I am a self-proclaimed neat freak and I can’t stand having a messy house. I love cleaning routines, clear counters, and capsule wardrobes. My family likes to joke that I put the dishes away on Thanksgiving and Christmas before people are done eating. Growing up, I would always get yelled at for throwing away some “important” paper or item that my parents needed because it looked like clutter to me. (In fact, I did this to my husband last week.) And if you stop by unannounced, my house will always be pretty clean.
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I say pretty clean though because, well, life. On any given day, my toddler will wipe peanut butter on the coffee table, my cat will throw up on the rug, and my husband will leave dirty dishes in the sink. (OK, I’ll leave dirty dishes in the sink because I’m too tired to deal with them!)
And this used to stress me out. Why couldn’t I ever keep my house “perfect” for just one day? Could I hit pause and just enjoy this brief tranquil moment? Is that too much to ask?
But like the Second Law of Thermodynamics states: everything goes from order to disorder. Even my living room. Especially my living room.
Unattended, even clutter-free rooms will eventually be covered in dust. Backyards will become overgrown and unruly. And our hearts, if not fixed on God, will too.
This house, as much as I love to clean and decorate it, is not my forever home. Neither is yours.
My Messy House Isn’t Home
“Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the desire of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions – is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:15-17)
I was letting the love for my “perfect” home come above my love for God. My desires were in my possessions, my home decor, and my hopes of becoming the next Martha Stewart. While making our homes clean and comfortable is good, making it an idol is not.
I’m not perfect and I still stumble in this regard, but God has changed my heart so much already. I will always love cleaning routines (Monday is for bathrooms, Tuesday dusting, and Wednesday vacuuming!). And I am so excited that the wallpaper is finally finished in my dining room. But I no longer let my house not being perfect stress me out.
Instead, I use it as a reminder that this may be my house, but it’s not my eternal home.
“My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:2-3)
And guys, His home for us will be perfect.
Next time I have to clean up spilled milk, or wash a dirty dish, or sweep up cheerios I’ll remind myself of these simple truths:
This isn’t my forever home but God is preparing an eternal one for us.
I need to stop making my house an idol.
It is a privilege to clean up after and take care of the ones I love!
A reminder to turn back to God when I find “messes” in my heart!
You know what? My “messy house” isn’t looking so bad now.
Are you a clean freak or someone who doesn’t mind living in a little bit of chaos?
P.S. And if your home needs a little help, check out my favorite cleaning products. 😉