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Elbow Grease

So I looked in my refrigerator last night as I tossed in two packages of lunch meat and a gallon of milk from my quick trip to Target. I noticed that it was.....well....completely disgusting in there. There were Crystal Light spatters, containers of what I think appear to be left-overs (that fuzzy stuff was blocking my view) and a cucumber that now resembles a piece of beef jerky. There were random eggs rolling around in one of the door compartments. I use the word "were" as those eggs ended up smashed on my equally dirty/sticky floor.

Now before you X outta here and think I am a total slob.....I need to explain. I have never claimed to be Martha Stewart, but I do keep a decent clean house under normal circumstances. Right now it is NOT normal circumstances.....

......we are in the dreaded construction zone.

And we were brilliant to start this construction zone project pretty much the day after Christmas. So not only does the construction zone include our storage area for everything......we also need to have a new storage area to put all the junk from the place we are reconstructing. So we need a storage area for our storage. So this new storage area pretty much is any open floor space we can find. So yeah, I have mattresses and table saws at the bottom of our stairs (because...now that I think about it...... if you fall down the stairs and land on the saw, at least you will bleed to death in comfort). I have a multitude of Rubbermaid containers stacked in the corner of my living room. Some contain tangled Christmas lights, one has about three thousand photos that I do plan on putting in albums before I turn 90 and another has random baby items that I just cannot get rid of and will probably still have when I turn 90(yeah, that's a whole 'nother issue)

There are nine rolls of wrapping paper that I scored at the after Christmas sales. I really need to find a place to store them because not only are they rolling all over the place......they are often being used as fencing swords and weapons. Three have pretty much been rendered useless with all the dents and dingers, but in my defense....Hunter was wide open and I couldn't resist the great shot.

Here's more to the visual for you....(and then you actually have some pity on me because with my ADD and lack of organizing skills to begin with.....I think I might be ordering that straight jacket soon enough). Our dishwasher is broke . On a side note, I'd like to thank Kenmore for making an appliance that will die exactly one month after the warranty expires. I'd also like to thank that repair man for charging us $75 to tell us he can't find out what is the problem and to just turn up our water heater and do a vinegar rinse. Thanks! So there is a perpetual mountain of dishes both in the sink and drying on the counter.

There is an assortment of sheet-rock dust footprints that make a fabulous design on our entire upstairs. They range from "dainty little girlie" size to "Herman Munster" size 14 to softball size paw prints. Funny how they all lead to the refrigerator.

Oh yeah, back to my fridge.....I guess I can't necessarily blame construction on it being gross....I guess it's just that between the daily trips to Lowes, the erratic schedule of Gunner's basketball, getting the barns in order for baby goats in about 8 weeks and getting back into the swing of homeschooling.....I haven't been tending to my house like I should.

So the point is.....if you have ever done construction in your home, you can surely relate to the upside down feeling that comes with it. You also know that during this project, other areas in your home do not get the proper attention and will need some deep elbow grease style cleaning when it's all over.

I am kinda seeing my spiritual life is running parallel in these two ways. But the funny thing is, these two ways are actually nonparallel.

So the first way is that even though our schedule (or lack of) has been thrown to the wind......I have stayed committed to my Proverbs 31 Day Challenge. I have missed a day here and there, but I make sure I double up and give God my first fruits of that day.

It's hard to explain but I really feel that God is opening up new doors/areas in my heart as I read chapter to chapter. Sometimes I feel so convicted as I read all the things I do/have done and how we are warned of the danger that follows these actions/thoughts. Other times I am brought to a place of comfort when I feel reassured of God's grace and mercy for turning it around and doing the right thing. I love the inspiration of knowing that as long as we stay on His path.....we will succeed in life. (which is another thing I want to discuss soon enough....the definition of success)

Now going in the total opposite direction......upon opening my fridge last night, it occurred to me that although we have been focusing all of our efforts into this improvement of our home....our existing home is suffering. This can be applied to my spiritual home, I have been digging deep in Proverbs and sharing what is being revealed to me with my kids....I very well might be leaving other areas in my spiritual home unattended. I mean, it's great to start my day in His Word.....but I need to keep It and apply It throughout my day until I lay my head down.

