Gratitude Day 214 – Leaving the Mess Behind

Fri., Feb. 9, 2019

Matthew 23:26 – Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup so that the outside of the cup will be clean too.

When we leave on vacation, I’m just going to pull the door shut and leave my messy house behind.

But it will be oh, so hard.

Let me explain. I have an unwritten rule about vacations: don’t leave behind a messy house. I have stayed up until the wee hours of the morning to make sure the Christmas tree was down before leaving on vacation. And cleaned the bathrooms and made sure the laundry was done. The floors are spotless and nary a dish in the sink before I rolled my suitcase out of the house.

Why? Because after vacation, I LOVE coming home to a clean house. It doesn’t matter if we roll in town in the middle of the afternoon or the dead of night, I love the joy of walking into a house that is as beautifully clean as when we left. It’s one of those silly little things that makes my heart happy.

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I know this won’t happen with our current planned vacation. You see, we’ve been waiting for Tim to come finish sanding the last of the hardwood floors in our lovely 100+-year-old house. Fortunately for us, Tim can do the job while we are gone. The timing is great. We’re out of the house while the strong polyurethane settles into the floors for 24-hours. Tim will have the house aired out and ready for our return.

What’s not to love?

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Going against my desire to close and open the door to a messy house before and after vacation.

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Before heading to the airport, we’ll have the rooms cleaned out so Tim can tackle the floors. Right now, all the holiday decorations are currently in the dining room, along with a bed and dresser. The bedroom furniture from the new master suite is in our current bedroom. The stuff that’s been hanging out in the new walk-in closet? It’s piled in the unfinished master bathroom, where someday, there will be a beautiful new shower.

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Just this once, my unwritten rule will be broken.

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In the spirit of finally completing the new master bedroom, a little mess is required. Newly sanded and finished floors means broken vacation rules and leaving behind a mess that rarely makes me comfortable.

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Truthfully, sometimes don’t we put too much emphasis on the “outside” and forget that what is on the “inside” is more important? While something can look great and perfect on the outside, it rarely is.

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We can make everyone think our lives are so put together on the outside … when we’re drowning in self-guilt on the inside.

 

We can make-up our hair and our face and even try to have a fit-looking body when we know our insides feel like they are falling apart.

We may appear to have it all together financially, when the bank has a different opinion.

We may come across as confident and determined, when we’re only one step away from wondering why and how we got to this point.

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Lives have a tendency of being messy. No matter how “good” things may look on the outside, there is always some part on the “inside” that has a different opinion. Yes, my clean and organized house has spots that I don’t want anyone else to see.

The Pharisees were the local Jewish religious leaders of Jesus’ day. While it appeared on the outside that they had it together, Jesus had the rare ability to look inside their hearts and see otherwise. The jealousy, the piousness, the holier-than-thou attitudes. It made him sad. While the Pharisees were convinced their lives weren’t messy, Jesus knew otherwise. He called them out on it. He warned them to make sure their insides were as clean as they wanted everyone to assume their outsides were.

 

The Pharisees weren’t amused. In fact, they rolled their suitcases and dirty insides right on over to the Caiaphas, the high priest’s house and slyly plot a quiet way to arrest Jesus and have him killed.

Whew. What a response to making sure no one else discovers their outwardly attitudes and lives weren’t as pristine as they wanted everyone else to believe.

Honestly, I can live with a messy house. I will pull the door shut and walk away. What do I hope I am more careful about? Making sure all my time and energy are put into making my insides are cleaner than the outside. Ensuring my outside and my inside match. Not get caught up so much in the exterior that I neglect the interior.

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For being OK with messy houses and the messiness in my life, I am grateful.

Lord God – thank you for the lesson about learning how to focus more on the inside of our lives than the outside.   Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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