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June 15, 2021 2:00 am
We all understand that material things are not as important as relationships. So, what lies behind the clutter of our lives? On today's program, Kathi Lipp offers tips and perspectives to de-clutter our hearts.
Show Notes and Resources
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So what's the most cluttered room in our house, so no doubt our attic.
There is a lost city in our attic. I'm surprised it hasn't fallen into our garage, or so much weight out there. You just keep adding and it's all your fault my life today where we want to help you pursue the relationships that matter most and Wilson and Dave Wilson and you can find us if it we live today.com or on our family life. His family life today house wouldn't be cluttered at all kids have a dog without a husband, and lonely.
It is lean and loan. It is my fault that I gave find anything up there after the other day that I need to find a booster seat. I looked for an hour. Finally said it's not up there. We got rid of it. She goes up and finds it in 30 seconds. It was right at the top of the steps. As I said, it's the lost city and our grandkids came to visit us for Christmas and the first thing I wanted to do with they said dad told us all about here attic with the best part of Christmas that they had. Yeah, I guess there's some use for it, so I got Rondo on the show runs from our family life blended ministry.
It's an amazing ministry runs an amazing guy love having you here Ron welcome back to family life today is always good to be here so I we talk about cluttered. Well Kathy Lipp is done a lot of work in helping people de-clutter their physical space. Their home and letter their life and she come to our house and I don't know if the price is right on it. It's been fun already hearing her talk about what that looks like yeah yeah lettering our homes, especially in a blended family – complications in itself a pretty two families together in families clutter for any family that's true, but then when she gets into the decluttering of our lives. That's when it gets a little sticky and it's one thing to do.
Clutter personally. That's little bit what we talked about in the previous program. But today, now we gotta talk a little bit about decluttering in connection with others, spouses, children, what if you have different opinions about what needs to stay where he was a goner right even defining clutter that can be a problem.
So here's Ron deals conversation with Kathy lived. The author of the clutter free home okay.
Another principle you talk about decluttering, don't argue over stuff negotiate space so I think part of it is kids you have your room or your portion of the room and yes you get to do with it what you want but you are still part of a larger unit.
The family has to work together and so your stuff needs to be contained to your area, but like only our kids in the living room with their computers and stuff like okay this is not the fantasy room that I wanted.
This is not what I wanted it to be. But this is what we need right now but this is your space but I still get to say I need to look like humans live here. I needed to look like that we are all working together so we would have times where they would be working on their individual space but also times where we had to come together as a family and pull together and some of that with common spaces.
Some of that was big chores and things like that and can I just tell you I've made every mistake in the book. I've done everything wrong is a step parent and I love that God gives us grace and sometimes a covering and all of that right. Because we have kids who like to work hard and like to have spaces that are neat and pull together but they also work with other human beings. And so that makes me super proud even in all of my family you know the word negotiate and all that is so important. It's everybody gets a voice and we listen to one another. We try to figure out how to meet in the middle and sometimes I drive a lot sometimes like just compromise a little and over the course of time in a family will hopefully do a little of that.
I think with kids negotiating space is really meant metaphorical like it's not just my bedroom but now I'm sure in a bedroom with another half sibling or sibling.
And so what's mine you have I lost control of everything in my life and my world only get a closet or space or drawer like they need something that is theirs that speaks to their belonging unit that they matter that they have lost control of everything in their world.
It's not just about space. It is about more of that sense of of control and belonging, and also if we want to grow. Responsible kids. They need to have something that is there to care for and so yeah it's all of that together and it's that identity to say that yeah I'm part of this family that even I don't understand. Sometimes, but who I am in that batter.
It matters not just to my parents of origin, but also to my other person that in some ways they can feel like they've been forced to live with but there's a way to honor that and to say everybody in this matter and we also work together as a team. But we also respect each other as individuals start about one more principle you talk about in your book the clutter free home. Things are not relationships.
The idea that we would hold on to something as it come back to the guilt thing you were talking about right right and so to say I'm only keeping this because it represents the relationship with my grandmother passed away. There were thousands of things that I could've kept at this point. Now she's been gone quite a while, but I narrow that down to three things where it represents her, but it represents my memories and my relationship with her and that makes me happy but I also know if I lost all of those things I would still have my grandmother. She is not in those things I do look at them and they make me happy but I also know that that is not where she is and when were talking about blended families. I know that for years. When it came to Christmas and birthdays.
I was making up for them being in a blended family. We were over buying overspending over celebrating and I may have had a little competition going on with their mom. It was my own need to be loved and accepted by these very important people in my life who I felt so much rejection from when I could finally kind of calm down and say this stuff doesn't represent her love. It just doesn't. When I finally had to get to the place of this take years. This is not going to happen overnight. This is going to take years. Roger and I kept on telling each other five years we've heard from other families that five years can really make a difference and we got to a point where my stepson would not participate in our wet.
