Clean Sweep

After several days of struggling, things seem to be getting back on track. I am always amazed at how dark some days can be.
Yesterday, I spent nine hours working around the house. The first few were painting the boys’ bedroom and the next six were filled purging and cleaning the shed.
Our shed is a thing of wonder. It holds all of the bits and pieces of our lives that we can’t seem to fit anywhere else. When I first opened the door the other day, it was like a Flintstone’s episode where Fred opened the closet and everything landed on his head. That was the perfect example of what my life had been during the last few weeks. There was so much ‘stuff’ that I just couldn’t get through the pile.
There was something very cathartic in cleaning out that shed yesterday. I had been planning to do it as a birthday gift for my husband – he’s at sea right now and I envisioned his tremendous surprise and the pleasure on his return to find this humongous job complete. God knew that this cleansing would be as much for me as for the shed.
I don’t know if any of you have ever watched the TV show Clean Sweep. The jist of it is that the family has a space that is unusable due to the clutter and junk. The host lays out three tarps and labels them “keep”, “sell” and “give away”. I labeled mine “keep”, “give away” and “toss”.
The boys and I took out all of the bins, pulled the bits of lumber from the rafters, organized the Christmas stuff, sorted out all of the loose nails and screws that lined every tool box and baggie stuffed under the work bench. We hung up all of my husband’s tools on pegboard and installed shelving for the yard games and garden supplies. And like the Lord on the last day of creation, when it was all finished, we looked at what we had done and said, “It is good.”
A full two thirds of what came out of the shed didn’t go back in! In thinking about that, I considered what I had been agonizing through over the past little while. I had some things that had to go because they were cluttering up my heart and mind so that like the shed, I was becoming unusable. Bogged down in the stress and frustration of the day to day, I needed to do a clean sweep of me. I need(ed) to toss the extra stuff that was holding me captive to discouragement and feelings of failure. I need(ed) to give away the responsibilities that simply weren’t mine. Some belonged to other members of the family and some belonged to the Lord. I had taken on things that were not mine to bear and the burden was too much. Most of all, I need(ed) to keep those things that the Lord gave me to draw me closer to Him and to help me trust Him. I need to be in His Word, I need to be in prayer, I need to have fellowship with His people, I need to be thankful for all He does in my life.
Getting rid of the clutter and making room for what is most important has refreshed my soul.
Jeremiah 31:25
I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.”
God is so faithful. No matter what mess I make, He will wait patiently for me to turn back to Him.
Deuteronomy 7:9
Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments.

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One Comment

  1. This is great, Stephanie! My house is a total disorganized mess and has been for too long as I rush about taking care of everyone else. It clogs up my heart as well,I can’t think straight, and it really affects my anxiety. I am so glad you took the time to share this!

    Oh and by the way…Devin jumped off the diving board, on his own with no life jacket…and now he doesn’t want to stop. He is also swimming without the jacket on!! A huge victory!

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