What Are YOU Neglecting?

by Amanda Petersen

I was given a Lenten book called Simplifying the Soul by Paula Huston. I have not been able to move beyond the very first day of knowing what in my home I pay attention to and what I neglect. With my daughter and granddaughter in their own place now I find I am rediscovering my home.

I have noticed I pay attention to two major things. First that my home is ready for guests. Since I have friends over often I like my home to be at least surface clean and ready for them. The second area I focus on is knowing where things are. I do spend time revamping how I organize because I don't have time to go digging and searching. I want to know where I have stuff. So hospitality and organization are what I pay attention to.

What I neglect are the deep cleaning issues and just little things like the corners in the kitchen where the crumbs and grime are building. I also neglect the spaces that are important to me, my office, art room and bedroom. I have more emphasis on hospitality for others then I do with myself. I have an “I’ll get to that later” attitude. As I sit with what I neglect I think on how it affects the things that are important to me; hospitality and organization. The little things add up.  
This had me thinking about what is hidden and what is surface in my spiritual life. I was recently listening to someone speak on congruency. How what is going on inside really does seep through on the outside even when we try our best to disguise it. If we say we agree because getting along with others is important to us but we really don't agree, that incongruence comes through in one form or another.

My spiritual practice during this Lenten season is to notice what I neglect and why. I am going to stay with the first day of the Lenten practice. Each day combining an area of my home with an area of my life. By cleaning and honoring my office and paperwork am I being hospitable to myself? I notice where in my spirit I have been living on the surface and not going into the deep corners? By washing the walls can I be grateful for all that this home and my life has held in this past year? The gift of this time is I will find some gems and freedom as I shine a light on the dark corners waiting to be seen and I'll smile every time I open the door to my art room. No one else will know but inside my soul I will. And that is what will shine through.