This post ties in a bit with my last post, “Listen, your Father is speaking.” It’s becoming more normal to hear God speak to me through everyday, ordinary objects, yet it keeps blowing my mind when it happens because to lots of people, it may not be normal. Years ago, believe it or not, I started to enjoy cleaning. I went from being the kid that pouted in the hallway one time (a moment I can clearly still visualize haha) because I was told to clean my room, to enjoying it and finding it rather therapeutic years later. From personal experience more recently, cleaning’s proven to me to also be spiritual – you might think I’m crazy after saying that and that’s a-ok! Hopefully after reading this, you’ll see what I mean 🙂
Lately our team’s had lots of financial income opportunities for ministry and to get the whole team to join on this year’s outreach (to Fiji & Australia) with the DTS. The men have been helping people in and around the community with lots of heavy labor stuff (dealing with heavy items, paving jobs, yard work, snow blowing, etc.), and us ladies have been cleaning people’s houses! Bathrooms have been my go-to because it keeps me occupied and I like cleaning them for some reason – there’s something satisfying about taking porcelain from grime to prime that feels so good! Cleaning rooms reminds me of a point from gardening about how God uses specific tools for different jobs (ex. vacuum/broom/mop for floors, Windex for windows, hot soapy water/dishwasher for dishes, toilet brush and/or rubber gloves for toilets, etc.). Lately during cleaning, it’s like I hear God the most when I clean toilets… ya, I know right?!?!
No matter how dirty or not they are, it’s like God whispers to my heart “This is how I am with everyone. It doesn’t matter how messy your past may be, what you look like, or how… crappy (sorry, couldn’t resist it :p) your situation is. I want to get into all the small corners, nooks and crannies, right into the mess and clean you up so you can be bran spankin’ new (grime to prime)!” This shows me how much He wants to be in relationship with us and be involved in every aspect of our lives. I love watching the gunk being wiped up like it was never there, even if it needed scrubbing. Some of us might have a hard time believing God loves us unconditionally because we think our past is too messy, therefore we’re looked down on, we think He thinks less of us, or we feel like our sins are unforgivable. Newsflash – we all sin, yet God still chooses to love us like a parent chooses to love their child even if they do wrong. We’re loved by God no matter what, even if not by others. I read “The Shack” a while ago and was reminded of what Papa says when Matt walks into the cottage and meets the 3 manifestations of the Trinity: Papa (God), Sarayu (Holy Spirit) and Jesus, “I am especially fond of you.” Need I say more?
Cleaning and nature seem to be main ways (so far) that I hear God. A fully grown tree outside has a trunk and branches with leaves. Tree trunks are deeply rooted in the ground and the roots are probably very spread out. In storms, heavy rain or wind, sure the trunk might get some battle scars, but it doesn’t move because it’s roots keep it grounded in one place; the more you know and understand what your beliefs, values, morals, etc. are, the harder it may be for others to make you sway your thoughts/opinions of those things. It doesn’t take much of a breeze for branches and leaves to blow about in the air; if you’re unsure where you stand in your beliefs, morals, etc., it can be easy to be swayed by others. I know I’m sometimes easily swayed. On the bright side, branches and leaves blowing about can teach us about “going where the wind takes you” or “going with the flow”.
There’s a big wooden fence separating our house (that my roommates and I live in) from our neighbors. I remember hearing an analogy during the DTS last year about how a yard fence is like the wall of our heart. A poorly built fence can be easy to break down or destroy. Watching or listening to something with inappropriate, destructive (non-life giving) or suggestive content or hanging out with the wrong crowd can violate the “eyes” of our hearts, which can be difficult (yet still possible) to heal. A properly built fence can’t be easily destroyed and keeps intruders from coming in and messing with the yards’ contents. We can protect the “eyes” of our hearts from “intruders” by making sure that the content we allow ourselves to see or hear is encouraging and life-giving and that we surround ourselves with the right people.
Well, as usual, this post turned out longer than I expected and I probably rabbit trailed a bit from my original idea (spirituality in cleaning), which is totally ok by me :p. I’m a deep thinker and like to be very detailed and thorough, which often causes me to over-analyze/overthink everything a lot! However, it also helps me think of what I can learn from my surroundings. My journey of hearing God is never ending as I’m constantly learning. I hope this post was encouraging in some way and serves as a testimony that God really can speak in and through anything! 😀 I’d love to hear any stories about how God’s spoken to you!! ‘Til next time, take care and God bless 🙂