Home organization is not a strength of mine. I do strive to have a fairly clean home, despite having nine children constantly working against me. I must confess though, I have areas that I would rather no one see. Places where things are thrown and stacked in a rush, often precariously, with the intention of cleaning up “some day.” One such area is where I store my pots.
I remember a time when I had only two pots. Simplicity! So easy to put away. Now, somehow, someway, I believe I have around 30. (This may be a slight exaggeration, but you get the point!) Some of these increases were necessitated by my growing family, others are just some picked up along the way, and some are just completely unnecessary.
It had gotten to a point where it was becoming near impossible to get a pot out or put a pot away without causing them all to come crashing down. It was a constant powder keg ready to blow. A loud, clattering disaster ready to hit at any moment.
One day last week, I reached my limit. I couldn’t stand it a second longer. I went through the pots and decided which were worth keeping and which were not. It felt so good to finally have a manageable pot storage area. I haven’t needed or missed one pot I cleaned out. I only wonder why it took me so long.
At a Lenten talk I recently attended, someone asked a question on how to control your emotions. Such a great question and so relevant to my life. The priest gave the simple suggestion of discerning what those peripheries are in our life that add extra tensions. What are those unneeded pots that leave our emotional state of mind a powder keg ready to blow? What can we simplify so that we can at all times be a calmer person? By figuring out what those pressure points are and eliminating them, our life is not always teetering on the edge of an emotional collapse and we are far less likely to lose control.
We have a little over a week until Easter. Possibly we can challenge ourselves between now and then to take an honest, hard look at our life. What can we simplify to reduce the tension in our life so we can be the joyful disciple of Christ we are called to be and not the crazed mother on the edge about to lose it?
These peripheries are often in and of themselves not evils, but are drains on our time and energy. Things that detract from our ability to have time with the Lord in prayer and Scripture to recharge and get the pots in order. Activities that prevent us from giving of our time generously to our family, visiting the sick, and ministering to the poor. It can be too much of our time spent on our electronic devices, television, shopping, or focus on our appearance. It can also become very easy to become overly attached to our schedules and refusing to step out of ourselves. Are we willing to serve God when it feels most inconvenient to us? It is just these times that are the most fruitful.
If you think about it, a pot’s value is truly measured by how much it gives of itself. It never gets to partake of what it prepares, it simply gives and gives some more. We are called to be generous with our lives. We can best do this when we are not slaves to our emotions, but rather master of them. To carry on through our day calmly, despite the struggle, this is what God calls us to.
The pots are at least under control for the time being. Remaining calm at all times will not be such an easy fix for this fiery redhead, but it is something I intend to work towards.
Jesus, give us the wisdom to see what we can simplify in our life, and the courage to let it go. JMJ