On the outside I will always try to appear like my house is put together. We’ll speed clean, rush clean, slow clean, whatever kind of clean needs to happen, before people come over, and every day. I can’t stand it if my kitchen or main area stay dirty for long.
For some reason, I have always struggled with a clean room. Well even a somewhat controlled room. It seems to become my last priority. In fact, I have very little drive to deal with it, until it starts to become an overwhelming issue in the my mind.
My husband has joked that he should have been allowed to see my bedroom before we got married to have an accurate balance to the nicely clean apartment. (Although he says he still would have married me…just had an extra bedroom for his stuff!)
So is this an issue?
This is unfortunately reflective of how I can be in life. I am quick to work on, fix up and clean the parts of my life that everyone sees. But it’s the hidden areas of my heart, my closets, bedroom, and even laundry room that become out of control.
Jesus had some hard words for people who were in this place.
Hypocrites! For you are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and self-indulgence! You blind Pharisee! First wash the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will become clean, too.
It is human nature to want to keep up appearances. I am not the first person in history to struggle with this.
There is a little piece of wisdom held in these verses that applies not just to ourselves as people, but even to my issue of dealing with the hidden places in my house.
If these areas are organized, the main areas will automatically be more clean. There will be more places for everything, so that everything has a place!
Over the last two and a half years, sharing a bedroom with someone has definitely brought out some anxiety in myself when I look at the floor and realize a lot of the problem is ME!
These were the moments that I felt attacked as to who I was. I can’t cope. I’m failing. I’m a mess. I’ll never be able to keep an actually clean house. I’ll never be free.
Then I read in Lysa TerKeurst’s book, Unglued, her struggled with closet organization. (What?! A successful wife, mom and ministry woman struggled with something?? Thank the Lord for her honesty).
A light bulb went on. A messy closet does not make me a mess. It makes me a child of God with a messy closet.
Or a child of God with a messy room. A child of God with a messy laundry room. A child of God still working on some heart stuff.
I have to say the intensity of it all went way down. I said:
“God, I need your help getting these unseen areas under control. I know it’s important to my husband, and it’s important to myself. I don’t want to live trapped by anything.”
And by his grace he gave me strength. I tackled more in a couple of hours than I had in a long time. I have more to do, but it isn’t controlling me, or crowding out my mind.
And…by his grace…I will continue to deal with the unseen issues of my heart. Piece by piece, day by day.