When I Remember the Important

My Court Jester sits close with a tablet in hand watching some new version of Frosty, which is fine by me since the original always kinda freaked me out. Or was it Rudolph? The Princess is dancing her tippy toes away at the ballet studio, and Prince Charming is running errands (which may or may not include a drive-by Starbucks for a peppermint mocha.)

I’m sitting in my living room with the sun setting so much earlier than it should. A thousand thoughts run through my head, and all I can think is it’s been two weeks. Two weeks since I’ve sat down with you in my thoughts.

I mean, I think about you all the time. What it is God is teaching me. What He might want me to say to you. Because the thing is, you’re important to me. So often I wish I could reach through the screen and hug away salty tears. I do. And when two weeks go by, well, I just miss you.

Our lives have been a bit more chaotic than usual the last several months—too chaotic. It’s forced me to sift through priorities. Reevaluate. Refocus.

About a month ago, our closet flooded. I’ll spare you the details, but the entire contents of our stuffed-beyond-capacity closet ended up in our garage. For years the junk had been building towers.


I hated to open its doors. Hated to try to find anything. Hated to see the door open even a teeny bit. My closet caused nothing but anxiety to well within.

It was a mess.

I decided, even if it took weeks, nothing would reenter our closet that we didn’t need. And so we purged. We gutted. We decluttered.

It’s almost like I could hear the angels sing.

Can a closet be beautiful?

I walk into the closet space now, and the sigh of relief is overwhelming. It’s strange how affected I’ve been by this newly cleaned-out space in our home. I didn’t realize how burdened I’d become by the stuff and the clutter I’d allowed to overtake such a small place.

My heart can be the same.

I can allow it to become clogged with junk, with stress I don’t need, with worries I don’t use. And when my heart space is a jumbled mess, it doesn’t translate well into my family life.

So I’ve started some fall cleaning in my soul.

I began a new teaching position this year. A new school. New preps. New students. New crazy. Good crazy, but crazy just the same. As a teacher, like other jobs, my work is never done. There’s always one more thing I could be doing.

But two weeks ago, I decided to stop bringing my work home, and to leave school on time. I’ve done this before, many times. Yet I forget and get sucked back in to the lesson plans and the grading and the paper work and the…

Then Grace. The Still Small Voice of my Jesus reminded me. My goal in life is not to be Teacher of the Year. No. Instead?

I want to be Wife of the Year to my husband.
I want to be Mom of the Year for two sweet littles.
These three? They matter most.

Reprioritizing. Saying yes to less. Decluttering my heart. Reminding myself of my call to mothering, my call to be a partner in marriage. These are the important things.

Life isn’t less busy today than two weeks ago. But I can walk into the space of my family now and breathe—knowing I’m doing all I can. Knowing I’m making the best choice when I choose them. This is the cleansing.

It’s not perfect. There are so many corners of my heart still caked with dust.

But choosing my family again? It’s a start—a beautiful start.

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5 Responses to When I Remember the Important

  1. Mary T says:

    I read your thoughts at a time when I am still thinking about fall cleaning. I have not yet packed up summer. I think it is because I have not totally embraced the cold that has recently snuck up on me. I love Autumn and all the joy and beauty that comes with it. School is into the second quarter, Halloween has passed and one of my favorite days, Thanksgiving, is fast approaching. And here I sit sipping hot cocoa and now thinking Thank You God! For this time, the changing of the seasons…help me to embrace the coldness on the outside with a warm, loving, humble and thankful heart! And to clean out my closet! Amen! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Jennine G. says:

    Great example of a book I recently read about making decisions, saying yes and no. The Best Yes, by Lysa Terkeurst. I always have to remind myself it’s okay to not go the extra mile sometimes or say no to something because it’s not a priority and I need the time elsewhere.

  3. Lorrie Benjamin says:

    How refreshing and encouraging this was for me! I just put my 2 week notice in at my job, a leap of faith ! This job was sucking the life out of me!!!! I want my priorities to be 1. God 2. Hubby 3. Family. So doing some “Soul closet cleaning” ! Proverbs 3:5&6 Blessed THANKSGIVING to you and your family !

  4. Lauren Long says:

    I needed to read these words. Such an inspiration to do what my heart most wants to do.

  5. Thanks for a birthday gift of your words. I turned 61 on November 10th and your words are a precious reminder that the people in my life are so, so much more important than any stuff I have accumulated over the years.
    I recently decided to commit to no screens after 10 PM – TV, computer, phone, tablet, – no screens after 10 PM. I want to spend time in prayer, use time to read or relax before bed and cuddle with my sweetie of 40+ years.