“It has to get messy before it gets clean”


This week’s Vinebranch Book Club book is Rachel Held Evans’s A Year of Biblical Womanhood. In the following passage, she writes about new domestic chores she’s taken up in her attempt to be a truly “biblical woman” (Proverbs 31:15, Titus 2:5). Using a Martha Stewart book as a guide, she’s decided to maximize her limited kitchen space by cleaning out and organizing the contents of her kitchen cabinets and drawers. Not that I know anything about housekeeping from personal experience, but I liked this insight.

Mom did this every now and then when we were kids. She’d put a Carole King tape in the stereo, empty all the drawers and cabinets in the kitchen, and clean the whole thing top to bottom while singing at the top of her lungs about the earth moving under feet and the sky tumbling down a-tumbling down. Amanda and I watched, bewildered, among the stockpots and frying pans. Shouting above the music, she told us, “It has to get messy before it gets clean”—a philosophy that pretty much sums up every meaningful experience of my life, from homemaking to friendships to faith. Sometimes you’ve just got to tear everything out, expose all the innards, and start over again.[†]

Truer words…

Rachel Held Evans, A Year of Biblical Womanhood (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2012), 28.

One thought on ““It has to get messy before it gets clean””

  1. Very true words, and hopefully we all learn to clean things up before they get to “messy” in all aspects of our lives and spiritual walk. Though at times I feel that I haven’t gotten there personally at times.

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