Unfinished work

Last month, I started cleaning our house. This may not be a revelatory experience for any of you, but for me, active, purposeful cleaning is new. I’m more of a clean-up-after-messes-or-when-company’s-coming-over kind of gal. But I finally got to the point where I felt like our living space was contributing negatively to my mood. I’m not talking Feng Shui or furniture arrangement or anything like that, but everywhere I looked I saw clutter, and it made me feel sad.

I think it started with the Christmas decorations. Once those came down, I simplified the area on top of our entertainment center. What used to be a place for random clutter now, almost, looks like decoration.

Because I can only work in short bursts — like when the children are napping and I’m not, or when they’re otherwise happily occupied for the 2 minutes a day that seems to happen — the house cleaning/organizing/simplifying is a gigantic work in progress.

But it’s progress nonetheless. I’ve been able to tackle several major eyesores — like this one.

Before:

Yeah, there’s a bookcase in there somewhere.

After:

We let the kids take it over.

Here’s an after picture of my dresser. I forgot to take a before, but just imagine stuff piled high, cascading down the side of the dresser, no view of the top of it.

And we even rearranged the kids’ bedroom to make more usable space. (We rent and aren’t allowed to put any more holes in the walls.)

While I feel like I’ve accomplished something, I wish I could finish more of what I start. A few days ago, I started clearing the upper shelf of the kids’ closet, and I haven’t been back since. Last month I started cleaning the bathroom closet. I got back to it two days ago.

I leave my unfinished mess all over the house, but at least it reminds me that I’m on my way to something better.

I could use that reminder in my spiritual life. I’ve felt a little “off” lately. Like I’m not as close to God as I want to be, not as much like Christ as maybe I should be. Or could be.

And I thought about this:

“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 1:6

I’m not done yet. God’s not done yet.

The mess is evidence of the work in progress.

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