He refused to he didn't want to be there. He would come to our wedding unless his mom came by me. It's just it's a whole bunch of mass to the place where he's called me for advice to the place where he's gotten off the phone with his dad to talk to me to find out how I'm doing. I never thought we would get to that place so I had to calm down with the stuff and just understand that it takes some time to build into that place where you have really hit on something I think is huge and it's something we talk about a lot.
Family life blended in all of our ministry components. The anxiety that we feel about how fast the family is coming together tends to just make adults try to push for more togetherness and that tends to make children pull back from the togetherness and now were working on opposite agendas and were clashing in creating conflict and relaxing and not letting your anxiety or fear about the family not blending get the best of you. That's the first step towards saying you know it's going take time and I've got a get a rest into. This is going to do what I can do today and trust that eventually the relationships can progress. It's so true. I was giving my step kids way too much control over how my day was going and what they needed from me was safety and stability.
That's what they needed.
They need safety and stability. Plenty of people who love them. They had plenty of people to care for them. They just need to know. Dinner was good to be on the table at 6 o'clock they just needed to know that when I said I was good to pick them up from hockey practice that I was good to be there.
That's what they needed from me in those first years and so when I could just calm down and not give them the responsibility of how my day was going. Things got a lot better this great okay let me turn a corner and ask another question.
So for you as a stepmom you are the one who kinda kept the clutter, at least in the beginning of your blended family.
What if we get some a listing right now and they are stepparent, stepdad or stepmom and they are the only ones who want the house to cluttered water. They do yeah so this is really important to understand the distinction are you doing that because you want your house to be beautiful or do you want it to be functional because beautiful I think is a great goal, but that doesn't always translate to everybody else in your family.
So if you approach it from. We need to function as a family. And when there's a lot of chaos. We can't function as a family so simple things are not going to be forcing your stepchild to get rid of their stuffed animal.
Let's let's just be clear. None of that in my advocating or okay with things like when I would drive the kids home from school. One of the things I learned to do is I would have a garbage and recycling bag and our minivan and I'd say okay guys, I want you to unpack your backpacks if there's any garbage in there for the garbage bag. If there's anything that needs to be recycled.
The recycling back and if you need me to sign a permission slip if you need me to sign a test that didn't go so well whatever it is make me a stack and I'm to take those things I'm to get into the house I go to sign and do what we need to attach the check.
I don't even know for people use checks anymore and put it back into your backpack to put it back into play so I really believe if you're the one who's arguing for being more clutter free wine you have to set the example. Yet you can't just be upset with everybody else's stuff because everybody else's stuff looks like junk and our stuff looks necessary now you're going to middling is not junk it is my stuff is exactly what everything you write all of that right together so understand there is a certain amount of clutter that just comes with life, especially with And so this is for a certain time certain place and also to the point in a small bit that I said I do not have this chaos forever.
You know what I kinda want to enjoy what my kids are here. We get to spend some time together.
I want to be able to enjoy this and not be frustrated all the time so there were certain areas like I can keep my side of the bed.
Perfect. You know, if I wanted to I keep my bathroom super tidy if I wanted to I could have standards for the rest of my family that were aspirational. I would only lose my top about really. One thing when I could find clean folded laundry in the hamper.
It was a pretty you been listening to family life today and we've been listening to Ron deal with A lab about decluttering our homes and if she was just finishing that talking about health. Frustrated, she was well or her words, guys.
It wasn't pretty. It was pretty long. Why were you laughing at it tries me crazy when you have folded clean laundry at the bottom of the hamper and that is happened never happen. 1.now we have denial and I'm telling. I think that that's true what she's talking about. Like okay what's my part. What can I do not get frustrated with everyone else because they're not doing what I perceived their part is me if that makes sense. I love These principles of age are in charge of you and you're working this out with other people.
As a parent you have standards for your kids, but every once while you need to let some things live in others that there's a fine line in there and there's balance to be sought and that something will have to do because there will be moments when it's not pretty. And it's interesting like when we have our grandkids over. I'm totally laid-back about them because I know now they're going to leave and it's all going to be different. Enjoy the moment and I think that our kids were little. It took me a while to learn to because you hated the clutter and youth I had to clean it up right away and you realize when I go to bed. I cleaned up. So here's a question run as we listen to the next part does she apply this to our lives, our spiritual lives. You know, and we have so much to do clutter, spiritually speaking, and sometimes it's about resentment, pain, or something in the relationship that it just needs to go and that's an export of our conversation you just skirted around something that I wanted to talk about and that is talk about decluttering our heart for a second when you've got resentment builds up towards somebody in your home or you know or maybe a stepmom has a lot of clutter on her heart towards her.
