Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Cleaning My Closet

When I tell people in America that I'm a missionary wife in Africa, they often have strange ideas about what that entails. They ask questions about the animals, the food, the snakes, the food, the houses, the food....you get the idea! Very rarely have I ever had anyone ask what it's like to be a wife or mom on the mission field. Maybe they haven't thought about that. But I do. A lot.
 Being a wife and a mom are two of my biggest jobs. Some days those jobs go well.
 Some days they don't.
Some days they are exciting and fulfilling....and others? Not so much.
Some days we are welcomed home by friends we've not seen in too long.....and some days, we say good-byes.
Some days the lights are on, the water is flowing, the washing machine is humming along, and everybody is doing their part....and some days the lights are off, and the washing machine is shooting water all over the floor, and nobody wants to help.
Some days the kids are cheerful and obedient and things are great between my spouse and me.....and some days the kids are crying and whining and generally need to be wrapped in bubble wrap so they'll stop injuring themselves and no matter what I intend to say or how I intend to say it, nothing comes out right, and I don't have a sweet spirit, and I can tell by the hurt look on my hubbie's face. But you know what? That's the past.
As I was cleaning and sorting through our wardrobe the other day I pulled out a lot of old clothes. My dress from college graduation; an outfit from a first day of a new school year as a teacher; a skirt I wore on my first trip to Ghana; maternity clothes from when I was expecting my first child.
Most of them I've not worn in a long time, but I felt the need to hold on to them. Holding on to the past....like if I got rid of them it would somehow change that memory.
 But you know what? That's silly. By giving away my graduation dress, I do not change the fact that I graduated. And by giving away old maternity clothes I don't lose my child.
So why do I do that with my bad days? Why do I cling to the past?
Can I change it by mulling it over and over?
 If I feel really awful about how I spoke to my daughter or the look I gave my husband can it change what has already been done?
 The answer is simple, yet profound.
The answer is no.
 I can ask forgiveness for the past. But I can't change it.
 So what to do?
 I clean out my closet.
I allow myself to let go of the past so I can live in the present.
 Because that, my friend, is all I'm promised.
 It's the best way to think about my life as a mommy and wife, and a pretty good way to make peace with my closet.


  1. Oh, how I needed this today. Great thoughts. Thanks.

  2. thank you for this. i needed it!

  3. This is so true! This is just what I've been doing. It's time to clean my closet. : )

  4. Thanks for sharing, you are wise beyond your years

  5. Thanks for this, Patty...so true and just what I needed to hear.
    Glad you made it home safely. :)