When I was five, the show Bewitched debuted on TV. I remember begging my mother to let me stay up to watch it. It was on at 7 pm, which was also my bedtime. I did not get to stay up and watch it. However, it was on TV for many years, and eventually, I did get to watch that show. The thing that I liked best about the show, was how the main character, Samantha would wriggle her nose, and all her cleaning chores would be done—brooms would sweep the floor by themselves, and dishes would be washed—oh how I wished I could do the same thing!!
It also reminded me of Snow White—when all the animals came to help and clean, and the dwarves’ dirty cottage was transformed into a gleaming, clean, organized home.
That was the goal of my mother, and many women of her generation– to have a gleaming, clean and organized home. A goal that was attained day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year.
I have to say right now—I love a clean, gleaming, organized home; however, I can count on my hands and toes, the times my home has been clean, gleaming and organized all at the same time.
My mother and mother-in-law make it look so easy, but I know it takes consistency, a plan, and habits.
When I was first married, I realized that I had none of those things—so I came up with a plan. I made a list of everything that needed to be done in the house, how much time I thought each task would take, and assigned a day to each task. I was determined to get some habits in place before I had children.
I succeeded in my goals: the little house we were renting was immaculate—something our landlady noted when she came to visit.
Then we moved—into the Residence Hall, (my husband was the Director of Housing at a local college where we both worked), and I got pregnant. Every day, I would run into the apartment and into the bathroom to get sick. Every single day of my pregnancy. I remember sitting in the apartment with my husband, when the President of the college showed up at our door, with a group of people, to show off the newly remodeled Resident Director’s Apartment, and the apartment was a disaster. Every time, I moved in this apartment—I got sick, and so I stopped moving and just sat with a kerchief over my nose to block out newly remodeled smells that were assaulting my senses. Needless to say—I still cringe at the memory of that occasion and wish I had had more gumption to make my apartment the clean, gleaming organized place, I longed for it to be.
And that sums up– how much of my mental life has been lived—I have a goal and a standard, I may reach that goal and standard for a while, but eventually I fail—sometimes to my great embarrassment–I fail. Then when I remember my failure—I beat myself up, and tell myself, “you should have, could have done better.”
I am believing lies.
Lie number 1: If you want to be significant, you must achieve (fill in the blank). Everyone’s fill in will be different—it could be having a great job or position at a job—it could be having a clean house, or well-behaved children, etc. etc.
2. If you want to be loved: you must be perfect. (You must perform your job perfectly, or be the perfect wife and mother, friend, or all of the above.)
3. If you want to belong: you must be worthy. To be worthy you must have position, power and possessions.
1. The truth is: I am significant because I belong to Jesus. In fact, I have been adopted into the family of God. (John 1:12: But to as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His Name.)
2. The truth is: I am loved by Jesus, which means I am loved, I belong, I am significant in His love. (Galatians 2:20b: The life which I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.)
3. The truth is: Jesus has made me worthy and all who belong to Him worthy. ( 1 Peter 2:9a tells us: But you are a chosen Race, a Royal Priesthood, a Holy Nation, a People for God’s own possession….)
When I believe these truths, I can be open about my failings and shortcomings, because I am already loved. I already belong. I have been made worthy.
When I believe these truths, I don’t have to look any farther than Jesus for my significance. I can look at everything I do through His eyes—and I am motivated by His love to trust and obey Him.
So instead of wanting to rush through the process of life and cleaning—I can savor the process of life and even the process of cleaning. I can ask God to be a part of each moment—even cleaning can become an act of worship!
God is with us, each and every moment. He loves us, we are significant in Him, and we belong to Him!!
So Be Encouraged!!