Clean up and clean out!

My mom is such a perfectionist about having her house clean, organized and everything in its place! I mean everything!  Her house is home-y but almost “museum-like”…. got it?  If she calls me out of the blue and says, “Terri, I’m on my way over. I’ll be at your house in 15 minutes!”  Oh dear Lord, I freak out!  And I’m not a messy person!  But my house is definitely not a museum, and definitely not up to her standards of housekeeping! ha!  When I know that mom is on her way, the whole family goes to work frantically!  Kassidi’s getting all the towels off the shower door and putting them in the hamper.  Rodney hurries to sweep the hardwood floors.  I wipe off the counter tops, pour Pine-Sol in the sink, hang the jackets up…it’s nuts!  But it’s amazing how much gets done in those 15 minutes all because we have a deadline: Mom is on her way!

Some of those things may have even been laying around for days and days with plenty of time to clean up, but no urgency to get motivated to do it. But don’t you just feel better when your house is clean and everything is in its place?  So, why do we let some things just pile up and walk by them day after day with no desire, no motivation and no goal to even clean it up?  No deadline.

I want to encourage you this month to clean up and clean out!  Those are words the Lord said to me years ago.  Although He was referring to my “inner” life more than my environment, I took it literally.  I set a goal to clean every room of my house thorougly . . . but also to listen to the Word of God on CDs the entire time.  And I’m telling you, I got cleaned up inside and out!

Having a clean and organized physical space can also bring peace, stability and encouragement to your soul.  1 Corinthians 14:40 says, “Let all things be done decently and in order.”

I challenge you to do what I’m doing this month. Set a goal and set a deadline to get your home organized. Write down on paper the rooms or the areas (drawers, closets, cabinets) that need to be cleaned out.  Hang it some place where you can see it.  Then, instead of collapsing in your bed or laying on the couch all evening, determine to devote 15, 30, 45 minutes or even an hour a day to clean up one area at a time. You can get a lot done in 15 minutes!  When you finish, check it off and move on to the next project. (But make yourself listen to the Word the whole time.  That’s 15, 30 or 45 minutes a day you’re feeding your spirit and getting stronger inside.)

One more little hint: the “experts” say to always start with what’s visible first!  Don’t start with cleaning out a drawer. Start with the pile of magazines in the den floor.  You’ll feel more inspired when can actually “see” progress being made!  If you need a little more motivation, imagine my mom just called . . . you’ve got 15 minutes!

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