About the Book

The Uncluttered Heart is your companion through the busy weeks of Advent and Christmas. Published by Upper Room Books. Learn more.

About the Author
Beth A. Richardson

Remember God with daily email during Advent (beginning Nov. 29).
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Daily text messages are not available this year from The Uncluttered Heart. So sorry!! I'll miss texting you!!


Hope Thrives in Adversity

Desert outside Tucson, AZ


God of hope, help me prepare the way for you in the wilderness of chaos. Give me strength, wisdom, and patience to clear a path for you through my cluttered heart and life. Amen.   

Carry These Words in Your Heart Today

Hope thrives in the wilderness.

Today's Picture

I'm fascinated by life's ability to thrive in the midst of adversity. I took this photo several years ago in the desert outside of Tucson, AZ. Whether we're facing cancer or the wilderness of Advent, we seek life. (I edited this photo in Photoshop with The Pioneer Woman's "Lovely and Ethereal" filter.)


What is your wilderness? Share your reflections in the comments area.

Book of the Day

The Upper Room Disciplines

The quote I picked for today is from one of The Upper Room's most popular books -- Disciplines. This daily devotional book, published every year, is full of treasures. Fifty-two writers (leaders from throughout the Christian world) each take a week and write meditations based on the lectionary scriptures for that week.

Click here for more information or to purchase the book.

Sing Your Prayer

Sing and learn the Advent prayer song for this week. Listen.

Open My Heart - Hope


First Sunday of Advent, November 29, 2015

September Tennessee sunrise


God of Advent, kindle within me the flame of hope. As I walk through this day, may that hope remind me of your promise that something good is coming. Amen.   

Carry These Words in Your Heart Today

Deepen my longing for you, O God.

Today's Picture

I can't think of anything more hopeful than a sunrise. I love being outside early in the morning as I walk the dog or head to the gym. There's something about early morning, greeting the new day and whatever it might bring. I took this photo with my iPhone one September morning.


What are your hopes, dreams, challenges as you enter this Advent season? Share your thoughts in the comments area.

Book of the Day

Openings: A Daybook of Saints, Psalms, and Prayer
Larry James Peacock

I used this book for several years in my morning devotional time. Each day includes a saint, a psalm (along with some reflections on that psalm) and information about a prayer practice. As I moved through the book, Larry introduced me to some ordinary people whose lives became blessings to others (saints). I learned more about ways to deepen my prayer -- from breath prayers to lectio divina to discernment. Each morning, I sat in my chair in the corner of the living room, lit a candle, and followed Larry's gentle leading into my day. I'm excited that this book has recently been republished.

Click here for more information or to purchase the book from Amazon.

Sing Your Prayer

Open My Heart - Hope


On the Eve of Advent

My dear friends,

Here we are again on the eve of the Advent season. Sunday, November 29 will be the first Sunday of Advent and the beginning of the Uncluttered Heart emails coming to your inbox. If you follow Advent using an Advent wreath, it's time to get the candles! A few other Advent opportunities for you:

1. Alive Now magazine invites you who pray with a camera in your hand to join in an Advent practice of a photo a day. You'll see the words for each day in the image above. If you'd like to know more about how to participate, visit this page on the Alive Now website.

2. I met up with several of you in California a couple of weeks ago at Los Altos United Methodist Church (Thank you for joining me -- you touched my heart!). For those of you who wanted to be there, but couldn't be, you can watch the service here. (Select the service labeled: "2015_11_08_930.") My sermon was, "What's Filling Your Heart?" What's filling your heart as you prepare for the season of Advent?

3. If you'd like to try something new this Advent, I recommend an online course from The Upper Room called Why This Jubilee? This course, based on the book by James C. Howell, features the music of Christmas. Learn more about this online course.

Blessings to each of you as we lean into this season of darkness and light. May each of you open your hearts to Christ's coming. I'll see you soon!



Join Me in Worship

Join me in worship this coming Sunday. I'll be preaching at Los Altos United Methodist Church, 655 Magdalena Avenue, Los Altos, California 94024. LAUMC is using The Uncluttered Heart during the Advent season. This Sunday we'll be preparing to prepare our hearts for the coming of the Christ child.

If you can't be present at the church, the services (8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 11:15 a.m., and 5:00 p.m., PST) will be streamed live on the internet. Join me!  Los Altos Live Stream. The services are archived if you'd like to view at a later time.

See you there!


The Last Daisy

I walked by
The last daisy bloom
In the garden at work.

No matter how I might resist,
Change happens.
Every day.

The teachers say,
Do not resist. Accept.
But it's so hard.

I am attached
To the way things are,
The people I see,
The world I know
(Or think I know).

What if I welcomed
The new, the different,
With the same energy that I resist?

Welcome, fall.
Welcome, change.
See what is to come.

Look! I’m doing a new thing;
now it sprouts up; don’t you recognize it?
I’m making a way in the desert,
paths in the wilderness.
- Isaiah 43:19, CEB