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Cleaning and Cleaning
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It was a chaotic week. Ahhh, who am I kidding, most of my weeks seem chaotic. But this week included a visit from my much beloved sister-in-law who lives half a country away and whom I never get to see. She was coming out for a business meeting and would only be in town for one night. She would spend the night with us and head out the next morning, but generously invited me to come down early before her meeting so we could sit and chat and catch up.
 
I was thrilled. My house was not.
 
I’m not a great homemaker. There are a lot of things I’m good at, but cleaning and organizing isn’t one of them. I’m trying to improve, but suffice it to say during this particular week, the improvements weren’t showing.
 
I made a list of all the things I needed to do to get the house looking nice so that I’d be proud to have Holly come over. And I started working. And I worked hard. For hours. Mopping, scrubbing, making beds, picking up toys, cleaning toilets. And the hands of the clock continued to turn. And it got closer and closer to the time we’d agreed to meet.
 
But I just wasn’t done cleaning. And I really wanted it to look nice for her. 
 
So I kept cleaning. 
 
I finally finished up and jumped in the shower and then into my clothes and then into the car and raced downtown knowing I’d be at least an hour late. As I drove, I was hit by a ton of bricks of regret. I had chosen to clean, instead of sit and chat with my sister.
 
Seriously?! Who does that?!
 
I have never really identified with Martha. I’m pretty firmly in the Mary-camp most of the time. In fact, I’ve secretly made fun of Martha’s. Who would want to clean and cook instead of being with Jesus? Who would make that mistake?
 
My actions with Holly weren’t the same as missing out on time with Jesus, but I made a poor choice that focused on things and pride and perfection instead of on relationships. Mary’s focus was on relationships, on spending quality time with her friend.
 
A clean floor should never trump special time with a beloved person. I learned my lesson the hard way.

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By Joelle Yamada. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.


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