Keeping Your House {and your heart} Clean

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I did what I never do.  I answered the phone, even though caller ID didn’t play its part in telling me who was on the other line. To my delight, one of “my girls” was visiting from overseas and wanted to know if she could stay with us. That. NIGHT.

How could I say no to one I’ve so dearly loved? We have the space, with an empty bed upstairs. Plus, this one of my own -- one I've mentored with through tears and triumphs, training her up in the Lord.

So I opened my home to this darling.

Doing this thing called hospitality, motivated by my passion to live a life of impact, is actually a hand-ringing, heart-wrenching, sanctifying experience. I do not naturally have the gift of hospitality. Oh no.  I am a work in progress.  There is nothing in me that likes adjusting my life to meet the needs of others, regardless of whether we share the same bloodline or are bound by other ties.

The real reason I squirm when it comes to having overnight guests is that my house is not always in order (and sometimes my life is not in order, too).  Our house-cleaning mantra of keeping the first floor picked and leaving the rest of the house to. the. weekends. next month...backfires under the impact of spontaneous house guests.

A yes to a guest means a crisis for moi, and I end up acting like the Fly-Lady on steroids. How can I let anyone upstairs?  They might discover that our family has genetic disorder known as “Rebellious Clothing Dysfunction.” Do you suffer from this too?  Clean laundry refuses to return to its closet and dirty laundry never makes it into the basket. This is, most certainly, what my mother called living in a pig-stye.  Apparently it is a contagious problem, or genetically inherited!

 

While I am airing my dirty laundry (yes, pun intended), our bathrooms are in worse shape, with strands of hair pretending to be accent decor in our bathroom, while the oh so sparkly kiddie toothpaste thinks it is destined for a Broadway debuting all over the counter top. Let’s not even touch the topic of tubs, toilets, and floors.

We all know the solution for our house cleaning foibles.

It is a matter of priorities and time.

If I want the house to be ready for a surprise guest, I need to make time for daily maintenance.

Isn’t this the same principle for matters of the heart?

Like the first floor of my home, we convince others we are so put together, yet we struggle alone with issues tucked away in the secret corners of our heart, hindering us from being available to respond spontaneously to the Lord’s work.

Unforgiveness resides in that back room. Bitterness has wrapped itself around an old wound. Shame envelopes the memory of what should never have been. Pride strangles out the space to humbly serve.

God did not call us to live with secrets that undermine us from co-laboring with Him. <--Click to Tweet

He longs for us to rend our hearts to Him, giving up those areas of hurt that stunt our spiritual, emotional, and physical growth. He desires to clean out our hearts through confession, making room for His Spirit to dwell even more fully within each of us. The Lord is prepared to clean out our hearts. Are we willing to let Him do this most important job?

It isn’t time we clean house, friends?

There no reason to let secret places hold us back from saying yes, Lord. Yes.

{Impact My Life is about  following Christ distinctly. Maybe that is a good place for you to start?}

Blessings,

Elisa

Elisa Pulliam

Elisa Pulliam is passionate about women experiencing a life transformed by God for the sake of impacting the next generation – a mission fueled by God’s redeeming work in her life and twenty-plus years in youth and women’s ministry. She’s the author of "Meet the New You: A 21 Day Plan for Embracing Fresh Attitudes and Focused Habits for Real Life Change," which is a book designed to help women embrace a fresh encounter with God, and "Impact Together: Biblical Mentoring Simplified." She is also founder of moretobe.com and tremendously enjoys working as a life coach and coach trainer. She considers her greatest roles as wife to Stephen and mom to four amazing children. Connect with Elisa at elisapulliam.com.

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