I stood at the sink, viciously scrubbing a cherry colored pan. The bright hue mocked me and I felt bitterness well up within my soul as murky dishwater swirled down the drain.
There are real problems in this world but I’m stuck here at home instead of doing something that actually matters, I thought furiously.
I scrubbed harder, charred remains of the previous night’s dinner finally coming loose, and I vowed that I would someday find time for more important things than just washing sinks full of dirty dishes.
If I could turn back the clock, I would gently whisper truths to my younger self. I would tell her that cleaning does matter. I’d let her know that right now, at home, she’s in her mission field. I’d tell her that making a difference in the lives of those around her will have an eternal impact.
Nurturing souls, whether they’re in our living rooms or across the world, is no small task. And when we can offer a soft place for our families to land, when we can welcome others in without hesitation, we’re uniting together to offer havens, refuges, from a sometimes harsh world.
This difficult, monotonous work of sweeping floors and scrubbing toilets is not in vain. Creating and maintaining order within our own four walls is one of the most important works we’ll ever do. Not because a clean house in itself is so important, but because having a clean home opens up our lives for so much more.
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.” Matthew 5:14-15, NKJV
Cleaning is not a necessary evil – it’s a beautiful opportunity.
I no longer own the cherry colored pans, but I’ll never forget the years I spent scrubbing them as I wrestled within myself, longing for an opportunity to impact lives but feeling trapped within my own four walls. Years of experience has shown me, however, that cleaning is not the end – it’s the beginning.
Will you begin with me?
This week’s assignment: Consider your mission field. How would you spend your precious hours if you weren’t digging through laundry mounds for clean outfits or rifling through piles of papers in hopes of finding the one you need? Share encouragement and inspiration with others by leaving your answer as a comment on this article, posting in the private Tidy Up Club on Facebook, or starting discussions with your loved ones about how you can make an impact together.
If you have a little extra time this week, also take a few minutes to watch an incredible video that one commenter shared on last week’s article. When we know our why, it changes everything and that concept is illustrated beautifully in the video.
If you’re ready to start organizing but need a little guidance, check out my eBook Chaos to Clutter-Free. It’s a simple and realistic book that will help you restore (or find) order in your home. Read the details here.