Whether or not the weather will cooperate, I am beginning to catch the spring cleaning bug around here. It started the other day when my dear husband arrived home and pronounced that our house was “dirty and falling apart”. You can imagine I initially took a bit of defense to his claims. This is my terrain, excuse me, and I work hard to keep it a nice place for our family to live. All it took was me stepping back and surveying the scene, though, to see everything for what it really was–a home full of big people and lots of little people, each taking his toll on his surroundings, resulting in lot of clutter, filth, and disrepair. The toilet paper holder fell off the wall months ago and has yet to be fixed. The toilet has stopped up umpteen times lately (thanks, stomach virus!), the last which resulted in the contents overflowing on the bathroom floor. Ick. The banister spindle has broken and remains fastened in place, but threatening to give way at any moment. The light in the hallway short circuited and will require an electrician to fix it. The toys have mated and had babies, resulting in overcrowding and starvation among the population.
It has been a season of housal abuse around here (ha!) many thanks to the weather outside and plenty of indoor togetherness. Large families are surely notorious for being harder on a home due to the sheer volume of people living in the same square footage. Then take the number of people and multiply that by shoes, coats, hats, mittens, clothes in general, papers, legos(!), etc., etc. and we’ve got a serious problem, Houston! Spring cleaning couldn’t come any sooner.
I am trying not to get ahead of myself, starting small and working to larger spaces. I am taking several days in a space and am planning to involve the children in the culling of things and knick-knacks. Our school’s 12th snow day, I spent in the downstairs hall closet going through shoes and coats, boots and hats. I was embarrassed to find that I had the most coats of anyone there and quickly put an end to that as my Goodwill pile turns mountainous. Next, I am moving on to my girls’ room and the endless clutter that exists there in the form of toys, dolls, and yes, even legos. We have recently joined them to share a room and with it comes the decorating headaches I tend to put off and save for later. Not this time.
As we purge and repair in the flesh, may I be mindful that spring is also the season for rebirth of the soul. With every cobweb we sweep and every toy we give away, may I remember the clutter of my inner thoughts and mindset. My Lent has already produced some fresh buds, but what about the dead undergrowth that I need to clear to allow for blooms? Can I purge past sin through a trip to confession? Time of prayer and meditation might be just the remedy to repair my heart from the harshness of this life and the tendency I have to press on even when broken and unable. Cleaning of the heart and home is not an easy task and requires effort and long labor, but the fruit is so worth it. I know when I commit to a season of purging, the serenity of spirit and peace in simplicity resulting is far more valuable than the excess there before.
Praise God for Lent. Praise God for spring. Praise God for new beginnings even in seasons that feel like marathons. God bless.
“Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” -Hebrews 21:1