I Stopped Making My Bed in 2001
by Lori Anderson, Local & Global Initiatives at EFC Southwest
I stopped making my bed in 2001.
When I was growing up, I made my bed every day. It was a rule. It wasn’t a bad rule. Things like that helped me to learn responsibility; the value of taking care of my belongings; some measure of neatness is respectful to those around me.
In 2001 we moved into a house where all the bedrooms were upstairs. So the truth is, it’s not just the bed. I easily let the entire upstairs go. Who goes up there? Why should I spend time and energy dealing with rooms no one sees?
But the truth is, it wears on me. In my heart I’m a clean and tidy person. I enjoy being in a clean and tidy space. The reality of secret messes feels defeating.
So I’ve started ruthlessly attacking the junk drawers, and the piles of papers, and the preschool artwork from nearly 20 years ago. I’ve designed a new filing system for all the papers in our house. We’ve made many trips to the Goodwill to share our bounty with others. It feels great. (Now for the maintenance….)
This is a metaphor for my life. Having a “half-clean” house is often a picture of my heart. I tend to the things that are obvious to others. Sometimes I know God wants to tend to “the upstairs”, and I don’t want to. I’d rather wipe down the kitchen counters one more time.
Even when no one knows the upstairs is a mess, I know it. And when things are wearing on my soul, it affects how I relate to all of the people in my world—even if they have no idea what’s going on.
It’s a lot of work to hide things. It’s even more work to un-hide things. Un-hiding brings freedom and light.
Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. Psalm 51:6, 17
Teach me your way, O Lord, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. Psalm 86:11-12
NEWSFLASH! We recently got new bedding that I really, really like, so I’ve started making the bed again after 15 years. Babysteps!