Friday, May 2, 2014

My Kind of Therapy

"It's 9a.m. I'm ready to be done for the day. I want to get back in bed," the blunt text to my husband read this morning.

In typical Superman fashion, he texted back with an encouraging word or two.

It's been a long week in the Brantner home, and I was just ready to crash into bed and let it be Saturday already. I trudged home from the grocery store. Anxious for it almost to be nap time, I put away all the groceries in the blink of an eye. But try as I might, I couldn't settle down.

I knew what I had to do. Clean.

My spice/catch all cabinet has long been the target of my "need to clean to work things out" therapy. But today, I knew I needed to do more.

Armed with the cleaning essentials, I shuffled my two ducklings up the stairs to play in their rooms.

"Maybe if I clean the whole upstairs, I might feel better," the next text to my husband read.

I realized.. that I LOVE cleaning!

Here are 4 of my favorite things about cleaning:

1. It's therapeutic.  Instead of wallowing in my (figurative) funk, I got up and got busy. My body tries to confuse me if I'm stressed sometimes and makes me think I'm sleepy. But, I knew I wasn't sleepy because I've been getting plenty of sleep. And I knew my kids definitely would not benefit from a mommy that wanted to wallow and nap all day. Whilst cleaning, I was able to pray about what's been going on in my heart and head this week. I was also able to happily entertain two little people by providing perfect scenarios for Lego Man and Barbie. Although, I'm pretty certain the Lord afforded me an extra heaping of grace and mercy in that department today. My kids usually prefer the company of Mommy sitting and playing right next to them all. the. time., and not just vocal encouragement and instruction.

2. It makes me realize how much we have. I love decorating our girl's hair. Love it. Love putting in a braid or making a fun bun. And I love buying them different hair accessories. But I didn't realize just how much we had. "Cleaning today. 2 things I am certain of. #1. I will never need to buy another hair accessory for my girls, as I have picked up at least 5000 hair bands, 6987 hair bows, and another 1,230,495 head bands. #2. I am a hoarder of books."  And its just not the hair accessories. It's our laundry too, and the dishes. Cleaning always gives me a grateful heart for the Lord's provision in our lives. I see first hand throughout the day just how full our tummies have been, how well clothed we have been, and how spoiled we are even with pretty things.

3. It helps take the added stress away. Sure, this one probably can be filed under number 1. But, if something is already got my mind whirring… an extra large heaping load of dirty laundry staring at me from the top of the stairs isn't necessarily going to ease my troubled mind. I can tend to the laundry, scrub those nooks and crannies, and process everything that's been going on. And when I'm done, I've got somewhat tangible proof of the work that's been done in my heart during the process. Today, the 'ol  blood pumper got a real thorough scrubbing. You can tell just how deep it was cleaned because I even cleaned out under the beds, got the vacuum attachments out and vacuumed under the beds too.

4. It almost counts as a workout. And we all know, that working out gives you endorphins. And endorphins make you happy. And happy people don't kill people. They just don't. Working out also burns calories. Which lets face it, I'll be enjoying those extra calories in the form of some chocolate. Chocolate is also one of my favorite therapeutic stress reducers. So, there you have it. It all comes kind of full circle really.

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