Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Hidden Gunk Within

So, it's been a while, but that's mainly because I have remained hard at work this summer, decluttering and cleaning stuff out of our house so we can LIVE freer!  Here are some before and after pictures of the baby's nursery, which was my latest project:

Before, the baby had been sleeping in this room for several weeks, but I could only walk from the door to the crib and just barely get to the diaper stacker and the dresser.  I couldn't reach the closet, and there was a twin bed by the window piled high with boxes of clothing and other items that needed to be dealt with.  I FINALLY, with perseverance spending 1/2 hour per day (sometimes longer) over the course of a few days, managed to get through all of it!  I rearranged the small nursery so that it is a "real" nursery now, not a guest room/storage room with a crib squeezed into it!  I moved the twin bed out into the main bedroom that all the children share, and moved some book shelves/cabinets from the big room into the nursery to hold books for the younger kids as well as a couple of cute boxes with some toys for the baby.  I even completely cleaned out the closet.  This is one of the only rooms in the house which has a closet.  It feels so good!  Now I am planning to decorate it a little bit so the room will be completely finished.  That will make me very happy!

This is what it looks like now: 

This is not  even half of the stuff I got out of that room:

My friend and I had a joint garage sale which, due to the remote rural location of our homes, didn't do so well, but I still made around $110!  I'm saving that for the baby's new bedding and decorations. 

I have also been working downstairs in the guest room/office to get rid of years of clutter and books I am no longer using or needing.  Soon I will be selling lots of Homeschool resources that I have never used or things I have used but no longer need.  That will free up lots of space in that room.  My ultimate goal is to have everything look tidy, even though I don't have closets or adequate storage in most of the house.  Because of the lack of closet space, I am just getting rid of stuff I might otherwise hold onto.  It's time!  I will post pictures of that room soon as well. 

I've been feeling pretty good about myself and my accomplishments, other than my lack of blogging activity--because I enjoy writing so much and have missed it.  Sadly, in the midst of all this "triumph," I was very recently brought back down to reality.  Our downstairs air-conditioning unit broke, and we had a repair man come out to look at and fix it.  After doing acrobatics to access our attic, where the unit is (due to the fact that we did not put in stairs to access our attic space-- simply have to use a ladder and climb on up), he climbed back down and said, "Well, the unit is really dirty" and that we should have it taken out, thoroughly cleaned, and then re-installed.  He said we just need to change our air filters more often due to the fact that we have animals in the house.  He made it sound like it was just dirty with animal hair and some dirt.  Well, then, after climbing back up and trying to remove the unit, he couldn't get the coil out because it was basically cemented in with dirt that had been sealed there with repeated freezing and thawing of the unit (which had been happening for a while and we didn't realize it).  He brought me a "little sampling" of what he scraped off the unit. 

Here is a picture:

What?!?  Yuck!!!  It was upon seeing this disgusting mass of dirt and grime which came out of the air in our home that I finally realized just what I'm really up against.  Yes, we live out in the country on a little farm with lots of chickens, donkeys, and goats.  When it's not muddy out here, it's dry and dusty.  We have a dog and two cats who live in the house.  Oh! And two bunnies as well.  We have 9 active children all living at home who are in and out of the doors all day long.  I guess it hit me that no matter how much I clean, deep down things are going to be really grimy and mucky anyway!  I do have a cleaning lady who helps me "deep clean" every week, but *really* deep down is dirt I don't even see.  I was a little discouraged thinking over this, but still motivated to get things decluttered and do the best I can to keep things tidy. 

However, all of this reminded me of my spiritual condition without Christ.  I can clean the surface and look all shiny and "perfect"from the outside, but deep inside I am just as dirty as can be.  Romans 3:10-18 says,
"As it is written,
'There is none righteous, not even one;
There is none who understands,
There is none who seeks for God;
All have turned aside, together they have become useless;
There is none who does good,
There is not even one.
Their throat is an open grave,
With their tongues they keep deceiving,
The poison of asps is under their lips;
Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness;
Their feet are swift to shed blood,
Destruction and misery are in their paths,
And the path of peace they have not known.
There is no fear of God before their eyes.'”

That is pretty dirty! 

Praise GOD that He says in Isaiah:
"'Come now, and let us reason together,'
Says the Lord,
'Though your sins are as scarlet,
They will be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They will be like wool.'"

Isaiah 1:18

I have so much hope in the fact that this is NOT the end of the road--this endless cycle of dirtying, then cleaning, then dirtying and cleaning again.  Our fallen world is so full of "vanity and striving after wind", as it says in Ecclesiastes 2:26.  I am so thankful that I can see with ETERNAL eyes, with my heart focused on the GLORY to come!  Otherwise, I guess it would be easy to feel depressed and defeated by things like extremely dirty air conditioning units.  Instead, I am truly filled with JOY!  But I do want you all to know that from now on, Todd and I are putting "clean air filters" on the calendar for every two weeks!!  :)

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