“Strength and dignity are her clothing and her position is strong and secure; she smiles at her future.” Proverbs 31:25 (AMP)
“Lord, let our house be something more than just a shelter with a door; May its windows glow with light, shedding radiance through the night. Not just a glitter of glass and chrome, but give it the feel of a happy home.” Christine White
- Come join me as we explore homemaking. What does it mean? What should we prioritize? I would love to share a story with you about my journey through these questions. Pull up a chair, even if it is covered with blankets or toys or toast crumbs!
- Read Proverbs 31. Write verse 25 in your journal.
When Life Gets Messy
I have a confession to make. I do not like to clean. I really, really do not like to clean. I will do just about anything to avoid cleaning the toilets and showers. And dusting just makes me sneeze, so I avoid that at all costs. Vacuuming means I have to get stuff off the floor, and that is a huge task. Besides, I have heard that having dog hair all over the place may actually strengthen your immune system. I’m not sure about the validity of that claim, but who am I to argue?
I haven’t always felt this way. When my husband and I were first married, I enjoyed cleaning our little townhome. There were only two of us living there, and we both worked full time. My husband is as neat as can be. It wasn’t very challenging to keep our first home tidy and sparkling.
Today, however, is a different story. We have a bigger house in which we have raised two daughters and two dogs. In the past 21 years that we have lived here, we have had countless parties, dinners, and gatherings with friends and family. In this home, we have laughed and cried and everything in between. A beautiful life we have lived here, but it has been a messy one. And the house has reflected those messes.
Cleaning became more and more of a challenge for me after having a family. It was so much easier to stash something in a corner of the room than to put it away. Piling clean laundry on the spare bed became the norm during holidays, at the beginning of the school year, the end of the school year, summers…You get my point. It was simply too much effort during some weeks to fold, iron, hang, and put away. I figured that at least I ran the washer and dryer! I gave myself grace. I wanted to be there for my family in so many ways that I didn’t take the time to maintain the basics of our home.
Storms in life happen to all of us. And storms are meant to be survived. I don’t shovel my driveway during a blizzard; I make sure my family is warm and fed and that the pipes don’t freeze. Those are priorities. When life gets messy, little ones get sick, or we all are in need of sleep, I don’t worry about cleaning my baseboards. I make sure we are nourished and rested and cared for—again, priorities.
I was in a life-storm for about six years. It didn’t let up. In trying to survive, we let the messes happen. We let the piles grow. We let our dog sit on the sofa because cuddling with a puppy was more important than a hair-free sofa. We had fun when we could instead of staying home and cleaning out the corners. Now, I am just coming out of the storm and looking around at the damage. Whoa. The aftermath is not pretty. It’s overwhelming. I don’t like to clean in the first place, and now I am facing this.
Storms do pass. Eventually, the sun comes out and it’s time to get back to work. The driveway must be shoveled. The floor must be mopped to remove the footprints tracked in by the snow. Family and friends must be fed and restored.
One day at a time, I will get through this mess. I want to restore my home to a place of beauty. When I do, I know it will be even lovelier than before the storm hit. This home is filled with more love and more laughter than ever. I took care of the priorities. Now is the time of restoration.
There is a season for everything. Take care of your home when you can. Take care of your family’s needs first. Bless them with a clean bathroom and a well-stocked pantry. It all matters. Just take it one day at a time.
Blessings and Love,
Questions to Ponder
- What are your priorities? Are you aware of what needs to be done and how much time you have to dedicate to that task?
- Are you keeping up with the daily tasks of taking care of your home? Are you giving yourself grace when you are doing your best but it doesn’t seem to be enough? God is enough. Lean on Him.
Plan your week. Plan your meals, your errands, your cleaning needs, and your time for fun. Enlist the help of your children. Everyone can have a part in keeping the home as orderly as possible.