My alarm blares for the third time and I grudgingly roll out of bed. It wasn’t the first thing to wake me. A pulsing beat comes from the next room and I’m reminded of my new roommate. Ear pods in and I escape to the couch to study.
Finally some quiet.
But then the mess of the house creeps in, like a thick darkness where you can’t see inches in front of your face. I sink to the floor next to a pile of dirty laundry and it consumes me. The dishes from my roommates. And all the books. Everywhere.
I know I’m not alone in feeling overwhelmed by the mess. Messy homes, messy schedules, messy buns. The world is a hot mess right now—and it’s easy to let that mess seep in to the four walls we call home. But our souls long for clean spaces: a quiet mind, a tidy home, and organization throughout our day.
I’m learning that, first, we have to accept whatever is in disarray. Rather than resisting the feelings of chaos, let them come. It’s not comfortable—but do it, just for a second. This, my friend, is mindfulness. Accept it. Realize that we all have a messy side, whether it be scattered homework or a relationship needing mending. Once we own our imperfections, we’ve made room to remodel our spirits and invite in light.
Time For a Remodel
Sometimes when I just need some stillness amidst the mess, I close my eyes and picture where my soul really longs to be. Do it with me. Deep breath, now visualize. The beach is home to me. Soft, white sand between my toes and miles of still, blue water. The fresh scent of the ocean and seagulls gliding through the sky. There is a sense of calm and cleanliness and being one with my soul.
And that is what I so desperately want within my four walls. I know it can happen, but feel uncertain how to make it a reality. However, I trust in a higher being that sees the big picture and can help me become more. C.S. Lewis illustrates this beautifully: “Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace.”
When we nurture our spiritual wellness and allow a remodel to happen every so often, growth occurs. This takes humility and faith that the chaos we experience—sometimes on the daily—is part of a greater plan. So allow the digging and the demolition and make way for something beautiful.
I’m not one that likes to sit back and just let the world happen to me. And I’m learning that taking action feeds our spiritual health. Once we have accepted the imperfections in our life and made room for the remodel, it’s time to get to work. Find a schedule that works for you. Hold a weekly planning meeting. Do that ten-minute tidy before bed. Create a space where your spirit and mind can feel calm. Right now with so much chaos in the world, your soul will thank you for making your home a sanctuary, a safe haven, a place of solace and serenity.
So take a deep breath and soak it in—the dirty socks lying on the floor, the anxiety creeping in the corner of your mind, the extra pounds you’ve put on during the pandemic. Now breathe out. And let the remodel begin.