Last night was one of those very rare moments when my house was totally quiet. My hubby was home, the sun was still shining, and therefore everyone was outside playing but me. The house was so quiet that I actually had a few moments to just think... a really rare moment! But, I didn't start out by pondering. I actually was taking advantage of this moment by cleaning the kitchen. Once the dishes and counters were done, I began sweeping the floor and then mopped it. But even after I was done, I felt that it really needed a better job than just a once- over. So, I grabbed my supplies and got down on hands and knees and started to scrub. Down on all fours, the need for this deep cleaning was even more apparent. I wondered how I could miss so much with my eyes just a short 5 feet nothin' from the floor! My ill-mannered thoughts were as follows,
"Man, this floor tracks up so easily!"
"You can see every crumb."
"If only I could replace this floor with something tan and have it not show the dirt so easily, How nice that would be!"
You see, my kitchen floor is white tile, so everything does show and therefore needs cleaning daily! Every little speck of dirt is a reminder of that! So, then I thought how it is kinda nice that I have to clean it so often. It is sort of a safety insurance for my little ones who are playing on this floor constantly. Maybe it is good that I don't have a floor that will cover it up. Hmm... As I continued to clean on my baby's level, I could definitely see things in a whole new light. Embarrassingly, even though I think I am cleaning it daily efficiently enough, I realize Good in this case, is not Good Enough.
By this time, my floor was looking pretty good and I acknowledged how much better it looks when I take the time to really get down to the nitty-gritty. It's something that I can stand back and admire when it is complete because I know I did a good and thorough job. Even though I mop it daily, rarely does it look just this good! And I realize that I do need to make this a part of my regular routine more often! It really wasn't that hard after all!
This is where my pondering led me to this epiphany: I wondered if my life, my spirit, is sometimes like my white floor. Clean for the most part, until I take a really close look and see a speck here, sticky there, etc. etc...
I wonder how many days do I do the bare minimum so that no ones sees the dirt, but deep down I know there is still work to be done. Do I do my best to scrub away all the mess in my life, or do I leave it for tomorrow or the next day. Do I make commitments to have a really clean "floor", only to have it great only on special occasions. Do I do things that I probably shouldn't and just hope that no one else will see? Not necessarily anything that bad, but still not that good either.
Sadly, I think I do. For the most part, I think I'm a pretty good person. I try to respect others, keep the commandments, and love those around me. But unfortunately, I know that I am not doing my best. I can be better. And how much more would my family, friends, and myself benefit from it if I were. To always be prepared at any given moment. To have guests over at any time and not worry the state of my "house"- especially that most important guest that I want in my life all the time.
Have I really received His image in my countenance?
Then it hit me something that I dearly cherish and love more than anything: My children! Oh, How I love them! I go about my daily activities with them under foot most of the time. I'm so thankful they are! That is where I want them to be! I love being with my kids so much! As they are under foot they are the reason I feel compelled to clean that white floor because I certainly wouldn't want them playing on a filthy floor. This makes me realize that as they are always under foot (kitchen and elsewhere) and watching my every move, am I protecting their sweet spirits as well and making sure that I am doing everything I can to see to their most important needs- the very needs they came to earth to receive from me? Am I setting the right examples in ALL my words and deeds? If I could get on their level, would they think I am clean and safe or do they notice things that I need to better? When life does get messy, Will they know where to turn to quickly remedy that? I hope they do. Oh, how I want to nurture them- to teach them to hold tight to the right path, to stay spotless from this filthy world we live in! Will they be inclined to do so when they think of it me? Has their mother showed them The Way?
Just like my kitchen floor, I'm also very sure that my life will get tracked up very quickly with all that is out there to contaminate. I know that is definitely why I need to EVERY DAY check and see what I can do to clean things up-to never let a day go by that I neglected to better my life and my spirit!
I know that from now on- every time that I clean that kitchen floor I won't be wishing I could cover it up. I think I will take more pride in it knowing that it is reminding me daily to also take the necessary steps to clean up my life~ to take inventory of my own spirit and see if I have done all I could that day to keep myself "white and clean". I promise to try to look at myself from a different level- eye level from the sweetest ones I know!
"Each one of us has been given the power to change his or her life. As part of the Lord’s great plan of happiness, we have individual agency to make decisions. We can decide to do better and to be better. In some ways all of us need to change; that is, some of us need to be more kind at home, less selfish, better listeners, and more considerate in the way we treat others. Some of us have habits that need to be changed, habits that harm us and others around us.
Each new day that dawns can be a new day for us to begin to change. We can change our environment. We can change our lives by substituting new habits for old. We can mold our character and future by purer thoughts and nobler actions. As someone once put it, “The possibility of change is always there, with its hidden promise of peace, happiness, and a better way of life.” President James E. Faust