Keep Your Poop Outside the Camp

So I’m reading along in Deuteronomy today, and I come across this:

Deuteronomy 23:12-14
English Standard Version (ESV)
12″You shall have a place outside the camp, and you shall go out to it. 13And you shall have a trowel with your tools, and when you sit down outside, you shall dig a hole with it and turn back and cover up your excrement. 14Because the LORD your God walks in the midst of your camp, to deliver you and to give up your enemies before you, therefore your camp must be holy, so that he may not see anything indecent among you and turn away from you.”

So I know at this point you probably think I have been hanging out with my 4 and 3 year old boys too much and I’m just going to say how funny this is, but that’s not it. It really struck me! I mean, I spend a huge amount of my time on mommywife duties. This means I spend more time cooking and cleaning than probably anything else. Except maybe sleep. If I’m lucky! Anyway, sometimes I get so down about how hard it is to keep up, and then I’m upset, so I’m praying about it, but then before I get very far into my prayers, I think, “Wait…. Am I really talking to the God of the universe about the ring in my toilet?!” Then I have these arguments with myself about whether or not it’s appropriate to pray about stuff like that.

Most recently in my arguments with myself, I’ve decided that if it’s important to me, then one of two things must be true:

It shouldn’t be important to me.
It is important, and therefore God cares.

So is keeping my house clean important? Does is matter “this side of heaven”? Well, I certainly think it does, and I was just thrilled to come across this command, which I feel affirms it. It is, of course, an entirely different issue deciding how important this is to be in each home (and a sadly common mistake to place this goal above more important ones), but a worthy goal it is! After all, God said to poop outside the camp!! Why? Because God walks around in the camp! I invite God and His Holy Spirit into our home all the time!! Why should I not spend some of my time making my home fit for not only my family and my company, but God Himself? Cleaning up for the most important company I have?

So my prayers about these things will consist mostly of asking for wisdom in prioritizing the tasks of wife-ing, mothering, housekeeping, and working, but I will also feel free to lament to my God when I am overwhelmed by the tasks set before me, even if the tasks revolve around poop. And trust me, with 3 kids under the age of 5, tasks that revolve around poop are really not all that uncommon.

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