Clutter and Farts

Clutter and Farts

Yes, I just published the word “fart.” On purpose. Read on…

“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” Albert Einstein


I love this Einstein quote because I like to write at an organized desk, and the implications of that are clear.

I also find this to be true: when my desk is cluttered, so are my thoughts. I can never decide: Is my desk cluttered because my mind is cluttered, or is my mind cluttered because my desk is?

It’s sort of a chicken and egg thing….

So, here’s how my desk looked before we moved:

pre-move desk

And… here’s my writing space this morning (and this is after major improvement!):

Cluttered Mind

And so goes my mind…

One of my kids’ instructors actually sent my child an email last week asking if I was OK, because I’ve let so many things slip through the cracks over the last two months.

I’ve spent hours and hours working on the next part of the relational wisdom series we’re working through here… and have nothing coherent to show for it. This morning, as I prayed in preparation for writing, I looked up and saw my desk/office for what it is.

A complete mess.

So goes my mind.

And in the midst of cluttered thoughts, Albert Einstein’s quote jumped to the front of my mind and I finally realized why I can’t settle into writing clearly. I (along with my desk) am a mess!

So I decided it’s time to peel back the veneer and let you see a little bit of the cracks within.

One of my husband’s seminary professors made a profound observation at one point:

Everybody farts.


I’m not sure he’d want to be on record as the originator of this comment, but Zack Eswine had lots of other profound & formative thoughts for us that had nothing to do with hydrogen sulfide gas and mercaptans, which are the components that make farts stink. (There’s your science lesson for the day. Ha!)

That’s become a favorite quote in our marriage, because it reminds us that people are just people. It frees me to be human. Everyone stumbles on something. No one is perfect, no not one. We all still need Jesus. We need grace, mercy, forgiveness, and endurance. Even the most organized and intentional people flounder at times. So here’s me floundering.

Let’s just not camp out here, okay? Because, honestly, it stinks (pun fully intended).

So, I’m going to sit a the cross for a minute. I’m going to settle my desk (and my heart and thoughts) and get back to you next week. Lord willing, it’ll be the next part of the relational wisdom series.

Until then, maybe you need to remember how the gospel applies to your current mess, too? Come sit at the cross with me, remember the great dignity and shame of your humanity. Rest in Christ to cover this, too. Put on his righteousness instead of a veneer of “perfection.” And then let’s keep running the race set before each of us.

See you all next week!


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What people are saying

Julia’s gifts from God are evident in her writing, speaking, parenting, organization, and her godly speaking on relationships….well you get the idea.  Julia’s faith and ability to live out scripture is an encouragement to me, a deep and profound encouragement I don’t think she fully realizes. God speaks to me through Julia. I’m sure you will find her blog and her in-person speaking engagements to be more than helpful in spiritual and practical ways. May you gain wisdom as I have from reading and thinking about her blog and her insightful words.  I am looking forward to hearing her at a retreat in April 2016!

Sharon Hawk, working mother of three

Sherwood, Arkansas