Sunday, March 16, 2014

On putting your house in order

A year ago I complained--rather heavily--about the misinterpretation of the scripture that says to put your house in order.

Today was Ward Conference again, and the bishop asked us to think back on the year and how we put our houses in order. He asked if we had more gospel-centered artwork around our houses now.

I consciously turned my brain to what he was actually asking (not about art, but about if we pondered the scripture he felt inspired to make our ward theme, and what we did about it).  

I was quite relieved to discover that, after pondering the verse quite a lot last spring, I did work throughout the year to put our house in order.

And you know what? I have never, in my life, had a messier house.

How is that, you wonder, when I worked to put it in order?  Well, each day, each  minute, I tried very hard to choose the most important things to do, and do those first. I tried to focus on what the Spirit was telling me to do, what my children and husband needed, what the people around me needed, on using and developing my talents and helping my children do the same, on helping people to find light and joy in the lives they are in, whether chosen or not.  Of course, I wasn't perfect at choosing. But it seemed to me that the right order in life is to put God's work first, and focus on doing what He would do at any particular moment.

And that left me far, far too busy to clean the floors. Most days. Some days there was time left for that. Some days there was both time and energy for that. Sometimes even the best possible choice was to work on the house, and I got some important things done in that area. But I have fibro, and my energy is very limited, and, in making the best possible choices I could, the floor suffered more often than not.

I find that kind of ironic, that we were told to put our houses in order, told to ponder the scripture, and then everyone somehow expected the measure of success in that to be the emptiness of the floor and if you cluttered your walls with more pictures of Jesus or the temple. By that measure, I failed. Big time. Although my walls did get cluttered with more art--even some of it pictures of Jesus, but most of it drawn by my children (sometimes right on the wall). But I feel like I succeeded at putting my house in order and surviving what was arguably one of the hardest years of my life.

Makes me really, really glad that the Lord doesn't judge by the living room floor or the state of the kids' bathroom toilet, but that "the Lord looketh on the heart."

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