Sunday, September 12, 2010

Spring Cleaning in the Fall

After I was diagnosed with cancer, Mark and I seemed to miss summer, fall, winter, and spring.  Cancer treatment was at the top of the priority list, and there was nothing else on the list. All the usual things fell by the wayside. Home maintenance, yard maintenance, cleaning, laundry, repairs - anything that wasn't directly related to cancer treatment just didn't happen in the last 15 months. 

Now that treatment is behind us, it feels like we are beginning to emerge from the cocoon. Slowly, I am digging out from under the piles of paperwork that have been left to build over the past year. I have begun the unpleasant project of cleaning out the garage. You can imagine how fun that is after 15 months of not being swept or cleaned at all - lots of little critters are living there! I am getting rid of old clothes, and unused household items; cleaning out drawers and cabinets. 

The funny thing is how good it feels! I actually have the strength and stamina to do these things! I can carry boxes! I can climb ladders! I can push and pull and sweep and scrub! And I am so happy to do so! Cancer definitely changes your perspective on things! 

One of the projects that had been postponed was our yard. Sadly, we lost several palm trees and other plants during the past winter. And sadly for our neighbors, we hadn't done anything about the yard all this time! This past week, our good friend and landscaper, Fred, came to the rescue! His guys replaced our dead trees, brought new shrubs, trimmed and cleaned out the beds, planted seasonal flowers, checked the sprinkler system, and made our house look like someone lives in it again! 

Fred spruced up the landscaping, but even more than that, he used his gifts and skills to touch my heart! In selecting new plants to put in our yard, Fred remembered my love for Latin America. When his crew arrived at our house they brought with them hibiscus, purple leaf banana, a tree from the Dominican Republic, a beautiful purple bougainvillea, and several other plants from Mexico. I was so touched that he would personalize my yard in this way, making it a special oasis for us! 

Inspired by the new plants, I even decided to clean the back windows so we could actually look out and see them! I spent a couple of hours Saturday afternoon cleaning windows, cleaning patio furniture, and the back of the house. I woke up Sunday morning, sore all over, and loving it! 

Every mundane task has new significance now. The ordinary chores of daily living bring joy. I feel like I am seeing things for the first time again, as if through the eyes of a child, full of wonder at the beauty of life. I am alive! Thank you God for new eyes to see the beauty of life!

One of the songs we sang at church today has the line, "I can't bow low enough..." And that's exactly how I feel now. I can't bow low enough. I can't begin to express my gratitude to God for what He's done in my life. For now, I'll just keep singing, and cleaning, smiling, and enjoying every new day.

Cielo by Phil Wickham
I can't bow low enough
I can't bow low enough
at the vision of You my God
I can't hold it all inside
I'm reaching for the One who brought me out of death and into life
but I can't lift my hands high enough
lift my hands high enough
when I'm reaching for You my God
I can't lift my hands high enough
lift my hands high enough
when I'm reaching for You my God
oh I'm reaching for You my God 

Link to "Cielo" by Phil Wickham

I hope God gives each of you new eyes to see the beauty of each new day. Have a great week!


  1. What BEAUTIFUL flowers and how special that they were chosen just for you!
    Thank you for the reminder that our mundane tasks to have a purpose! I will remember that this week for sure!

  2. OH I can't WAIT to come see these new flowers AND the new palms!! BEAUTIFUL!!! Love you and so thankful for your strength!!