Thursday, April 22, 2010

Duck Season ALREADY??!??!

Well, that just about says it. How has my week gone? In a word: FEATHERS... It makes me feel better to think that there is a lesson to learn in everything that we experience. If I couldn't learn something from my latest "Lucy Moment" then I might just go apes...well, "ducks" anyway.
It is spring cleaning time, and I have been in full swing over the last couple of weeks. I'm proud to say that my pantry looks better than it has in years, down to the new labels that I hope help us to keep it that way. Our taxes are filed, and this took a certain amount of special care also since it was my first year as a business owner. Our spare room is now called "the Office" and this brings hope and excitement for my business this year. I now have a desk and everything that I need for Premier has a place to make things work as efficiently as possible. The kids even have desks in there so that they may also "get some work done".
Yesterday I moved on to another task: I planned on washing all of the bed clothes in the house down to the pillows and even our feather bed. I began with the feather bed because I knew that it would be the biggest chore, and that it would also take the longest to dry. What a mess. (Understatement of the year) I should have know better when I had to press twice to get the washing machine door to latch.... but I didn't. I figured that I could wash the feather bed in our machine since it is large capacity, and since it has no agitator. It was not a wise decision. Because it was so large it rubbed against a protrusion inside the washer, which you guessed it: ripped a couple of large holes in in feather bed. So, I sat on the floor in a pile of wet feathers sewing a wet feather bed for about an hour yesterday, just so that I could dry it... and then I began the lengthy task of cleaning wet feathers out of the washing machine. I planned to dry the feather bed in the dryer for a while and then drape it over our deck to air/sun dry the rest of the afternoon. I got into a fight with some carpenter bees, so that plan didn't work out. A little while later I began to smell I am so glad that I took the feather bed out of the dryer when I did, before it caught fire! It now has large scorch marks down the side of it. Our feather bed looks like it went through some sort of harsh battle yesterday. Although I laid it in the sun it was still not dry enough to sleep on last night.
So, now lets fast forward to today. I woke up with sciatic pain. I missed my feather bed last night. We need a new mattress badly, and that soft plush layer on top is the only thing that keeps us hanging in there until we get it. So I was all too happy to get up with the sun and put that dry feather bed back on. Ahhhhh :)
Fast forward a little later. After breakfast it was time to put some towels in the dryer. Oh... my... GOSH! Where did all of those feathers come from?! Seriously!? We cleaned out the washer! :S Let me tell you, we had, in fact, NOT cleaned it out at all. If you could guess the worst possible thing to wash with feathers, it would have to be towels too. I can not begin to tell you how many feathers I actually pulled out of that washer again today! I sat there in piles and piles of feathers. Apparently, they got down into the holes in the washer and came back out and embedded themselves into the towels. After re-spinning the towels and shaking them all individually, I dried them and lent catcher got oh so many more. Meanwhile, I was still bagging up feathers from the floor and the washing machine. I began sweeping them up and no kidding, they clogged my vacuum. So, I had to take the vacuum completely apart and de-feather it as well, all the while, covered from head to toe myself. Kamran was home for lunch by this time and made us a salad for lunch. I got washed up and sat down thinking about the feathers and the lesson in it all, and just as I bowed my head for Kam to bless the food, I noticed a fluffy white feather on the top of my salad. (Yes, we laughed.) So, which lesson did I learn? Well, a few things stick out to me:

1) Warning Labels: How much trouble would we all avoid if we just followed the directions every time? (I'm a directions reader too, so this is embarrassing for me to admit.) If I would have just headed that warning "dry clean only" I would have saved myself A LOT of trouble. I didn't have the money to dry clean it, so I ignored the warning and didn't follow the directions. My mom used to say "Poor people have poor ways". I say, "Yip!" haha The truth is, we need to stop thinking that we are the exception to the rule and realize that rules are rules for a reason. The texting while driving and properly securing your children while in vehicles are the first things that pop into my mind. Come one people.... these kind of accidents are easy to prevent, and the mess you could end up in is way messier than feathers.

2) Sometimes God allows us to go through something for the outcome. I've said it a million times: God is multifaceted. In this case, He used one mess to clean up another. There is nothing you could say that would convince me that my vacuum would have been so well cleaned today, or any time soon for that matter, if it hadn't been pointed out to me. While I was picking up feathers it made perfect sense to clean the crevice where the carpet meets the wall. I went through a lot, but what a nice looking hallway and vacuum I have now. It wouldn't have been how I would have chosen to spend my morning, but then again, I wouldn't have had the positive outcome if I hadn't gone through it.

3) GRACE: If you think about it, this whole fiasco is a really beautiful picture of God's grace. I am so glad that He knows my heart and my true intentions. I didn't have evil intent, but all I did was make a mess that made a mess, that made a mess. That's all that we can do on our own, isn't it? If we try to clean up our lives without God, no matter how hard we try, we are just going to spread the mess around, and it will end up in every other part of our lives. We can not expect to ever get rid of every feather on our own, can we? We are kidding ourselves if we think that we can. Just when you think that you have cleaned yourself off, you will find a feather in your lunch. One of the most comforting and restful things about God is found in the book of Romans 5:6-8
6For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Did you get that?!?! God loves you IN YOUR SIN. He died for you, not because you were good enough, but because He loved you enough. If we love God, then we will, and are even commanded to, do good works, but do not ever let yourself believe for one second that your good works will get you one step closer to Heaven. If was HIS GRACE and by it alone, that He opened that door. I can't imagine living with the pressure of feeling that you have to first clean up your own mess before you could attain salvation. You will never be perfect, so how could you ever know for sure under those conditions? Ephesians 2:8-10 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith- and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
God made me who I am. He molded me and formed me to be silly and spunky and to be able to laugh at all of the "Lucy Moments" that I manage to find my way into. I could get frustrated and cry about those feathers, but where would that get me? Let's face it: I'm going to be lucky if I'm done cleaning feathers by Christmas. They will continue to sneak up on me and find their way into my days I'm sure. Instead of crying, I will look at those little white fluffy things as a lovely picture of God's grace. "If His grace is an ocean we're all sinking". (How He Loves, John Mark McMillian) In my case, if His grace is a feather, then I can't escape it! :) Not to mention the symbolism for the better night's sleep that I will get tonight cuddled up in that feather bed. I don't even want to think about going one day without grace, it would be like sleeping on that old lumpy backache of a mattress without the feather bed. Instead, I can curl up in His grace and rest assured of my own salvation, knowing full-well that it is covered. Someone else paid that bill for me. I don't need to lose any sleep over that!