Several years ago , like over 20 years ago to be more precise time-wise, I cleaned houses in Beaufort, SC . . . and I was good. The one thing I took away from a step-mom named
witch I mean Brenda (and just to be clear that strike-through is a joke. God dealt with that the first two years of my sobriety. I am so thankful to be able to say I have forgiven her and God has healed my heart that was very bitter in regards to Brenda. Only God can do what He did for me. He brought Ezekiel 36:26 to life.) . . . but that’s not exactly what this post is about . . . nonetheless . . . it was Brenda that taught me how to clean. Clean the pool. Pull Weeds (which is the humor in the book title the Lord gave me for my book . . . see . . . God has a sense of humor and it’s okay for me too, as well.), scrub floors, clean your stove top if yo
u want your kitchen to look clean even if it’s a mess, when you wash dishes always clean your sink out and polish up those handles and knobs, when you clean the outside of the fridge clean the handles thoroughly, and when you are wiping down doors, always do the door knobs . . . oh the list can go on and on. But what is incredible is how God used a horrible time in my life to teach me. He even used those moments before I had a personal relationship with Him. I was bonded, insured, and licensed to work and loved it. There was nothing like walking in to a mess and leaving with immaculate. My grandparents had always used Kirby (until in their later years of life they found the light weight Orek) but that’s what I remember . . . that OLD. RED. KIRBY. It is referred to as the “Classic” model. It was hard to push but that thing was awesome so when it came time to make a good purchase for my cleaning business I knew I wanted a Kirby. At that time the G4 was the latest model.
When I was evicted from the trailer I was living in for non-payment of rent (even after I had been bailed out many times by my grandparents) I walked away from everything. I had no-where to live. My daughter was visiting her grandparents (thankfully) and didn’t see me throw everything out. I still hurt over the dishes and furniture that were my grandparent’s that I walked away from . . . That pain cuts deep for those items I can never replace . . . and yet God still restores.
About four weeks ago my current vacuum cleaner died. It couldn’t withstand the amount of dog and cat hair and dirt we track through this house day in and day out. It was purchased inexpensively because it was being discontinued so it served its purpose. I began looking and praying for a replacement one. Every time I would go for the next discontinued or clearance item the Lord said, “wait.”
I then started scanning varagesale for a used one (ew . . . the last the I wanted was someone else’s dirty vacuum cleaner . . . just keeping it real here), but that’s where I sensed to look. Then one day I cam across the advertisement for a Kirby Vacuum Cleaner in immaculate condition. The price was a whopping $25 (and I can assure you, Kirby’s cost a lot more than that!). There were several people ahead of me, but I spoke up to be added to the “next” person list. She gave each person adequate time to respond and a few days later she messaged me and asked if I was still interested. I asked a few more questions, some that went unanswered, but I figured for $25 maybe . . . just maybe it would be okay. When I got the Kirby home it was obvious it was not okay. I was livid and if I could I would have kicked myself in the backside for even thinking a person would charge $25 for an immaculate Kirby. Made a few phone calls and found the only Kirby repairman in Pensacola. Took the Kirby in and explained the nasty smell, the clanking, and the fact I can’t afford a big repair bill so to not do anything until he diagnosis the problem. I received a call yesterday from the Kirby man. Now his initial fee is $24.99 just for him to look at it. The bag was so bad it had to be sent off and cleaned, that’s another $6.99. The bags are very high so I ordered 2 for $10.99 but the unknown factor was that clanking. So when the Kirby man on the end of the line said, the total is $46.11 for the entire repair of this $25 Kirby find, I couldn’t help be see the hand of God because just to purchase a REFURBISHED Kirby like I got, with ALL the attachments for floors, ceilings, shampooing would run close to $500 or more . . . and it is . . God has given me a 2009 model for less than $75.
As quick as I took my next breath God spoke to my heart. He reminded of the scripture found in Joel 2:25, “The LORD says, “I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts. It was I who sent this great destroying army against you.”
Now I am not foolish enough to believe that the consequences of my actions those twenty plus years ago were someone else’s fault. They were mine. I made poor choices. I chose to party and drink instead of paying rent. I chose to be a neglectful person. I chose selfishness.
But yet God . . . He chose to show me, once again, how He restores. How He provides. How He blesses. How those details from a painful past still can be used for good.
He chose to show me another measure of grace, redemption, and restoration . . . and He chose to use . . . of all things . . . a Kirby.
God. Is. In. The. Details.
I’ve never been so excited to vacuum my carpets as I was yesterday. I plugged that heavy beast in, flipped the “drive” switch and it hummmed like the sound of my grandparents Classic Red Kirby. I couldn’t help but smile . . . until I looked down and noticed how full my bag was just from vacuuming the living room alone! I had forgotten how well Kirby’s work and remember . . . it had been a month since I didn’t have a vacuum cleaner. And remember. . . . I only bought two bags because that’s all I could afford. So this morning, because I know how well a Kirby works I decided to try it again to see how much I could get up again from the living room. Well, all I can say is, if you are a germ freak and if you think your vacuum works good, I dare you to try the Kirby. By the time I finished the living room again, just one day after using it for the first time, the bag was full again. And while I over filled it using it on the rest of the house including the tile and those hard to reach cob-webs in the corners of the house . . . I just can’t help but think of another scenario through scripture. Because we have a triple tone shag carpet it hides dirt so well. the carpets didn’t look dirty but they were apparently filled with dirt. Luke 8:17 says, “For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all,” and then again in Luke 12:2 the Bible says, “There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.” There are several other references to the scriptures about hidden sins and secrets . . oh it makes me shudder to think of the “things” hidden in my heart . . . the secrets . . . the mistakes . . . the thoughts . . . it is those secrets we don’t want anyone to know that we must bring to the Father. Confessing those to Him for by doing so you have just removed a foothold that Satan is holding over you. There is no more condemnation because you have already brought to light what Satan wants you to keep hidden . . . and I can assure you, he doesn’t want you to keep it hidden for your benefit. He wants you to stay in bondage.
If you are searching for freedom today, you can have it. Only Jesus can give you what you are searching for. You can have freedom. John 8:32 says, “You will know the truth and that truth will set you free.” Walk in it today. Remove those shackles and chains and be free.
Oh Father, as I am praying you bring this song to mind . . . and this is my prayer Oh God, that you break every chain . . . break every chain . . .break every chain . . . I Lord I yearn to be free. Make it so Lord, today. This day. Give me the courage, the strengthn, the endurance to be who You have called me to be. I want to hear those chains falling to the ground Lord and only you can do this for me. Make is so. Amen.