This article for our MOPS newsletter was inspired by the cleaning day I wrote about here.
Get ready, Keller Community Storehouse. Prepare yourself, friendly neighborhood garbage collector. Mama is cleaning out.
Am I the only one who has turned totally psycho since Laura’s amazing talk on home organization? Can we just go ahead and give her the MOPS mom-of-the-year trophy? I am inspired! I came home that afternoon and paid each of my kids one dollar to help me drag out everything from our bedroom closet so I could search-and-destroy. We literally could not walk across the bedroom for three days.
I found clothes I have had since high school. HIGH SCHOOL! There were brass candlesticks, blue plaid travel shoe bags, tattered blankets, broken shoes, a cross-stitch I started in 1995. Shameful.
Ninety percent of this mess was bagged up and taken into the garage (where it still sits six weeks later), awaiting its final destination to anywhere-but-here. And my closet? INCREDIBLE! I have shelf space! I can walk down the center without stepping on my high school yearbooks and empty shopping bags. All of our scarves, gloves, hats, belts, toiletry bags, and shoe polish are neatly contained in nice little plastic drawers and baskets with appropriate labels. I feel like a new woman. With a new closet.
What is it about cleaning out that feels so good? Why is getting rid of all the collected junk so intrinsically rewarding? And why was it all there in the first place?
God has practically hit me over the head with a 2×4 on this one. It seemed like during the entire month of February, every study I participated in, every devotional I read, every sermon I heard had something to do with confession. It was time to clean out the junk I’m holding onto in the “closet” of my heart.
Most of the time, I don’t even notice the junk. It’s made a comfortable little niche for itself, and it mostly stays out of the way. It sits there quietly, collecting dust, but preventing the light from reaching the dark corners so that I don’t even notice what is lurking way back there.
Some of the junk is embarrassing. I don’t want anyone to know I’m keeping that in my closet! It’s much easier to shift it around and move it aside than it is to actually take it out. It’s much easier to just pretend it’s not there.
To admit that it is there and realize that it needs to be removed…not as easy as just leaving it on the shelf or in the corner, but what incredible freedom comes from getting rid of it!
Cleaning out takes conscientious effort. It sometimes means asking God to shine a light into the spaces of our hearts and show us the junk we aren’t even aware of. The junk comes in all sizes and shapes, but even the little stuff prevents our “space” from fulfilling its purpose and being what it was created to be. But getting it out in the open – even if you and God are the only ones in the room staring at the pile – lets us deal with it and throw it away. The result? Freedom. Purpose. Communion with our Father. Renewal.
And no more hideous shoulder pads.