Tuesday, December 02, 2008

It's December

All day yesterday I kept telling myself, "it's December already?"


I should be thinking about decorating but instead I am thinking about cleaning. My home has been severely neglected over the past couple of months and I can't picture myself hanging up or displaying one Christmas decoration until some of the dust is removed.

This morning while walking on the treadmill, I was grumbling to the Lord about the condition of my home. My closets are a mess, the dust is thick, the floors, the refrigerator, the bathrooms, it all needs to be done. And by the way the laundry and suitcases are still on my living room floor. I was talking to Him about all of my attempts over the years to keep my home neat and orderly and how I continually come up short. I have followed plans. I have made some great schedules and created some wonderful charts, but nothing makes the task any easier or less demanding. The only thing I haven't tried is hiring a maid and I know that won't happen. And besides I would have to clean before the maid came, so that would be pointless.

I came home after my walk and started putting away groceries when somewhere between putting away the box of oatmeal and the apples I heard the Lord's still small voice whisper, "what are you trying to build?" I know, I know is what I thought to myself (I just studied the book of Daniel and I know what happens when we try and build our own agenda) but it still doesn't get my house clean. And again, the nudging as I put away the carrots and milk, "whose kingdom are you trying to build?" It is like a huge sign that I keep ignoring until I am about to hit it again. I think for the past year God has been trying to teach me something. He stops me in my tracks continually and forces me to look at my motives, the blueprint of my heart, the reason for wanting something or doing something and sadly when I am honest with myself, it is about me and how I want to appear to others or what I hope to accomplish, not about Him.

God has given me everything I need. Including the ability to clean my house. And if you have never thought of housecleaning as a spiritual act, just start talking to the Lord about it and I am sure he will reveal some dust.

Through wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; By knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. Proverbs 24:3-4

11 comments:

Sarah@Life in the Parsonage said...

Housekeeping really is a spiritual battle...I'm convinced of it!

Great post Chris, thanks :)

Beth said...

great post, I love love a clean house, but I have to let it go 9 times out of ten... we are building a much greater "house" than our own....

Linda said...

I love to read your wise, wonderful posts Chris.
I think there is no getting away from it - the Father is about the business of molding and shaping our hearts. As concerned as I often am about the outward things, I am always reminded that He is looking deep withing and very tenderly doing the heart-work.

jenni said...

Clean the house before the maid came... LOVED that! Oh how I can relate to that statement. Great post Chris! I totally needed this read tonight.

Chris said...

Ah, the ol' "motive of the heart" conviction. Sigh. Where would be without it? We'd be a mess! How gracious of our Father to keep working on our motives.
What a great post this is. I need to get up tomorrow morning and read it first thing and then start in cleaning!!

Diana said...

um... ouch. :)

Melissa @ Breath of Life said...

Oh, I have been there, friend! I also realized that making my home a haven for my family is an act of service. Not always easy, but always worth it when I can get my lazy self going in that direction. Sometimes I have to pray for the Lord to change my attitude about it, but the rewards are great!

P.S. - if you're like me, and woefully behind in blog reading, you may not know I've been doing a series on this sort of thing. Stop by for a visit!

Amie said...

Oh, Chris. How I love your heart.

Thank you. Thanksgiving "recovery mode" was pretty overwhelming for me yesterday. This post was wonderful.

Judy said...

I can relate. Thank you for sharing!

Heth said...

Ooh boy. I needed this too.

Lisa writes... said...

Oh man, Chris, this post so gets in my business as I too have been guilty of complaining about the state of my home! Thanks for speaking the truth in love!

Merry Christmas, friend!