Monday, May 25, 2009

Clean House

Okay, so I admit it...I'm a bit neurotic when it comes to my house. It's certainly not spotless most of the time, but I sure wish it were. I also have certain ways of doing things that boggle my poor husband's mind and limit the help I get. It's the "Grandma Margaret" family curse coming through. As in, "the silver container holds the wipes for the dishwasher, microwave and fridge. The white container holds the wipes for the counter and bathroom sink. The yellow spray is for the sink and stove...I know it's mostly the same surface as the microwave and dishwasher-humor me...unless, and this is vitally important, the sink has stains in it, in which case you use the stuff in the gold can." Is it any wonder my poor husband asks if it's safe just to vacuum and dust and then slinks off for the vacuum cleaner muttering to himself? God has been talking to me lately-something about the outside of the cup being clean while the inside is a filthy mess.

I've always loved having people in my home. I really enjoy making them feel comfortable and welcomed. I revel in setting the stage and watching life altering conversation happen...the kind that draws people closer together. In recent days, God's been showing me that by trying to set a perfect stage, I lose sight of the greater picture. If I'm worried about having everything absolutely perfect, I sabotage people feeling at home and comfortable. For instance, a couple of weeks ago my sister-in-law dropped in with a good friend of hers who was in town. Our house had the normal mess that accumulates when I don't expect company. There were toys strewn about the living room, dishes in the sink, crumbs all over the counter and table, etc. However, I noticed the primary discomfort my guests felt was caused by my embarrassment over the "mess." If I had been okay with it, they certainly were. It made me think, and I believe I've wandered into Martha territory. If I'm projecting June Cleaver all over the place, hiding my unmade beds, dusty shelves, nasty looking microwave and such, are other moms going to feel as comfortable sharing the real hurts and dirt in their own lives? Probably not.

God, help me let my life shine clearly...warts and all. Help me focus more on the people you place in my life than in the cobwebs hanging off the chandelier.