Nancy Twigg’s From Clutter to Clarity: Simplifying Life from the Inside Out is most definitely the best book on simplifying your life from a Christian perspective that I have read. It is an easy read that really helped clarify my perspective in all aspects of my life.
I feel the description on the back cover truly encapsulates the book well, “Is your schedule so full you can barely breathe, much less volunteer for a good cause? Do you spend each day worrying about things you can’t control? Are you tired of facing endless mounds of junk? Cluttered homes, overbooked schedules, and maxed-out credit cards are only symptoms of what’s happening on the inside. As you follow God’s directive to clear out the clutter that complicates your life, you’ll discover the clarity you desire. Isn’t it time?”
I love how she keeps the focus on simplifying first and foremost by addressing the core of our hearts, the root problem. Are we trying to find satisfaction in things? Or through maintaining a busy schedule that we don’t have time to think about our discontentment? It starts with your mind and heart! Simplifying is more than just cleaning out closets, drawers, and boxes of receipts.
The book begins by offering a new definition of clutter: “Anything that complicates your life and prevents you from living in peace as you live out your purpose.” She then follows this up by dissecting Hebrews 12:1-2, and addressing it’s application to inner clarity (simplicity of mind-set, getting rid of counterproductive thoughts that clutter your mind), outer clarity (simplicity of daily life – how you use your time and how you relate to your possessions), and finally financial clarity (simplicity of spending – how you relate to your money).
Hebrews 12:1-2 states, “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus…”
This book is a call to acknowledge honestly what is really holding us back. “Throw it off” as Hebrews describes. Get it out of your lives and thoughts, for even good things can lead to sin, if we become consumed with it and turn it into an idol. Nancy shares, “Even noble pursuits become clutter when they endanger our sanity and leave us with no time to connect with God.” You will encounter struggles in the battle (it is hard to say “no”), but remember to keep fixing your eyes on Jesus! He is our Source! He provides the ability to lay aside the clutter in our life and be set free through Christ Jesus. “Through the toughest times in our spiritual lives, it’s our God-empowered persistence that keeps us moving forward.”
“Our suitcases are filled with all kinds of dead weight: habits we need to give up, attitudes we’ve long since outgrown, and activities and possessions that no longer serve a reasonable purpose.” Are you ready to clean out those suitcases? Then, I strongly encourage you to find a copy of this book, and prayerfully read and journal through it. Nancy provides very thoughtful clutter buster questions at the end of each chapter that will provide you with strategic tools for destroying the clutter in your life. She also provides a wealth of practical tips for diagnosing and attacking the clutter in the inner, outer, and financial areas of life.
I personally have grown a lot in understanding how to simplify my life in the outer realm, but while reading this book, I realized how much I had yet to grow in simplifying my life in the inner realm. The Lord has graciously used this book to help provide so much more inner clarity and purpose that I have ever experienced!
I’m eager to read her other book: Celebrate Simply: Your Guide to Simpler, More Meaningful Holidays and Special Occasions! It’s the perfect time of year!