What Marie Kondo taught me about faith

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past month, you probably know the name Marie Kondo. If not the name, then at least the phrases “tidying up” and “konmari method” have scrolled past in your news feed. Although she’s recently gained a new level of popularity, Marie Kondo is not new news. She wrote her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up in 2014 and with it started a revolution of finding joy in the things we fill our homes with (and of course her signature folding technique).

Our home, like so many others, has been in a state of “finding joy” since Netflix aired a new series featuring Marie and willing participants with cluttered homes on January 1st. One episode is all it took before Bryan and I were dumping our clothes into a pile on the bed and emptying drawers into the middle of the room. We sorted, organized, discarded and folded our clothes into small self-standing triangles until our fingers were numb. Within 48-hours we had “konmaried” at least three-fourths of our possessions.

“Why does this take people weeks?,” I wondered. Although our home gets cluttered with kids toys, random papers, and piles of stuff we’re too lazy to put up right away, the truth is, we’re fairly good at tossing out things we have no use for on a regular basis. That random toy part in a drawer that we aren’t sure what it goes to? Toss it. The book that has four pages torn out of it? In the trash can it goes.

So here we are only a few weeks later and I’m enjoying the new organized drawers and cabinets…but there are still problems. You see, once you organize, it takes work to keep it that way. If you aren’t diligent about keeping the clutter out, it will creep back it. Those nicely folded shirts all standing upright only stay that way if you continue to fold them like that again and again. Have you ever tried to keep your three-year-old’s drawers looking like the footlocker of an army soldier? It’s possible if you don’t plan on letting them dress themselves. Ever.

So yesterday as I was (re)folding my son’s t-shirts, I had a quiet conversation with God. You see, sometimes I have conversations with God that don’t have much to do with anything. At least that’s how they start. “Why,” I asked, “do I have to do this over and over again? I need it to just stay tidy.” He’s a parent, He should understand, right? I wasn’t expecting a magical drawer-transformation or anything, but still, I was a little surprised by His answer. “It’s part of the process.”

The initial de-cluttering and joy-sparking moments in the home are only the beginning. That’s the easy part, in fact. In order to keep it up, I have to continue to put in the work that goes with it. The same can be said for my relationship with God. I can’t expect to find closeness with my Father if I am not making the time to sit and talk with Him daily. And when I let bad habits creep back into my routine, I will surely find the clutter in my mind right back where it was.

I don’t know about you, but I always feel a rush of excitement when I start a new bible study or I’m a reading a book that sparks a fire in my soul. But then there’s life. And just like my son’s drawers, everything ends up thrown about, unfolded and wrinkled with me standing over it thinking “why do I even bother?” Because it’s part of the process my darling. The process of learning things don’t need to be perfect or just right to reap the rewards of a relationship with our Father. We just have to keep at it every day and we’ll keep finding the joy.

p.s. Here’s a little peek into what we did around the house

The pantry
Kitchen towels – only the ones that spark joy!
My t-shirts
Bryan’s side of the closet
All those random kitchen gadgets

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