Okay, I have a confession to make. I don't like doing housework. I don't see a mess and have this sudden desire to set it in order. I have the desire to say, "So long, see ya later!" and walk out the door to tackle something far more appealing to me like driving miles to run errands, go grocery shopping to see how much money I can save this week, head off on an adventure with "the little people" who show up at my house from time to time and so forth.
My daughter-in-law is the exact opposite. When she surveys "a mess", her eyes begin to gleam. She not only imagines what it will look like after she has tackled it; she actually enjoys the process. My house knows it. It seems to brighten up the moment she walks through the door, especially if she is carrying cleaning supplies where as my house seems to act like a rebellious child who doesn't want to take a bath when I pull out the scrub brush. Sigh... I try. I really do try. Well... I sort of try but it is very uh... trying when life is beckoning you to do things that are much more appealing.
The problem is, I have learned some of the superficial tricks of cleaning. Many of us have a closet or perhaps a bin or two (or three or more) that we don't want anyone to open. We hastily thrust things out of sight, behind closed doors when we know someone is coming. We don't want anyone to run their fingers along the top of picture frames or peek under our bed. We hope they won't look too closely at the corners.
I remember once how I cringed when my daughter-in-law told me she was going to dust and began to take down the pictures hanging on the wall in my office. Take down the pictures? My normal routine was to quickly run a swiffer over them once in a while. I cringed when I saw all the dust and made a weak attempt to make a joke about it. My daughter-in-law is wonderful. She dismissed my discomfort with a wave of her hand and said, "You have more important things to do than take pictures off the wall to dust behind them." We both laughed. Yeah, my daughter-in-law is a keeper.
On Monday, the carpet cleaners are coming and they are going to do a whole house cleaning. That's a big deal because other than my kitchen, dining room, entry way, utility room and bathrooms, the rest of the house has carpet. I have five areas (one actually counts as two so make that six) plus a double-staircase and a hall that need to be cleaned. Knowing that things are going to moved and precious items need to be safely put away lest they run the risk of being damaged, I have rolled up my sleeves and been busily working for the past couple of days. I decided to kill two birds with one stone and do some fall cleaning while I am at it. That means I've been doing a lot of purging, moving and some replacing. Yesterday I took five boxes of books I haven't opened in years and dropped them off for others to enjoy. The woman who thought she didn't have enough bookcases suddenly discovered she does. After adding some books I couldn't but away because I uh... had no room and scattering a few pictures of my grandson here and there, I will be all set.
It is amazing how much "stuff" we have hauled off and we are not done yet but the finish line is in site. I am confident I will be ready to greet the "experts" on Monday morning sometime between 10:00 and noon. It has been a lot of work but it has been worth it. My husband is starting a small group at our house the next evening and I won't be scurrying about before that shoving things into hiding place, hoping they won't notice that spot on the carpet over there.
It is far too easy to sweep the "junk" under the carpet or stash it in hiding places. By junk I mean the garbage in our life that is broken, useless or stuff we simply need to get rid of. Unlike me, we need to do thorough cleaning on a regular basis, calling upon the Holy Spirit to direct that task. There are things only He can do, of course but there is a great deal that we can do also...if we are willing.