Nesting Reflection 3 – Keeping the Nest Clean and Tidy

Posted by on May 13, 2010 in Blog Posts | 0 comments

For most of my adult life I have been a housekeeper.  I’ve kept my own house.  I can be hard to live with on housecleaning day.  I can get moody and short-tempered.  I often want to clean the house and clean it a certain way, my way, the “right” way.  Boy, that’s bad. 

I have had occasion where needing help keeping the nest clean was required.  The last two months I have had help every other week.  I feel out of place on those days that someone else is dusting, vacuuming, scrubbing, smiling, and being pleasant while she cleans for me and I am wandering around trying to stay out of her way.

I have learned and am learning much from this experience.  I see a verse at work that could apply to all of us when we are busy keeping our nests clean whether full-time, part-time, or laid off from the job for a spell:

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,…” (Colossians 3:23 ESV) 

Whatever you do:

  • wash sheets
  • iron shirts
  • clean dog nose prints off the glass door
  • wipe away small fingerprints from the wall
  • wash baseball pants for the 5th time in a week
  • scrub the toilet
  • sweep crumbs
  • dust the furniture 
  • pick up the same toys, shoes, games, etc. again
  • and so on,

Do it heartily:

  • without fussing at your children, spouse, or roommates
  • without resenting the routine
  • without grumbling
  • thankful you have a house/apartment
  • thankful you can afford cleaning products
  • thankful you learned how to clean house when you were a little girl, Amy…

For the Lord and not for men:

  • as if it’s His house you are keeping and in a way it is…He owns it all anyway.  You are just a steward of His property.  Be a good steward.

For me, I have to check my heart.  I need to write this.  I need all these reminders. 

Once we can grasp the significance of doing our work to keep our nests clean with a good attitude for Jesus and not mad because we have to clean, I think it makes our jobs easier.

You may have expected today’s post to give you the clean sweep tactics for quick and thorough housecleaning.  I could do that all day long.  I’ve tried lots of methods from cleaning a room a day to cleaning the whole house in one day.  I’ve tried perfection and I’ve abandoned it for simplicity and was frustrated.  Now that my boys are older (and they help clean), that has eased the burden for cleaning the whole house on my own.

But, rather than promote methods and products, I just think this mom needs to get her heart right each time she pulls out the plastic tote filled with cleaning products and remember to clean the house for Jesus.  Then, when putting the things away afterward, analyze not how clean the house is but analyze how pleasant my attitude is as my family walks in at the end of the day after I’ve cleaned.  If my attitude stinks, then maybe my cleaning expectations are too high or my chore list too long to accomplish in a nice manner in the time allotted.  I might need to readjust the attitude, the expectations, and the time.

At the end of my family members’ days, am I someone they are glad they came home to see?  If I’m too tired from nonstop cleaning and my mood is too bad, what kind of atmosphere does that present to those who may have had days of hardship at work or school?  Get all that together in one room at the end of the day and it could be kind of tense.

On the flip side, if I set out with a reasonable list of expectations for cleaning the house and take a healthy pride in getting it done to maintain a pleasant attitude, then not only does the house have a clean aroma afterward, but I, too, have the sweet aroma of Christ that welcomes everyone back into the nest at the end of a long day. 

“Wherever we go, God uses us to make clear what it means to know Christ. It’s like a fragrance that fills the air.”  (2 Corinthians 2:14, God’s Word Translation)

So, what about you?  What kind of nest keeper are you? 

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