Friday, April 26, 2013

Cleaning house - inside and out.

My house is dirty.  Not completely cluttered, but dirty.  I can keep my front room fairly clutter free (usually by dumping all the toys unceremoniously in the basement), but it's been way too long since I've dusted in there.  And the bookshelf has a growing stack of papers that my children have brought home from church. One wrong bump and they all crash to the floor.  My dishes are put away most of the time in the kitchen, but don't open the laundry room door to see the giant, precarious stack on top of the dryer or on the shelf or items waiting to be donated to DI.  The floors are swept and vacuumed most of the time, but best to not carefully look at the linoleum and see the giant food stains that need to be mopped.

The superficial cleaning has been kept up okay, but it's been a while since I've done any deep cleaning. Pretty reflective of the rest of my life. It's fairly easy to do the superficial things in life that make me feel like I'm doing okay: going to church, reading scriptures, taking my children to the park.  It takes a lot more effort to do the deep inner cleaning: really worshipping God, studying the scriptures, praying to God and not just saying prayers, finding out what each of my children really need from me, actively looking for ways to help others each day. You get the idea. 

I'm not being hard on myself, just looking realistically at what I need to work on.  If you don't take an inventory every now in then of your house and what needs to be done to fix it, eventually things will break down. The same holds true with my life.  I always think of the quote from C.S. Lewis in "Mere Christianity" that says to imagine yourself as a living house. God starts knocking things around to build a palace, when we thought we were satisfied with a little cottage.  Sometimes it's best to not just wait for external circumstances to knock you around, but to be a little proactive and do some deep cleaning before it becomes inevitably urgent.  When I deep clean my house, I usually only do one thing each day or week and don't worry about doing it all at once.  Time to do the same with my life.