Friday, June 10, 2011

31 Days to Clean... Day Four

You can find all previous "31 Days to Clean" posts here!

Day Four's lesson was about creating a home where people feel free to just relax and "put their feet up." My favorite thought of this lesson was: 
"Cleaning isn't just about scrubbing floors, making beds, and clearing out clutter (although those are good things), it's also about creating an environment that encourages people to feel welcomed [and] loved."
It also talked about how most people know what it feels like to enter a home that is just too perfect; a home that feels untouchable. I personally don't know if I've ever actually been in such a home, but I can certainly imagine that feeling. On the flip side,I have been in some homes in my life that were so dirty (I'm talking about filthy homes, not homes that are cluttered, or just haven't had a good cleaning lately. HUGE difference!) that it's impossible to feel comfortable. So I can imagine that homes on both ends of the spectrum could give visitors an uncomfortable feeling. A happy balance is definitely the key! 

However, I don't believe AT ALL that visitors can only be happy in a clean home. I don't think I'll ever forget the time that a man from our former church invited us over for lunch after church, completely on the spur of the moment. His wife didn't even realize that he had asked us until we were all leaving the parking lot to drive to their house, which was about three minutes away from the church. (Now, I can't say for sure what was said in that car during the three minute drive, but if she was upset, she deserves an award for the world's best actress, because NEVER did I sense an upset vibe from her at all.)

This was the first time we had ever visited their home. We got there, walked in the door, and... WOW! When I say that every inch of the living room and hallway was covered with toys and clothes and miscellaneous items, I'm not exaggerating at all. I know from personal experience that if anyone had walked into MY home while looking like that, I would have been mortified. And, in fact, I would probably have done whatever it took to keep anyone from coming in! But they led us into their house without batting an eye. The wife started pulling some individual serving size containers of leftovers out of the refrigerator and telling us of our options for lunch. And never once did she or her husband say a word about the state of their house. No "please excuse the mess" or "I have to warn you about how messy our house is"... no nothing! 

It was awesome. :) I can't really put it into words, but that experience really taught me a lot that day. I learned the value of putting hospitality and fellowship before your own pride...and I learned the importance of obeying God rather than fearing men. I also learned to have more of a "this too shall pass" attitude.  

Today's Mary Challenge:

Invite over a friend and allow them to "put their feet up." Don't worry about making everything just right; instead, enjoy their company.

Today's Martha Challenge - Kitchen:

Clean your oven and microwave. Try putting slices of lemon in a bowl of water and microwaving for 2-3 minutes; the steam will loosen up food particles. Don't forget to wash the exteriors!

1 comment:

Stacey said...

OK, I'm sure I could not have someone over and have things partially wrecked, in my mind, and not say, "Excuse the mess, but we've been....." That is something I will have to work on!
Thanks for sharing these posts----you are doing great answering these challanges!! Now, I would've read, but not fully thought about or answered these thought provoking questions. With you answering them, I consider the question more than thinking of a pat answer in my head and moving on.