Clutter

Clutter. We all have it. Our houses show that someone is truly living there when there is clutter. Mail on the table, receipts on a counter, throw blanket askew. It is our life and sometimes the bane of our existence.

Many times we don’t see clutter. It’s always been there and so it’s normal. I can vary, at times clutter is part of my life and other times I want it completely gone.

After going for my check up yesterday, the doctor said that I can go without my sling while I am at home. When I go out, it has to be on. I asked what I could do, as I do need boundaries. I am allowed to begin to function as normal, do not over do and watch the amount of weight I lift. I really like this doctor because when I asked about vacuuming, he said it would be at least two years. Yes, he was kidding.

This morning, I awoke and was excited to begin getting back to normal. I gave my day to the Lord and asked what I should do, where should I begin. The answer was clutter.

Although Dale has taken wonderful care of me and the house, we did have a small pile of mail on the table. Knowing this, I thought to myself, well, that’s just a small start.

As I sorted through the mail, I understood that clearing clutter does not only mean the physical stuff we have laying around in piles. Clutter can be anything we let pile up around us. Attitudes, moods, thoughts, frustrations we don’t let go of, all of this can be clutter too.

So, as I began to clear the physical clutter, I asked the Lord to help me clear my personal clutter.

Psalm 51:7, “Purify me from my sins,and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” (NLT)

Cleanse me, oh Lord, from the clutter that I pick up and for that which attaches itself to me when I am careless. Let me not become accustomed to the piles of little things that draw me away from You. Amen.

Ode to Housework

“My theory on housework is, if the item doesn’t multiply, smell, catch fire, or block the refrigerator door, let it be. No one else cares. Why should you?”
― Erma Bombeck

I have a schedule that I try to keep. Monday, laundry and towels, Tuesday bedding, blankets and ironing from Monday, Wednesday, groan that the laundry basket is beginning to fill, Thursday debate at doing more laundry, Friday try to remember that it could be a date night, Saturday make certain there are clean clothes for church, Sunday I take off, after all it is the Lord’s day. I also eat what I want on that day, blessed are the calories.

In between all of those laundry days I clean bathrooms, look at the kitchen floor (who in their right mind ever put white linoleum in a kitchen?) , vacuum, and look some more at the kitchen floor.

I try to keep a clean house, but I am one of those that does the company shuffle. You know, when company comes you pick everything off the kitchen table and countertops and hide it. That way people think you have an immaculate house.

I confess I do love to wash windows and clean bathrooms. You see instant results and that is rewarding. Today, as I was cleaning the bathroom I found myself full of questions. Questions like, why? Why am I so thrilled with a sparkling mirror when I know it will soon be splattered with toothpaste? Why remove soap scum when it’s just going to reappear? Why clean the toilet when you know what will happen.

The kitchen floor is the bane of my existence. If you look hard at it after cleaning it, you will actually see dirt appear immediately. I groan at the thought of scrubbing it when I know it will be dirty by time I put my wash pan away.

These are the thoughts of this housewife. I have had them for almost 50 years, more if you count the time as kids when we had to clean the house.

I am not complaining, really I am not. For in the mundane tasks the Lord is there speaking to me. I have learned lessons while cleaning the toilet bowl. He is in the details.

How often when I goof up, when I sin, when I veer off a path, does the Lord say to me, why? He doesn’t, I just threw that in. He doesn’t because of Calvary. I believe He does shake His head like I shake mine in redoing the cleaning. But, when I turn to Him and ask forgiveness, He sees that sparkling reflection.

Yes, I try to learn lessons in everything. God created the minutest details on this earth. The ants, the little piece of dirt that gets between your toes while wearing sandals, the thorns in roses, the gnats, the black flies. The things that can irritate. But He also created the lightening bugs, the rainbows, the sunsets and the soft spring grass. I believe God is in the mundane, the boring and the glorious.

I am grateful to be able to complete the boring jobs. I am glad I have things to clean and take care of. God is in all the details of our life. “Everything was created through him; nothing—not one thing!— came into being without him.” John 1:3 (MSG)

As I finish this post, I will once more go back to the mundane. The clothes are laying on the couch and the ironing board is up and it is calling to me. I know as I iron I will once more think how God has removed my wrinkles and in Him, I am fresh and clean.