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living in filth?

I was thinking this evening about the phrase “living in filth”…because I do. Most of you know this. Most of you also know I obsess when I clean…I’m talking hours and hours on small square feet of space.
It takes me ages to clean a kitchen…I’m talking a solid day’s work. I get so easily distracted that I go to wipe down the cabinet and then I end up reorganizing the entire cabinet…are these spices old? Is this food bad? Should I throw this out? How often do I *really* use paprika?…this takes me ages.
So, as my cats are ALWAYS pooping in the floor (and now rubbing their butts on the carpet afterwards), I realized that I truly live in filth. As I got to thinking about this I realized that “living in filth” is the only phrase I can think of that starts with “living in…” besides “living in sin”. Now, I realize that people usually say that others are “living in sin” when they are living together as an unmarried couple, but then I thought, “Aren’t we all living *in* sin?” It ended up being so parallel for me. My first thought when I realized that I truly live in filth was that cleanliness is a never-ending battle for me. I clean and clean, I do loads and loads of laundry, I wash dish after dish…and the next day there is dust, cat hair, at least a dirty pair of underwear, and another glass of water…circle of life?…circle of filth.
It’s crazy to me that this relates directly to struggle with sin. There’s no way for me *not* to live in sin. I may not live with men before marriage, but I’m still living in sin. Even the people in the world I think of as the “most holy” people on the planet (memaw&pa) are living in sin. There’s no way *not* to live in sin, and I get that. Really, I do. But it shocked me that as little as I’ve thought about this lately, it’s so largely because my quest for perfection is EVERYWHERE. I accept mediocrity in everything because I am so afraid of failing. If I strive to “get by” at least I won’t fail when I just “get by”. Even so, thinking this way means I’m failing myself, and inevitably, God. However, I’m always going to fail God. This goes straight back to my issues with cleanliness/organization. I feel like it’s a never-ending cycle and sometimes that is SO hard for me to get out from under.
With everything that happened in my life in 2009, I just felt like I couldn’t breathe. For a large portion of ’08-’09 I felt like I was drowning…cue lyrics that describe my feelings:
“Come on, my star is fading
And I swerve out of control
If I, if I’d only waited
I’d not be stuck here in this hole…
Come on, oh my star is fading
And I see no chance of release
And I know I’m dead on the surface
But I am screaming underneath.”
That describes how I felt for a LONG time with 100% accuracy. It was indescribable. What’s worse, I really couldn’t figure out how to tell anyone. I couldn’t figure out how to get my thoughts out on paper, let alone verbally. So naturally, worrying about sin was top of the list as well. Shame, guilt, doubt, delusion…I felt all of those things. Nothing made sense: nothing about me, nothing about my family, nothing about my relationships with anyone. I just couldn’t figure anything out. Obviously.
When I figured things out, I still felt lost. I felt even further down in my hole because I couldn’t get rid of the fact that I felt relief and that sounded so awful. Feeling relief from a situation you choose to put yourself in and commit yourself to forever makes you feel like the biggest jerk ever. It made me feel fake, like I’d lied to everyone…especially myself. So the cycle of sin continued to spiral. The cycle of filth in my life continued to pull me down.
Cue hating God, hating faith, apathy, etc…
That was the fall of ’09. I actually said to someone, “I’m pretty sure God exists, I just feel like He’s not really that interested in being a part of my life.” Worst part? I still feel that way sometimes. The deep thoughts are helping though. I’m pondering all sorts of stuff I haven’t pondered in ages.
Anyway, I’m not sure what point I’m actually going for…besides that I applaud people who don’t get bogged down by living in literal filth or figurative filth [sin]. I attempted to do the FlyLady plan (www.flylady.net) and quickly got overwhelmed by cleaning things so often. I knew this would overwhelm me, but I am still determined to keep my house clean for at least a month…at some time in my life.
I’m determined not to let the fact that I’m doomed to live in sin be used an excuse to purposely sin or accept mediocrity, whether it’s blatant sin or just the sin of “getting by”.
I don’t know where this depth is coming from, but I also wanted to share with you some more beach photos. 🙂 Just for Haley.
“Serendipity” from Nights in Rodanthe


i heart water.

some more faves from that morning:

me & my bff flat kazakh-stanley.

view from the top of the dunes. love the steeple:
i heart plane lines. they look like shooting stars here.
sunset on the sound.
aaaaand i accidentally stalked a couple. 🙂 but honestly, what a romantic picture?!

i love when the moon is out right after the sun. i was laying on the sand. freak.
mmmmm…the wind was a-blowin’
new sunset? stalking new strangers.

i heart you too, sun. today’s sesame street lesson will be the lowercase letter “i”.
bright & blazing.
deeeLICIOUS wallpaper.
beautiful sky.

had to do one more self-portrait. 🙂

Christmas tree graveyard @ OuterBanksPier

last one on the blog: through the “cracks” (huge gaps) in the floor at OBX Pier. beautiful water.

what a beautiful weekend to be there. sorry for the randomly introspective/deep thoughts lately. thanks for reading. xo.



3 thoughts on “living in filth?

  1. I clean my room two or three times a week. I rearrange my room about once a season. I'm not sure if my issues with cleanliness are out of boredom or if I feel the need to clean until I can say I live in cleanliness. I get what you're saying about sin though. I could clean all day and night but I'll leave dust on the windowsill. I could wash all of my clothing, but what about the clothes I'm wearing that will inevitably be the first of the new batch of dirty laundry. We live in sin and we try our best to break out but we're stuck in sin. Not 'cause we wanna, but 'cause we gotta.

  2. Pingback: Proverbs 22:7 | Gourley Girl & Guy

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