This is what my bathroom looks like right now.
It’s quite a mess.
Practically, it’s one of the hardest rooms for me to keep clean. I’m in it for such a short period of time, usually while two little boys are asking for breakfast, or crying, or grabbing my legs, or accidentally turning the shower on themselves. I put my contacts in, brush my teeth and go. Sometimes if I’m lucky, I even get on some makeup.
Lately, I have felt like my bathroom most closely represents how I’m feeling inside. It makes sense, doesn’t it? It’s where we go to change from what we really look like to what we want people to see. It’s where no guests ever venture. It’s safe to be messy in there. But also, it’s easy to ignore. It’s easy to take care of everything else first. It’s easy to say “I’ll get to it later.”
It’s often what I do with my own heart.
Everyone kept telling us that church planting is the hardest things we can do as pastors. So I’m not surprised at the way this past month has felt. It has been really hard. But I also have ignored my heart. I’ve taken care of setting up our house, helping the boys adjust, spending time with family. But I haven’t stopped and grieved what we lost in Seattle. I haven’t called Hillary, or Jen, or Libby, or Addie, or Megan….the list goes on and on of my friends whom I miss so dearly. But I keep closing the door on that messy part and saying “I’ll deal with it later.”
I have a beautiful bathroom. High end hardware, marble tile, granite countertops. (We are renting, so thanks to the homeowners who upgraded that room first!) But when it gets messy, when there are legos on the floor and toothpaste in the sink and makeup on the counter, the beauty is lost. It’s a room that could feel like a spa and instead it feels like a chore.
I want a clean bathroom. And I want a clean heart. I want to take the time to pick up things and put them where they belong. To pick up my relationships and enjoy them, instead of leaving them scattered about and untouched. To take the time to enjoy a beautiful place of rest where Jesus meets me and speaks to me and calms me. A sanctuary where I can walk in just as I am and come out refreshed and ready to take on the world for the gospel.
No matter how hard this church planting thing is, I must take time to care for my own heart. Jesus is so faithful. He has given us an amazing home that we are supposed to use for his Kingdom. He has blessed us beyond description. The least I can do is keep my bathroom clean. So I’m going to go do that. And then I’m going to call a friend.