Friday, July 30, 2010

Housecleaning A.D.D.

I have a love/hate relationship with my house. Most of the time I feel love...lots of warm fuzzy l-u-v for my old 'mansion'. But when cleaning time comes, I feel, well, let's just say...something other than love. The reason for this wide swing of emotions is one thing: hugeness. That may not be a real word, but that's the word that pops into my head when I contemplate the cleaning process of my big old house: "hugeness". I get an overwhelming feeling when I look at the whole thing and imagine the process of getting her all spiffed up in a few hours. :-/

I think I have A.D.D. when it comes to housecleaning. I mean, I start sweeping the kitchen and notice that the window sills need wiping out. I go to the pantry for a cleaning cloth and notice that the garbage is starting to smell, so I take it out of the garbage pale only to realize that I don't have any more trash bags. I walk back into the kitchen to add "garbage bags" to my grocery list, but the pen runs out of ink. I head toward the office to grab another pen when I hear a 'ding' indicating that "I've got mail." I open my pc and check my email only to find an "alert" from the mortgage company reminding me that my payment is now past due! I rush to the laundry room to grab my checkbook from my purse. While I'm there I see that the washing machine is full of wet clothes. After I throw them in the dryer, I head back towards the office when the phone rings. As I stand there talking to a telemarketer I look out the window and notice that my poor, withering plants are in desperate need of water. I hang up the phone, fill my watering can and step out the back door. "Wow! This patio is covered in leaves!" So I set down the watering can and grab the broom.... AHHHHHH!!!!!! How can I ever get it all done???

Can you relate?

I only get overwhelmed when I get the notion stuck in my head that I have to do all of my housecleaning in one day. After all, it's virtually impossible! (Did I mention "hugeness"?) I've definitely found that it's much easier to do when I divide it up into little chunks: floors one day, dusting one day, bathrooms one day.... Sound like a plan?

As I was sweeping the patio this morning, it came to me that cleaning my big old house is a lot like cleaning things up in my life. Daily maintenance is so much easier than trying to do a complete overhaul all at once! That way the "big stuff" never builds up to the point that I feel overwhelmed.

Jesus said it this way, "A person who has had a bath needs only to wash his feet; his whole body is clean." (John 13:10) In my own words: if you regularly take care of the big stuff, then taking care of the small stuff will be a piece of cake.

When my husband and I first married, we bought a tiny little house. It was easy to clean--even if I had to do it on the spur of the moment. Someone could call and say, "I thought I'd drop by today..." No biggy! But now I have an enormous house, and clean it on the fly? Not a chance! It has to be maintained on a regular basis; otherwise I find myself totally overwhelmed with all that has to be done.

Luke 12:48 says, "When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required." Looks like I've been entrusted with much, so I'd better keep that broom handy.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Prayer Changes Things???

Today I felt so convicted that I haven't really been praying for our country like I should. I mean, I complain--a lot--about the state of affairs, and I throw up the occasional, "O God, please do something!" But I don't really get down to the nitty gritty of praying for our country on a daily basis. I should. You should. We all should. The fact is, we all must. After all, the direction of our country lies in our hands... or does it? I mean, do we truly believe that prayer changes things? Or do we just say that as a cliche'?

2 Chronicles 7:14 says, "If my people pray...I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." Do you think God really meant that? Or was He just trying to pull one over on us--to rope us into thinking that He is actually in control of EVERYthing?!

I can only speak for my own convictions, not yours. But as for me, I feel a gut-piercing 'stick' right about now. God doesn't expect me to fix it all, or even to try and figure out how He should fix it all. But He does expect me to repent for the sins of our nation. WHAT?! Me repent for the whole nation?? I didn't get us into this mess! ... or did I? Maybe the fact that I have sat on the sidelines and watched in silent protest as our 'Christian' nation has become something other than Christian tells me that I am, at least in part, responsible for where "One nation under God" is today.

And so, in response to this stirring sense of urgency, I have decided to make a change. Beginning right now, I am going to do my part to see that this land of the free and home of the brave, this sweet land of liberty, this 'once upon a time' great Christian nation, doesn't destroy itself from the inside out, but returns to God in sincerity and humility, and asks for His forgiveness and direction. I can't do everything, but I can do something. What about you?