Messy Room v. Messy Heart

When he still lived with us, one night I knocked lightly and popped my head into my son Jake’s room.

My “Goodnight, Son,” stopped before the words left my lips.

His room was a disaster area. Stacks of magazines, motorcycle paraphernalia, and a week’s worth of socks and underwear covered the floor. He had one little bitty space on his huge desk that wasn’t covered with paper or doodads or books. The bed was disheveled, and the window blinds were all cattywampus.

How could a kid whose brain organized data to get straight As in engineering live in this chaos?

When his face met mine, he wasn’t smiling. “Mom, got a minute to talk?”

“Sure,” I said. “Want to come downstairs?”

“Can you just come in here?”


I hesitated.


See, I am not messy.

…My spices are alphabetized.

…My closet is color organized by sleeve length.

…The coins in my car are heads up, facing the windshield.

…I can tell you what’s going to be for dinner a week from Tuesday.


Being in his room made my brain freeze and my hands twitch.


“Check your heart”

I noticed his T-shirt as I picked my way around the obstacles.


It read: “Organized people are just too lazy to look for stuff.


I wondered how much a dumpster would cost as I pushed the clutter on his bed aside to make a spot to sit down.

As I listened to his troubles, I struggled to concentrate on the conversation because I was still focused on the mess.

I did my best to dispense wisdom to get his axis rebalanced, and then I made a hasty exit from his messy man cave.

Walking down the hall, I grumbled to myself about the decade-lost battle with him over the disorderliness of his room.

I had just hit my grumblin’ stride when I experienced an unexpected check in my spirit.


Slowing down, I recognized that voice immediately. It was God.


That’s how I feel in your heart, Robyn. You are so busy being tidy and organized that I can’t get any space for us to talk.




Need a good cleaning?

My son’s bedroom was a mess, but the condition of his heart was tender and compassionate.

My house was spotless, but my heart’s condition was in need of a good cleaning!


Which would I rather have?

A heart that welcomes God’s presence or a house that’s shipshape?


I’m sure it’s possible to have both, but when I have to choose, it’s going to be a heart that welcomes God’s presence.


How about you?

Does the condition of your heart make God feel welcome to come in for a chat,


are you so busy with life that there is no space?



“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”

Proverbs 4:23


Holy Spirit, thank you for your gentle correction. More than anything, I want to be open to you. In those moments when I crowd you out, help me see clearly and readjust my heart to welcome you in. In Jesus’ name, amen. 


  1. Cherrilynn on June 25, 2023 at 6:47 am

    Oh Robyn, thanks for sharing
    I’m often too busy for God and only give him a minute or two. Even though i’m praying throughout the day I need to give Him a chunk of time because hmHe gave me His life.
    God bless you.

  2. Ryioko Peterson on June 25, 2023 at 9:13 am

    Thank you. Martha or Mary? I want to be tender hearted before my Lord . Jesus

  3. Marie P on June 25, 2023 at 9:16 am

    In my life I am noticing what I call “Mary and Martha moments.” I have to make a conscious decision. Do I want to be busy, or be with the Lord? Do I want to be busy, or minister to and enjoy people who are requesting to spend time with me? This sounds like a no brainer, but I do have to stop myself and consider what is most important.

  4. Sterling Dimmick on June 25, 2023 at 11:39 am

    I enjoy reading your posts! It is food for thought and, as God leads, for action!

  5. Donna on June 25, 2023 at 5:25 pm

    Thank you. God’s been helping me work on my messy heart and I needed to hear these words.

  6. Kathleen Arndt on June 26, 2023 at 10:46 am

    My husband and I just spent hours with our youngest scratching our heads and hearts for one step to help him organize his space.
    We needed your story today. Showers of blessings in the middle of this gentle rain. Looking at the sign on the roadside Love grows here!

Leave a Comment