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.