It was getting whiter and whiter the harder I scrubbed. Too many months had past with only teenagers cleaning their bathroom. The soap scum had created a new color scheme on the tile, the dirt in the corners were ready to sprout weeds and I had finally had enough.
I had already had a really busy day last Friday. I had two speaking events that I was preparing for, kids in carpool, supper to prepare and yet I couldn’t pass by that bathroom one more time. I was compelled to deal with it. Problem: It was 4:30 p.m. on Friday night and this was not going to be a quick fix. Not quite the right time to start a project like that one. Yet, I didn’t listen to reason. I grabbed my cleaning arsenal and headed into the war zone.
With my scrub brush in hand, I started the battle. As I fought hard with the cleanser in hand, my head and heart a battle as well. “WHY can’t they do it right? WHY am I in here cleaning something I never use when I have three capable kids?” My thoughts were swirling round and round, heading in the wrong direction as I tried to get the lime ring out of the toilet. “It’s Friday night! I should be getting ready to GO somewhere; do SOMETHING; not cleaning my kid’s bathroom!” I checked myself once; reminded myself that I could control these thoughts, but they kept coming back and I let the anger build. Anyway, I reasoned, these thoughts are all true. I wasn’t making it up! These frustrated thoughts saw an exit ramp to self-pity and was getting ready to make the path that led to meanness and impatience. It wasn’t looking pretty.
I’d like to say I came out of that bathroom on Friday as clean as my bathroom, but that would mean I would have to make up an ending. I didn’t. I struggled all the way until Greg walked up the stairs and asked “What are you doing?”. (He knows that a wife scrubbing on a Friday night has not been a good thing in the past!)
I was reminded this morning of why that battle took place. Ephesians 2:3 told me, “All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts…” NIV
That’s what I was doing. I was giving into the cravings of my sinful nature; the cravings of self-pity, anger, frustration and as I followed it’s desires and thoughts, it led me to being less than loving to my family.
We all have times when we fail; when we don’t check the negative thoughts at the door and say, “No further”. Lord, help us to grow. May these times become less and less and may we, in your power, not give in to the stinking thinking when it knocks on the door of our hearts and minds. Only in You, Jesus! Amen
Please pray for me today. I am heading to Fort Bragg in North Carolina to speak encouragement to wives of our deployed soliders. Holy Spirit, speak through me!