Life’s Dirt and Gratitude Community January 10/11

So I just finished cleaning the bathrooms.  You need to understand something about me – I despise cleaning bathrooms.  I put it off until I cannot take the dirt anymore and then I still put it off, and then I finally take the plunge. 

The first few cleanings after the home renovations seemed monumental and extra hard and exhausting.  The first time I cleaned the main floor bathroom it took me three hours of scrubbing and shop-vac-ing and washing walls, and I know I still haven’t got it all, that there is still sawdust and other construction remnants hiding in the cracks.  But I let go and I move on, doing the best I can with what I have on that particular day.

I have noticed that the third, fourth, fifth time I went to clean the same bathrooms the task became easier and took much less time and I despised it less and less. 

I’ve worked the cleaning of the bathroms into a household schedule and as long as I stick to that schedule as much as I can while still leaving room for “life”, it’s much smoother sailing around here.

Now, we’ve only touched on a household chore, a “surface” discipline I am incorporating into my life. 

What about the down-deep dirt?  What about the icky stuff that not many others see except those closest to me?  What about the cleaning required to keep the dirt at bay in those areas of my life?  What about the discpline needed to get the cleaning done?  What about my schedule for that kind of cleaning?

Well, that’s what I’m working out, every day cleaning some of the dirt.  It’s amazing how it can build up if left unattended.  I’ve also put off that kind of cleaning until I can’t take the dirt anymore. 

The deep-down cleaning is a bit harder.  It’s humiliating at times and requires repentance and leaning on God and admitting that this kind of cleaning can never be done by myself.  But I am always glad when the chore is done, when my focus is reset, when my head and my heart are clear of all that hinders.  I enjoy the fresh scent, clutter-free surroundings and sparkling cleanliness that follows. 

Maintenance is required, items need to be added to the schedule.  Reading the Word, praying, asking for forgiveness, seeking God in all areas of my life.  No small task, but well worth the effort.

I move about the house much easier when it’s clean.  Stress comes from the clutter that inevitably builds up.  It’s a constant effort to rid my house, my life, my heart, my soul of the dirt that so easily starts to layer itself in life.

One of the ways to rid the dirt is to count the blessings, keep the negativity at bay, focus on the good:

131.  Clean bathrooms.

132.  Reading through psalms and loving it.

133.  Bible reflections with the boys at breakfast.

134.  Dreaming big dreams and leaving them with God.

135.  Ideas for making the dreams come true.

136.  Having enough margin in life to help a friend this weekend.

137.  Images of hope.

138.  My Joshua who makes me laugh and watches movies with me and fills me up and holds me tight.

139.  Seeing my own inadequacies in my sons but knowing there is endless hope for something different for them.

140.  Schedules that get the jobs done in my house and in my heart.


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