Friday, August 28, 2009

The Messy House: The Training House

Yesterday, these words rang in my heart and mind, "The messy house is a good training house." I asked myself, "I wonder how this really could be?" It seems that in most cases orderliness would be the best environment for training children." However, I seem to be noticing a flip side in this season for our family. Perfection and a militant way of running things is not always the best scenario in certain situations. And many times running a tight ship which is too tight can be more harmful than helpful.

You see, even if I tried I could not have a perfect and neat house at this time. I am off my feet most of the time. So in the midst of the mess, I am learning to rest in it and see God at work. It is not about my effort, but it is about His ability. And sometimes His ability is demonstrated in ways that we would not imagine for ourselves.

I have come to understand that God loves messes. If there were no mess,we would need no God. And if Jesus in the flesh happened to knock on my door today, I believe I would be at peace about inviting Him into my disheveled home. Why? Because there seems to be something special taking place here in my own heart as well as the hearts of my family members. Has there been resistance? Yes! Have they all had a happy heart about everything they have been told to do? Not always! And have I not squirmed and grumbled at times because things are not done to my standards? Well...I confess!

You see, the messy house is causing the muck within our hearts to surface. So if God loves the mess, then He is at work in the middle of it. What more could we ask? Don't we want to be changed and transformed into Christ likeness? If so,then many times we sit in our mess while He enters in and does a clean sweep!

As I watched my 8 and 9 year old working in the kitchen yesterday morning,I was sensing the pleasure of the Lord. They were functioning as a team to accomplish a task. One would unload the dishwasher while the other cleaned the table. Then they switched places as one loaded the dishwasher and the other swept the floor. Surprisingly, they were not fighting or complaining. Then my 8 year old lovingly came over and offered to help my 5 year old set up a computer game. Moments later he saw me up and bending over to find something in the cabinet. He said, "Mom, you should sit down, you should not be bending way over like that!"

The funny thing is, the kitchen was not perfect when they finished, but I knew they tried and that their hearts were happy about helping. This reminded me that God does not want our perfection, He wants our hearts. In being so thrilled to watch the children helping out with happy dispositions, it compelled me to reward them. So we had pizza delivered for lunch. They were so excited and grateful. And all of this simple living helped to me realize once again, that God is not impressed with our accomplishments, but that He rewards a happy heart.

My heart really is at home. And I am totally engaged here. God teaches us the greatest lessons in the seemingly least glamorous situations. And I am thankful because I know He is here helping us in our mess without judgement.

I cannot leave my little blogging nook without also sharing this question and thought. Why would God be so concerned and take so much care in what goes on within the hidden walls of our homes? Because He is interested in our hearts. We are the church. Church is not the building we attend, it thrives in the hidden heart and the walls of our own homes. If mercy and kindness cannot flow in the secret places, then how can we be the true church as we go out into the murky world?

We are not changed by the church we ensue. We are changed by the Holy Spirit who works in the underground soil of our hearts that is not on public display. And as we are trained in the midst of mess, the roots of Christ grow deeper in the places unseen by man and the world. The beautiful result is a towering tree that grows as tall as the roots grow deep. And the fruit that hangs from its branches brings life and sustenance to all who come near its shade and abundance.

So if you are in a messy situation no matter what the setting or state of the heart, take courage in knowing that there is a Person who is waiting to show up in the middle of it. He is not bothered by our messes. He is drawn to it. Yes He is holy, but in Him so are we. And we work together, live together, and take every opportunity to grow in His grace!



Karen said...

Oh wow! My house is very messy right now! Sometimes I get really discouraged. Thanks for the reminder that God wants to meet us even in our messes!


Our Blessed Savior said...

What a great post..right now we are in the transition period between packing and living where we currently are with 3 children ages 5 and down it's a little hectic, but I thank the Lord that he is working in the midst of this "chaos" and he is willingly blessing and teaching us. He is so faithful!!!!

Karen said...


I wanted to let you know that I gave you 2 blog awards on my blog. I really appreciate your friendship!