Friday, December 31, 2010

Just Look Up!

I feel like my house really hasn't been clean in months.

I don't mean acceptable, good enough clean,

The kinda' clean where even your MIL would be proud.
The kinda' clean where you can find anything you want,
because it's in the right spot.
The kinda' clean where you open a closet or cupboard
and you don't shrink back in terror 'cuz things fly down at you.
The kinda' clean where you aren't ashamed to show company

The school year was ended last May with the traditional pile-up of
half chewed pencils, broken coloring crayons,
markers that are almost dry but not enough to justify throwing away,
books that need to be shelved IN THE RIGHT PLACE,
papers that have to be filed,
games and manipulatives bulging out from the shelves
and even under the couches.

Yea, I'm confessing on Blogger that I shove stuff under my couches.

I added to the mess by going through all my craft stash in the garage
to bring craft projects to Story Book Lodge Christian Camp.

We were also planning for a week of Vacation Bible School,
a week of vacation,
weeks of having company
and our annual camping trip.

Boxes had lined my halls for months.
Boxes to bring to consignment stores.
Boxes to go to the thrift store.
Boxes to go into the attic
Boxes to go back to the chapel.
Boxes of things to give away.

Sorting, organizing, packing and cleaning was making a
HUGE mess in my house.

I couldn't put the boxes away too soon,
they had to be organized and restocked
to make the next year go easier for each event.

When the space in the hallway filled up,
I began piling boxes behind the couch.

I couldn’t stand the mess and I was driving myself crazy.
I was describing this chaos to my friend, Ruth,
explaining how a simple walk down the hallway caused me anxiety
by reminding me of all I had to do.
She looked at me, smiled, and said,
"Then, just look up!"

The simplicity of her advice made me laugh.
She was right.
I couldn't change it all at once,
but until I cleaned it all,
I had to choose to not let it bother me
by simply averting my eyes.

By fall, most boxes were gone and for holiday company,
I moved the few remaining boxes to the garage.
Then I added the boxes for the Thanksgiving decor,
and the boxes for Christmas decor.

They need to be sorted and organized
before I shove them back in the attic.

Once again,
I have to remind myself to
"Just look up."

It reminds me of a great sermon given by my favorite preacher,
my husband, on the Genesis flood.

He emphasized there were no side windows on the Ark,
because the Lord didn't want Noah and family looking at the distress around them,
He wanted them to look up.

He wanted them to look to Him.

In a simplified definition, man means uplooker.
We were created to look heavenward in faith,
for our strength, help and deliverance.

Looking up doesn't make your problems go away,
 it just makes it more tolerable to look down again.

What great advice as we review our past year,
with boxes of intertwined sorrows and joys
lining the hallway of our mind,
and we look to a new year with
intertwined anticipation and trepidation.

It's pretty simple, really.

So simple, you might have to laugh that you didn't think of it yourself.



  1. Only one problem...when I look up in the laundry room, I see the boxes stacked to the ceiling above the washer. HA!

    Seiously, though, that is a beautiful thought.

  2. Wow, thank you, Mindy. I don't know if you remember my husband and I. We knew you briefy years ago at Meadow Ridge Bible Chapel when we were in Fargo for college.

    This post was exactly what I needed today--starting out the new year with a heavy heart over difficult circumstances in our extended family. Sigh... The part about "boxes of intertwined sorrows and joys lining the hallways of our mind..." There couldn't be better words to describe the way that I feel today. At times like this, I find myself feeling restless and discontent--wanting to tear apart everything in my house and make it all perfect(because there's so much going on outside of our home that I want to fix, and can't).

    Thank you for taking the time to post words of encouragement on your blog. I'm in a place in my life where I very much lack the example of faithful women, and I find myself checking back on your blog often and being blessed by what I read.

    I hope you and your family have a wonderful new year!

    Mary Amundson

    P.S... As a homeschool family, we have plenty of flash cards, books, games, etc. cluttering the area around the couch (becuase that's where we use them most). I must admit that when I read that you shove them under the couch, I thought, "That's brilliant!". Ha! I just might have to try that sometime...

  3. Mary, thank you so much for reintroducing yourself! Of course, I remember you and your husband fondly. I remember praying for his salvation, and then praying for a godly wife for him. He was on my "W" prayer card for a few years, along with all the other single men that needed wives.

    Just hearing your name makes me rejoice because I probably never was able to tell you that you were an answer to my prayers for Mike. I'm so happy to be in touch again, sister. I will update my prayer card for your family, since I had to cross Mike's name off the W card! Let's stay in touch.


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