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Maybe it comes with the territory of being a woman or being a mom, but I really do not like messes. No, you dont understand. I really dont like messes. For example, I am a passable cook with a few specialties. However, the main reason I consider these certain meals to be specialties is not just because I need specific ingredients or because of the time it takes to make the meal. No, it is a specialty because of the mess I am going to have to deal with because of making that meal!
I become genuinely stressed out, even despondent over clutter and messes. Dont even get me started on the state of things on the top of my refrigerator, my husbands domain. Or the stacks of boxes in the corner of the bedroom. Or the piles of... Why did God see fit to put together a "lets-throw-it-outer" like me with a pack rat like him? But that is a blog for another time.
Interestingly, my proclivity for neatness does not mean that I like to clean. Quite the opposite. I have an attitude of trying to maintain a homeostasis, if you will. I have a "clean as you go" and a "dont do things that make big messes in the first place" kind of attitude to keep things humming along at a certain level of cleanliness. However, just because mom has an attitude toward how tidy things should be it does not follow that everyone in the house falls into line. So, regularly and full of loathing, I have to bring out the big guns and perform what I refer to as a "blitzkreig," or "lightning war" on my house to get it up to par.
I recall one of these times last summer. I was just finishing up a blitzkreig and it was also, coincidentally, lunch time. My house fairly sparkled. I had scrubbed the bathroom, dusted the furniture, vacuumed carpets and organized toys. But the best part was the kitchen, freshly scrubbed and mopped, with the midday sun streaming through my windows and making my floor gleam. What a state of bliss!
Anyways, Paulie decided we would have tuna sandwiches. Fine. He loves tuna, it is easy to make and pretty good for him. So we jumped into our routine. I started opening a can, and over my shoulder I told him to get the mayo out of the refrigerator. I hear the door open and then *CRASH*!! I spun around to see bottles and jars rolling around on the floor, but that was not the worst of it. Horror of horrors, I saw a large puddle of delicious maple syrup rapidly spreading its stickiness across my freshly mopped kitchen floor.
I thought it was rather fortunate for my son that I was first too shocked to speak and then too busy feverishly stopping the sticky syrup flow to give vent to my emotions. Believe me, though, he was thoroughly schooled on the appropriate ways to get mayo out of the fridge, and that climbing the shelves on the door was not one of those ways!
You know, sometimes in life we quite accidentally stain the holiness we have in Christ. We try something that wasnt the most well-thought out, or do something that we do not know the full repercussions for. And just as I needed to immediately address the mess, we need to immediately turn over the stain to Christ. It is amazing all of the different things one of these blots can taint. Christ sees and cleans every area of our life that has been touched by the offending defilement, just as I had needed to wipe down every bottle and jar that fell out with the syrup. It is an amazing power, the cleaning capabilities of Christ. I needed to mop down that spot on the floor several times before my shoe wouldnt stick in that spot. He only needs one pass.
As a stay at home mom, my days are filled with cleaning metaphors for Christs redemptive power. I am reminded daily of how important it is to stay on top of clutter- the clutter on the counter tops and the clutter in my mind. Every sinkful of dishes reminds me of how repulsive and unusable a heart can be before it is submitted to the careful and thorough ministrations of Jesus- yet it is not thrown away, it is cleaned and used. As I scrub dirty footprints from my carpet, I will mumble to myself about how so-and-so should know better by now! And then I will be reminded of how many times I have stumbled and gotten myself filthy when I really did know better.
And so God cleans...