I'm tiered. Are you tiered? I think some of it is just that time of year where the slower grayer winter months sort of drag on after the insanely busy bright fall and Christmas season. January and February seem to be a time of after-shock where we stand a bit dazed, trying to get our bearings in the new year, making resolutions and declarations and then trying to keep up the energy to follow through.
In my tiredness and knowing God is calling me to step back up to the plate in more active housewifery skills, some days it is all I can do to put one foot in front of the other. Whether in my morning Bible study time to which I struggle staying a wake, or keeping up the chore list so my home can be squeaky clean. It is hard.
As if tiredness and 'hard' weren't enough, I often second-guess the WHY. Why is it really that important to dust, scrub floors, clean windows and, over-all, stay on top of this whole housewife game? I mean, really, it is mostly just me and my family who knock about the place. Guests are few and far between and the ones who are semi-regular don't really care if I dusted or scrubbed. The laundry stays washed, the dishes clean and dinners cooked. What's the deal with the little stuff?
Fact is, my hubby cares. I have one of those guys who actually comments if certain aspects of my housekeeping are falling off. Other facts... when those guests that do care come, I find myself in a last-minute frenzy to catch up on months of the little stuff. And, quite honestly, it is healthier. It may not seem like dust or wiping down cabinets or keeping floors tidy matters... but it does. Lower allergies, less germs and so on.
Don't get me wrong, I am not advocating OCD style housework. However, as I have mentioned many times before on this blog, the choice to be a housewife is a job. It is a responsibility to create a warm and welcoming environment and, with few exceptions, I think we can all agree we feel more warm and welcomed in an environment that doesn't smell weird or contain questionable surface quality!
|We have an oak table that needs oiling regularly I procrastinate every time but it is so beautiful once it is done!|
So, this is truly the core of why God has driven me into this series of Keepers at Home. Because my laziness (mentioned a a few weeks ago stemmed from this 'why' mentality and the whole does this really matter mindset. Since launching into this initiative, I am doing better, but it is still a process. It was no surprise, as I sat in church on Sunday, that the message from our pastor hit home the way it did:
Ecclesiastes. I love this book. Such profound wisdom from Solomon, likely towards the end of his life, looking back on all he did right and, especially, all he did wrong and should have done better. Not only was he a wise king as per his prayer to God, but he now had the wisdom which comes with years. On Sunday I sat with my Bible teetering on my knee penciling notes next to the THREE times between chapter 2-3 Solomon tells us to take joy in our work:
There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God
also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in ALL his toil—this is God's gift to man.
So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot...
My husband delights in pointing out the significance of numbers in scripture. Three is considered the signature of God so you can imagine how this womped me upside the head as I stared at the thin pages covered in these bold words! According to God's Word through Solomon we are to:
take pleasure in ALL toil
... in our work.
Why? Since that is my big question of God lately. Well, because, it is:
from the hand of God
It isn't like I sit and do nothing all day in lieu of the needed housework. But I don't take pride or joy in the little things and instead often choose my things instead. Whether I'm looking up random stuff on the internet or watching a movie with the kids or... golly... what do I do when not keeping up on the little stuff in housework?!
God called me to be a housewife and with that, as seen in scripture, comes responsibility to others (and especially to my husband). With this 'job'/work/toil comes a call to hospitality which equates doing for others and providing a place where others can feel comfortable and welcome. Titus 2 and Proverbs 31 are only 2 places where we see the work of women expressed. The Bible is peppered full of wonderful examples of Godly women/wives (and many examples of unGodly ones as well!!).
So, if God handed me this job as a gift because it was the lot he has chosen me for and I don't find enjoyment or take pleasure or rejoice in the ability I GET TO have (especially in those 'little' chores) as a response of gratitude to God - then I am not honoring God or my family or my position. Like the many examples of housewifery in the Bible, there are many examples of people who did not appreciate the gifts of God and soon lost them!
I do not want that to be me! I love the ability I get to enjoy of being a keeper at home. I want to do more than the basics... more than just get-by. No, I want to pleasurably enjoy and rejoice in ALL my work/toil and thank the good Lord for choosing me to do it! My positive attitude in ALL of it (especially the little stuff) can make a great difference to my family AND to any sojourners who may pass through. What a wonderful way to continuously point others to Him!?
I pray you might be encouraged today, no matter if you are a part time or full time housewife... no matter if you have little ones, grown ones or no ones to be a keeper of the home for... simply that you would rejoice and find joy in every part of housewifery because you see the hand and face of God and you trust His plan and purpose in it!
[disclaimer: moms of preschool age and younger... toys everywhere are a given and getting behind even on the basics with a baby in the house is expected. So please don't feel scraped by this post. Just do YOUR best for where you are at in life right now!]
Scripture references from BibleGateway.com ESV Bible.