.

Digging out of chaos–Lie 27. Keep tweeting wisdom about digging out, and I won’t actually have to DO it. NOEL! Back to work!

  • Leave a Comment (22)  

22 Responses to “Digging out of Chaos — LIES!”

  1. The Vicar's Wife

    Hi Noel. I follow you on Twitter and have been enjoying this little series very much. This one goaded me into action, but doesn't seem to have made it to your final list!

    Digging out of chaos–Lie 24. Nobody else sees my bedroom, so it doesn't matter what it looks like.

    So true.

  2. Noel,
    Thank you for sharing these in a list like this. I wished there was a way I could save the tweets in a list and now, here it is! This is so helpful (convicting, but in a good way).

    Blessings,

    Mrs. H

  3. Hi Noel, I look at your photos and say "Whow" what a mess and how did it get that way. But I was soon reminded of a room upstairs that I avoid due to the chaos and mess. I've appreciated your tweets on "Digging out of Chaos" and it has prompted me to start cleaning that room.
    Blessings,
    bamat

  4. Ack! Will you get out of my business already? :-) Seriously, your honesty is both encouraging and convicting. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Noel,

    WELL DONE! I celebrate with you the decluttering, both external and internal. Both bring peace and joy! Love,
    Julie

  6. You are a very courageous woman, Noel.
    Love, Barbie

  7. Lie #– It's Genetic on Both Sides of the Family for Multiple Generations!!!! You cain't fight GENETICS!

  8. Excellent, Noel. I'm going to print out this list and examine my own "stuff" in light of these lies. I think I need to follow your tweets, too!

  9. Oh, Daughter! Why did you do this to me? Or should I rephrase this to thank you for doing this FOR me!
    Pamela and I plan to go through my house and put a hiatus to heredity — soon, that is.

  10. Thanks for making the list again all in one place. You are a remarkable woman. I love how you write and how God has taken you thru and out of the mess!

  11. Rebecca Watters

    Thank you very much for your honesty, Noel! I so needed to hear all of these lies enumerated. Thanks also for making them into one long list :). May the Lord grant me much grace as I tackle all the stuff we have accumulated in almost two years of deputation. 'Can't wait to see the new study when you get back from your trip!

  12. Noel,
    I just discovered your post because a friend mentioned it to me (we both spent the day cleaning). It is so encouraging to know that I am not the only one who has a hard time getting rid of stuff :-)

  13. It’s good to know that there are others like me out there. Thank you for being willing to share and encourage the rest of us.
    Maybe it’s actually Martha Poppins that we Marys need. ;)

  14. Noel, Thank you so much for posting the photos and the list… my “office” is in the family laundry room, so I easily close the door and try to overlook the CHAOS. However, it catches up to me when I can’t find a form one of our four children needs for school, or I need a receipt for a return… knowing I’m not alone in this gives me courage! As Walt Disney used to say, “Keep Moving Forward!” : )

  15. …. what a lovely floor lies beneath.

  16. Thanks for sharing. It is encouraging to know that someone whom I admire and whose faith encourages me also struggles as I do.
    I recently moved overseas with my family, and faced several rooms like yours (unfinished basements count as one room!). I needed help with those.

    When I arrived, I discovered I still had some “uncluttering” left to do in my heart.
    I am greatly helped by your Digging out of chaos–Lie #16. I’m so ashamed of this mess. No way can I let anybody help me.

    With homes and also with hearts, it often seems easier on our pride to leave the doors shut. Freedom and simplicity are the results of freedom from bondage, whether to stuff in our homes or the the pride that allows us to hide away “clutter” in our hearts. It is OK to need to “let somebody help”.

  17. [...] out to lunch to celebrate. Now we’re just enjoying being here.If you’ve read any of my chaos posts, you’ll appreciate my resolve that I won’t go to bed tonight until my suitcase is [...]

  18. Noel,
    Keep digging/throwing/giving away. Stuff can clutter our minds and hearts. It feels so good to have a clean desk, clean room, clean attic. I am working on the bedroom being a mess too. I clean the kids rooms and the rest of the house but my room never gets cleaned. I must throw out, give away and purge!!! I need it simplified. Thanks for sharing your secret thoughts, you are not alone.

  19. Noel,
    Just discovered your blog via Desiring God blog.
    Thank you for your honesty & vulnerability, especially the pictures! Anyone can say “my [blank] is a mess” but we all tend to think “maybe, but not like my mess”. Thank you for encouraging all of us pack-rats to persevere with the clutter. When the dust on the bedroom dresser has lain undisturbed for over a year (or two) because there is too much junk (treasure) to clean, it is clear a purge is necessary!

  20. [...] study.”My study is beautiful and, most important, I can use it for something besides a walk-in junk drawer. I used to stand in the doorway (because it was unsafe and unhealthy to walk any further) and toss [...]

  21. Oh, I love the truth of this post…now if I can only apply it to my “office/sewing room”. lol

  22. “Digging out of chaos–Lie 27. Keep tweeting wisdom about digging out, and I won’t actually have to DO it. NOEL! Back to work!”
    This one really cut me to the quick. The lurking hypocrite in us all.
    This cutting edge word is helping me hate my sin. Iron to iron in Christ.
    Janae

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