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Saturday, April 16, 2011

OK. I'm doing it.

I had to clean my house this week. Because we were having company. No. Horribly, my family is not used to seeing a clean house on a regular basis. But that's beside the point...
As I was cleaning, I noticed a lot of corners that needed to be swept, beds that needed to be dusted under, walls that needed to be wiped down. The perfectionist in me screams with the unfinished work. The pragmatist in me drives me to do the best I can with the time I've allotted. Neither one is wrong. But if I'm going to clean, I would like to clean it all. Wait. That's a lie. I would like the house to be deep cleaned. I don't really want to do it. Although I would be embarrassed to have someone do it for me. Because that means I can't do it myself.
My problem is that I'm not interested in doing it. Cleaning is hard for me, because as soon as it's clean it starts being unclean again. And I don't like to repeat myself. Ask my girls.
But there is value in cleaning. Besides it keeping my family healthy, maintaining good stewardship with my belongings, and being able to find stuff, it also builds my character. As my dad used to say, It'll put hair on your chest!" Or as I tell my volleyball team, "It's like broccoli. You may not like it, but it's good for you!"
I was struck by the similarities in cleaning my house and keeping my spirit clean. And I had to ask myself these questions. Do I just dust the surfaces? Enough to keep appearances? Or do I really discipline myself and let Christ burn the impurities away? I think it's pretty easy to answer. If you see me in passing, I look relatively fresh. If you spend time with me, you will see cracks, shadowy corners, greasy patches. The people who know me best see the HUGE dust bunnies, mold, and decaying flesh. Yes, it's morbid. Yes, it's true. And what am I doing about it? The perfectionist in me screams with the unfinished work. The pragmatist in me drives me to do the best I can with the time allotted.
The question I have been asking myself is "What is the time requirement I need to deep clean my soul?" My time is finite. What am I spending it on? I stay up late to read the news or Facebook. I research sales, healthy food, and parenting. My time allotted for sanctification is small. Because I make it small.
Why do I do that? I get immense value when I take the time to delve into God's word. I feel closer to Him. I love others better. My guess is, I make it small for the same reason I don't like to clean: I have to keep doing it. Just because I have one amazing week with God doesn't mean I'm fully sanctified. My life is full of distractions, sin, human nature. I have to work at this relationship if I want to further it. I have to get down and dirty. I have to plan ahead. I have to focus. Things that are a challenge for me. Particularly right now.
I need to get disciplined again. I feel like I'm stumbling dizzily through life right now. Not able to keep a linear thought in my head. This is my fault. I have let myself do this.
I am planning on restructuring my days. Scheduling them, by the hour if I have to, so that I can honor the One I love. And the ones I love. I can do it. I've done it before. I get great satisfaction in it. It will just be difficult in the beginning. Like working out. Kind of painful until I can get those muscles working and built up again.
I covet your prayers on this issue in my life. I'd like to see my house, and my soul, presentable for guests.

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