Tuesday, February 19, 2013

confession #37: i want my life to be uncluttered

Yesterday, my niece, Katherine, came over to babysit.
I walked her through the house giving her directions
along with some interesting ad-libs.
"The boys can play outside...please ignore the kitchen floor....
if you want to help Jack put together the badminton net that would be great...
don't look in my bedroom it is truly horrifying....would you like a quesadilla for lunch?
I'm so sorry about the boy's rooms....let's just shut their doors. Any questions?"
The clutter of life has been sweeping me along these past years....
grinding my organizational skills to a fine dust.
Some days I just walk through the rooms of my house and think,
"Sweet mercy, I am going down." And I am.
Too much to do. Too little time.
And too much of a high hurdle that I have placed before myself in the way
of expectations.
(That would be the expectation of "EVERYTHING clean. ALL the time".)
"EVERYTHING" and "ALL" are flattening kinds of words.
But what I am coming to realize is that I want my physical surroundings to be clean
and organized because my reality is messy.
Our life is full of a hodge-podge of kids, family, work relationships, ministry,
bad news, great news, joy, sadness,
rotten apple cores tucked into the corners of the mini-van,
ER runs (3 in the past 2 weeks), homework, disappointment, hard won victories,
line edits, re-writes, grief, bills, grocery shopping, counseling appointments,
kids church, coffee with friends, laughter, television shows, cousin time,
science fairs, spelling bees, and the occasional good book.
And I look at this lovely mess and I think, "If only my bathroom was clean."
Because I know I can't clean up my life but I think if I had 5 minutes and toilet
brush at least one thing in my life could be neat and tidy.
I am incapable of untangling the threads of my life.
I can't make sense of our circumstances, the hardships, the sweet goodness,
the questions, the overwhelming blessings and how they should all fit together.
I am looking for something that is quiet and neat and clean.
I think that what I need to be looking for is the Holy Spirit....not scrubbing bubbles.
Un-cluttering my life is not something that I can actually do...
only He can do the work in my life that needs to be done.
Paul says so in Galatians 3:5:
Answer this question: Does the God who lavishly provides you with his own presence,
his Holy Spirit, working things in your lives you could never do for yourselves, 
does he do these things because of your strenuous moral striving or
because you trust him to do them in you?
Do I kill myself with trying to order my own life
or do I trust the Holy Spirit to shape my life in a way that I could never do on my own?
My heart's cry needs to shift from "I want my life to be uncluttered" to
"I am trusting you with my mess."
I have a feeling that the One who ordered the universe
is the one who can bring beauty from chaos.
With or without a toilet brush.

1 comment:

Randi said...

Thank you, Sue. You nailed it! Our household is recuperating from the flu and I want to hose out all the germs and clutter from my house. Thank you for bringing me back from the brink!