Blue Like Tidy-Bowl Cleaner, Kool-Aid, and Heaven:
Thoughts on Home, Family, and God from the middle of Suburbia!
I used to be a closet perfectionist, which means that you could come to my house any time during the week and find my closets clean. And the floors. And the toilets.
During those days, the color of Tidy-bowl as it swirled in beautiful blue around the toilets was my idea of entertainment. I shared the joy of my shining bowl with my friend Mr. Clean. He always smiled at that. As a matter of fact, he always smiled.
I discovered one thing about a super clean house, and that’s the fact it makes people uncomfortable. People are worried about taking off their shoes when they come inside. They fret about the toys the kids bring out to play with. No matter how much I told them now to worry, their hands twisted on their laps as they perched on my recently vacuumed sofa afraid to lean back on the plumped and perfect throw pillows.
The day God called me out of my comfort zone, I had no idea how far I would stray. It all started when my pastor asked me to consider helping to launch a crisis pregnancy center. My first response was a firm “no, thank you.” I had my hands full of raising kids, writing articles, and . . . cleaning. I was sure I couldn’t fit in one more thing into my schedule. God thought otherwise.
The next morning as I prayed about Pastor’s request I felt God giving me a firm, “Yes.” Sure, I had everything under control in my life, but God wasn’t concerned about how content I was. As I prayed, I felt Him expanding my vision to consider others in my community whose lives could be helped, whose hearts needed hope.
After I started volunteering my time and energy my perfect house didn’t remain so perfect. Instead of scrubbing the tub until it shined, I volunteered my time training volunteers and remodeling our new center. My kids didn’t keep up their room as well either because they were working along side me, folding baby blankets and stacking diapers. But you know what? The more I served God and saw Him working in lives, the less concerned I was about a dust-free existence. In fact, it felt good to get my hands dirty for a good cause.
In the years since then, God has called me to other things—leading abstinence programs, mentoring young moms, writing books. And I’m actually comfortable if the floor only gets swept once a week or the mail stacks up for two.
Through it all, I discovered God cares more about people than possessions, transformation rather than sanitation. I have a feeling that God was up to some closet cleaning of His own. For He dug into the recesses of my heart, dusted off talents I’d long forgotten about, and showed me the true Joy that can be found through service to others.
And you know what? I’ve never been happier. Except for my relationship with Mr. Clean—I’ve told him I’m more concerned about my Savor’s smile.