Clean Monday

18th March 2024

by Christine Sine

by Diane Woodrow

I did a piece last year for Clean Monday and only just remembered as the ideas fell into my head to write a piece this year 

This year’s is taking a very different tack. I won’t go over what I wrote last time. You can read it if you want. This year I am much more focused on the cleaning angle. 

Until March 2020 I rented the top two rooms out in my house with Airbnb. This meant that almost every day I was having to scrub down my house, check for dust, hidden dog toys, that we’d not left anything just lying about. It was a hard job but at that time I had the grace for it and almost enjoyed it. Then enter lockdown and Covid. My daughter lived with us for eleven of the main sixteen months. My husband was now working from home. There was no thought of anyone coming to stay over the 2020/21 period. So no real worry about keeping things too clean. 

Lockdown ended. Daughter went back to her own town and back to work. Husband has continued working in the top small bedroom, venturing into his office occasionally but not regularly. All this gave me time to re-evaluate whether I wanted people staying in my house; to which the answer was No. The grace had gone and so it was time to move on with what I did with my time. 

I’ve got more into my writing, into praying, into study, into coffee with friends. Life has changed. But so has my love of doing housework.

So with spring slowly appearing I have decided I need to give the house a real spring clean. I wrote the list. I planned out the rooms – what needed doing and how. I checked I had the required tools and products. I even checked the date to see what would be good one to start. What better date than today? 

Or maybe tomorrow? Or when it’s warmer? Or just before we go on holiday? Or when we come back from holiday? Or just before certain friends come to stay? Or maybe I need to buy a steamer or a handheld hoover? Or perhaps I’ll do the car first? Or the garden? Or the dog?????

But then I realised how much I can be like this with my Christian life. I make the lists of what I want from this season, what books to read, the journal to write in, put an allotted time in my diary – and then …. Well there is always tomorrow. Next week. After the holidays. After friends come to stay. After I’ve bought a certain book. Perhaps the dog needs big hike in the woods and I could pray then/write poetry then/get closer to God then. 

EXCUSES! Nothing more than excuses! A fear? Of what? Of the changes God might make? 

Aren’t we good at finding plausible excuses?Yet the Bible has much to say about not putting off to tomorrow what you can do today. I thought there were only one or two but Open Bible has collected 46!!! Forty six bible verses that pertain to doing things when you say you’ll do them and not putting them off! Oh My Goodness!!!! That has certainly surprised me. 

So perhaps I will get on and start on those spring cleaning chores. Though I think I’ll listen to Christine’s Liturgical Rebels podcasts as I do. Covering both the physical cleaning and a bit of spiritual cleaning too. And hopefully the biggest thing I’ll learn is not to put off till tomorrow what I am more than capable of doing today. 

Spirituality of Gardening Virtual Retreat: On May 11 from 10 am to 12 pm PT (check my timezone) We will discuss connections between community, spirituality and gardening. Explore the wonderful ways that God and God’s story are revealed through the rhythms of planting, growing and harvesting as well as the beauty of nature. This webinar is for anyone who admires the beauty of God’s good creation, likes to walk in nature, sit by the ocean or just relax and listen to the birds in the trees. It is based on Christine Sine’s popular book, To Garden with God and each participant will receive a digital copy of this book. 

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