Next to Godliness

This summer has been one of us staying purposefully close to home. After a few years of us being on a constant run, we made the decision to slow our pace down, and allow our summer vacation to be a break from the never-ending whirlwind in which we live. We’ve taken the time to focus our energies on our children, our home, and our relationship with God. Unfortunately, no matter how great our plans have been, we can’t find the peace that we’re seeking.

We like to think that our home is a place where God is welcome, where we invite Him into our family and our lives, but can He be found in the cluttered chaos which is my home?  Not “Is He here?” but can He be found?  Or does the mess and the chaos shield His calming presence from us?

Messiness is very tedious and exhausting not just to my soul, but to my eyes and mind as well.  In all of that fatigue, where is God?  He is ever-present, to be sure, but who has the energy to seek Him?  I know that I do not.

I have spent the past few weeks fasting and praying in an effort to purge from myself that which is not “of God.”  I have left this part alone.  It is the most difficult because it is not just myself, but the whole of my family which has fallen into this trap.  I am truly beginning to see it as a trap of the Evil One.  There is a reason behind the cliche “cleanliness is next to godliness”  I have scoffed at this saying many times, but now am seeing it with clear eyes at last.  The mess is a barrier to the sound of God.  It is a wall between my Creator and myself.

I will be spending the weeks from now until the new school year begins in penitential cleaning.  Sweeping the cobwebs from my house and the clutter from my soul.  We will begin our new school year in a house which has been prepared to welcome the Lord to enter in, because if He knocked on my door today I’d be too embarrassed to let Him inside.


photo credit: dandelions in a bowl on my counter. I took it. Don’t steal it.

About Rebecca Frech

Rebecca Frech is a Catholic author, speaker, CrossFit coach, and the Managing Editor of The Catholic Conspiracy website. She is the author of the best-selling books Teaching in Your Tiara: A Homeschooling Book for the Rest of Us and Can We Be Friends? She is a co-host of the popular podcast The Visitation Project, and is a columnist for The National Catholic Register. She and her husband live just outside Dallas with their eight children, a German Shepherd named Dave, and an ever-multiplying family of dust-bunnies.
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