Dirt, Grime and Filth Oh My!

In the wee hours of the morning today, Oldest and The Organized Child boarded a bus and headed to summer camp in another state.  This is a first for us; the kids have gone to local summer day camps but nothing far from home or overnight.  Oldest was thrilled and excited and couldn’t wait!  An entire week away from home, with two of his closest friends, doing outdoor stuff and communing with God!  What could be better?!  On the other hand, The Organized Child was a different story altogether.  She was very apprehensive, nervous and felt that she had made a mistake in deciding to go.

As you’ve probably determined from her name, The Organized Child is a BO (born organized) in addition she tends to be a bit Monkish in her ways.  She loves it when she knows every detail of every plan and knows what to expect.  So, the first thing she began to stress about was the fact that she didn’t know the plan or schedule for every moment that she would be gone.  The second and more important thing she began to stress about was how dirty things might be or she was going to get.  When she learned about things like the mud pit and the wet and dirt day at camp she began to panic!  She seriously began to regret her decision.  I tried to reassure her and bought her an arsenal of supplies to take with her (3 bottles of hand sanitizer, a travel package of Clorox clean-ups, Handi-Wipes, a can of Lice – Bedbug killing spray, and a can of Lysol).  When she saw the supplies she began to feel a little better and showed a hint of excitement.

As I began to think about her fears I wondered is it because it’s someone else’s dirt that it bothers her?  I mean our house is probably as clean as camp is going to be.  Let’s be honest here, I’ve been married 20 years and housekeeping is not one of my strengths by any means.  My mother used to joke that you couldn’t enter my bedroom unless you had had your shots.  Obviously it has never been one of my strengths!  We have a Self-Flushing Self Washing Cat Box .  What I want to know is if someone can invent that, why can’t they invent a self cleaning house or at the very least a self cleaning toilet!

The other thought I had is if house cleaning isn’t one of my strengths should I constantly be striving to be Martha Stewart and then feel terrible about myself when I don’t measure up?!  I’m not saying I shouldn’t clean my house I’m just saying if it isn’t my strength shouldn’t I do the best I can and be ok with it?  Also, if I was fastidious about housecleaning would The Organized Child be more Monkish or less?  I keep coming back to God is a God of order, and cleanliness is next to Godliness; so am I falling short in God’s eyes?  I mean having an ordered house doesn’t necessarily mean having an immaculate house.  And the cleanliness thing, is that literal or is it talking about your soul.  If Pigpen showed up to the gates of heaven sinless would he be turned away?  If Adrian Monk  showed up overrun with sin would he be allowed to enter?  Mother Teresa lived and worked with the poorest of the poor in the streets of Calcutta.  I don’t imagine she was super clean but I bet her soul was cleaner than most.  My guess is that she’s in heaven.

A very dear friend reminded me of a conversation we once had about Jesus being born in a filthy stable and not a sterile hospital.  If a little dirt was acceptable for the King of Kings isn’t it ok for me and The Organized Child too?!


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