Any time I know I am having people over, I clean like a crazy lady the weekend before and yet, inevitably the day of the visit I suddenly clean and organize areas that I didn't even know existed. 😂 Drawers and cupboards. Nooks and crannys. And the more I start, the worse it gets.
My mind works like this:
1. The weekend before: do a thorough cleaning of the entire house 2. The day before: "hmmm, I better dust again, and mop.....and vacuum" 3. The day of: "what if someone is using the bathroom and gets a little curious? I better clean out all my bathroom drawers. What if someone wants a tour of the house? I better straighten all the closets. What if someone wants something out of the refrigerator or freezer? What if dirty windows is their pet peeve? What if someone spills a drink on themself, needs to wash it, wants to throw it in my dryer...I better make sure my laundry room is straightened too 😳Yes my mind works like that (I warned you I was a little crazy) 🙄
And then I have this conversation with my granddaughters (who are 5 and 3): "Grandma is having company tonight so we are going to be extra careful and neat today." 3 year old Clara nods her head as she's eating her breakfast, drops a piece of pancake, looks down and steps on it. She then looks at me and with her foot still mashing it, tries to push it under the table. In between breakfast and lunch the insect exterminators stop by. They spray every single window that was just washed and advise that I leave the spray on for at least 24 hours. My sparkling windows have more spots than a giraffe. Lunch time rolls around. Clara proudly holds up her plate of grilled cheese crusts and crumbs to show me how neat she left the table, lifts the entire plate above her head, loses her balance and then with eyes the size of saucers just stares at me as everything on the plate falls backward onto the floor that I just vacuumed.
If I am not careful, I can let all those little things get the best of me and ruin the joy I had (or wanted to have) in opening my home to others. In sitting and listening and fellowshipping and laughing. In enjoying. In sharing God's love with those who came to visit. It's in those moments leading up to the visit that God always teaches me something valuable. It's not about my house or my cleaning skills, my closets or drawers or freezer or even my laundry room. It's all about Him. No one has a perfect home but we can all have a perfect heart and the only way to achieve that isn't by trying to be a better person, a sinless person. It isn't by working harder and harder because we can never be good enough. We will always find one more thing wrong, just like I do with my home. We can only have that perfect heart through Christ and his gift of salvation. The gift of His very life that He gave for us. Sure we will mess up, just like my sweet little Clara. We will spill the crumbs of our messy life all over that perfectly cleaned heart but just like my love for Clara offers forgiveness to her precious little heart, Christ will continually love and continually keep our hearts clean for us because He knows we can't do it on our own.
So I laugh with Clara who tries so very hard and I hug her tight and then I thank my Savior for loving me so much that He keeps the windows of my heart free from the spots of my sin, and because of His Son, sees only a sparkling soul.