Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Epiphany Over Dishes



Lately I have been a little obsessed with ORDER. It is something I have been working my tail off to achieve in my home. Chaos is completely overrated and I really don't like it. So ORDER has become my goal. And I have made some big strides, thrown out a lot of stuff and helped the kids learn how to do more around the house. And it has made a difference, a very big difference in how things are around here.

Then, we have those busy weeks, and things start to get a little chaotic again.

My feathers get ruffled and I want to get back to our not perfect, but comfortable status that I have been enjoying. Today was that day where I set out to get the Halloween chaos out and ORDER back into our home. I was deteremined to get every room back into it's preferred company-ready status. Even getting to every last dish in the kitchen.

That's when it happened. I was getting stuff done and then I wondered to myself if I was so motivated because there was some specific need to get my house company-ready. Was there going to be something tragic occur that would bring people into our home to visit and console? Was I being motivated for a reason?

That might seem like quite an absurd assumption, but, trust me, it didn't just come from out of the blue. It has happened before and today I realized that I have been harboring that "concern" for quite some time. And, what's more, I had no idea I was harboring any such concern. Let me explain, when I was fourteen my parents went on vacation with some friends, leaving me in the care of my older brother and sister. My dad had been ill for many years, so it really wasn't a big shock when my mom called from a hospital in Spokane, Washington telling us that Dad's kidney had failed and he would be undergoing some surgery ... this had happened before. I figured he would be up there for several days, until he was strong enough to travel back home.

However, that next day I felt the need to get our home spic and span. I felt motivated to make sure everything was as it should be, floors mopped, carpets vacuumed, kitchen cleaned down to the very last dish. Remember, this home had been under the direction of my 21-year-old brother for over a week by then. I worked hard all day and things were good. I didn't even think about why I was doing it, it just felt like something I should do, so I did.

I have since realized that that was a beautiful gift from God. It was His way of helping me be prepared for what would happen. That very afternoon my Mom arrived home without my Dad. He had died that morning and she didn't want to tell us over the phone. So, she took care of everything and got on the first plane home. As soon as she walked in the door, I think I knew in my heart what had happened, it was a moment I don't think I will ever forget.

And very soon, family and friends were coming to our home, offering love and condolence, crying and remembering with us. And my Mom didn't have to worry about dirty dishes or spills on the floor.

And I never really thought much about that morning I spent cleaning every square inch of our home. Until today.

So I guess, in my own little strange, subconcious way, I have had a fear of cleaning my home until now. Let me clarify, I would clean my house, but I never seemed to want to get the ENTIRE house in shape unless I had a darn good reason already in the works (like having company over). Just having it presentable for no specific event, well, I guess I have just been equating that with tragedy.

Anyhow, I am very grateful for getting that little insight today. Perhaps being aware of this long-hidden concern will help me to overcome it and keep going strong in my domestic desires.

And Mom, if you are reading this, maybe it will explain a lot, it sure did to me! I learned how to do all of what I need to do from your example, I've known all along,  ... so, thank you!


12 comments:

Momza said...

Very sweet post...but I really love the song playing. I miss Luther Vandross. Beautiful song, thanks for playing it.
~Momza

Momza said...

I meant to write, AND I really love the song...it says so much about our love for the fathers in our lives. Their legacy is US.

Deb F said...

Jen, I never knew that, seriously never knew you cleaned the house. That day was so different for me, and I will always remember it as well. Thanks for sharing.

jenjermad said...

Wow! Thanks for the tears this morning:) You are so great. Hope you have a great day.

Lara said...

Wow. That is an amazing story...made me cry. I love how the Spirt works on us in our lives.

And I love the insight that you came up with to explain things about how you've dealt with cleaning in the past. I bet there's a lot of those types of epiphanies lurking in my subconscious, and if I actually figured them out I could be so much better!

K said...

What a great post. Isn't it amazing how many things we do and don't understand the reasoning behind until years later when we've been able to grow and gain insight. That's what life is all about, progression.

Judi & Jerry said...

I found the entire poem! Who loves the rain, And loves his home, And looks on life with quiet eyes, Him will I follow through the storm, And at his hearth-fire keep me warm; Nor hell nor heaven shall that soul surprise Who loves the rain, And loves his home, And looks on life with quiet eyes. Sylva Shaw Judson
You have always loved the Savior and He has always loved you, just as I do and just as your Father does. Love Mom

Judi & Jerry said...

I just realized that my first blog didn't go through. I never knew you had cleaned the house, but I was grateful for it being clean when I got home. The poem refers to "rain" Elder Garff in our meeting last night quoted the poem and referenced the word rain with our trials and tribulations in life. We learn so much through our sorrows. Thank you for sharing that. I know it was not an easy day, but we were so blessed to be caretakers for such a good man. Love Mom

Tia Langston said...

Thanks Jenny. :o)

Fresh Mommy said...

I never would have thought that way either, and what a thing to go through that way. There is such a big part of me that's obsessed with order and cleanliness, and I always love to have my home company ready, lately it's been getting harder to keep up, as the pregnancy gets farther along... but I'm still working at it. I think I've always been that way though, sometimes it's just built in.

Jenny said...

I have been battling my dirty home. Working and keeping up our home is hard to do. I want it all the be perfect. Recently I have begun to ask for help from my family. Clutter really annoys me, yet it is here. One day at a time is what I tell my self.

so glad you shared this experience, it really has me reflecting right now.

linsey said...

that is beautiful, jenny! i wish i had a good reason i hate to clean! love you!