Finally, I cleaned up.
On Saturday, I resolved to clean up my house and life–maybe it was a lot to bite off on a weekend, but unsurprisingly, I didn’t quite accomplish my goal…
My room (and innards) looked and felt like this by Saturday night.
I lived in the squalor for a few days, then last night, alone in the house, I cleaned. As darkness fell and I finished my work, it hit me as I padded through my near-dark home (when you’re in the throes of cleaning, you hardly remember to turn lights on, and darkness is coming a lot earlier these days): I don’t want anyone to witness my cleaning-up.
Duke Girl rears her head again: always put together, always finished, always completed–never in process. Either I’m 100% a mess, or I’m 100% cleaned up. If everything’s a mess, it’s at least all-the-way-messed-up; there’s a comfort and pride in being as bad as something can get–at least it can’t get any worse! Being in the middle of something, the vulnerability of halfway done, is too tenuous, too unsteady to put up with myself, let alone someone–even my dear husband–witness. As I turned this thought over in my head (putting away the last of the errant nails, napkins, and rubber bands), I realized that all my biggest house/environment changes happen when I’m alone at home–usually when my husband is away on a trip. I know I won’t be interrupted, nothing will abort or prematurely present my efforts.
The theory took shape in my head, situations from my life affirming the truth that being in the middle of something was the absolute Worst Thing Ever to be caught doing. Here’s the thing: we’re all works in progress, all the time. None of us is ever finished–in one way. That’s the way we’re most usually attuned to–the never-quite-done, never-100%-put-together way.
Here’s the Good News!
…there’s another way to look at life, and it’s that all the Really Important Work is already done. It was done before we even came around. It was done before we got started. Because God already loves us and already sent Jesus to die for us and already overcame death and the grave! What a relief. If we will only (here’s the catch) find our identity in Jesus, put our stake in his foundation, then we don’t have to worry about falling open or being caught vulnerable, because Jesus is doing all the hard work for us.