You see....I am easily distracted and it doesn't take much to pull my focus off. (if you've visited me more than two times, this is obvious)

I can and do have good intentions as I start out my day with Him.....but then.....well, life gets in the way. All it takes is one incident or phone call and I am off track on fall onto that slippery slope of sin. And that is all the enemy needs....that one moment of distraction to slip in.
**to give you an example of distraction, as I am typing, I just noticed a cobweb out of the corner of my eye that is in the shape of the letter Y (which actually means ALOT to me.....something Jennifer at Getting Down with Jesus shared that I have never forgotten....a must read!).

So today.....I am getting my "Mr. Clean" on and doing that spiritual deep cleaning. I need to disinfect that area of pride and remember that sometimes it is better to be kind, rather than be right. That corner of stubbornness needs some serious scrubbing and that shelf of forgiving myself needs be sprayed down and wiped clean. Those nasty containers of left-overs and past hurts, some I can barely recognize anymore from all the crud that has layered over them....need to be tossed.

So excuse me.....I must get to putting on that Hazmat suit and use that extra elbow grease in that fridge of mine. I will admit that I am a little fearful of what I might find in there....and know this will be quite the task. But I also know it is much needed and will be well worth it.

.....oh, and one last thing. If you ever wanted to know.....a tomato does liquefy over time. neat.



Bill (cycleguy) said...

Michelle: love you writing. You say you are ADD? That explains it! jk. As I was reading it I started thinking: you know, there is something to be said for "lived in" houses. My wife was not neat-nick by any stretch but we always wanted our house to look lived in. We wanted anyone who came to visit to feel welcome and to be at home. I always figured that if people didn't like the way things were they could either offer to help, be quiet or not show up. There are much more important things to worry about (kids, homeschooling,etc) than having a spic-and-span house. My spiritual life gets clogged up too. Sometimes it looks lived in and a little rough. But love that Mr. Clean feeling when it is made right and the invited Guest feels at home.

Deborah Ann said...

I'm sorry, but I'm not getting a clear picture of the state of your fridge. I mean, your words are slightly helpful in describing the degradation, but I think Kodak would do more justice to the situation. What say ye, maiden of the household? Do I see flashing lights in your future?

~*Michelle*~ said...

Bill, funny you mention lived in....I've always said that if you are coming to visit "us"....show up anytime! If you are coming to visit our house, you better call ahead and make an appointment!

I like to think that our home is comfortable....the permanent marker on our coffee truck lets you know it is OK to kick your feet up....try reaching in our couch and you might pull up a snack. LOL

Thanks for popping by!

Deb....I'll snap a photo but it might be February before I can find the the cord in this disaster to download it and show you.

Kristina P. said...

I love this. YOu find metaphors in the most simple situations, and I need to look for them.

Andrea said...

Oh my...I am stuck on the sheet rock dust..I hate that stuff! BTW: I can not keep up with my refrigerator. I think there are gremlins invading it and making a mess while I sleep. No matter how much I clean, I still find yuck in there.
Hugs, prayers, and love,

PS: Thanks for being such a great friend!! I am thankful GOD brought you into my life.

Joyce said...

I too am loving Proverbs. It is just jam packed and I feel like in these last few chapters especially I need to read and re-read and repeat every verse.

Good luck with your 'improvement projects' : ) You are a wonderful writer!

Bina said...

Dang it all, Michelle.

I was reading along, laughing and smiling (as usual for me when I am here at your place)...you started about God and I still could smile and think "ah...doesn't pertain to me right now...nice" and then you said it:
"although we have been focusing all of our efforts into this improvement of our home....our existing home is suffering."
Like a bullet between the eyes - you got me.
*sigh* Lesson learned. God even hears pride on the blog.

