River of Thoughts

Christine Royse Niles — Changing the world one word at a time

How Can You Mend A Cluttered Heart?

Busy is not new. People have been filling their lives with clutter, too busy with daily life, for thousands of years.

A cluttered life leads to a cluttered heart.

And clutter chokes out the joy and peace that we are meant to have.

The Bible talks about this a lot, but it’s common sense. You don’t have to believe in Jesus, or anything really, to know this.

So why do we worship at the altar of busy?

It would be really easy to just say “it’s in our nature.” But I want better for me. And if I read the Bible and actually believe what it says, I find out God wants better for me too.

The problem I keep struggling with is kind of a chicken and egg thing. I know better is out there, but somehow I can’t seem to make the time to make the time. I’m too busy to slow down.

I‘m too frazzled to find peace.


The definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over and expecting different results. The same thing, for me, for now, is clearly not working.

I’m not sleeping well (it’s 2AM as I’m writing this). I’m not eating all that well (because I die a little inside when I think of Wal-Mart).

Masha had her tonsils out last week (ouch). Lena has show choir rehearsals and previews and competitions (they won Grand Champion on Saturday!).

Mark and I have meetings, and ministry, and coffee with old friends, and coffee with new friends, and coffee at home (OK, so coffee hasn’t suffered).

Every week, every day, I say it’s time to do something different, and then busy gets in the way and then the day is gone. And it looked exactly like the one before it.

I beat myself up for what I didn’t get done and for what I wasted time on.

I poke myself when I mess up.


It’s time for some grace.

My friend Joseph released a devotional last Friday (and he’s offering seven free bonus gifts with it this week, too!).

It’s about finding grace and hope. And with grace and hope comes peace.

Ever since I saw an early draft last summer, his words have danced around the walls of my heart, inviting me out. Inviting me to find peace. To make changes. To know grace. To lead me home.

Maybe it’s time to let those words sink into cultivated soil rather than falling among the thorns of my cluttered life.


So what’s the secret??

I’m a writer. I can write a really great search-optimized titles like “Seven Ways to Clear a Cluttered Heart” or “The Obvious Secret To Peace You Might Never Imagine.” I can probably even write 500 words of BS with some made-up answer.

But really, folks, I don’t have it all figured out.

If there’s a secret, I haven’t imagined it yet. Or at least I haven’t let go of the garbage that’s cluttering my life enough to see it. (yes, that was meant to be ironic…or whatever.)

So the simple secret, I guess, is to just let go of some of the clutter.

To focus on what’s important…the hearts of my familiy (and their bellies). the word of God. Rest.

And to let the rest of it go.

Simple, right?

Simple, but oh, so hard.


What’s cluttering up your life? Leave a comment…


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About Christine

I am a writer, a project manager, and a corporate refugee with a heart for orphans around the world. My two daughters were adopted from Ukraine at ages 12 and 14. I post about writing, chasing dreams, and making a difference in the world, and sometimes I share fun snippets of fiction in-progress.

8 Replies

  1. AnnaB

    What clutters my life?: work. things I think I should do. things I think I have to do. school. the time waster of being tired of trying to do everything so I do nothing.

    Today is a hard day. Just trying to figure out what’s really worth it and really important to eternity. Sometimes I feel too tired to try. Other times I try and it makes me tired :-)

    I think I need a little bit of that grace today!

    1. Christine

      Exactly! I can totally relate to that paralysis. And it’s even harder when you’re jet lagged and coming off of a mission trip, too. You know you’re always welcome to stop by and just “be” if it will help!

  2. Thank you Christine for the shout out to SELAH.
    Anyone getting the eBook this week (until Friday, 8th) should email their order confirmation to info@selahthebook.com and will receive the 7 bonuses.

    1. Christine

      And the bonuses are AWESOME, y’all. Eight great ebooks for $5. Seriously worth it!!

  3. Oh how this speaks to me!

    1. Christine

      It’s hard, isn’t it??

  4. Christine

    In the interest of transparency…It’s 3 AM, and I’m awake again. Looking for what to let go of….

  5. Dawn

    Christine- this is sooooo where I am right now- think we talked about it a tiny bit- trying to balance current work, work on future work, live in the moment, get the true necessities done, enjoy life and the simple things and not miss Him in the whole thing. The more I think, pray, talk and read about this the more I’m convinced you are right in what you say here- to have more “white space” we have to give things up. 3-1=2. It’s simple math, though hard to implement. I’m working on it! Thanks for sharing and for the book recc- will check it out!!

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