What we like to call her ex-wife in law her husband's former wife. Yeah, that stuff gets in the way of you figuring out how to do life together.
Okay so my toes are crushed you so much that you stepped on mine earlier so I will say this, my stepson was just miserable with me and in his brain.
His parents were getting back together, even though everybody in that equation made it very clear that that was never going to happen. I was the roadblock and I have to say I was really really frustrated with him for a long time. So one of the things I did and it sound bad at first but it actually has led to a great deal of healing is I have three amazing friends who I just said, guys, I need a safe place to process this without gossiping knowing that I love my stepson greatly, but I really don't like him right now and I felt so awful because I was the only blended family person in that whole group but then they all came out there like this one kid is great.
They're doing what they're supposed be doing my other kid is making me crazy and we called ourselves the bad moms club because we felt like bad bombs, but also we were putting guidelines and we are putting boundaries in place and we are learning how to do the mom thing. Well you know what it was. It was great because these people I you have to hold me to the standard I'm growing in love for my stepson because if not done that.
This is worth it and I didn't always feel that way. Let's be super clear, but they would pray for me. They would ask me how things were going. They would hold me accountable when I say I need to reach out to Jeremy Moore because right now things are not going well. I need to encourage his dad to go on walks with him. I need to do all the things when it came to what you call my my husband's ex-wife is my what is your ex-wife in law ex-wife in law. I love that so much I need to write that down you know it was tough and I just could be really honest and at one point we had so much conflict. I told my husband I need to gear off because she was she for a while. She was very undermining and now I understand she didn't know her role when she was over here so she would cut me down to be able to find her visit. I know it now. It didn't help.
At the time I was just mad and I took it here off of going to family events with her because I was so hurt and so wounded and the honesty stepmom is one of the most humbling and say the site.
It just it makes you question everything. Everything good or everything, even you know those little evil feelings that you and makes you question everything about who you are and that's that's a very vulnerable place to be yet, but when I had really done my best and were talking after 10 years of being a stepfamily and I finally told my husband I needing here off and he said I support that he goes I will go to the things and I still spent plenty of time with my step kids, but I just didn't show up where she was showing up, but I you can take a year off without doing the work on yourself and I went to counseling. I figured out why she was behaving the way she was why I was so triggered when she was behaving the way she was and we now have a good relationship. We don't hang out by ourselves, but when her sister was sick. I was there praying for her and sending messages and doing the best I could to love on her when things are going on and her kids are frustrated with her.
I'm actually defending her in some ways, and so to get to that place. It was worth taking the year off and saying I need to spend some time to figure this out.
It it helped tremendously helped everybody. There's so many ways and thank you so much for sharing that the getting accountable to some friends had to be really good for you yet it sound like you supported each other that we talk over that a lot here from life blended.
We want stepfamily couples to be in relationship with other couples. Maybe small group babies two couples get together with on occasion and have dinner, but that sort of rubbing of the hearts build some accountability, but you also learn something and you feel supported and you will feel so isolated and alone. It's so true you know it's so funny. We just had some friends with in the past couple years get married into a blended family and they wanted to come over for dinner to get some advice and they kept on telling me it's just been so great God has blessed us so much. There's no conflict like that's amazing. Usual with amazing and then three weeks later she's like yeah and she does. I was so glad to hear from you that this is the door yes exactly exactly in the other thing you did. There is you took time to figure it out and you consulted with some people and because you needed to, and I think taking some spacing of the little when your vacation if you want to call it that. What a strategic thing to do and your husband stepped up.
You still had to work to get him in there so many great things wrapped up in that story and it obviously paid off did pay off and you de-cluttered your heart.
Well, like I said I made more mistakes than I've done things right. As we grow in this. I can honestly see that when my thoughts are. How can I support my step kids in their relationships, whether it's with their dad, their mom, whom ever it is.
It's almost always the right decision for everybody one more question for you. Yes sir. You talk in the book about putting a sign in each room of your house to come to communicate a purpose and to claim it for given reason right. Let's talk about give us some examples and practical examples in terms of home but also what are some signs you can put in each room of your heart as it relates to your family yeah yeah at some point. I claim the verse for each of my step kids and that verse is changed over the years, according to what they need. My step kids are now grown my step daughter is married. I have an amazing son-in-law that God is knitting together their family and we get to see that my stepson who has some learning challenges and things like that who has perseverance like no other human being. I've met the signs that I can put on them. The Bible verses about perseverance and loving well and God knitting their hearts together. It focuses your relationship and to be able to do that and say I wish so much for these people that God has entrusted me with in a small way. I'm just a small part of the many people who love my step kids, but I also feel like God has given me the most to learn from them and they've learned a lot by having a relationship with me.
