I wrote last week about my friends and the fellowship we share of helping each other out with summer household projects. Last Saturday was the day my fabulous gal-pals-sisters-in-the-Lord-one-heck-of-a-good-time-bunch came to my house to clean out my garage. Can I just tell you that my garage is now my favorite room in the house — truly!  My wonderful friends helped me sort, decision, clean, dust, sweep, box up and organize all of my mementos, cleaning products, tools and shoes (yes, shoes…I keep my shoes in the garage) into something that is nothing short of glorious.  I have loved going down to the garage to look for things and do laundry.  And I really love raising the garage door when I come home in the car — it’s really something to see all that neatness and order looking back at you! Here’s a look at what my garage looks like now:

My clean garage!

My clean garage!

One of things that I’ve always thought was true is that your environment can be a big contributor to the level of peace you experience.  I think this is especially true during times of stress.  When life is stressful, having a living space that’s chaotic, messy, unorganized can add to the stress.  It’s like having chaos inside, with all of your emotions and thoughts stirred up and chaos on the outside with your living space turned upside down.  There’s no peace anywhere.

Jesus is the source of our peace, this we know from His word. It’s so important to remember that important truth when the Lord allows trials, stresses and challenges to come into our lives and create what feels like chaos. We can experience that peace a little more easily, a little more fully by having the condition of our surroundings under control. Not neat-freak-neat (unless you’re a neat freak, in which case your surroundings are probably already in order) but just together enough as to not add to your stress. It will give you one less thing to worry about (you can eliminate the “I have this huge trial AND my house is a mess” conversation) and give you a bit more room to hear and see what the Lord is trying to say.

I won’t be sitting in my garage, listening for the Lord (although, I could!). But I will let the order that now exists there remind me that even when my life feels out of order, the One who holds all things has everything in order. What feels and looks chaotic to me is neither of those things to Him. That’s a comforting thing.

Order in my environment helps me remember the Lord and His peace. What about you? What reminds you of His peace in your life?