I've been thinking all week about how I want to write you a story. It isn't your usual story with the beginning, middle, end.... no, it is a story that plops right down in the middle... hitting off with the climax and looking out to a horizon where the end beams in brilliant rays of hope.
Why would I tell you a no-beginning story? Well, because the middle is so interesting (and we all have only so much time to sit on a blog reading articles right?) but more importantly because the beginning isn't entirely clear to me.
You see, I always tell my kids, as I teach them the importance of denying the flesh and recognizing sin, that old adage: sin will take you farther than you want to go and keep you longer than you wanted to stay. I tell them, with illustration via me slowly stepping across the room, that a little sin may not seem like much, however, each step you take down that path leads you farther away and next thing you know, you look back and wonder how God ended up waaaaay over there and you are waaaay over here.
Yeah, my beginning is kind of like that, only not with sin... or is it?
Somewhere in the last 5 years I slipped away from being the mom on top to being the mom flat-on-her-back. I used to know when we were out of things... I used to know (and promptly get to) when an area of the houses needed serious cleaning... I use to get up early, splash cold water on my face and neck, and sit at the dining room table for some serious intake from the nectar of God's Word before sharing breakfast with hubby and entering the buzz of our homeschooling/housewifing day.
Oh boy... see, this is why this story has no real beginning. Somewhere in the recesses of those 5 years, I got lazy. I'm not gonna lie or sugar coat or act like I got it all. Nope. I.got.lazy. Which essentially makes me work harder.... when we run out of stuff and I need to scramble to improvise or run last-minute to get replacement (often spending more money and time as a result), that spot next to the toilet.... ummmmmmm... when did I clean that toilet last? Just because I don't use it in that out-of-the-way room doesn't mean someone else might not enjoy a shiny commode, without that weird spot on the floor next to it.... then comes snooze... snooze.... snooze.... oh-I better get up or I will miss hubby's breakfast.... um, I mean, I will miss quality study time, which often equates barely holding on as I curl up into that plush corner of the couch and slowly slip back to dream land with my Bible in my lap.
I'm ashamed of myself.
My house is not a wreck. My Bible study does still exist. But the quality of the work is far lacking and I am feeling it. No good start to my day means it is hard to have a good day without constantly feeling behind. No quality housework means every time someone calls to come over (or just stops by) I am scrambling to figure out if I need to scrub anything first. And don't get me started on where this can lead with my hubby. The strong man who braves work every day doing a job he loves around secular people who back-bite and seem to make his life miserable most of the days. He is working hard at the job God gave him to do and I am......
Yeah. I am.period. Nothing. So dinner is cooked and kitchen is surface cleaned. Kids are taught and laundry is washed. But who can relax when the dust is piling up? How can hubby come home each day and find a haven in the midst of chaos when there is chaos in the haven? Small chaos... but chaos still.
Is it a sin for me to take my duties so lightly? If I am honest with myself.... I think maybe it is.
Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
- Titus 2:3-5
I've been in this housewife business for almost 24 years now. I should be an old hat.... and I can be an old hat if I would just pull it together and remember: it isn't about me. How tiered I am (consequently, because I didn't go to bed early enough to get enough sleep and I am not taking good care of my body), how I don't really feel like doing that particular chore today.... and so on.
What's more: my daughters are my young women to train. What am I teaching them if I am content with surface work? Where am I showing them to be workers at home? How am I glorifying God if I don't live out Colossians 3:23 written for Christian Households...
|Image from Bible Hub|
Am I really working for the Lord when I laze out of bed or don't pull my full heart into my Bible study time, or keep up with the little things that affect the atmosphere of my home which God has blessed me with?
As God would have it, not only has He convicted me on all of this, but He has also been showing me the way out of it. Whether it was little steps over the last 5 years leading me away from where I should be... or one big one I missed somewhere... doesn't really matter anymore. What does matter is what I am going to do to fix it.
Starting with this post, I hope to share each week what I am doing to get back on track. I have to believe I am not alone on this way-ward path and others might enjoy joining me in finding our way out of this under-brush!
I do want to share here how this article on Why Homemaking Matters from Equipping Godly Women has had a big impact on me this week. Click on the in-text link and have a look.
On the horizon:
- Heart-filled housework
- Better self-care via healthier eating, exercise and earlier bedtime
- Deeper quality Bible Study time
- A plan for each day and each day sticking with the plan
There are sooooo many details with this short over-view list, I am excited through the hope and looking forward to sharing it all here, that it might further fulfill Titus 2 in teaching other women what God is teaching me!
I pray, wherever you are today, that you find joy in the work God has given you and do it all for Him, that he might receive all the Glory.... and if you are struggling with that, I pray you would be encouraged today to begin taking steps (even if only baby ones at first) to get back in the right direction.
As I walk out getting back on the path to artful housewifery and all that entails, I hope to tag each post in this series with this photo. Please feel free to grab it and share in your own related posts. Tag-back and let me know how YOU are doing in being a Keeper at Home!