Monday, October 12, 2009

Time for some cleaning

Today I had the wonderful experience of visiting my brother-in-law and sister-in-law in their new home. I was so excited to see how they had been blessed and get the chance to visit with family. I was also excited for my husband and son to get a chance to fish in their new pond. They had a great time, and perhaps in my next blog I'll get the chance to write about Levi throwing his fishing rod up into a tree, but for now my random thoughts are going in another direction.

While we were there, and the kids were busy drowning plastic worms in the pond, I asked my sister-in-law if perhaps there was something I could do to help. She paused for a moment and said something along the lines of "If you're serious, I could use the help wiping down the insides of the cabinets." Of course I was glad to help! I find that I do my best "visiting" when I have something to do! If I sit too long, I tend to fall asleep. Anyway, we grabbed a couple of pails of water and started to wipe down the cabinets.

Now they haven't moved in most of their "stuff" yet, so wiping down the cabinets was actually a pretty easy job! It was simply a matter of opening the doors, wiping out the little bit of dust that had accumulated, and then moving on to the next one. I was enjoying myself as I visited and cleaned. The job took very little time with the two of us working together and was much more fun than working alone! I then started thinking, I have tomorrow off, I'm going to clean out MY cabinets when I get home.....that's when reality, and the random thoughts hit.

You see, my cabinets won't be nearly as much fun to clean for a couple of reasons. One - my cabinets are full of STUFF...that's a nice generic word for clutter, chaos, and confusion. To clean out my cabinets means pulling everything out, sorting through the mismatched tupperware bowls, tossing butter containers (why DO I have so many empty butter tubs anyway?), and then cleaning dust brought in by children, pets, and time. Hmmmm, maybe I don't want to clean tomorrow. My cabinets are too full to make this chore anything other than hard labor. Not the way I want to spend my day off. So, of course, I'm putting it off.

My cabinets are a lot like my life right now...full of stuff, so cleaning out what shouldn't be there is even more difficult. I only want to deal with the things that are dirty, but the confusion of clutter and too much stuff is slowing down the process! I've got things out of place (as in my priorities have gotten scrambled.) I have cabinets full of empty butter tubs (as in junk in my life that I've held on to for some reason, but it's really still just junk.) I've got the dust that comes from living life (as in the problems that life throws at you on a daily basis - some big, others not so big, but problems all the same.) It's so much easier when you have empty cabinets...when you haven't yet filled them with obligations, regrets, disappointments, and failures.

The good news is that Jesus came to give us life, and life more abundantly. When we give everything to Him, he gives us a fresh start - sort of like those empty cabinets. Keeping those clean is easy! Just a quick wipe and it's done! Of course, dishes will have to eventually go inside...we don't live this life alone. The trick is to NOT fill them with things that shouldn't be there. By keeping a close watch on them, they can stay clutter free and easy to manage.

In life it takes the same kind of thinking. I want to be able to keep my heart and mind clean...and that means letting go of the clutter and misplaced priorities. It means I've got to take the time daily, or at the very least, weekly, to make sure I've cleared out the clutter. In case you haven't noticed, clutter is sneaky! It multiplies when you aren't looking! I'm pretty sure it actually reproduces, but I can't prove it. I do know that like the clutter in my cabinets, the clutter in my mind can become so overwhelming it seems impossible to deal with. The only way to conquer it is a little at a time....clearing out what doesn't belong.

So, tomorrow morning I'll wake up, get my cup of coffee and tackle at least ONE cabinet. I've decided this is the only solution....cause I can't just move. I've found that no matter where I go, there I am....and clutter will follow me there!

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