when dirty floors meet grace

when dirty floors meet grace @natashametzler

When the ladies group ended and I left that night, I had to push down this wild envy that took over my heart. Glistening floors. They had sparkled at me through the meeting and I had to keep pulling my attention back to the subject at hand. Oh, how I desired to have such beautifully clean floors. 

I was determined to do a better job at this particular chore. How did they get so dirty anyway? I didn’t even have children!

The next morning, after barn chores, I set to scrubbing. When I was done I felt a measure of satisfaction. Now, just to maintain!

It wasn’t too many minutes later that a knock sounded at the door. An older neighbor was stopping by to see my husband so I invited him in and turned to go back to washing dishes.

“Come in,” my husband said, “have a seat.”

“No, no,” the man answered, “I don’t want to get your wife’s floor dirty.”

I heard myself saying, “Oh, my! Don’t worry about floors. They clean up.” And it dawned on me; this was how my floors got dirty.

Five different men came through my kitchen that morning. None of them took off their big lace-up work boots. All of them drank a cup or two of coffee. They all heard the gospel, right there at my kitchen table while mud and snow dripped off their boots.

My husband’s words painted pictures of a dirty messy cross and my floors were graced with muddy footprints.

One man turned to me as he left, “Sorry about your floors, ma’am.”

I shrugged and smiled, “No big deal. They’re just floors. Made to walk on.” And I believed it.

But later is occurred to me that maybe they were more than that. Maybe my floors were something I could use to extend grace. These men who trudge through mud and muck, working from sun-up to sun-down—don’t they need grace, just as I do? And I can offer it by allowing them to keep their boots on. And maybe, as I am wiping up mud after they are gone, this, for me, is a version of washing feet?

Sometimes I still flush in embarrassment when women are there, when I imagine I see a disapproving glance from the corner of an eye.  I want everyone to think that I’m put-together and capable of everything.

But I’m not.

I can’t maintain glistening floors and an atmosphere of grace to the men that my husband is called to share the gospel with.

Maybe someday. But not today.

So for now; I make pots of coffee, offer sugar and creamer and pray unceasingly for the souls at my kitchen table.  And my dirty floors don’t cause me to be envious anymore.

I kind of like them, actually. 



edited repost
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31 thoughts on “when dirty floors meet grace

  1. That’s awesome. 🙂 Reminds me of this quote: “Love is the thing that enables a woman to sing while she mops up the floor after her husband has walked across it in his barn boots.”

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  2. Your writing is a gift, Natasha. Wonderful.

    Homes were made to be lived in, a place to welcome others in God’s grace. Your home isn’t the only one with muddy floors covered by grace.

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  3. Thank you so much for this image this morning! I fall so short when it comes to “washing feet.” Your floors help me see where I too might serve others in tangible ways. Hugs!

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  4. Oh how I have envied other’s clean floors & kitchens… thank you for this beautiful post to help me keep priorities straight.

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  5. Love this 🙂 Making me think since I basically force everyone to take shoes off here. I have carpet though so not sure how to scrub those bad boys down but oh I love to think deeply about the choices/rules I make. Thanks for the challenge to pay attention to God in things that sometimes seem so “simple”. Thanks 😀

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    • Oh, carpet makes a difference! 😉
      It is definitely a continual journey to be surrendering- making sure we are living grace and not just our personal agendas.

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  6. Thanks, Natasha, I now feel a little better about my floors :). I cringe to think my neglect may not be grace related though–I just dislike scrubbing floors.

    You always have such a wonderful way of illustrating surrendering in the dailiness of life. Thanks for the inspiration to keep laying it all down–including my floors.

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    • Oh, trust me– mine is not always grace related either! 🙂 But I do think that the ability to overlook dirt can be a gift at times. 😉

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  7. I look so forward to reading your posts! You always give me a new way to look at “things”. I especially liked your experience with the little boy and the maple syrup……. Thank You!

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  8. Yes. oh my yes. I love you so much…geekin’ out girl! Thanks for this healthy reminder! I had one of these moments this past Monday when my husband had some men over for a small prayer group. I cleaned house but no longer do I fuss about those things such as the haze of mildew I can’t keep off the bathroom wall because the roof has been leaking ….like forever. Yeah. Thanks.

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    • Ha! i hear you. 🙂 And if my house was perfect all the time, I would miss these awesome blessings like, my friends showing up earlier (before I arrived home from running errands) and setting right into cleaning– washing all my dishes, doing laundry and scrubbing down my bathroom.

      Now THEY know how to wash feet. 😉

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