When Your Home Is A Mess
and Praising God In The Midst Of The Mess
Do you ever just stop and say “Dear God, I’m A Mess!” and please forgive me, I know that typing out the Lord’s name like that can look like a casual event but I want you to know, I don’t mean it that way. It’s just that life can be so messy and I can be so messy and my kids and my husband and everything around me can just become a complete and total chaos of disaster. In those moments I’m left in a whirlwind of emotions and the only thing I can do is just throw up my hands and cry to my Savior and say “I’m overwhelmed. I’m a mess!”
God knows that our lives are not perfect.
If you think about it, Jesus Christ, our Savior was a human being. Yes, He was total perfection in that He never sinned but guess what, HE was a human! That means that when he worked, He would sweat and maybe even stink. He was 100% God but He was also 100% man.
I think it’s easy to loose sight of that. When we see Him portrayed as an image of a baby we can be so quick to think “aww, Mary got to hold His tiny little fingers”. Guess what, Mary also changed His diapers. We know that He grew to become a carpenter but do we ever stop and think about how many times His hands bled because of trial and error or do we just assume that perfection was in everything that He touched? I believe, that He did have to make mistakes, I don’t believe that He sinned but mistakes are different, unplanned, a learning curve. If He was ever to truly relate to us as humans then I suppose that means that life was not the image of perfection that we image it to be.
How My Own Life Is A Mess
There is so much junk in my house. Way too much stuff. You know, I grew up in a third world country and the thought that people somewhere out there needed additional buildings to store their stuff would astonish me. “How can someone have so much stuff?” I would wonder, “Where do they get it from?” “Why do they need it?”. Funny thing is, I’m now that person. The stuff slowly creeps into the house but it never seems to leave. The house I live in now is much larger than the houses were where I grew up. Actually, I remember having a friend come up and visit not long after we moved to the United States, it was his first trip to the states. He was speechless at the size of the houses and asked me if they were mansions. They were not. The houses that he was referring to are not much larger than the house I live in now. A standard cookie cutter suburb house. Now, here I am, almost ten years later, thinking this house that was once so large is growing very small. We need more storage space. We don’t have enough play room for the kids, there isn’t much pantry space. There is no room for a china cabinet or a gun safe or even a decent bookshelf.
Where do I even begin with this one? The clutter issue isn’t an issue of not having enough. It’s an issue of not being satisfied with what I’ve been given. I don’t need fancy clothes. My kids don’t need anymore toys. They have many, many, many more toys than any of the children I knew growing up. I told that to my husband the other day. Christmas is coming upon us and we don’t have enough space for the added toys, yet they still play with the ones that they have. I got to thinking about it. I can not remember many, if any, toys in Central America. I just can’t. I’ve tried. I know that some girls may have had dolls, but most girls were working or taking care of real live babies, not pretending to have responsibilities. I know that some boys have bikes, but they aren’t for racing up and down the street in front of a house. The bikes used are for transportation, from a very early age. If you have a bike, then you have a job. That lead me to the soccer balls. The typical association with Central American villages. Do you know that yes, soccer balls are common but they are not in every house. Do you know, that more often than not they are shared between houses and kids. A common respect.
How did I become so greedy? How did I get to the point where I “need” more?
My trash company can’t keep up with it. The American dream. Two cans. Yes, one is for recycling but truth be told, we could use another can from time to time. My laundry room looks like all the hangers fell off of the Walmart clothing center and landed on my floor. I have as many DVDs in my house as the DVD store in my old town used to have. That’s not to mention BluRays and CD’s. Who needs that much lotion? Who needs that many pens? Who needs that many dishes? Who needs it??? Do I? Do you?
I understand all too well how it’s hard to paint a picture of need and desperation into the mind of someone who has never seen it. The television and media only portrays children in a certain light and really, aren’t they all a scam? I have seen real live children in the garbage pouring out of it like rodents looking for the next meal. Yet, I need.
Sometimes it’s hard for me, an American woman to remember that not everyone is living life the way that I am. The irony is the fact that I know the truth. I have walked those streets. I know those people by name. Those faces on the front of the sponser cards, they are familiar to me. My heart is broken. Maybe it’s not even working anymore. Why do I need more? Why is my house not big enough? Why is there so much stuff? So much junk? So much useless stuff to me that would brighten the face of others – people I know by name.
I need to clean my house. Really deep clean it. Purge it, give stuff away. That’s why I wrote 31 Days To A Cleaner Home because I knew that unless I grabbed this bull by it’s horns that it would continue to take over my life. The beauty of blogging is that I can work and clean at the same time, assuming you want to read about cleaning my house with me.
But here’s the thing. I’m not just someone behind a computer. By publishing my house online I am letting the world see it in it’s mess. Now, maybe I’m alone here but I usually clean my house before company arrives for the evening. Only, with 31 Days To A Cleaner Home my company (you) will be seeing my house before it is cleaned. You may not know me, and that’s surprisingly okay with me. We may never see each other on the street or at church and so to have you see my house before it’s clean doesn’t worry me too much. Only, some of ya’ll do know me. To have those who know me see my house dirty is very shameful to me.
There’s two levels of shame here.
- You will see my house dirty whereas normally people see it clean when they come over for dinner. You may also see my house two days later and know that something that was cleaned on the blog during the series has become dirty again. This is why the series is 31 Days To A Cleaner Home and not 31 Days To A Clean Home. Frankly speaking, I have children.
- The second level of shame is the most hurtful. You may hurt. You may see my house and something that I have and your heart may ache because I don’t value it. Maybe you are a friend of mine in Central America who knows now what I have. Maybe you are hurting to pay your bills and you see that I have so much that I don’t care for or treasure. I’m sorry. I deeply and truly am. Maybe you are trying to feed your kids and would love to have something so that you can sell it for food on the table, maybe I will throw that same item away. This is the sort of shame that hurts me the most. I don’t mean to be this way, it’s just that as the book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing says “if it doesn’t bring me joy” then I must part with it.