My Scattered Life

scattered life

If you had to move to a place where you could take only the bare necessities, what would you take with you? More important, what would you leave behind?

Every life is made up of a past, present and future. The longer we live, the more stuff we accumulate. Not just physical stuff but mental, emotional and spiritual stuff.

My husband and I have come and gone from so many places, I’ve lost count. As we packed to move to our present home, Jay made a declaration. “This is it, until heaven.” That must have made God smile.

Yes, in a few months, we’re moving yet again. At our age, the practical thing to do would be to minimize our stuff and settle in a small place with little maintenance.

My question is, what am I to do with all the stuff? How do we decide what to take and what to leave behind? I’m not stubbornly attached to furniture, etc. However, I do tend to hold on to “stuff” with sentimental value.

crowded bookshelves

I sit at my desk surrounded by shelves overflowing with books. Some I’ve read but sadly don’t remember. Many I’ve not read but wish I had. I must face the fact; there’s no way I can or will read them. So, why keep them?

I think it’s because my persona is stuck between a struggling “has-been” and a frustrated “wanta-be.” I struggle because the life God has given me in the past is gone and can never be retrieved or even sufficiently captured in memory. And I’m frustrated because I still want to be informed and prepared to make a difference for God in the lives, hearts and minds of those around me.

What does this have to do with deciding what stuff to get rid of and what stuff to keep? Out of sight but not out of mind are stacks of journals and notebooks filled with my scattered life.

Over the past 45 years, I’ve kept messy accounts of treasured moments with God as well lessons I’ve learned along the way. Hidden within my squirrely handwriting, are chronicles of God’s amazing grace as He’s grown our family closer to Himself and to one another.

I have no idea if anyone will ever want to or will be able to decipher what’s between those pages. But I do know it’s the stuff life is made of. Scattered, though it may be.

Perhaps I don’t need to save it. Perhaps God has already filed my stuff in Heaven for His purpose and to His glory. And perhaps just perhaps, He’s not finished with me yet.


My future will probably be just as messy and scattered as my past. But what can I do in the meantime? I can’t redeem lost time. Nor can I orchestrate future success in any area of my scattered life.

Yes, I’m torn between the physical remnants of my past, the pull to make the most of my present and the question marks concerning my future. But this I know. The presence of God is my life-line and my only hope. All I can do is practice His Presence and trust Him with the results. Today, in Jesus Calling, I read “When My Presence is the focal point of your consciousness, all the pieces of your life fall into place.”


This, my friend, is the essence of our peace and our purpose—His Presence. Regardless of the past, present or future of our scattered lives.

O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I’m going to say even before I say it, Lord. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand.” Psalm 139:1-6 (NLT)

woman on computer

What do you struggle with the most, your past, present or future? How has God helped you in your scattered life?

8 Responses to “My Scattered Life”
  1. Millie says:

    I understand the dilemma, Mom!! Discerning between treasure and clutter becomes a challenge!! I also struggle with why I keep so many books! Is it a point of pride? Why do I need them?! Sure, good decorations!! Anyway – I’ve told you that I DO WANT those special times with the Lord you have captured in those journals!!! 😊

    • Thanks, Millie for identifying with me in the challenge. And especially thanks for re-confirming that you want my journals and notebooks. I guess that’s the highest encouraging compliment anyone could pay me. I hope you don’t regret it. 🙂

  2. Kathy Biedenharn says:

    My you next place of permanence be filled with tangible and intangible treasures.

  3. Jeannie says:

    Amen Liz! You nailed it!! Thank you for being so transparent.

  4. Lollie Beck says:

    Mom, thinking about you today as you are actually in the process of going through your past, and thinking about the future. May His presence fill your crazy packing days with His Peace! Love you, Lollie

    • Thanks for the encouragement sweet daughter. This is a belated comment so, as you know, a lot has happened since then. Things have gotten even crazier and only the Lord knows the outcome.

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