At the beginning of the year, I declared that I was going to get better organized. This wasn’t solely birthed out of the New Year’s Resolution excitement. I mean a felt the New-Year Feels and all, but this was a long time coming and I wasn’t riding on the feels alone. I had recently learned more about getting to the root issue of struggles I was having in my life and with other breakthroughs to support this method, I went after a looming giant in the room: my inability to keep my house clean.
Instead of attacking each room and organizing it, I have been spending time in prayer an reflection over each room. I have been evaluating its purpose in our life, the things I put in it, and confronting lies I believe about that space. For instance, in the front room of our house, we have a living room that has always been a play room for the kids. It took us six years to finally morph this empty space into what it is today. We had build-ins put in around the large set of windows, then we added furniture and a TV. Finally, I decorated one wall in a gallery-wall style. It has a personality now and can look put together when everything is cleaned up. The clean up is the part that I always struggled with. The kids’ toys were in there and it seemed futile to clean them up, every. single. day. As I was praying for insight into the frustration I had with this room, this lie surfaced. I saw the daily clean up as futile. This is a lie. Also, I saw that I was holding on to too many toys. What?! I don’t even play with them (most of the time). The kids had too many toys–which in turn creates too many options. I began purging them multiple times. I have done it three times since September. You know what? They haven’t once complained that I got rid of a toy they desperately wanted to play with. They have fewer choices and they play with what they have more. Finally, they can more easily pick up their own mess. Now this last part took some effort on my part to train them to do this. I started with the oldest and there were rewards for good attitudes. You all can decide how you want to do that. I will say it didn’t take as long as I thought to get my oldest (he’s 7) to a self-sufficient state of clean up ability. He now can clean his own room and the play room with minimal supervision.
So on the whole I found the lie for that room and established new patterns. The same has taken place in my kitchen. I decided that if I just don’t want to clean it, I set a timer for 10 minutes and commit to a certain area (the dishes, the countertops, the table). Usually, the momentum I have created in those 10 minutes pushes me to finish or do a great deal more.
One of the things I have realized in this process is that I have to take my thoughts captive (2 Corinthians 5:10). I have to catch the lies as they run through my mind. Lies like:
You will never be able to keep this up.
Just let it go tonight. You will get it all done tomorrow.
This is something you’ll always struggle with.
This mess is just the beginning of the end of this streak.
I can’t let a busy weekend that tears my house apart be the birth of the lie that I am not going to be able to keep this up. I remind myself of truths from God’s word:
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13)
He gives me the desires of my heart. (Psalm 37:4)
I am a new creation in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:17)
He who began a good work in me will continue on until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6)
I am a dwelling place of the Spirit of God. (Ephesians 2:22)
The word is a sword that can slash through the lies that the Enemy is throwing your way. It doesn’t just apply to overtly spiritual things either. Learning to keep my house in better shape day to day is important to me. And if it is important to me then it is important to my Father. I am not trying to say that my cleaner home makes me more holy. But partnering with Holy Spirit and my Heavenly Father to tackle something in my life is the best choice.
Is this an area you struggle with? (And by struggle I mean does it bother you–my clean may still be someone else’s messy. I am okay with that.) Have you found that partnering with Holy Spirit has made a difference? What little tricks have you put into practice that has made a difference in your home life? I would love to glean from you all!