Dustpan Phobia


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While talking to a friend yesterday at church, we realized that we were very similar in our house cleaning styles. There are little chores that I do on a daily basis like sweeping floors. We both declared this is a chore that we do on a daily basis. Just like my friend, we both have hardwood floors, and I even have hardwood floors in all my bedrooms. I feel as if I could sweep every few hours and accumulate a pile of gom! (If you don’t know what gom means, it’s a Hillbilly term for a “mess.” I use this term on a daily basis.) This gom usually consists of dirt, hairs, small parts that have fallen off my little boy’s hot wheels, dried up food, crumbs, pennies, etc. Long ago I gave up the high tech cleaning equipment and went back to an old fashioned broom! I was so excited to find out how similar my friend and I were concerning sweeping. I was starting to feel that I needed counseling about sweeping until I learned that she has the same quirks that I do.

When I sweep, all I can think about is when I’ll be finished and what comes next. Like dreading going to the dentist, I loath sweeping up the little piles of dirt into the dustpan!!! Oh my goodness… just talking about it is like nails on a chalkboard to my soul. This is my absolute least favorite part of cleaning my home. So, what is it about using the dustpan that is so bad!?! Is it the mere act of bending over, am I just tired after sweeping the entire house, or could it possibly be that I get frustrated because of the DREADED dustpan line?

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I will honestly sweep all the floors in the entire house and collect everything into one pile in the kitchen, then set the broom in front of the pile and lean it against the wall- the broom sort of helps protect the pile, so children can’t tramp through it. I would rather risk the gom getting scattered everywhere again than sweep it up into the dustpan! I am the type of person that will always go above and beyond, and I cannot go to bed until a project is finished, but not when it comes to using the dustpan. Can anyone empathize?

After having this conversation with my friend, I actually decided to do some simple research pertaining to my dustpan phobia. After feeling very silly researching, “I hate using the dustpan,” I found some very exciting news! There is actually a term for the dustpan line, it’s called FRUST. Isn’t that funny? It’s like Mr. Webster knew to combine the words dust and frustration! In the dictionary, frust is actually defined as the small line of debris that refuses to be swept onto the dust pan and keeps backing a person across the room until he finally decides to give up and sweep it under the rug. BAM! I think I figured it out. Trying to sweep the last line of dust into the pan frustrates me. So, sometimes I just decide to nonchalantly sweep that last line of dust into the thin air, pretending that I didn’t do it! It pains me to say this, but I have even swept the dust down into cracks in the floor and worst of all, I have swept it under a rug! Did I really think that by sweeping the dust under the rug was going to get rid of it?

As I thought more and more about my dustpan phobia, I realized how much this related to real life. It’s so funny how everyday tasks can compare to what we go through in life. Too many times, I have “swept things under the rug.” By sweeping things under the rug only means that the problem is going to arise again. Whether it is dirt, crumbs, anxiety, anger, bitterness, etc., God wants us to deal with the problem when it arises. He wants us to forgive the lady that cut us off on our way to work. He wants us to pray for the person that has been spreading rumors about us. He wants us to tell our husbands we are sorry for overreacting. He wants us to stop trying to deal with the anxiety on our own and call upon Him or maybe even see a doctor about medication- because that is ok. Our Father wants us to stop sweeping the troubles of life under the rug. He is here with us and ready to omit the frust from our lives. If we keep sweeping the problems of life under the rug, then one day we will not be able to find a dustpan large enough to sweep up the mess we’ve created!

Matthew 5:9 states, Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. Sweeping the messes of life under the rug may keep peace for a moment, but the problem will only arise again. I am choosing today to stop sweeping the frust under the rug and deal with it.

Now, if you will excuse me, I have a pile of gom in my kitchen that I need to sweep into my dustpan!

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