I may be odd, but I have always enjoyed cleaning my house. I love the smell of lemon furniture polish, window cleaner, bleach, and Murphy’s oil…it smells like clean to me. However, my problem has been once I get it clean I want it to stay clean! How preposterous! Right now there are two people and a cat that live here all the time, two others that live here some times, and guests that visit at frequent times. How can a house stay clean with all those people living, sleeping, showering, eating, drkinking and visiting in this house? To think for a moment that it can is to do one of two things (and probably both):
- Drive myself to distraction trying to keep it that way every minute
- Make those that live/visit here uncomfortable with my desire for perfection
My house has stayed spotlessly clean for days on end – days I was here by myself while my husband was away, our girls off living on their own, and no company came through my door. While it was clean, it was also no fun! How I love having a house full of people, sharing fellowship, laughter, times around God’s Word, sitting at our kitchen table for a meal, playing a game, or watching Andy Griffith and eating popcorn.
Do you know what all that does? Create work for me? No, it reminds me why we have a family-(Deuteronomy 6:6,7 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up), and what we’re supposed to be doing for the Body of Christ (Acts 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart). The early church met in each other’s homes. They broke bread (they ate a meal) together. Ahhhh! Crumbs! No, sweet fellowship! Encouragement! Blessings!
So what do we do when everyone’s done eating and we’re the ones left to clean up? How about this coming Thursday when you may be hosting a crowd at your house and are left with mounds of work because the dinner was in your kitchen? Here’s what you do, you pray this prayer I heard on a broadcast recently. It went something like this…
“Lord, Thank you for this oven that really must be cleaned today; it has baked us many good things over the years.
Thank you for this finger-smudged refrigerator that needs defrosting so badly; it has served us faithfully for a long time, and inside are enough cool drinks and leftovers to last us for another meal.
My thanks for this bathroom – complete with soggy towels, splattered mirrors and grimy lavatory. It’s still very convenient.
I’d like to thank you for these unmade beds; they sure were comfortable last night.
Thank you for this pile of dirty laundry; we do have nice clothes to wear.
Thank you for the dirty floor; the children are healthy and able to run and play.
Lord, the presence of all these chores awaiting me says that you have richly blessed this family. I do them all cheerfully and gratefully. Amen. “