I HAD to deep clean the kids' rooms. Oh- my- goodness. I honestly thought they had been putting things away properly when I sent them to clean their rooms! All kinds of things were shoved in corners and in the wrong drawers. Ugh...
I was pretty patient most of the time, but when I found one of Jayden's dirty, wet diapers in one of the older boys' drawers, I had to give my lecture about the importance and prudence of doing things right the first time. Abe joined in on the lecture, and our clean-up session quickly became our Monday night "Family Home Evening" lesson/activity.
Our home is never spotless, but it is usually pretty clean. I take a box or two of old clothes or toys to Goodwill several times a year. I do, however, have a hard time giving away things of sentimental value... and things that others have graciously sacrificed to give to us.
As I went through the children's clothes last night, I realized they have WAY too many clothes. I never had clothes that cute growing up, so it is hard for me to get rid of the kids' clothes... in case they "need" them. As I sorted, I pictured so many other little children benefitting from the nice clothes, and I felt the Spirit strongly encourage me to donate more of the cute clothes than I had originally planned.
We were able to gather a MOUNTAIN of clothes to donate to charity... my next project is to sort through the clothes that are being passed down to younger siblings!!
As a family, we organized until late into the night. We all breathed a big sigh of relief as we looked around at the tidy closets and dressers. We gathered for family night prayer, and Abe offered the prayer. I felt the Spirit really strong again as he asked that the children would recognize the importance of cleanliness. He also asked that the Spirit be able to dwell more in our home because of that cleanliness.
We sent the children to bed and did a little work on the computer. When Abe and I went upstairs to our bedroom, we discovered some letters that had been delivered to our bedside mailboxes! :-)
A couple of years ago, Tyson started a tradition of writing letters and secretly delivering them to our bedsides- everybody else followed suit and wrote letters to each other. Nobody had taken the time to write any letters to each other for the past several months, so Abe and I were surprised to find these sweet notes after such an intense and tiring organizing and cleaning session.
As I looked at the letters, a thought came to me... because of the cleanliness, their love and the Spirit was stronger in their hearts- just as Abe had requested in our family prayer.
Each of their letters gave us GREAT joy.
I believe this principle to be true... our homes should be like temples. That is the goal I hope to achieve... VERY SOON! :-)