A little theology of vacuuming


The whole house was done. I got the last few corners of my bedroom and began to wind up the cord.

I am so happy.

My favorite house chore complete again. Of all the tasks left undone for weeks, vacuuming is not one of them.

So happy. Happy?

My thoughts were provoked.

This floor will be messed up in days. Where will my happiness be then?

It’s not wrong to have a good feeling from something being clean or put in order. But where did this love come from? Is there a deeper reason I enjoy the finished product of vacuuming?

I believe, yes! Created in God’s image, made in the likeness of the One who operates with complete order and beauty – this is from Him! And He is a source of happiness that will never end.

Of course it’s not wrong to feel happy about a house that is vacuumed. But let temporal happiness point you to something eternal. Shouldn’t that be one of the permanent benefits of our daily work? Take note of that love of order; revel in the One who gave it to you.

Worship the Lord for being made in His image. Worship Him for the common grace of loving the things He loves. Worship Him for giving us meaningful work and for the ability to enjoy it. Worship Him for being the One who does everything perfectly.

The list could go on. And after worship there is thankfulness.

Thankful for a vacuum. Thankful for energy and time. Thankful for people to vacuum after. Thankful for a house to vacuum.

Good theology takes you so much farther than temporal good feelings. It challenges you to know what is true about God and to see yourself in light of Him.

Everything true and beautiful about Him will remain even when the floor is messed up again. And that is something to be eternally happy about.

A happy place

blogpics 006This kitchen will never be featured in a magazine. It will never receive enthusiastic compliments from friends and visitors. It’s only future is to observe my less-than-perfect cooking skills and to endure my fledgling attempts to keep it immaculate.

But this little room is a happy place for me. Want to know why?

I get to teach my little girls how to make macaroni and cheese here. (And hopefully insure that they will never try to make a homemade salad dressing out of a raspberry crystal light packet)

What could be more fun than sitting on a floor with a four, three, and two-year old making lunch while the one-year old sleeps?

blogpics 002I wish you could have seen their delight at all they got to do; unwrapping butter, shaking in salt and pepper, adding and stirring the cheese. Hope was cheddar, Gracie was mozzarella, and Sophia was parmesan.

The floor got a little messy; it took longer than if I had just done it myself, but that didn’t seem to matter.  

This little incident really impressed me, obviously enough to get a camera and take some rough home photos.

Why did something so insignificant fill me with this deep, abiding sense of happiness?

I think that true happiness always catches us off guard. How many times have I done things trying to manufacture happiness? But there was none of that on this particular Saturday; just got up, got the girls up, made breakfast, probably played or folded laundry, sent my sweet husband off to the library and hoped that the rest of the day wouldn’t be too difficult.

And for some reason decided to put the pot of noodles down on the floor so the girls could make macaroni and cheese with me. Weeks later, I’m writing about it and still trying to figure it out.

Happiness doesn’t depend on beautiful surroundings, ideal circumstances, or perfectly planned activities. It just happens; I think I would argue it happens when you’re thinking about yourself the least.  

blogpics 010Okay, I could easily make a long list of things that sound more fun than making macaroni and cheese with preschoolers. I’m a big girl; I have interests, desires, dreams; but for right now, teaching them and spending time with them are the steps I find myself taking. And the big picture truth I’m thinking about is that these small steps have right here, right now, brought me to a happy place.  

p.s. Thank you all so much for reading; you’re giving me unexpected encouragement.