A few years back a friend and I had a long conversation about the differences between a princess and a daughter of God. Now I LOVE the book A Little Princess. I remember vividly reading it for the first time under the back part of my dad’s grand piano. The power of Sara Crew’s imagination and faith in her self inspired me. I think every little girls goes through a period of time in which she wonders if she is secretly adopted and her real parents are a king and queen somewhere.
I’m pretty sure I deal a little too much with bodily fluids to be properly categorized as a princess. From disney we learn that the point of princesshood is that if you do spend any time cleaning, just wait and marriage will FIX that. HAHAHAHA. pardon.
We don’t clean our houses so we can sit comfortably on our thrones surrounded by beauty. Now I like the feeling of a clean house. It is beautiful. It is safer for all involved. It does save time finding things and doing basically anything when everything is in it’s place. It makes it easier for my children to help and for others to help. It does increase creativity and learning to have a clean environment. These are all fabulous things. They aren’t why I clean.
I clean so I can be ready to serve…ready to do what God wants me to do. I believe that God has a mission for us. He has people we can help and things we should do. Reading the scriptures leads me to believe God will probably ask us to do hard things, possibly impossible looking things. How far would Noah have gotten if he kept having to ask “Does anyone know where my hammer is? I thought I put it on my desk with all this other stuff…where is that hammer? Did I leave the plans by the bed or did I take them with me?” Silly? yes, but true. Haven’t we all had opportunities to serve or help someone else in which our surroundings have made it difficult for us? Something as simple as a friend wanting to come by to talk, and we are distracted by the clutter around us. Instead of preparing mentally or spiritually for those coming into our home, considering how we can bless them, I tend to run around like a chicken with my head cut off.
God frequently asks those who don’t feel ready, but are willing. How many prophets have worried about their abilities? God wants us despite us. There is no lack of people needing help. There are definitely thing we need to do. How much better prepared to serve with our whole hearts if we aren’t bogged down by our homes. Our homes should be a place of rest and strength. A place where we can feel inspiration and hope. A rest from the world.
If our lives and our homes are clutter we might find ourselves “Caught in the thick of thin things”. http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?autoplay=true&index=1&locale=0&sourceId=d81be1b0b00b6210VgnVCM100000176f620a____&vgnextoid=bd163ca6e9aa3210VgnVCM1000003a94610aRCRD
Lesson number one reminds us that we can choose to serve with our whole hearts despite our circumstances and surroundings…but why not make it a little easier on ourselves? We have much to give. We have faith, we have all had many life experiences that give us unique insight and compassion. Lesson number One also reminds us of what a tragedy it would be if we cleaned our houses but not our hearts. What a tragedy it would be if we blessed our homes,but neglected to bless the world.
It’s nice for a princess to have a clean home, but it’s necessary for a daughter of God to be prepared to serve.
Give some thought today to why you clean and what God wants you to do.
*After I posted this a CS Lewis book kept coming into my mind…Screwtape Letters. At one point wormwood is remind screwtape that if a person must feel charitable and have a desire to help, try to focus it on people as far away as possible. Let them feel all sorts of love and compassion for those on the other side of the world, but for those closest to them encourage little annoyances. Especially in this internet world I feel prone to look at those who have real needs far away. It is possible that God wants me to do something for them. Yet it is equally important to cloth the naked and feed the hungry in my own home. One service may get more attention, but both care for God’s children. If we really feel that we’ll go where God wants me to go, that may include time sitting on the bathtub with a child, or into our very own laundry room.