Posted by: cmittermeier | September 15, 2011

Cleaning and Clearing out

I love working up a sweat cleaning, brings me fond memories of fighting with my mother… I loved to go to exercise classes and she would always retort as I left, “if you want exercise then clean the house”.  I agreed with her on the gardening, but back then sweeping, vacuuming and dusting didn’t bring up much of a sweat.  Mind you, her vacuum was lighter than mine and she had fewer stairs.

Today I did the 6 month clean in my bedroom… the one where you move every piece of furniture, wipe the walls, vacuum the lampshade (I should really look into getting a flat shade, pleats are just too much work).  It is hard for me to do it because it means facing all the junk I’ve got.  I get flustered easily by clutter, especially when there is little I can do with it.  I am not happy moving piles around, but I can’t always say good-bye.   But I’ve basically made it through to the other side.

It is these little moments where I have to face little difficulties that I am most thankful God is in charge of this. When I think of all the things going on in my life and list the virtues I need most and compare it to these household tasks and what they practice its really cool. Its like God has designed a training program just for me!

I get overwelmed by clutter, its an ADHD thing.  To get these tasks done requires a level of perseverance that does not come naturally.  Now compare that to the work I have to do with my health and in working on my kid’s school habits.  Same deal – when I want to just give up and run the other way I have to keep at it.

Next its faith – yes folks, right now my faith is constantly on the “want more” prayer list.  Lately its been hard to stay focused on everything He is doing.  I am frequently hit with wayward thoughts and it takes a conscious effort to resist them.  I am finding I have to work harder and harder to show my inner joy and its getting easier and easier to agree with the “this is too stressful” and “there is nothing joyful here” voices.  “Give up” is starting to come around and I couldn’t be more thankful for the task today as it hit this nail right on the head!

The thing about clutter is that if you are going to get through it you have to take it in small pieces and you have to believe that you will eventually get through it.  If you loose that faith, the task monster wins and you give up.  If you think seriously for one moment that you’ll never get the room done, you make it easier to walk away.  The only difference in these two paragraphs is the first is on my faith in God’s providence and this one is on my ability to get my house cleaned.

When we look at our lives its not hard to find these parallels.  It helps you focus on what is really going on and less on the window dressing.  I will end off with one last parallel… that Less is More.

I am a pack rat, I admit it.  It is hard to keep a house of many things clean and I know if I’m going to do this right I need to reduce the number of items on every surface.  In order to effectively keep my house clean I need to clear out stuff.  When I talked about the number of hats I had, I realized upon review that I do have fewer hats – they just overlap less than previous years.  It was the same process, clearing out.  The world is constantly trying to keep us BUSY, God is doing the opposite to me and it feels good.

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