Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Room Cleaning By Grace

I know practical. I am a boring, no nonsense kinda gal. Although I can usually get the job done, there is often much to be desired in my fleshly modus operandi. I assess the bottom line and trudge in headlong without noticing or caring about the people in the process. But I am learning ~ or rather, the Holy Spirit is teaching me that every step in the journey IS the journey. And practical is not always best.

I like need order, too.  I used to think I was a control freak, and, while not discounting that completely (Mr. Visionary made me say that), I have learned that most some of this is just the way I am wired. I can't handle visual cacophony with my mental processing ability intact (I can't think in a mess). All of that is to say that I like things neat. Even with seven children, this desire has not abated. It hasn't materialized either, but that is another matter.

My old method in getting the girls to clean up their room was to come in and elbow-to-elbow with them, help them find order, fussing all the while, focusing more on the job than the little hearts. Partial enlightenment came, and I changed this method to: "If you can't keep it cleaned up, you can't keep it". That wasn't being mean, just...(here's that word again)...practical. If they couldn't keep it clean, they must have had too much stuff, so I'd help them get rid of stuff. Originally this method was met with weeping and gnashing of teeth, but over time, as they realized they never missed the extra stuff, the girls came to love getting rid of more stuff. It really was easier, they found.

But there are times now, even with very little clutter, that it is still a burdensome task for them to keep things orderly. Through praying for an idea to help my ladies, the Lord led me to a plan that blesses them even more than my help with the cleaning (although they still welcome this act of service). I came in today following the usual plan, "When the timer goes off, whatever is not in it's place goes in the bag", when the Lord whispered to me to rearrange the furniture. Huh? I didn't really get it, but I obeyed.

I made a few little changes here and there, only moving pieces that Mr. Visionary would approve of our moving without his help. A new doily, a new plant, and some of my Valentine's roses...and my girls were blessed. Oh, so blessed. It inspired them to feel good about their room, it encouraged their femininity, and if not giving them a new lease on life , then at least a new lease on their day. Smiling and encouraged, they flitted about, making their own changes, adding their own new touches, and the whole matter was concluded in half the time as usual.

These are good girls who sometimes get weighed down by their burdens. I don't need to add to it by being so practical. (C'mon, Mom, remember what it feels like. Weren't you feeling this way just yesterday?) Dawn is right, people and relationships  really are more important than everything else.

Thank you Lord, for letting blind eyes see... One. Moment. At. A.Time.

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