I Don’t Make Many Messes….. But….

Just Thinking…..

I’m a neat person. I’m organized, clean. I put things away when I’m finished with them. I wipe up spills, file papers, and put dishes into either the dishwasher or cabinet, as the situation warrants. We empty the trash on a regular basis. I clean my closets, scrub the toilets, wash windows. Like I said, neat.

But when I make a mess, I make it big. Good and big. Huge, actually. My messes are different from this picture. This is more like a habitual mess….. a hoarding mess. That’s not me.


Even this next picture is not my kind of mess. This is an uncontrolled mess of a shorter duration than the hoarding kind of mess. My big messes are more of a very short term kind of thing, a sudden burst of a mess sort of thing.

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Take for example, the time I tried to cook rhubarb.

Growing up, I helped Mom with the rhubarb. I cut it out of the patch. I chopped off the big leaf at the top. I cut the stalk into inch lengths. I washed it. But I realized when I was married and in my own home, faced with a stack of rhubarb, that I had never actually cooked it.

Those rock hard little nubbins would surely take all day to simmer and soften. I didn’t have that sort of time, so out came my trusty pressure cooker. I packed in the rhubarb and water and fired up the stove. The little jiggler thing on the top began to dance and make a noise. So far, so good.

But suddenly the jiggler thing flew straight up into the air, followed by a pink stream of steaming goo. The pink mucus hit the ceiling and then began to drip and form pink stalactites. I knew I had to get the pressure cooker off the burner, or at least turn off the burner, but it was dangerous navigating the hot dripping glop. I searched for an umbrella, but alas…. So I ran about, calling out the Hub’s name, hoping that he could hear me and rescue me.

Brave man. He dodged the “stuff” and turned off the stove. I was left with a very pink kitchen to clean, and I ended up with a permanently pink stained ceiling. The sweet stickiness covered every surface in the room; my feet stuck to the floor with every step. It took several days to completely clean the mess. Big mess….

After that, I tried to be careful. But I recently had another disaster. A friend gave me some lovely beets. I put water into a large pot and heated it on the stove. I cleaned the beets, carefully leaving on the stems and roots (so that all the color doesn’t bleed out during cooking). I gently placed the beets into the boiling water.

And then I got busy with something else and forgot them. The smell of charred veggies and the wafting smoke reminded me of my transgression. I yelled at the Hubs to OPEN THE GARAGE DOOR, and I grabbed the pot with pot holders and bee lined it outside. I opened windows, fanned, and prayed that the smoke detector would not start to blare. And even a can of Oust could not remove the odor….

The next morning, I surveyed the damage. The pot was charred inside, but I had heard that boiling a little water and baking soda could clean messes like this. So I added water and baking soda to the pot and put it back onto the stove. For good measure, I added a squirt of dish soap. Couldn’t hurt, right? I turned up the heat.

Then the phone rang. And then, some time later, I heard a strange hiss.

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Now this picture is not my pot or stove. I was too embarrassed to take a picture of the mess I had made. My mess was about 4 times worse than what you see in this pic. White billowy foam covered the stove top, the burner cavities, had run down the oven door, was in the little storage drawer under the oven, had dripped onto the floor, and was on the counter tops. I grabbed a roll of paper towels and began to sop up the mess.

What I learned was that boiling baking soda in water can leave a fine white powder on any surface, and that it mocks my cleaning. Paper towels, wet dishcloths, dry cloth towels, rinse and repeat, and rinse and repeat finally did the trick. I had to lift the stove top, take out all the burners and burner shields and wash them repeatedly. I had to clean the oven and the drawer. The floor was wet….. and I slipped. I had soda powder all over my clothes and it was in my hair and under my finger nails. What a mess….

The good news was the pot really did come clean of the charred beets. But getting the white film off it was not so easy.

I was reflecting on this latest mess while changing my clothes.

The kitchen was clean again. I brushed the dry soda out of my hair. All the soppy wet towels could be washed. Everything looked as if nothing had happened. But I knew the hard work that went into the clean up.

I’ve made some other messes in life that weren’t so easy to clean up. Ever have a financial mess that took a while to clean? Ever have a professional or personal mess that you had to struggle to clean? I’ve been blessed that I’ve been protected from the worst messes that I could have slipped in, but like most folks, I’ve had my share of situations that were my fault. And it took time to clean it up.

And then there’s that whole sin-mess. So grateful that Jesus helped me clean that up, and I can’t possibly know or understand the hard work that went into the cross….. just to clean up my mess. And like the rhubarb fiasco, I find myself calling for help when I’m deep into my mess. So grateful that God hears me call….

Oh, did I mention that I cooked the next batch of beets with no incident? Whew…..

Father, I confess. I have sinned. Sometimes I didn’t even realize what I was doing, but most of the time, I just walked straight and deliberately into the messes. Forgive me. When I think of what You went through just to pull me out of my mess and clean it all up, I am ashamed. And I am grateful that You loved me enough to do this for me. I’m grateful that You heard me when I called out Your name.

To God Be The Glory…..


Published in: on August 21, 2013 at 3:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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