Surprising “How To” Unclutter Your Life

Some time ago, I had the honor of working on a focus group for a book written by Nancy Twigg.  Nancy is a great lady with a wonderful ministry.  She and her husband were both on the “career track” when one day they realized they were not living according to their priorities.  They both quit their “career” jobs to work from home, found creative ways to live frugally to finance their slower paced life, and now have the time to devote to their small daughter and each other, and to serve God more actively.  Nancy has written several books, maintains an online newsletter (www.countingthecost.com) and speaks to churches and women’s groups around the country.

I’ve been reading Nancy’s newsletter about frugal living and “living life more abundantly” for years.  When she offered her readers a chance to join a focus group for a book she was working on, I jumped at the chance.  Nancy e-mailed chapters of her book to the members of the focus group and we e-mailed our responses, offer constructive criticism and provided life stories for her to include as examples in her book.  It was such a blessing to be part of that project.  Nancy was fabulous and the women in the focus group because spiritual partners as a result of the project.  The result was Nancy’s book entitled, From Clutter to Clarity:  Simplifying Life from the Inside Out

This is not your typical “simplify your life” book with tips on how to organize your closets and manage your time.  As anyone looking for a “decluttering” book will tell you, those books are a dime and dozen and don’t work — which is why people are always looking for that “magic” time management or organizational tip.  This book addresses the root of the problem — our FEELINGS and MOTIVATIONS and REASONS for clutter and a non-simple life. 

Only when you address the heart of the problem can you have real, lasting change.   Furthermore, From Clutter to Clarity  wisely recognizes that one cannot do it alone — in order to have a true change at a heart and soul level, God needs to be involved.  The premise of the book is to cast off all that hinders you and run the race (of life) with perserverence, with your eyes squarely on Jesus.  Nancy Twigg does an excellent job of explaining abstract ideas in a concrete, down to earth, this-is-my-life way.  This book is must read for Christians and non-Christians alike who want to attack clutter at the root.  You won’t find tips on how to deal with the mounds of toys in your house, but you will learn why you bought mounds of toys in the first place.  You won’t find tips on how to manage your time to squeeze in a few minutes to pray, but you will be asked the hard questions to reveal why prayer isn’t a priority in your life.  You’ll learn to cast down the idols in your life (we ALL have false gods we follow); you’ll learn how to fully rely on God instead of yourself and your things for provision and security.   Most importantly, Nancy will drive the points home in a funny, down to earth, non-guilt producing way.  Incidentally, when you read the stories of “Connie” and “Yvonne” in the book (there are four), those were contributions from my life.

This book is not only a great read, but great for gift-giving, too!

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