Clearing Your Mind When You Can't Clear the Table


Alright, folks, here’s the skinny. I struggle with needing things to be super neat and tidy. I mean s t r u g g l e. Can you hear me? Do you feel me? Something about a clean environment makes my mind feel clear and my soul feel peaceful. As you may remember, we moved just a few short months back. Moving is anything but neat and tidy. Unpacking and settling in with five littles is everything, but neat and tidy. My environment has been turned upside down for far longer than I’d like.

At 10 pm the night before our move, our settlement was delayed, which guess what? Meant our move was delayed. We spent the last week and a half in our beloved home sleeping on the floor and weaving in and out of sealed boxes. Once we moved, we pressed on with a few planned, relatively little, but messy renovations of our new home. In the process of the renos, our belongings mostly stayed in boxes and we lived among a noisy mess. Then we left our noisy mess behind for 3 weeks on the road – we tagged along to visit with family while my husband attended to business. And in my heart the answer was no to the question my loving friends and well-meaning new neighbors kept asking, “Are you feeling settled in?” Oh, dear, no!

But, guess what I’ve learned among my mess? I can’t depend on a clear table to have a clear mind. I never should have. God provides the peace through His faithfulness and provision. God is the peace I seek. I’m fooling myself if I believe a clean environment means I’ll have a pure heart. Friends, can I tell you what this leads to? For me, to an intense need to control my environment rather than an intense desire to submit my heart and mind. It makes more of me and less of Him. And this means sin. Sin in my heart, sin in my mind, and sin from my mouth. But the truth of God and His word reveals me for who I am and leads me to bend my knee…daily…moment by moment…minute by minute. And it leads me to thank Him for all the things He is doing, even when all I can see are things I need to do.

I still hope to share with you the practical tips I have for homeschooling while moving, but this message is what my heart knows I need to share first. Or perhaps this message is just for me and writing it down will really be more about reminding me of this lesson later. But let me say this one more time in one more way — When you can’t clear the table, or the room, or the house, or your life, HE can clear your mind and your heart and your mouth to see Him and serve Him. Follow Him first and all the rest will follow.


“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Matthew 6:33-34


“May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14







  1. Chad M Lorion says

    Beth, thank you for sharing this. I’m a husband and a father of seven children, six of whom still live with us, and more often than not my house is anything but neat and tidy. I’m a neat freak. And this combination usually spells trouble for me, which usually spells trouble for everyone else. Thank you for exposing this mindset for what it is–a self-centered way of looking at my surroundings due to a belief that I can control my surroundings, rather than allowing the Spirit to control my heart and mind and overflow out of my mouth. Thank you!

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