Thursday, September 3, 2015

Want To...

Your eye is the lamp of your body. 
When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. 
But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness. 
See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. 
Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, 
it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.
Luke 11:34-36 (NIV)

So I was cleaning house yesterday morning. A bit overdue. It's something I don't love, but necessary. Not my favorite thing... but something, that surprisingly, calms me. Maybe the repetitiveness, maybe the accomplishment, maybe the act of being busy for a purpose.

Somewhere in the middle of running the vacuum cleaner through my daughter's room, I had an epiphany. Cleaning is a have to, not a want to. What would happen if I could turn it into a want to?

It would take a change in attitude - a change in thinking. But, I thought, as I vacuumed along, but wouldn't that be powerful?  In every aspect of life?

And then I thought about every aspect of life. I thought how being a Christian is embedded in every aspect of life. Or, rather, how the teaching of Jesus is embedded in every aspect of life. The more Scripture I study, the more awed I am at how timely it is, how practical, how applicable.

See, I believe it's the little things, the details, the baby steps that lead us. Because many times they are so small, we don't even realize they exist.

Step by tiny step, we are lead to darkness...  Perhaps the tiny step of putting a marginally inappropriate want to in front of a have to?

  • When did finding wholesome shows and movies on TV become so difficult? Shows that don't have nudity, violence, profanity. That don't flippantly disrespect teachers and parents in order to get a laugh. That don't belittle, that don't entitle, that don't pump up the drama.
  • When did clothing become so revealing - especially girls' clothing?
  • When did "What's in it for me?" overcome "How can I help?"
  • When did "All lives matter" become "Black lives matter", or "Unborn lives matter", or "Police lives matter". When did we begin to separate instead of unify?
  • When did it become ok for children to raise their parents? For the immature to lead the mature? For babies to dictate to adults?

Step by tiny step, we can be lead to light. (From 1 Thessalonians 5)

  • Live in peace with one another.
  • Encourage the disheartened.
  • Do not pay back wrong with wrong.
  • Do what is good for each other.
  • Help the weak.
  • Be patient with everyone.
  • Be grateful in everything.
  • Rejoice always.
  • Pray without ceasing.
  • Do not quench the Spirit.
  • Do not treat prophecies with contempt.
  • Hold onto what is good.
  • Reject every kind of evil.
These are attitude changing, aren't they? Baby steps - changing have to's to want to's

So back to cleaning house. I can certainly be grateful in the fact that I have a house to clean, in the fact that I CAN push a vacuum cleaner, in the fact that I'm healthy and able, in the fact that I really will love the sparkle when I'm done, in the satisfaction of completing a task, in the luxury of time spent thinking and processing. I can use the time praying. I can know that what I do is a good thing, a necessary thing. Baby steps.

It's a start.


  1. Wonderful post, Janet. I have always found that my thoughts go deeper when I am doing "mindless chores" :) May we take long strides & overcome those want to's. It is always good to be here.

    1. Hi Joanne - It's always nice to 'see' you, too! I think you nailed it - when I do 'mindless' chores, my mind works on everything else. So my attitude becomes a choice - I can not enjoy it, or I can. Honestly, when I think about it, I can give more reasons to enjoy than to not...the very first being I'd rather feel enjoyment than grumpiness! Here Here to overcoming those want to's...

  2. I agree. Our attitude, the way we approach difficult issues is important. I am glad that you gave a list of ways to respond from 1 Thessalonians. And, you know, I think better when I am doing yard work. Now I need to carry that thinking into cleaning the house!

    1. I actually spent some time trying to think of my own list for fixing my attitude. Then I figured out that I'd probably find it in, you know, the world's best guide for living. Sure enough - the whole list right there in Colossians. It really IS amazing how applicable Scripture can be - especially in today's world. (PS - I'm worse at yard work...) So happy you could stop by today.

  3. Janet, this is such a good word. Thank you for sharing with Thought-ProvokingThursday!

    1. You're going through storms, I'm trying to fix my attitude about chores -- different situations, same message. God. Jesus. Holy Spirit. Period. I enjoyed your post today - thank you for hosting the link-up.

  4. Very insightful! I can definitely see where changing "have to's" to "want to's" would make a big difference in our attitudes and how we conduct ourselves in every aspect of our lives. "Do everything as if doing for the Lord". :-)

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Karen - Exactly! I remember when my mom 'taught' me how to clean - my room, the kitchen, the bathroom. I'd do it her way while she was watching, or if I knew she was coming to inspect, but chances are, I'd do it a little less thoroughly if her presence wasn't close. Imagine if we think God's presence is close while we undertake life's chores... Surprise! It is! Lovingly close! Thanks for coming by!


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