Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Clean Up

"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me." ~ Psalm 51:10

Housework! It never really ends does it! You sweep, you vacuum, you wash floors, you wash dishes, wash the laundry, dry the laundry, fold the laundry, put away the laundry. And then, lo & behold, you have to do it all over again. I'm not complaining, just stating a fact. There is always housework to do!

Today I decided to wash my floors. Usually I use a microfibre mop head that I can throw in the wash when I'm done. But I wanted to mop quietly (no rinsing & repeating in the sink) so I decided to use a few of my disposable wet Swiffer cloths. Quick & convenient and throw them away when I'm done.

However... I HATE the smell of these! They are scented with Febreeze. Oh how I hate the smell of anything Febreezey. I have the exhaust fan running as I type this trying to suck the stink out of the house.

I have a bad 'Febreeze Memory' you see. Once, years ago, I had a rented suite in this gorgeous heritage house. Well, with old houses (and new) you can't always prevent a few critters from getting in. We knew there were mice rumored to be in the house but we tried to make sure there was nothing in their capabilities to get into. Alas, we still found them turning up. But one day, we smelled something awful... something DEAD and it was coming from the icky old stove. Nasty... I cook food on that thing.

We had to take it apart and could tell that they had spent some time hanging out in the insulation in the back. Yuck... but where was the smell coming from? Took the back cover off and found not one, but two dead stinky mice behind the electrical bits. Guess they got zapped when nibbling an electrical wire or something. GROSS!!

So, we cleaned it up the best we could, bought some Febreeze and sprayed the entire house. And then left all the windows open & went out so it could 'de-stink' while we were gone. But Febreeze mixed with dead mouse smell will forever be impressed on my memory banks and every time I think of or smell Febreeze I think of dead mouse smell. No, I won't be using those Febreeze smelling Swiffer mops any time soon. They do the job of course, but the smell & the memories it brings up is not pleasant.

All this to say that cleaning with Febreeze can compare to the necessary cleaning of our souls & hearts. Our hearts & souls can easily get blackened with sin & complacencies of every day lives & our habits. As with household chores, often it can be a lot easier to make the mess & ignore it than roll up your sleeves and clean it up. Likewise with sin.

Sometimes there is an easy pleasant way to clean things up & get back on track with God. A prayer to ask for forgiveness, a new outlook, a conviction to renew your 'steadfast spirit'. But other times its not that easy or pleasant. Perhaps in the process of cleaning up your heart you might happen to dredge up painful memories, or you have your sin piling up like laundry in front of you, unveiling the 'stink' that is truly is. It may be hard to let go, unpleasant to admit. And we may wish that we could just do it simply, a quick prayer & voila, I'm all cleaned up. But it really isn't that simple sometimes. You might have to push through the painful memories, the present 'stink' of your sin in order to be truly clean.

Laundry doesn't fold itself. Floors don't shine without a little help. Don't think you need to do it on your own either. There is good news! God will help you. If you want to change, renew, be cleaned, He is there to wash you off & put you back on your feet, if only you'll ask Him & be willing to let Him, even when its tough.

"Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow." ~Psalm 51:7


  1. Good word. And bad smell (I can't say as I would like dead mouse and fabreeze either).


  2. I have never tried febreeze myself so thx for the warning. I'm more for scented candles smells and I make my own pomanders from oranges and cloves.

    Cleaning IS neverending - good comparison to our sinful lives because we must always be "ontop of things" or in no time it's piled up and overwhelms.

    Good food for thought.

    His for your day. I'll call u today sometime.

  3. Okay, I love this post. I love your mouse story. I don't use febreeze much. Sometimes I will use the kind that is suppose to get rid of allgerns if company is coming. We have three cats. We have a problem with dust. Our house is all tile and hardwood floors. And the dust bunnies are awlful. Especially with the cats. Somtimes we sweep up enought dust bunnies to eqaul another cat! And as soon as we sweep there back again the next day it seems. I use sented candles mainly in my house and sented glade oil plug in's. I love the smell of Vanilla and lavendaer. My husband hates my glad plug in's. But oh well he really does not have a choice.