A LITTLE CHAOS IS OK
I was beginning to wonder how it is that seven people could make such a mess. The laundry, the toys, the dirty dishes… the list is endless. Everything has a container, however the containers seem to be cleaner than the rooms, and I began to wonder why this was so.
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1
“…train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind.” Titus 2:4-5 NIV
YOUR HOUSE IS YOUR LABORATORY
When things are a mess, I can not be that hard on the family, or even myself, after all our house is our workshop. We have been in a constant state of vision, and dream, and work, and sometimes in this process, things can get out of control.
It is my hope today, that I would be able to encourage all of my student friends, the visionaries, the leaders, the home-school mothers and fathers, and the person who is working endless hours… that this season is only temporary. Please do not allow condemnation from the enemy to steal your joy, or to lie to you, that because your car/room/house is temporarily a mess you are a bad person. Chances are you are a busy person, perhaps a little too busy.
There exists a Japanese philosophy called “Kaizen”. Kaizen is a philosophy, that focuses upon continuous improvement of processes in manufacturing, engineering, supporting business processes, and management. It has converged over time to include all areas of life, and literally means “improvement” or “change for the better”. Through the philosophy, Japan has become a manufacturing powerhouse, and the country as a whole, has learned that when we focus daily on incremental improvements (a little change everyday) those changes add up and we eventually end up becoming a product of our many beneficial changes, like the dripping of water will eventually wear away at a rock.
It is very “American” to ‘tackle’ a problem and have to fix, cure, and replace it all at once. This is often what happens with me, I will get so lost in a project that the whole house comes undone, then I get to an “AKKKKK” point, and have to clean, scrub, and deodorize, until the mess has been eradicated. This process used to bother me, but I have begun to realize that it is getting better everyday, little by little, and my family is extremely creative and I wouldn’t trade that creativity for anything.
Think of the laboratories of Eddison, Einstein, Ford, Carver, Curie. How about any Carpenter shop, Bakery, Metal Workshop, Operating room during surgery? Consider places of employment, and think of how when one is working on a project things typically get used, played with, manipulated and cultivated. Most of us now live in our own private laboratories, and have so much going on in our personal and professional [and now side business’] lives that well, our houses have morphed from a place of relax and rest, to extended work zones. Why should we feel guilty about that?
I was at this point the other day, when I looked around the house and reality hit me. Jeff, my husband, is in training from 6pm-9pm every night of the week for a golf tournament, then comes home and reads endless amounts of material. My oldest son, Jeffrey, is busy creating and learning the process of making movies for school, and his future profession in film making. My younger son, Joseph, makes cookies and uses my kitchen to cook for the neighborhood, then he goes door to door to sell them weekly (he has regular customers). I am spending from 9pm-2am every night working on and finishing my first published manuscript. All of these activities happen within 1000sqft and in very specific time frames. Our house is our laboratory.
Long gone are the days when children went to school from 8am-3pm, and mother made all the meals, and cleaned the house while they were gone. Father would come home, and eat at the table, and they would give the children baths and the whole house would go to bed (at the same time). Then there were weekends when men and women had no cell-phones, no laptops, no responsibilities but to organize and maintain their homes. The reality is that the economy has changed, and we through our overspending and our debts, have put ourselves into a state of constant work. We have forced ourselves to be non-stop, and many of us have visions from God to do great things, and we have embraced them. Between our side jobs, businesses, double shifts, colleges, apprenticeships, writing, producing, visions… the list is endless.
My voice to you today is BREATHE! There is no condemnation! You are in the middle of a project, and that project will be over soon. Just don’t forget that these projects and visions that God have given us are gifts, and that we must continue to pray and seek out knew projects, as one comes to a close. This life is not a resting place, it is a testing place, and as we improve daily we are passing that test.
Will we ever catch up with the mess? Will we ever conquer all of the momentary clutter? Quite possibly yes. Someday I will have no children at all in the home, and I will have a clean house (minus my own inventions), but in those days I will have a dull and quiet house.
Or…I could have a house like my grandmothers, who has kept all of the toys and supplies for creativity for over the last 50 years. (seriously, boxes and boxes of them in the garage, and in the garden more room for exploration!) When my children go to Grandma’s house, the house looks like a bomb has EXPLODED, and the creativity that pours from the walls is immeasurable! Chalk drawings, Tootsie toys, paintings, blocks, and endless other items that inspire. Her house goes from organized to disorganized in less than 5 minutes! It is a discovery mecca… yes, I think I will want a house like that!
A prayer for today,
My prayer for you today, is that you would be encouraged to keep the creativity flowing and that the ideas and inventions would never cease to inspire you. That when the moment of inspiration hits you, your laboratory would be stocked with all of the supplies that you need in order to succeed. And oh, I also pray that your bank accounts would increase and double in size, so that you could afford to pay someone to help you in your chores… that will be great! Yes, and AMEN!
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