Mom was a housekeeper extraordinaire. Keeping a small farm house holding a family of seven clean and organized must have been no small feat - my sister and I contributed with our Saturday's chores but it was Mom's efficiency and energy that kept things on course. Included in this regime was a thorough going-over of the house in the spring and fall. I am very grateful for her example and work ethic, but have come to terms with my standard of what's acceptable for my house.
Spring arrived this week and unlike many other years, I was house-cleaning. Sort of. I was wiping down cupboards, dusting off furniture and unpacking boxes that have been stored in an old barn for nine months. Everything was in fine condition, other than some rub marks on the leather sofa and the evidence of hungry rodents' shredded newspaper bits and fluff balls of fabric. Nothing too bad, except I have some serious mending to do on a couple Teddy bears that happen to be the grandkids' favorites.
In spite of diligent purging when I packed up all those boxes, I still have stuff that does not merit a home in our new house. It's the paper goods that trip me up. Pictures, sheets torn out of magazines, articles, books - how can they all feel like such 'close friends' when I haven't looked at many of them for months, if not years. I'm trying to be: ruthless, to anticipate what I really will use and want in the future, and allow myself freedom to make decisions to toss or not that may bring regret later.
Pretty much everything is in its place, the house is (mostly) clean - there is certainly a satisfaction to this spring cleaning thing.
I've been thinking about my other living space - the inner one where God dwells. A place where thoughts, attitudes, doubts, fear, sin - and joys, victories, yearnings, hope - wiggle into nooks and crevices. I need to review the contents of my heart for cleaning out or for polishing - regularly, not just once or twice a year.
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."I John 1:9 (KJV)