Sunday, December 11, 2016

Cleaning House, Clearing the Heart

"Ten kids huh?  You must be organized."   I get this sentence a lot.

I'm not sure who will stop laughing first, my parents, my in laws, my husband, my children, my extended family or my close friends.   I think my acquaintances on Facebook are laughing.

Okay, you guys can stop now.  Seriously.

"You have to be organized." the woman insisted.

No.  I am not.  Not on my best day.   I am someone who knows what to do, how to do it, why to do it, and somehow, never quite gets to everything.   It doesn't take much to derail my very best intentions or to do list.  Oh look, there's an email.  I love this song!  Anyone want to play a game of magic?  Hey Mom, can I make cookies?   (All of this happened within five minutes).  

Take for example, today.  Before mass, I groused about needing to reassert control over our home.  It felt like a disorganized array of sheer clutter.

At mass, the deacon gave the homily and talked about "What are our expectations of Heaven?  What are Heaven's expectations of us here?"  I had to wonder, was Heaven this chaotic mess of rooms with all kinds of stuff everywhere, but because you were in the Divine Presence, none of the little stuff bothered you?  Sort of like when you are joyful, the messiness of the house is invisible, and when you are not happy, it's all you can see?  Or was Heaven expecting me to learn how to clean the house joyfully, and be happy even when it wasn't clean?  

I admit, I wanted to get the house ready for Christmas, so we could put up the tree.  My husband and I began clearing out a room, but each room takes about two hours.  After two rooms, and yes they were working too,  we all needed a break.  The kids retreated to the basement to play video games.  Some went out shopping.  One went running.   My body said "Nap time." and two hours passed.   We watched some football.  I made a flyer and answered some emails.  To re-summon everyone back on task would require draconian type discipline. (Not quite the Christmas spirit).  

So we feasted, thanked everyone for their hard work, listened to Christmas music (Nutcracker Suite), and read Christmas stories.  It was better than being organized, because it wasn't something we could have planned.  This was a touch of the peace of Heaven, the beauty of time spent on each other.

We'd get to the tree, but not because the house was perfect, we'd get to the tree as part of perfecting our hearts.   In the meantime, I'd work on that Blessed Waiting part of Advent, and making room in the inn.  

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