One chore I seriously dread is cleaning the bedroom my two boys share. I make them ‘clean’ and straighten it up. But their idea of clean and my idea drastically differ. I was feeling just short of dread at the prospect. They are both little aspiring packrats. Every crevice stuffed with old dirty socks, ‘treasure’ (garbage salvaged from the street or bus), art projects, candy wrappers, and always those random accursed legos.
I put it off until I couldn’t take it anymore. I mustered my courage, fueled up with strong coffee and gluten-free p.b. and j.’s, turned on my fave Christian radio (Faith 900) and got to work.
It is always hardest getting started. Overcoming mental hurdles is always the biggest battle. There is no other way than to just roll up your sleeves and dive in.
I always bring a big trash bag (or two…or three) to quietly dispose of extra junk while they are at school. Stuff they won’t miss but would cling to for dear life if they were to witness the purge. We are talking the packages toys came in, aforementioned ‘treasure’, and happy meal toys.
They first hour is toughest. Oh-uh-my-gosh. Boogers on the walls. Boogers on the sheets. Boogers everywhere! Junk strewn about like a tornado hit. This is where I have to press through because goodness knows I am committed at this point. Everything looks worse before it starts looking better. The floor is virtually covered. Eyes are burning with dust.
I keep painstakingly organizing, sorting, and cleaning. I vacuum every corner and wipe the dusty baseboards. I strip the crusty bedding (don’t judge!), I even rearrange the furniture. At some point it is definitely starting to look better. I can actually walk through the room.
As I clean I contemplate (whilst tossing junk into a giant trashbag) how we need to do serious spring cleaning periodically in life as well. Dump the contents of our closets (figurative and literal) and let go of what is old, faded, ill-fitting, collecting dust. We need to take a regular inventory and clean house.
It is always hardest to face those giant, looming messes head-on in our life. Sometimes we are afraid to look. Overwhelmed at the size. But we need to in order to move on in our lives. We are not meant to go through life like this… we need to let go.
I love that spring is coming. Here in MN we are still waiting for it! The winters here are long and cold and dark. It is close to Heaven being outside and feeling warm sunshine again. Spring represents new life and rebirth. I love the idea of ‘spring-cleaning’. Getting rid of the old and embracing the new. Laying down burdens and looking up with open, cupped hands. “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” Isaiah 43:19 God is the God of today. If we are holding on to old burdens and junk we will miss what he wants to do with our present.
I thought about those crazy hoarder shows on t.v. today. They represent the extremes of a life lived in bondage to what they refused to let go of. What is in their spirit is manifesting in their reality. We need to be people that know when to let go. When to clean out the closet. When to cast off what isn’t working anymore. That is the only way fresh life comes.
I firmly believe in sitting down and losing yourself in old photo albums once in awhile. It is wonderful to remember where we came from as long as it is helpful. However- we have to let go of things from the past that weigh us down. There is no room on the road to joy for baggage like bitterness, fear, anger, etc. We have to consciously lay those things down to take hold of all the good in our future.
I am thoroughly convinced cleaning is good for your soul. You get a sense of accomplishment. It brings order, beauty, and a sense of peace when things in your life are well-ordered. You discover things you forgot you had. You more greatly appreciate all that you already have.
“For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” Cor. 14:33