Cleaning in the Season of Lent

Thursday, March 24, 2016


I am one of those clean moms. The ones people feel the need to share memes with that include something vaguely condescending about how "the dishes can wait."

The first few days of Holy Week I spend cleaning.
Like really cleaning.
I-scrub-the-walls-and-move-big-furniture kind of cleaning.

I think people picture me being something like this.


Yeah, no.

The reality is that my home is not just my home. It's my office, gym, and child care center. 
I can't leave my mess and go somewhere else for most of the day. I have to, literally, sit in the mess until I handle it. So I handle it.

Home is also where most of my prayer and reflection happens.

Have you ever looked around your typical church and noticed how little stuff is around? You could try and make a mess out of it (and trust me my kids TRY), but it is quite hard to do with so little material.

Yet the church never feels lacking. It has just what it needs for the functions it has at any given time.

Forcing these big cleans, as the church does during this season, is really helpful for discovering all of the things you had lost and flaws you didn't know about. 

Pro: Found my pasta crank I thought the kids had lost forever! We can make pasta again!
Con: Discovered some serious mold in my window and lots of rotting wood. 

Would I have liked to not know about the fluffy white, and not-so-fluffy black, mold growing oh so near my head at night? 
Yup, yup, yup. 
But should I know so I can deal with it? 
Yes....

And what are the kids doing while all this cleaning is happening?
Generally, helping too. I give them a spray bottle, with vinegar and water, and a rag (Therese gets her rag pre-sprayed) and they go to town with me. 

This year they got really into it. Monday afternoon I caught them taking turns wiggling under John's bed on their tummies to grab lost toys, books, and giant dust bunnies. With a little direction about where to put their re-discovered (and very dusty) treasures, they were able to finish the whole self-initiated task on their own.

I made another pot of coffee in the meantime.

"Treasuring the moment" is what the memes are telling me to do, right?

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