How to Vacuum by Faith

October 31, 2012 · 2 comments

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by Melissa McDonald

I love the way our neo-shag carpet hides all my vacuuming imperfections. The only problem is that it tends to encourage me to let a little too much time slip by between cleanings. So two days ago Annette began to crawl she went around trying to eat all the cereal crumbs that had been hiding away in our living room floor before I could pry open her little fists.

Was it time to vacuum? Yes.

But there were a few things in the way. Like library books and wooden blocks and Mommy Quack and Hippity-Hop and their little stuffed friends and those toys that make a crinkle sounds when you wad them up and the lids to all my plastic containers. It was one of those days where as soon as I got my spatulas back in the drawer the train set had been dragged out of the bedroom and tracks were now intermingled with the color crayons.

I realized that vacuuming just wasn’t going to happen that afternoon.

After dinner Eric offered to take Miriam, our two year old, for a walk. Since she’s the one who screams and tries to crawl up my leg at the sight of the vacuum sweeper, I knew this was probably my golden opportunity to vacuum our living room.

But as soon as the garage door closed the beautiful sound of silence filled my ears I begin to wonder, “Do I really want to vacuum right now?”

I could read a book. I could browse the Internet. I could drink a cup of tea in complete peace. Vacuum? Really?

The temptation to live for myself rages in those silent moments. They are the moments when I need the gospel to free me to vacuum our living room.

I have an insatiable desire to fill my life with whatever pleases me at the moment– even when my family needs my help. The gospel tells me that Jesus– not a good cup of tea– is my portion, my treasure, my joy. The gospel reminds me that life on earth is very short and that afflictions, no less inconveniences, are not worth comparing to the glory that the church will know as his bride. The gospel reminds me that my Savior knelt before his disciples and washed the dirt from their feet. And the Spirit of God transforms me and gives me the strength I need to serve others like Jesus did.

God gets the glory because he empowers my loving service to my family. That night the grace of God freed me throw all the toys in the toy basket and speed vacuum the carpet before Miriam and her daddy returned from their walk.

Melissa McDonald and her husband Eric serve international students at The University of Iowa. Melissa is passionate about discipling women, starting with their two daughters and extending to the women she is privileged to know from around the world. Melissa blogs at Radiant Ministries Today and has written the Bible study guide: To Live Valiantly: A study on the Proverbs 31 Woman.


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1 Tim November 1, 2012 at 12:26 am

Was it vacuum time? It sounded like time for lunch! (“What are the kids having for lunch today?” “It looks like some cereal, a bit of pizza crust, and some mac & cheese.”)

I like how you brought all of this inot teh freedom we find in Christ. He frees us to take care of the responsibilities he gives us, and he frees us to engage in speed vacuuming instead of feeling like we need to make our homes look like a professional maid has cleaned the place!



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