Monday, July 10, 2006

Bring out the Broom

This week starts my maintenence week. Having a dayhome for kids in my house there are just some maintaining chores that you can't do with half dozen little ones running around. I found this quote and am pasting it somewhere prominent during this week to help me out.

"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful" - William Morris

As I go thru all the toys, papers and paraphenelia that one tends to collect with having a dayhome, this will be my mantra.

Then I'm gonna start in on my personal stuff. This is where it's gonna get harder. You see I'm a bit of a packrat coming by it honestly thru my Dad. That man would pick up a screw off the road and bring it home. He would bring all sorts of stuff home that he thought he could use for another project. But the thing with my Dad was, he was a very neat collector. That screw went into a jar that held screws and only screws. His garage was full but very neat and clean. Now while I don't pick stuff up just anywhere I tend to hang onto to papers. School papers, church papers, mail, etc. etc. And just different stuff that I think I will use one day. And I tend to be a sentimental hoarder. If it has a memory attached to it, even if it's not being used or I think it's ugly I'll still hang on to it. That memory thing gets me everytime. A dress I wore on a special date, but I will never in this lifetime fit into again and if I did I would be so screaming the "late '70's" still hangs in my closet. A pic my hubby gave me when we were dating sits behind my bedroom door because it's yellowed and I won't put it up but I can't seem to get rid of it. A bowl my mom bought me back from Hungary years ago that I'm scared to use 'cause of the way it was made and is again so '70's sits on a shelf in my storage room but again it's the sentimental attachment. And on and on.

So I've been building myself up to be strong. I've been arming myself with an arsenol of "Clean Sweep" episodes for months now. I'm imagining them coming to my home and questioning me on each item. One tip they gave a lady whose house was overtaken with sentimental useless stuff was to take a picture of it instead. So with a garbage bag in one hand, box for charities in another and my lambswool duster raised high like a sword I am ready for battle. Bring it on.

But I hear deep inside. What about my spiritual house? Isn't it about time I did a once over on that very important part of my life too? When was the last time I asked the Holy Spirit to do a housecleaning on me that I might better walk this Christian life. What is in my spiritual closet that I have shoved to the back that I don't use or is not beautiful in the sight of God but I am just hanging onto?

Hebrew 12:1-2(a) speaks of getting rid of "stuff". In the Amplified version (love this version) it says: "Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony of the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance -unnecessary weight- and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course fo the race that is set before us. Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher, [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. (Bold print mine).

I need to do a spiritual houseclean every once in a while with the Holy Spirit helping, so that I can get rid of those things that are cluttering up my walk. I must move those out of my house that I can look upon Jesus and not be distracted and follow Him as my Leader, Source of faith and Finisher bringing me to maturity. And with what do I arm myself with for this cleaning? Prayer in one hand and the Word of God, the Sword of the Spirit, in the other. As I humble myself before Him, I pray He will show me areas I'm trying to hoard and give me the strength to sweep them out that I would not be entangled in a mess.

Praise God He loves us as we are but loves us too much to leave us that way!


Chappyswife said...

I think I've found a kindred spirtit. I, too, hang onto papers way too long, thinking I may need them later. I keep sentimental stuff just because its sentimental, even clothes as you do. It's crazy. I struggle with it & every so often I go into a cleansing frenzy & throw away everything, well, almost everything, that I can get my hands on & it feels SO GOOD! But then bedtime rolls around & the mood is over. I don't pick up & do it again the next day.

Then onto the spiritual side, you & God just taught me something. And as always with God, it's quite timely. He must really love me the past few days, that's all I can say...

aggiejenn said...

I'm going through a similar thing these days. I'm really wanting to declutter a lot of stuff in my house...most of which I hang onto for sentimental reasons (wedding presents, family gifts, etc.). I'm tired of having so much stuff but find it hard to get rid of it. I saw that "Clean Sweep" episode about taking a picture, too. A great idea.

A spiritual housecleaning is in order as well.

Thanks for these great thoughts!

Carol said...

Oh! The conviction! I've been procrastinating the physical house-clearing. It's neat and tidy, but the clutter is breeding. My mother is a hoarder - one of those old lady hoarders you read about and never want to see the insides of their house that I am determined to not be.

I often think our environments are reflections of what's going on inside.

Melanie said...

Hi! Thanks for the encouraging words. And for the Carol photo. I loved to imitate her as a child. :>)
I am not sure what you have in your area, but there is a site that is devoted to recycling old things. Go to
The way it works-
You sign up for your area. You can post things you want to give away. Other people in your area post things they would like to have. You can post anything. You would be amazed at what people are looking for. All of the rules are on the site. Good luck cleaning out!

Susanne said...

chappyswife: It does feel good and freeing once you get started dosen't it? It's like that on the spiritual end too! It's hard while the cleaning is happening but oh the freedom when it's done!

aggiejenn: love that clean sweep show! Keeps me motivated.

carol: we need to be able to let go don't we!

melanie: I've never heard of that! I'm gonna check it out!

Shalee said...

So true, Susanne! We all could do with a little cleaning, inside our house and out!

Thanks for the reminder to take a good look at what we have stored inside and getting rid of the stored junk and useless things that we hold onto.

You go you cleaning machine!

Katrina said...

Very true!

I am a fellow packrat and it pains me to throw away all those things that I "need" to keep! But my house is in need of a serious decluttering as well. And I hear you on the spiritual clean-up too. Thank you for the challenge!