I had a day like this recently.
Sometimes it seems that no matter how late I stay up just to get something done, or how many times I do the washing or vacuum the floor or clean the toilet, or get up early just to get ready in time so that we can leave that few minutes earlier....I still can't quite get on top of things. I still don't manage to get to school/work/mops/church/book club on time. Oh the stress and disappointment associated with that. It can become so depressing that I confess these words fly out of my..."why did I bother?"
Everyone struggles at some time. We can't always be upbeat and happy and have it all "together". I certainly try very hard to be "real". But occasionally the fear of what others might think of me invades my fragile head space and I see my home with critical eyes. I literally see problem areas everywhere I look, cobwebs hanging from the rafters, washing piled on the lounge chair, food on the floor, weeds in the garden, spots on the carpet, fingerprints on the windows. I enter into a manic cleaning frenzy, usually after the kids go to bed, that runs late into the night.
I remember this one time I had a bunch of women coming over for morning tea and Bible study and this feeling came over me, so I set to work like a madwoman cleaning scrubbing, hiding all the "mess" so that they wouldn't think badly of me. I rationalised these actions with comments directed to my perplexed husband like "they have babies, that need to go on to the floor, so the floors need to be clean" or "they actually need to sit somewhere so we need to clear that couch" or "we need cups for hot drinks so we need the dishwasher emptied and those dishes off the sink to make room for the next lot...." Get the picture. They sound like plausible reasons for my manic cleaning effort.
Looking at my enormous pile of clean washing, I thought...
"I know I'll move it once rather than make several trips...so thinking I was particularly clever I spread out a king sized quilt cover and proceeded to pile every last sock, jock and towel onto the cover, bundled it all together, went to throw it over my shoulder casually and walk down to pop it on my bed.I think we have the same approach when we prepare to meet with God sometimes. I'll just get this done, and hide that mess and move that from here to here and push far from my mind that thing I should have done/said/dealt with... "Right there you go, now Lord come on over, how can I help you today?" the thing is, God is interested in the whole picture. He already knows about the "messy' parts of our lives, and he loves us and accepts us for who we are. Because we are created in his image. He knit us together, He knows the thoughts we have and the words on our tongue before we do. He hurts with us and for us. He cares. It matters to him.
One problem that thing was heavy!
Okay Plan B, drag it.
This worked for a little while but I forgot about the hallway. doh!
At this point I was beginning to chuckle at the ridiculousness of the situation.
Plan C squish the sides into the hallway and puuuuuuuuullllllll!
Phew this is hard work.
Get to the bedroom, laughing uncontrollably at this point, squeeze through the door, pause to catch my breath....Look from the bulging bundle to the bed.
Right, it can sit there on the floor. Too heavy to lift, too big....sigh....
Plan D close the bedroom door.
You know what. There are always going to be dishes in the sink to do, washing to fold, toilets to clean, lounge rooms to rediscover, gardens that need tending and children that need feeding/ bathing/ dressing/ cuddling/ disciplining/ teaching....messy parts of our lives. We need to choose to see things with some perspective. Why not ask..."who can benefit from seeing my messy house today, from seeing that I'm not all tickety boo? Seeing that I don't have it all together and that really is fine?" Being real and transparent with others might just be the blessing they need this week. Instead spend that time sitting at the feet of the master, and open your heart to what he has to say...
As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”Oh Lord thank you that you still cared deeply for Martha, and that you gently pointed out to her how important it is to sit at your feet.
Luke 10:38-42 (New Living Translation)
Help me to be "real".