@ I T S R A C H E L J O H N S O N 

I live in the upper midwest- where seasons are drastic and distinct and so unique.  And it's so clear that there is not one part of nature that blooms year round  & we cannot expect that of ourselves, friends.  

Uncertainty can really be debilitating, can't it?  Sitting in the unknown is hard.   Clutter can cloud so many areas of our lives, and sometimes we don't even realize it.  

I want to start here, by encouraging you.  Maybe your heart is cluttered just as much as your spare bedroom is? (or that one room that you just shut the door and pretend it doesn't exist.)  

Maybe there are parts of your heart you do this to as well? We shut doors on pain or loss or situations we cannot seem to approach. 

When I first started understanding this idea of minimalism, it didn't take too long for me to catch on. 

Donate, keep, or throw.  

Rinse & repeat. 

We did this process pretty well once we got the hang of it.  We make regular trips to donate - there's a steady pile in the back of my hubbys car to drop off at the donation center.  

We went room by room, deciding what things held value for us, and what we really didn't need in life( read this as the boxes of junk we've moved several times and still haven't needed), & the things that were taking up emotional space ( sentimental objects from the past, the obligation to keep gifts out of guilt, the pain of getting rid of something we once spent lots of money on, etc)  

But there was still something that wasn't quite clicking. Part of me still felt anxious & overwhelmed.  

So much of our culture tells us that it's not okay to admit hardship and failure.  
and I'm just going to go ahead and speak the opposite, friends. 

Motherhood is hard, and sometimes I'm not that great at it.  I feel awkward in this role sometimes--like I've reached motherhood too early and I'm not quite ready yet.  Like I have a lot more growing to do before I can be a good mom.  This wasn't just like a few weeks of my life feeling like this- this was a lot of my first years of motherhood.  

I allowed anxiety and postpartum depression and fear rule how I parent.  
For a time, I was barely treading water (while holding babies) surrounded by crap I didn't need, or want, or know what to do with.  I feared that I would look back on these days of toddlerhood and only see all the things that ruled my heart by struggle.  

I have camped out in the doubt.  The space of convincing myself that I'm not good at motherhood.  I've led with my emotions and temper and at times I have left little room for patience and grace.  

maybe you're here too?
maybe you're here and you've never realized it?
maybe you're here and you don't quite know how to step out of it?

I don't have exact answers, or even a process to share with you.  But I do know that there is so much grace here for you. 

Mama, this isn't weight we were meant to carry. 

Learning to recognize and remove the barriers around our hearts, to make way for Christ to come in and flood it.  Examine what the weight is.  and just place it at the foot of the cross. If that weight is insecurity, or fear of failure, perfectionism, desire to be loved-- get to the root of the things that weigh on your heart.  It's okay to dig in-even if you know it's going to be a mess. There is not one thing we could face in our hearts that God hasn't already claimed victory over on the cross.  

Mama, listen for the echoes of heavenly grace.  That peaks through the forrest and whispers "come along, sweet girl.  you belong here with me, not in the darkness."

Because as much as we think we can fight for freedom on our own we really can't get anywhere without Jesus.  

Letting go of physical clutter is great.  less stuff = more joy. 

Letting go of the things that clutter our hearts is life changing in a whole new way.  It's freedom on a whole new level.  Freedom you don't have to fight for.  Freedom that has already been purchased with you in mind because He truly does want you dwelling with him- not in the darkness.