By Tina Gist
Do you have “hot spots” of clutter around the house? For instance, are there spots where junk mail lands, dirty laundry ends up on the floor, books don’t get re-shelved, clean laundry collects, toys get scattered, and before you know it you are tripping over the vacuum cord?
The Gist Family home runs much smoother when we have frequent “five minute fire drills”. Our children know when Mommy or Daddy announces, “Five minute fire drill! Get ready. Get set. Go!” their job is to clean like the dickens until they hear the five minute timer ring. In a matter of minutes, the floors in the children’s rooms are miraculously visible again, wet towels are off the bathroom floor, Legos don’t pierce the bottoms of our feet, vacuum cords cease to trip us, and Mommy has had five minutes to put out her “fires” as well. When that five minute timer rings, we (all 7 of us) feel more settled and tranquil in our home. In fact, there are times when the kids will beg for more time, so guess what we do? Yep, another five minutes and the house just gets cleaner and cleaner. All of this is at once reactive and proactive. It deals with the mess already made and helps to prevent it in the future. And when it’s all over, we settle back into the tasks or activities we were doing prior to the “Five Minute Fire Drill”.
Just like we put out little fires in our homes, more importantly, we can do the same with our spiritual homes—our hearts. Even if you are a busy mom and cannot carve out large chunks of time for bible study, you might be able to grab a “five minute fire drill” here and there to spend with the Savior. When our souls are left without proper fire prevention, sin creeps in and little “fires” are lit. If those little fires are not extinguished, they often turn into blazing fires, i.e. losing our patience with our children, being discouraged by the cares of everyday life, becoming self- focused, or falling into self-pity. All of this occurs because our focus moves off Jesus and his glorious gospel. If you have several bibles, consider spreading them around so there is one in a number of rooms. I like to keep a copy of Charles Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening by the side of my bed and in the kitchen. I find those are the two rooms I most frequent during the day, and that helps keep my focus on the Lord, even when I only have five minutes here or there. By strategically placing God’s word (and other tools) to grow spiritually, you have access to the fountain of faith that can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one and even the little fires that spring up in your own heart.
May Hebrews 12:1-3 encourage your soul:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Pioneer and Perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Tina Gist, a stay-at-home wife and mother of five children, has been married to Mark Gist for over 18 years and they reside in Escondido, California. Tina and her family are a part of the body of Christ at Grace Church North County, San Diego. She enjoys music, reading, home decorating, and taught elementary school for seven years before becoming a mother and home schooling her own children.
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