Inviting people over to eat is one way I force myself to clean house. I don’t really hate housework, I just save it for last. After I have finished reading, eating chocolate, writing, going shopping and eating chocolate--oh, I already said that.
If we are having company, however, the thought of someone seeing all the webs my family of cobs have created, forces me to take duster and mop in hand. People always say, “Oh, we didn’t come to see the house; we came to visit you.” I feel more relaxed, however, if my fridge is not trying to grow potatoes from the dirt on it’s roof. And please don’t tell me you clean the top of your fridge every week or two. I have no use for people like that.
I even read once—in a book by a male cleaning expert that housework is a man’s job. They are the ones God gifted with upper body muscles, so they can best handle vacuuming, mopping, scrubbing, etc. Made sense to me!
Last weekend, while zooming along the ceiling with my multicolored cobweb killer, my heart swelled with pride. I was cleaning a whole week before my scheduled dinner party! How organized and efficient I was, how—OH, BOOGERS!!! I had dusted a tickle too close to my husband’s favorite Thomas Kincade collector’s plate, and was suddenly staring down at a pile of ceramic. Once a lovely painting of Christmas carolers on a sunset- washed hill, now it was nothing but slivers and shards of useless rock. I was so furious, I threw away the plate ‘holder’ that hadn’t.
Why had I been so careless? Why hadn’t I eaten some chocolate or written an article instead of dusting? Or put that housework book into practice and asked my husband to clean?
I’ve wondered many times if God has looked down upon the dozens of shards of my broken life. I had caused a pile of pain by things I did to myself, things I knew were stupid and foolish, . Now the picture He’d intended was ruined forever, worthless, good for only the trash can.
Or was it?
Enter God’s grace. That lovely quality of His Father’s heart that looks at a broken-beyond- repair life and says, “I still value you. I can do something with these pieces. Don’t let’s give up just yet.”
This is my favorite trait of God: His ability and willingness to redeem. Whatever mess we’ve made of ourselves, He is willing to kindly, painstakingly, lovingly fix. Even when there are too many pieces to fit together as in the original ‘painting,’ God will start fresh, exchanging our brokenness for His new life.
If you feel you’ve ruined your chance to ever be whole and lovely again, don’t despair. God will take your broken shards as a trade-in on a sweet new life. Just sweep them up and hand the pieces to Him. He knows how to fix you.
4 years ago