My mother- in- law is the QUEEN of knowing exactly what color to buy for virtually anything. If it's a couch, coat, or floor…ask her what color to buy. Why, you ask? She's a cleaning lady. She knows what color won't show dirt. She's right every. stinkin'. time. We had a pretty intensely NASTY kitchen floor. It was sort of off-white linoleum with a few holes here and there. The back door gets more use than our toilet so there was always something "showing up." It was pretty defeating. I'd sweep it up, the kids would mess it up! It was this dance we did…only I didn't love it. So, 2 years ago when we decided that this was our house (before we changed our minds once, but now it's where we'll grow old…maybe) we got new countertops and a new floor. It's the perfect floor, except for the one awesome thing about it…it doesn't show dirt. I am somewhat deceived by the floor and was realizing this the other day when I was feeling confident and walking around in bare feet. BAD IDEA! I felt EVERYTHING. I swept the floor, but as I was sweeping up my pile I realized it's been a while since I have mopped. (Mostly because I like to keep exercises of futility to a minimum.) Not seeing the dirt doesn't mean it's not there…it just means it can be hidden.
My children are pretty great. My marriage is pretty sturdy. From the outside looking in…there's no real mess. That is not entirely the truth. I get mad when I don't get taken out like some sort of princess, my children don't clean up after themselves, they argue, complain, blame and pout. Sometimes I watch nighttime TV. This is just what I'm willing to admit. Sometimes when sin is aired, whether in a story or news or however, I shudder…because God has made it clear that flesh is flesh and no one is worse or better than someone else. My floor is filthy and God knows it. Praise His Name that He is the great pursuer. He is the great forgiver. My floor may be messy for a time…but there is nothing His blood cannot cleanse. Nothing.
This has been a weird season for me. I've been sort of irritated with the Lord, mostly a result of my own ungratefulness. I struggle to believe He'll do for me what He does for others. I'm thankful that His faithfulness doesn't depend on mine and I'm clinging to the Truth when my emotions lie. Perhaps it's a season of waiting. Of being rooted and grounded, but a little pruned. Like our yard.
For years we have sort of neglected our yard. I have thought (wrongly) that to spend money on flowers and such was frivolous, and instead allowed our house to look sad and unwelcoming. Over the the last 2 years we've started making a few changes. This week we added roses. They were at Aldi for $4.99 so I picked up 2 to keep our one little rose bush company. Our hydrangeas that we bought last year, mostly dead, are growing and thriving! Mike trimmed the bazookas off the gardenias and I am hoping that they will grow. Really hoping. They were so big that they weren't even really producing flowers anymore. I feel like my yard is a picture of hope. Little plants being watered and cultivated. We are expecting beauty to be the result of our labor. That's what I'm expecting in my heart, too. Beauty. That when the Lord would look on me, small and a little fragile, He would see the beauty that only comes from a heart that has been properly tended by the Master gardener.
How about you? Do you ever feel like your floor but look like your yard? If you do…take heart…you aren't alone.