Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cleaning House and Heart

I was tired of tripping over shoes, left over belongings, stray hangers, and dirty clothes!

I finally realized that I had to just give in and clean out my closet! In the house we moved out of nearly 12 years ago, the closets were microscopic and I even had to share one with my husband (gasp!). So when we moved into our current home, I thought my private walk-in closet was huge - but honestly, it seems to have shrunk now!

Lets face it ladies, no matter how big our closets are, they never seem big enough, with the exception of one of my friends who turned an entire bedroom into her walk-in closet - I know, I know, forgive me Lord ..... thou shalt not covet thy friends closet.

But as I stood in my closet, I wondered why I had so many clothes, yet never seemed to have anything to wear! I set out to try and figure out this mystery.

After about three hours of sorting clothes into the piles of either 1)give to a family member or friend who could use it, 2)donate to a charity, 3)sell on Ebay, or 4)keep for the next season, my closet was finally clean! I organized each section by pants, shirts, skirts, dresses, jackets, etc., and then by long sleeve, short sleeve, no sleeve, dark color, light color, and even got rid of a bunch of shoes (for all you obsessive shoe lovers out there, please forgive me). Look how good I did! Go me!

I breathed a sigh of relief and reveled in my success, of which some might call compulsive organization tactics, that is until I turned around and noticed the disaster area that was formerly my nice clean bedroom.

So then I had to clean that area up, which took another hour, but once I was done, it was so worth it! I no longer had to sort through clothes every day that were too big, too small, worn out, out of style, out of my tastes, etc., etc. I could start off each day with a fresh, clean perspective.

Cleaning is something we all like to put off, but something that is always necessary. I love the show Clean House. I watch in amazement at the homes featured, and wonder how anyone could ever let their house get that dirty, cluttered, messy, filthy, and unorganized. I wonder how they can live like that every day, and how embarrassed they must be when other people finally get a glimpse of the real picture, especially knowing that people all over the country are seeing it on TV!

I started thinking about how hearts are kind of like messy houses at times. On the outside, we try to look pretty and fixed up, but on the inside our hearts are full of clutter. Things like unforgiveness, bitterness, self condemnation, sadness, lack of true joy, and worry clutter our hearts, making a huge mess. Even when we spend a lot of time trying to keep clean on our bodies, our houses, or our closets, we often to forget to spend some much needed time cleaning up our hearts.

Everyone knows that when it comes to cleaning house, the more we neglect doing what is needed, the worse things get. And, the longer we put off cleaning things up, the longer it is going to take to get it clean when we finally do decide that we cannot put it off any longer.

In the same way, the longer we allow our hearts to stayed cluttered and messy, before we know it, that clutter becomes bad habits and attitudes that are hard to break.

I did a little fall cleaning on my heart lately too, not just my closet. In a house with two young teen daughters with changing hormones, busy social lives, and lots of girl drama, sometimes I have to remind myself that they need a happy mommy, not a grumpy mommy. They need a patient mom, not an impatient mom. They need a forgiving mom, not a mom who constantly reminds them of their mistakes. They need a mom whose heart shows them how to love others and do things for other people, instead of resenting when people have special needs.

It is more important to have a clean heart than it is to have a clean house, but we are usually much more willing to clean house, than clean heart.

My favorite part of the Clean House show is the last segment, where you see what the house really looks like once all the cleaning, organizing and redecorating is complete. All I can say after every show is WOW! It was a lot of work for the cleaning team, but the results were so worth it. The family can have a fresh start and a fresh perspective about life and their future.

If you get a wild hair to start doing some fall cleaning - you go girl! But while you are standing in the middle of piles of clothes or items that you no longer need, take a moment to pray and ask God if your heart needs a little cleaning too.

Psalm 51:10 Create in me a clean heart, O God.Renew a loyal spirit within me. (NLT)

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1 comment:

Joyful said...

This morning as I spent time in prayer I used Psalm 139:23, "Search me O God, and know my heart". I find daily I need Him to help me clean-up yesterday's mess so that I can start fresh. I need Him to search and empty every part, so that He alone can fill me.

Your closet looks amazing! I share a fairly small closet with my husband, so just having restricted space does help me keep the contents to a minimum.

Thanks for the reminder to do a clean sweep of my heart as well.