As I open my front door to your knock, I glance around and cringe (my house is so far from the picture perfect "House Beautiful" that I had always dreamed I would have). Last night's snow clothes are strewn all over. In fact, you will have to step over Eric's size 11 boots just to get in the door. My front door opens directly into my living room/kitchen and so there is no hiding the clementine peel that Ellen left on the arm of our broken recliner or Ebony's remnants of bones and rawhides and dog hair that are all over the living room floor.
As I take your coat, I quickly open the coat closet and stuff your coat in before everything else falls out. I'm too late and I have to kick Emily's snowpants back in, put the door back in the track and close it quickly. I would love to invite you to sit at the table for a cup of tea but today the table is covered in mail, recipes and computers. Most days it is covered with puzzles on their way to completion, school projects that are being built, or computers that are being rebuilt but rarely is my table bare and ready for a cup of tea with a friend.
Not that my kitchen counter is any better... milk and cereal are still sitting out. School books, papers, bills, and "stuff" clutter it. The sink has dishes that didn't fit in this round of the dishwasher and clementines and bananas are falling out of the "snack basket" and rolling into the sink.
I would continue giving you a "tour" through my house but the laundry room is next..... just can't go there with you and there is NO way I would let you see my basement! Then there are the kid's bedrooms (which the are supposed to be "cleaning" right now) and my room, which tends to be the community center. I didn't even mention our office... well, actually Chad's office. I would just like to forget that it exists....
My life mirrors my house in so many ways. It's not the picture perfect life I once dreamt I would live. Instead, I'm always underdressed and over stressed. Neurotic chaos seems to be the norm. Even on the Lord's Day I can't seem to get it all together to get out the door with a smile and a joyful heart. On more than one occasion, I have arrived at church only to realize that my daughter's hair hasn't seen a brush in this last decade and Eric's teeth haven't seen a toothbrush either (one would think that at 12 years old, you wouldn't need Mom to remind you to brush your teeth!). Then there are the mornings I arrive to be reminded that I signed up for donuts...donuts? what donuts?
My spiritual life isn't much better. There are times of great growth and personal quiet times. Times when I feel like God is a breath away and I bask in His presence. There are also times when I pull the covers over my head and hide. I feel like He is a million miles away and I can't find Him. There are times when I have a hunger for the Word that is ferocious and times when I dust my Bible off when I pick it up. I'm not proud of any of this, just stating the facts as I see them.
There are parts of my personal and spiritual life that I will open the door and let people see (although I do cringe whenever I look around at the junk in my life that they may see) but I don't let them in very far. Once they are past the "kitchen" of my heart, the rest is off limits. It's just too dirty, cluttered, out of control to reveal.
Even now, this is as far as I will go with the tour. I just hoped to give you a glimpse that things are not what they seem. My life is no picture perfect Monet or Norman Rockwell. It tends to look more like a Rembrandt. It's a life of failure, disappointment, sin, pride and selfishness that God is some how, some way making a beautiful piece of art that looks like Him not me. So, please don't think it is because of anything I have done or am...instead, any beauty that you see, any thing that looks like I have it all together is where you see Jesus in my life.