:) I love you, girlie.
(..yes, this was my way of saying Great Post in a totally and completely uniqui-fied way...)

Michelle said...

Great post!

I need to clean out my spiritual home, too. Right now mine seems like an old abandoned house with lots of boxes of books packed away and stacked high. They have dust on them. The rooms are dark and the cobwebs can be seen from the light that shines through the window.

Mary said...

You make me laugh and smile Michelle. Love you

Faith Imagined said...

I hate having disarray in my house! We went through this a few months back when we had tile put in and cabinets made. Ugh!!! I like how you compared it to our spiritual walk and how much important is that?!

Another insightful and motivating post!!!

-Alisa Hope

Kim said...

I love this!

However, I am with Deborah Ann...I think we need pictures. You know what they say about them being worth a 1000 words.....

I love your humanness and oh yeah, you are alright too! ;)

Great post!

Beth E. said...

Sounds as if God's doing some spiritual construction in your life too, huh? Great post! Oh, and thanks for the info about tomatoes....I always wondered about that! ;-)

RCUBEs said...

Love Proverbs, too! Great post and analogy. That tomato? Yup...becomes a sauce then to a paste :) Blessings.

Corinne said...

This made me feel so much less alone in my clutter... and we're not even doing construction or anything else other than living with the demolition that comes with toddlers ;)
Thank you!

Mich said...

What?!! No photos?!!! Girl, I am so glad to know I am not the only one who has a sink full of dirty dishes and a stack of "stuff" somewhere rather than where it should be. And I don't even have a remodeling excuse!!! All in the day and life of this mom, or so I say.

Hope the remodel runs quickly and smoothly.

Denise said...

Enjoy your blog so much sweetie.

Karen said...

I wish my roommates would keep their part of the fridge clean. As for my spiritual self...I have no one else to blame.

This is an eye-opening post, my friend. Thank you for it!

Alicia said...

Once again, Michelle, your post totally spoke to me! Especially the part about it's better to be kind that to be right. Ugh..it all boils down to pride!!

I loved this post!

christy rose said...

I have found those liquefied tomatoes in my fridge before too and I don't think that my house was under any kind of construction. I did not even have that excuse. Just plain neglect that's all! But, like you said it probably showed that same neglect in my spiritual life as well. I think I am going to go take a real good look at my refrigerator right now! :)

Bridget Chumbley said...

Okay... after reading the comment you left me and then reading this post... I'm more convinced than ever!

I noticed the similarities, but the gap is starting to narrow more & more. :)

I just bought a Mr. Clean Eraser... wish it could get rid of some of the spiritual 'gunk'... wouldn't that be nice?

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

wow. you are totally living in my house. That is so comforting. Well, we are a BIT better now that we are at the tail end, but it is not pretty!

cindyhan111 said...

you crack me up!

Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus said...

Oh Michelle. ... There's so much here to think about -- and to laugh about. :-)

You're pure sunshine, girl. I love your spark and your spirit. And, my dear, I'm touched deeply that you would think of me and of the Y in Yahweh when you saw what you saw.

I send you my love.

wife.mom.nurse said...

I just love you! I love your perspective on life and God.

I can alway relate to what you share :)

Just think, one day, hopefully not too long from now, your renovation will be complete...both in your home and spiritually. It will be worth the work :)

Tracy said...

Always relate to what you have to say.

I'm not too good at keeping a tidy 'fridge either; fortunately it's one of my husband's gifts so he keeps up with it (although since it's important to him he's puzzled that I ever let it get bad). I'm with you and Bill(cycleguy), I want people to feel comfortable in my home and welcome - if I'm constantly concerned about keeping it perfect, they won't be welcome.

Appreciate your comments about cleaning your spiritual house. I always start the day right but then sometimes veer greatly throughout the day as well.


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