Thursday, December 27, 2012

Oh, Hurray. My thoughts on cleaning day and life.

Tomorrow is cleaning day. Bummer.

That would sum up most people's thoughts on the subject, wouldn't it? It certainly would've summed up mine when I first heard Mom say, "Girls, tomorrow we're going to clean the house."

I was weary for no good reason (unless I slept badly last night, which might have been, but I don't remember) and the prospect of scrubbing, polishing and lugging a heavy vacuum cleaner around all day didn't sound the least bit pleasant....but I tried to act like the diligent, dutiful daughter that I'm always wishing I was and smothered the groan that wanted to come out of my throat.

I remember another time when I felt this way - only at three years of age, I didn't care so much about stifling complaints and wails of woe. Mom had given me the simple chore of making my bed every morning and in my three year old mind, that bed was huge. I was relieved this work was finally over for the day - after I dragged myself through the ordeal, sighing and whining - and was filled with heavy dread as I realized that bedtime was getting closer, and with it, the next morning wherein I would have to do it again. I didn't want to get up in the morning - it was so hard, so long - goodness me! It was a huge, queen-size bed!

A few months ago (with me having reached 16 years of age) the truth was revealed. Isaac now had the bed that used to be mine. When Mom happened to mention it, by course of conversation, I was shocked. The bed in question was a small, twin-sized bottom-bunk. I couldn't believe it.

This is a weakness that I'm learning to overcome - looking at the whole mountain instead of taking the first step up the trail, being overwhelmed by a whole schedule instead of rolling up my sleeves and starting with the first thing.

Mom, thankfully, doesn't struggle with this nearly as much. Her practical advice rings true. "Just do the first thing." What's more, Jim Elliott's famous quote inspires; "Be all there" when you know something is God's will for you. Believe it or not, dishes, schoolwork, schedules and chores can be "God's will for you."

If you'll just throw your whole effort into after-supper chores instead of daydreaming about what you'd rather be doing, you'll find that it goes a whole lot faster. When you decide to do something with all of your might, bumbling, bleary-eyed wandering vanishes while clarity and purposefulness are restored. When you take a deep breath and stop thinking about the whole room that needs de-cluttering and start clearing one shelf, life seems a whole lot simpler. At least, it works that way for me.

On the other hand, joy, happiness and fun hides in unexpected places. Who would think that giving is more blessed than recieving? In the same token, you never know what good things hide beind a cloud (or list of things-to-be-done).

But this sort of "taking one thing at a time" doesn't just apply to chore-lists and school schedules. Live like this, too. We don't need to worry about what's going to happen in 2015 - plan for it yes, but worry, no. We can keep our eyes on the One who "Knows our future" and trust that He will work everything out for our good, no matter how impossible "the big picture" may seem. Whatever God's will is for you, if you're walking in it, "Live it to the hilt" and know that God is the one who makes rivers in the desert.


Gracie said...

Amen! This is all so true. I have a habit of seeing the mountain instead of just moving one pebble at a time. This is very good advice!

Anna said...

Thanks, Gracie!

Lucille said...

Great way to look at "work". I still to this day have to look at some tasks that way...just get started with one thing at a time. I think the hardest is getting started. As I get older, I realize I can just start operating like a robot...with no feelings...just dive in, one foot before the other, then the hands and do "the dreaded". Then as you begin you get more into it and then you decide you might as well do your very best and put your heart into it. It becomes a blessing and a great sigh of accomplishment then.

I also like to think of doing my chores as unto the Lord because I know I am in my place, running my home, or whatever the responsibility is that is at hand.

Great job of writing. Just happened to have a moment to "stop in". :-)