I have found it very ironic that looking back on the year 2020 makes the phrase “hindsight is 20/20” even more relevant. It’s almost like the phrase was prophetic in its meaning and none of us had any idea until 2020 actually hit. Now, that saying to me will never be the same. I’m not going to go through any political views or scientific rationales so don’t worry. I am however going to explain how receiving a fad new vacuum last summer in the midst of all of the craziness made me feel closer to all of y’all out there.
For all of my adult life I have worked out of the home. I worked before, during and after both of my girls were born and this is all they and I have ever known. I worked for very large companies and was home except for quarterly meetings every night. For years as part due to my very demanding job we had hired a wonderful lady that my girls called “Mammaw” to come into our home to clean a path for us during that very busy season of our lives. Of course, I still had to clean all of the time, between her visits, even though I’m sure to her it probably didn’t seem that way. I was even one of those crazy ladies that most weeks the night before she came, my husband and I would “clean” up the house. We were too embarrassed not to clean up, even though she was like family. She took care of many items but one big one was the floors and bathrooms. Yes, I still had to sweep and vacuum because a lot of times it couldn’t wait. There would be messes that had to be tackled immediately before they stained or ruined the surfaces below. We were so blessed to have her and I think back to when my girls were younger and I don’t know if I could have stayed sane without her help. Because of her extra help when we were called to take leadership of our church Youth Group and started up our church’s Children’s Church program the floors and the bathrooms were not on my mind. If we were in charge of a large church activity for the youth or fundraiser I didn’t have to choose between cleaning or putting in the extra service. Because I didn’t have to worry about those things I could devote that time to being at church extra hours and all the preparation needed. It also above everything else gave me time between work, serving at church and all other parent duties to spend time with my girls when we were actually at home and for that I will forever be grateful to her. I am also so grateful that we were blessed to be able to have her in our lives.
Fast forward to the world as we knew it all being shut down. From that point forward we have been home. Both my job, my husband’s job as well as the girl’s school all became virtual. The girls have gotten to attend school about 5 days since last March and now my husband has to report in person to work but that goes back and forth depending on the numbers. I worked virtually for almost the entire year until my entire division was laid off in December of 2020. So, guess what? Myself, along with everyone else in America and the world found ourselves spending more time than ever thought possible in our homes. What did we do to fill the time? We cleaned! I’m sure I’m not the only person to go from not having to worry about all of the best cleaning tips and tricks to Googling and searching Pinterest for the easiest way to clean a microwave. (I have the answer now 😉 ) I remember even reading an article during that time that the royal family in England were having to clean their own toilets for the first time, ever. Boy, and I thought that I was in for a rude awakening! At least the rest of us have had to do those things before or at least seen someone do it. They probably had no clue where to even start. Here I am, a mid-thirties career mom that was used to juggling it all forced into a working from home juggling maintaining a perfect house because that became the absolute center of the world as we now know it.
I think that all of this is why when a new vacuum that can clean your hardwood floors, your tile and your rugs/carpet came to the market and put all of your disgusting filth into a clear container full of dirty water we all went mad wanting to clean our houses with this new toy! Its one of those things that literally shows you just how gross your family is and how ineffective your cleaning was up until that point. I was gifted one of these magical and hard to find vacuums as an early birthday present. My facebook was on fire week after week all through summer and into Christmas with pictures of peoples filthy disgusting water from houses that the owners thought were clean. It was like this illusion they had been living was shattered and destroyed and now they were addicted to see if if it would ever be possible to use the vacuum and have the water be somewhat not brown and muddy. I had friends from all over the country sharing memes and hopefully comments about getting their hands on one of these.
One day when I was cleaning rooms for what seemed like the millionth time of 2020, it hit me. Here, women ( and men) from all different pay grades, religious backgrounds, races and locations were all wanting this vacuum like it was the best invention since sliced bread. It quickly made me realize that one verse that had been on my heart for most of 2020 was very true:
” For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. ”Matthew 6:21 NIV
Let that verse soak into your heart and your soul. Now, ask yourself: “Did I realize last year where my true treasure is and that is where my heart is?” if not “Do you know where your heart is? Is that the same place as your treasures?”
God allowed us to turn our heart back to where our true treasure should have been. It turned back for most of us to our family and to the place that we spend our time with them. Yes, we have all been cleaning like crazy people. But why? I think my why is because we want to invest our time into the place that we are making memories with our precious loved ones in. I don’t know about you but I want it to not just be a house but a home more now than ever before. I have finally been able to invest “in” and not “out” of my home. Invest “in” my family and not with”out” my family. It has changed me for most likely the rest of my life.
This past year has been horrible, difficult and I am forever saddened by the amount of people that have given their lives to the horrible happenings and disease. I don’t want you to think that I am not sympathetic or empathetic to all that has happened. All that I can control is the happenings in my own home and hopefully be a little bit of a light for Jesus to others I can come into contact with.
Here’s something else I realized while using my awesome new vacuum. This dirty filthy water that I would discover each time I cleaned would remind me of the sin in my life. It would then remind me how Jesus is like this little vacuum and even though to the outside things look good and clean, Jesus can come into our hearts and give us a fresh start. He can make all of us pure no matter what we have done in our pasts. He will forgive the person who has barely sinned and the drunkard, drug dealer or the prostitute all the same. He will continue to forgive me as I fall short each day. I, like the water I see each time, reminds me to examine my heart and see where I need to try harder. I am not trying to act like another Christian but I have to be more like Christ himself. This is something I will always have to work at.
I’m not surprised now when I vacuum to find the water disgusting even when I think we have done better to keep our house clean. I know that we will never be perfectly clean.. but I do know that with the grace of my savior He will keep forgiving me and giving me new mercies each and every morning.
“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my should; therefor will I hope in Him.”Lamentations 3:22-24 KJV
Thank you for sharing this time with me. Please like, comment and share if this made any sense to you in hindsight of the last year. Have a blessed day!