We learned how to navigate some really tricky waters that not everybody has to navigate and my kids are better prepared for that. So when I think about that. I put a sign in my kitchen. But one we were getting made right now is Julia Child. All the best. People love to eat.
We want our kitchen table to be a place of connection and so I think about that for my step kids. I think about that for the relationships that are in my life and it's like okay what verse can I be praying that I would see all of God's fruit in this person that I care so deeply about such a new idea to imagine is when a child walks in the room that there's almost like hovering above their head.
There's this little verse, a thought or a notion that you hold onto for a period of time to just help you get focused about that person in your relationship with them. Think about their future because sometimes step kids are not always super lovable, or even our own kids are spouses or whomever, they're not lovable in that place in space and time, but we have a hope that we can depend on them for something better for the future because we have a big God.
And we have a lot of capacity to give.
If you have stepped into the role of stepparent you are a person who has a great capacity lives. Even if you haven't been able to demonstrate it recently. I know that it's there for you even listening to family life today where we've all got the chance to listen run deals conversation with Kathy Lipp and I tell you that last little section there. Wow, what a way to view children who really do view anybody in your life and identity. You know that that brings life out of them because I was beautiful.
I like the idea and seeing Scripture or a placard or an identity name above each of our children, our friends are husband and our wife because that's how God sees us.
Yes, he hasn't seen to cluttered the mass he sees how he made us in the gifts that he put in us. If Jesus has a verse for each of us can be sweet to think about, you know, one of the things I'm putting into practice. As a result of my conversation with Kathy is when my smart phone dings, it shouts important and I have to make a decision is a really important what if I put a placard over my wife's head over my sons and when he walks into the living room and I saw the word important over them like how would it make a difference in how I respond just a simple little things.
The smile on my face the way I welcome them the way I turn my attention away from the TV or away from the smart phone and give them my full attention.
If I see them as important and act accordingly. What a difference. I would think that we tend. I know I do. I can't speak for you, but Kathy get into it. Stuff I tend to put a 10 ounces in a three on people you know and I should put a tent on everybody's forehead, especially my wife and my kids and grandkids really my neighbors well and that's what she's tells us to do so. Thanks, Ron.
I'm using a hearing to encourage people listen to family life blended in. Listen to your conversations like that and there's a whole bunch of them and they are life-changing getting of us can look around, see Mrs. somewhere in our home in our lives in our heart and soul thinking about how we can de-clutter. Whether it's the physical space urine or the spiritual space you're living. That's what Dave and I am have been talking about today with Rob Diehl and Dilip Kathy has written a book called the clutter free home making room for your life and we got copies of her book and her family life today resource Center go online to get your copy go to family life today.com or call one 800 FL today to get a copy. Again, go to family life today.com to look for the clutter free home from The lip or older copy when you call one 803 586-329-1800 F as in family L as in life, and then the word today. By the way, if you're not already subscribed to or regularly listing to run deals podcast family life blended again, go to our website. Family life today.com there's a link there, you can sign up, subscribe, listen. In the podcast is called family life blended with Ron Diehl and it's a great podcast. Try to encourage you to check about that now.
I don't know if you ever wish there was like a Home Depot or Lowe's for marriage so that when there's a do-it-yourself project. You could go find the supplies and get things patched up in your marriage. I think Home Depot used to have the slogan you can do it we can help. That's how we feel about marriage. In fact, our team is put together something that we called the love you better plan. It's a 30 day exercise. You can go through to help you tackle some of those marriage improvement projects that I think all of us need from time to time, the love you better plan is a free resource each day. There's a tip how to improve your marriage got concepts and resources that can help bring you closer together and here's something really exciting when you download the love you better plan from family life again. It's free. You are automatically registered for an opportunity to win cabin on the love like you mean it marriage cruise in 2022 were heading out in February. Valentines week on the 2022. Love like you mean it marriage cruise and somebody who downloads the love you better plan is going to chance to go with us. So go to our website. Family life today.com all the information you need is available there.
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Working to get a chance to connect with one of our favorite funny people Michael Junior's going to be here with us in working to hear from him about the connection between living a life with purpose and doing standup comedy and trust me there is a connection.
Michael joins us to talk about that tomorrow.
I hope you can join us as well on behalf of our hosts David and Wilson on Bob team. We will see you back tomorrow for another edition of family life today like today is the production of family life accrue ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most