I’ve been lying – to my family, my kids, my friends – and worst of all – to myself.
This is a recent realisation, and it hit me right between the eyes one day as I surveyed my kitchen. The worktops, heaving with dirty dishes, plastic tubs recently unearthed from the refrigerator with contents that are long forgotten and un-labelled, and dry but unfolded laundry sneering at me from under the breakfast bar.
The thing about lies is, that often we actually fully believe them ourselves. So it was for me. I was completely convinced that the reason my house was in this mess (the kitchen was merely the tip of the domestic iceberg), was because I didn’t have enough time to care for my family, and myself, and give time to ministry and writing too.
I genuinely believed that the issue was with other people, and the busyness of life that frequently overwhelmed me in a tidal wave of dirty socks, unironed shirts and lost homeworks.
The worst of it is – that was only lie number two. The secondary lie that underpins the “biggy”. You know how fishermen often talk about “the one that got away”? That big catch that has eluded them for years? That’s how I felt when I landed this next one.
This one is a game changer – for me at least. Perhaps for you – read on.
All my life I have told people that I’m not very good at being organised.
“It’s just not who I am” I would say. “I’m the flamboyant, artistic sort – and you can’t have that and tidy kitchen worktops.”
The odd thing is though, that over the years I have helped quite a few people sort out their mess, and even been instrumental in helping long-time hoarders get free from their habits and begin a journey to organisation. Likewise in my own life there have been multiple times when I have re-organised our home, and sifted out the junk to reveal a calm and ordered living space. I’m actually pretty good at this organising thing. We live like it for a few weeks and then gradually, life happens and we descend into chaos again. I don’t mean just a-few-things-left-out kind of chaos – I mean stuff-everywhere-I can’t find-my-shoes kind of chaos.
So the lie is that I’m not good at being organised. The truth is, I’m not very good at being CONSISTENT.
At that moment I realised, I could swear I heard the sound of a wall come down somewhere.
Since then I have been on a mission to de-clutter our home and simplify – but more importantly to be consistent in my habits so that when change comes, and life happens – this time I don’t get knocked off course.
We make choices every day about what we do with our time. I’m going to try to invest mine more wisely – I’m not really into New Years resolutions… but I may make an exception, just this once.