Sometimes, he wakes up before I do and I can hear him puttering around downstairs. First I hear the clink and scoop of coffee being made, then I hear the rattle of the dishwasher being loaded or unloaded. When I finally make it downstairs, the kitchen often looks better than I left it.
In my defense, I have improved over time. While it's always been important to me that the public areas of our house be presentable, I have, in the last year, started making my bed every morning and, strangely, I now can't go downstairs until it's done. I've learned to fold clothes as they come out of the dryer so they won't get wrinkled, and I'm much better at cleaning the kitchen before I go to bed. But, there's one area of my life that I can't unclutter.
It's my Hope Closet. I believe every home should have a hope closet, a hope drawer, a hope bin or a hope chest. In the old days, a hope chest was a place for a woman to collect things she planned to use in her married life. That's not the kind of hope chest or closet I'm talking about.
My Hope Closet is really a junk closet, but I call it a Hope Closet because if I need something, I can always hope it's in there. Often it is. My Hope Closet is full of many of the usual things you'd expect to find: batteries, light bulbs, tools, paint, screening supplies, jars of screws, nails and fasteners. But, because it's the place I throw things when I'm not sure where to store them, it's a place full of surprises as well. I often forget what I've put in there.
When I have need of an item to finish a project, I go to my Hope Closet and dig, and sometimes I pray as I dig. I don't know what's in there, and because I don't know, I pray that I'll find what I need. Now, don't laugh, but I feel like God usually answers these silly prayers. Faith is about things unseen, and there are plenty of those in my Hope Closet.
Here's a picture of it.
If you come to visit, I will not show it to you. I'm not proud of the disarray, and if I were a complete convert to neatness, everything would be in neatly labeled boxes. Neatly labeled boxes that completely took away my ability to hope and pray for something unseen. In my life, hoping for things unseen is something I don't want to miss.