I’m not quite sure when it started, but suddenly it began to snowball! Junk began to pile up in the office. A stack of papers here and a stack of papers there, little piles of receipts sitting beside bundles of dull pencils, pens from various hotels and organizations, cords, cords, and more cords (to what item in the house do they belong…hmmm…who knows), stacks of disorganized photos, left over Valentine’s Day cards, books, books, books, books, musical instruments, a lint brush, a curling iron, a snowman cookie jar, old curtains hanging on the closet door, broken knobs, buttons, and guitar picks, unused greeting cards, UNO cards sprinkled about, bags of film not yet developed (from a dozen years ago), files and bills and Christmas ornaments. Sigh. That’s just the office.
Maybe I’m too hard on myself, as I look around at mismatched bedding, windows with old, torn curtains, windows with old throws and blankets for curtains, windows with no curtains, laundry, dishes, fuzz rolling across the floor like tumble weeds, cracks in the plaster snarling back at me, gaps between the baseboards and floor, kittens tumbling under my feet, our dog covered in mud, our mommy cat sick and skinny as ever, and a stray cat all claiming the porch for their own spilling food, knocking over things, and climbing the screened door. Dried up grass clippings, clumps of dirt, and misplaced furniture on the porch make me feel a little less than as I skim through Cottage Living. I sink down, in to hot water and Epsom salt to reflect on all the domestic things I’m not doing and ponder on whether or not water is leaking through the crack in the bottom on the tub. It feels good to be home after a busy stretch of life where I can swear I actually saw myself going as I was coming home. In our room, the suit case still sits, open on the floor, clothes spilling out like a waterfall. I grab my favorite shirt that now has white paint spots on it that I couldn’t scrub out, and I look out of my window over the tiny, noisy window unit Jared installed because we don’t have central air upstairs and the heat can be suffocating in the summer, and I feel the cool air. I’m thankful for the little, ugly, unit I protested against. Last night, our bedroom was damp and we moved the dehumidifier upstairs. I slept to the hum of a window unit, dehumidifier, and the white noise from a baby monitor roaring through the night! I laugh thinking about all the gadgets. They’re not welcome in the neat, tidy world in my mind, but their appreciated in reality.
I look out the window and see the grass that has taken over the garden, a fence that is bent and rusty, weeds, and an old building that is crammed to the ceiling with who knows what that received only half a coat of paint last summer; so, it proudly displays two drastically different colors of red. I notice the purple door is jammed open because the weed eater, shovel, hoe, rake, and tiller are all creeping out the door. Where are they going, anyway? There’s a couple of piles of brush that need to be burned in yard, the trash needs to be taken out, my closets need to be cleaned out, AGAIN, and I still haven’t painted my old yellow bed or the green night stand in my daughter’s room to the clean, crisp, white my parents painted the other pieces of furniture about 5 years ago! Today, it is raining. I know the water is gushing out of the broken gutter on the front porch, and while all that needs to be done flashes in front of my eyes, the air conditioner kicks on in the hall closet downstairs and gives out a loud banging noise, for whatever reason, and then I hear the birds chirp from the brush piles. What a sweet song. What a hopeful sound. How happy they seem.
My brother-in-law, Adam, did our yard work last week while we were gone even though we didn’t ask him to; he’s thoughtful by nature. While trimming out some old dead branches, he found a little bird’s nest in the overgrowth in the corner of our fence. Four little blue and brown speckled eggs tucked neatly in a perfectly formed little nest with no gadgets, no clutter, no gutters, window air units, dehumidifiers, or cracked plaster walls. I remember the words, “I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free, His eye is on the Sparrow, and I know He watches me.” Amidst all the noise, the clutter, the hectic days of life, I’ll still sing because I’m happy, I’ll still sing because I’m free in Jesus, and because I am thankful for new beginnings every single day. This is the Best Day Ever. It’s the Best Day Ever because I had a moment of clarity that reminded me to focus, and to be present in Christ. It’s the Best Day Ever because I know that no matter what, my soul and my heart are free. Today, I begin anew, again. Tomorrow, I will begin anew and the next day and the next day. Every single day, I will begin anew. I’m not perfect, and I don’t have to be perfect. Lamentations 3:22-23 says, “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” My hope is in God, and I trust Him with all my heart. Won’t you trust Him, too..? He cares for you and your messy life. I promise that if you give your heart to Him, things won’t be perfect, but your heart will feel whole and new, and that’s a perfect feeling.