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If you think I am bad at sitting silently or avoiding bad TV shows, you should consider my fasting. In one word, it's non-existing. I don't mean to avoid it, it just...happens. I forget. I get indecisive about what to fast, or why. I make plans and yet they get thrown into the back burner. I choose to give up something unpractical, such as all internet access or any TV and get frustrated and guilty over not managing to follow through.
So I've been praying for God to show me. How. What. When. Why. And as always, I've been surprised at what the answers have been. My current fast (and first one in a long, long time)? House chores. Allow me to explain:
A clean, neat, organized, immaculate house has been one of my biggest idols. I'm ashamed to say that I've passed on family moments for it. I've argued with my husband over it. I've avoided having people over because of it. I've skipped celebrations and events with loved ones and at church because I was too tired from all the cleaning I'd done prior to it. And I've focused so much of my sense of worth on it.
I must admit that this is something God has been directing me to reevaluate for a while. I've used all sorts of excuses. Surely that's not what God means. Obviously I'm just being hygienic. I'm simply doing my job as a good wife by having a clean home. But the fact that it came up during my time with God time and time again, finally won me over.
On Day 1 I was ready: 15 minute clean-up and pick-up only (plus two hours during weekends. I am not perfect and I live with a boy and three dogs, you know!). Eyes on the clock: ready, set, go. As I began to do the dishes, I felt pressured to move quicker, to get more done. Until I heard God's voice:
14 minutes and 50 seconds were up and I thought five more pieces of silverware and topping off the detergent, it won't take me more than 2 extra minutes.
You are missing the point.
I gently turned of the tap and wiped my hands. About three minutes later I walked into my bedroom to find the bed unmade. Without even thinking, I grabbed the end of the sheet to make the bed.
The laundry hamper was beginning to overflow.
And so I did. For once, at least.