If you’re following along, I’m in the middle of a self-imposed challenge to keep 2 rooms in my house clean enough that with 5-minutes’ notice I would willingly invite guests into my space.
This experiment started with a thought I had one day that the discipline I demonstrate in the way I keep my house is a reflection of my spiritual discipline. So I wanted to learn what God might say to my heart, as I stretch myself to do something different, and actually clean my house regularly.
I’m about half way though my 66 days and last week, the wheels came off!
Life was clicking along great. My husband was helping, I was experiencing satisfaction in the work of my hands, and peace in my soul. God was speaking truths to my heart. It was AMAZING!
Then I got sick.
We came back from the Believe Middle School conference, where we spent the weekend with the BEST MIDDLE SCHOOL KIDS IN THE WORLD along with around 8,000 of their friends from across the country. My souvenirs were a headache (I love you guys, but you’re music is loud) – and a cold.
If you’ve never heard of CIY’s Believe Conference, check it out HERE!
My cold was nothing special, a small fever for a day, laryngitis, coughing. All the usual symptoms of the spring-time plague. But with it came the kind of self-pity that lets you justify laying around on the couch while the rest of your life falls apart. And it did fall apart. Not a dish was washed for a week. Floors went un-swept – and I didn’t lift a finger, except to whine and point to my tissues as my husband walked by.
Of course I shared with Gene, and then there were two of us sniffling and dragging around the house. Once the cold ran it’s course, I realized I had once more let things get out of control, and there was quite a bit of effort needed to bring the house back into order. I was quite disappointed that I hadn’t been able to fulfill my commitment.
I sat down the next day with my journal in hand and asked, “OK, what can God teach me from this?”
One of the things I love about God is that He is so quiet, strong and steady. He just waited for me to finish beating myself up over my failure. He waited for me to finish mourning that I had been unsuccessful and waited for me to run out of words. When I finally finished writing and put down my pen, my heart heard him add His two cents:
Speaking English puts us at a disadvantage sometimes. In English we typically define “perfect” as without blemish. But the idea of perfect in scripture is less about being without blemish and more about being complete. Having everything you need. So a puzzle is perfect when all the pieces are in place. A Birthday Cake is perfect, when all the candles are lit and it is ready to function in its role. And my house is perfect when I have my priorities in place, not when it’s spotless.
In 2 Corinthians 12:9, the Apostle Paul asked God to take away something Paul viewed as a “thorn”, but God declined, telling Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
So, when I am at my weakest, God has put all the pieces of the puzzle into place so His power can do its thing.
You see, my 66-day journey is not about having a spotless place to live, its about taking one step closer to the One who’s power is perfect when I’m not.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International version®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. www.zondervan.com The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™