My grandma was happy with me yesterday because I rolled up my sleeves and cleaned the house. And in the process of cleaning, I used lots of baking soda.
My mom believes in using baking soda for cooking, cleaning, deodorizing, brushing one’s teeth, removing stains, etc. There’s a container of baking soda in the pantry, a cup behind the sink, a box on the washing machine, a bag in the cupboard above the clothes dryer, and, if I’m not mistaken, a cup underneath the stove. As a child, I was so convinced of baking soda’s magical properties that I sprinkled the stuff on cookies and ate them.
But Mom’s in Canada for two weeks. She couldn’t have stopped me from using Clorox, Lysol, and Dawn. I could have saved myself the extra elbow grease that natural cleaning requires. I chose to use baking soda because I know that’s what she would want. At the same time, however, she gives me freedom to make my own choices, so I bleached my bathroom because desperate times call for desperate measures. Combining my knowledge of Mom’s nature and the fact that I’m a free-thinking adult, I used both baking soda and an appropriate amount of “other stuff”.
This week, I’m stepping back from a situation to seek God’s will for it. Some of the questions I’m asking are: Is my heart in the right place? Does this over-consume my time? Have I placed God on the back burner?
That’s why I cleaned the house – I needed an outlet for the mental energy thrashing about.
These are some excerpts from my nightly thought process documenting:
Day One: Confused about the peace I have after stepping back. Does it mean God’s telling me I’m in a good place and haven’t been idolizing, or is it just the other way around: this was what I needed to do to put God back in first place?
Day Two: No revelations yet. Is no news good news? Or does it mean “keep puttering on, Camellia; you’re pretty good here?” Should I ask for a miraculous sign, or is what I really need to simply trust and jump? Do I need something? What if nothing happens?
Day Three: Last night, I asked God for a sign, a big sign, a small sign, a nice sign, any sign. But why do I need a sign to trust and walk? It’s like so-and-so’s whole “I would change if God told me to change, but He hasn’t said anything” when DUH!- He’s using your friends, your family, and the Bible, and you inherently know it’s wrong. So then…what is happening with God’s gentle voice and those around me? Good. Question. But, a sign would be nice.
I don’t see red flags for this situation, although I see areas for my improvement. After seeking counsel from friends, older women, and family, the choice remains mine to make.
I haven’t made a decision yet, but as I’ve evaluated the situation, I’m remembering something God’s been teaching me over and over: as I seek Him, I will know His nature. As I seek Him, He gives me grace to fall, arise, and grow. As I seek Him, He gives me freedom to choose. And out of love for Him, I will choose what I know will please Him.
Mom gives me freedom to do my thing, but knowing her nature, and because I love her, I chose baking soda.
And I guess that’s what faith looks like sometimes: moving without a given sign. Jumping into the unknown as I trust the nature of God.
Day Four: A sign would be nice, but I don’t need one. God reveals His nature as I walk with and learn about Him. I will know which roads will damage me; I know which paths will please Him. I can choose in the freedom of knowing His nature.