Sunday, August 2, 2009
I understand that no one will ever be bragging about my housekeeping skills. And it's not because I wasn't raised in a well-kept home. My mom was very disciplined about her weekly cleaning and we were expected to help. I even subscribe to the Flylady's website and have read her book. I love her ideas and principles, just haven't implemented them very well...yet (I am optimistic). I do not like to clean. I try to keep the house from getting buried and I pull the vacuum out when my mental buzzer telling me how long it has been since I last vacuumed goes off. I know I need to be teaching these life skills to my three kids because they will have homes of their own someday and I don't want them to be the roommate everyone talks about...and I am working on the plan for that.
What always surprises me and convicts me, though, are the unexpected places where I find dust. This may be where my mom let me down in the training arena. For example, in the bathroom, we had to shake the rugs, clean the sink, tub, counter, toilet and mirror, dump the trash and sweep the floor (let me know if I am forgetting anything, Falula). But not once did she have me dust the top of the TP holder. Imagine my surprise on the day I found dust on the TP holder in my own house. I had never even thought to clean that. And those six panel doors that sounded like a great idea when building our house? Well, those six panels have 24 corners that can hold dust. I really am seeing the practical reasons for going with a very modern decor -- flat surfaces, minimal stuff to dust, no grooves or ridges.
So, I know where some of my dust is but I am always finding new places where it hides. It is the same with my life. I know, generally, what areas of my life need some polishing...but sometimes I am surprised when a new issue pops up. This past week, a girlfriend who I respect immensely as a wife/mom/friend, paid me a wonderful complement in regards to my parenting. My heart was instantly convicted because I know that I am still a work in progress in that area of my life. I know that I would be embarrassed for others to see my moments of impatience and frustration with my own children. And if I would be embarrassed for others to see it, shouldn't I be embarrassed for my children to see it? I am...but it still happens. Perhaps there's dust bunnies in the corners of my role as a wife. They show up as a poor attitude or an uncooperative or unsupportive spirit...maybe a flash of martyrdom because "he doesn't understand what I do all day". Well, that's when I need to cry a river, build a bridge and get over it. I am a blessed woman because I get to stay home and spend these wonderful years with my daughters...and it is thanks to him and his sacrifice.
Just as furniture needs to be repeatedly dusted, so do my skills and attitudes relevant to my various roles as wife, mom, teacher, friend, daughter, sister, etc. I have to be regularly reading books or listening to CDs that help me in these areas. I also need to be associating with those that have the fruits in those areas so that I can learn from them. I am blessed to have my mom, mother-in-law, sister, sister-in-laws and friends that I do, because I am able to learn from each of them.
There is one other key ingredient to effective dusting. As this post was coming together for me mentally, I pondered that we don't have any cleaning solutions, like Endust, to keep the dust away in our lives like that product does for furniture. But then I realized I do. I can read my Bible...I can pray...I can hand over my dust to Jesus and he will help me clean with the aid of the Holy Spirit. Any day that I can start out with some quiet time...reading some Scripture...a devotional...writing a prayer out in a journal... that day is going to go much smoother. I can ask that my dusty spots be revealed to me and for the help to clean them up. That is way better than Endust.