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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

So Dirty the Maid Quit

A friend recently emailed me her thoughts on living a life of thanksgiving. It was insightful and made me think about my life. She wanted her friends to not only thank God for the good things but to thank God specifically for the detail in things. He is a God who cares. About every single tiny detail of our lives...He cares. When you practice thanking Him in this way, you can't help but see the evidence of His nature.
The Lord has had me here. But, to the next level. That is, thanking Him when things don't seem to warrant thanksgiving. It all started on this day a few months ago...

Our fall was busy, busy, busy! My wonderful hubby finally noticed that if I wasn't at home than in a few weeks our house would look as if it would fall down on top of the stacks of clothes, dirty dishes and paper airplanes. We did what any busy and bothered people would do. We hired a maid.

She came. She cleaned. She charged an outrageous amount of money to do all the things I would do for free if I had the time. But I paid the check and enjoyed the smell of Lysol every other week. Until the end of football season. Football in Texas is crazy and hard core. It's every day for hours on end. My son wanted me there. The girls played soccer and softball. We were every where with this athletic schedule. Exhausted. Worn out. Looking forward to the smell of Lysol every other week.

One day during this chaotic season, our maid quit. She just left me a note telling me she couldn't clean my house because it was too dirty.

First of all, reread that sentence again and find the irony in it. I actually thought I was paying her to clean our house. I knew I needed help so that's why I called her.

Second of all, it made me feel like a slob and a failure. In a deeply profound way. Seriously, what kind of wife would do that to her husband and what mother would do that to her children? You know, make them live in the filth of our life...

Now that you've all earned it, have a good laugh at my expense.

I pouted and sulked and cleaned all night long every night like a madwoman for a few weeks. One night when I was pushing the broom, God spoke to me. He whispered some precious words to my heart. "Never stop thanking me for this."

I replied with a shaky, "Okay?"

As I began to thank God, He began to show me things about myself and my home that needed to change. My priorities had gotten a little skewed. That's when I began to put the chores out of mind knowing that if I just listened to God and kept my eyes on him the house wouldn't seem so bad and I'd have more time for the people who needed me the most.

Then I began calling around to price other maid services. Almost all of them were half the price of what I was paying and did more work. Some even do windows. I was greatly encouraged and have not stopped giving thanks to God for the day my maid quit.

A maid quitting may seem insignificant compared to those who are suffering with cancer and other diseases or being persecuted in a foreign country for being a believer. I actually heard a man on Focus on the Family giving his testimony about his battle with cancer. He said God had been so near to him during his illness and revealed parts of his character to him that he'd never seen before that he now calls cancer his friend. Oh, he said he battles it on a daily basis, fighting for his life and fighting to beat the cancer but that he wouldn't trade what God has taught him through cancer for anything in the world including his health.

As evidenced in Job, God allows dark times to come into our lives because light can be seen much more brightly in the darkness.

In Job 28 Job is talking of uncovering hidden and valuable treasures that are found underground..."They uncover precious stones...and bring light to the hidden treasures." Job 28:10-11

With this in mind, the treasures found in darkness, the treasures nobody has seen before, are the most precious. Even though the enemy means darkness to destroy our faith in God. God uses it to reveal himself to those who seek him.
If you know the end of Job (I just can't help jumping ahead!) you know that Job says, "I have only heard about you before, but now I have seen you with my own eyes." Funny thing, it was living in darkness that gave Job new eyes.

Let us thank God daily, even on the days the maid quit! Let us thank him at all times.


Joyful said...

Ah...it's hard to rejoice always...but so thankful for the journey the Lord took you on to reveal more of Himself to you.

Thanks for this wonderful reminder. Embracing an attitude of gratitude!
Love & prayers,

Lora said...

What a sweet friend you have to encourage you about a life of thanksgiving. Last February, I was encouraged to start a gratitude journal, and Lisa, it has really transformed my perspective. I'm noticing more and more that everything (even the maid quitting) is from Him and goes on the list.


Kathryn, Michael and Alex said...

He is in all things, everywhere, working for our good. I love it when we find Him sweeping the floor because the maid quit.

Thank you for sharing!!

Love you.

Melanie said...

I have "seen" God with new eyes since January 1, 2009.
In fact, I Attest to it.
This was beautifully written, Lisa.

Linda - Nickers and Ink said...

Great spiritual allegory.

What a comfort that our gracious God will never quit on us . . . no matter how dirty we may be.


HEART OF A READY WRITER – Reading Through the Bible in 2009

Laura said...


I used to have someone come to help me clean. Then it got to be too much to clean before she came to clean! Is that crazy?? My house is not the neatest or most organized, but I have come full circle in my expectations. I know the day will come when the only messes I have to clean are the ones I make myself. What a sad and lonely day that will be!

It still gets to me once in a while, but usually I'm pretty good about seeing the bigger picture nowadays.

I need to remember to thank Him more, though. You are so right. Can never do that enough.

Thanks, friend!


Tiffany said...

I LOVE your blogs! Always so insightful! I can't wait to have a crazy family of my own to clean up after...even thought its just josh and I and I still don't get my cleaning done! But you help us to see the bigger picture! Thanks cous!

B His Girl said...

I'm sorry, I did laugh at what the maid said but I didn't think of it as reflecting on you, just a busy life. If I slack off slightly, my house turns into a mess quickly. I have a friend who used to clean before the maid came?? If you are ever needing a 'now'word, I would pick up my broom and sing. b