I hear my friends talk about the joys of housekeeping, organizing their pantries, doling out chores to their kids, looking at the home with a regimented eye. I’m sorry, that’s just not me.
On a daily basis (or as needed), I do the household tasks but it doesn’t give me a sense of pride. Most of the time, I do them simply because they have to be done. I mean, I guess deep down I do them because I love my family. But that’s not really how I show my love for them.
Proverbs 31:27 says: She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. I’ve said it before. I’m not June Cleaver. But don’t get me wrong. I do keep a clean house. I do the dishes and the pots and pans. I wash the clothes. I clean, dust, organize, clean the bathrooms and vacuum. But I do it so I can move on to other things.
In the morning I grab the dirty clothes hamper out of the bathroom and go to the kitchen to turn on my coffee water. While waiting on it to boil, I go downstairs and start a load of laundry. I unload and load the dishwasher and then fix my coffee. I read my Bible and check my emails and start my writing tasks for the day. After lunch I put the clothes in the dryer and then get back to my writing or working my part-time bookkeeping job. Soon it’s time for dinner. Afterwards I wash the dishes and pots and pans and settle down for an evening with my hubby and son (if he’s home) and daughter (when she visits). The other biggie household things get done when company is coming or on a semi-annual or annual schedule.
I think it’s kind of easy to keep a house in order. Or maybe I’m just not doing it right. Perhaps I just have a small home. I certainly don’t have an army to help me keep it clean. Of course, I don’t have an army living here either to mess it up. There are no toys or other clutter or homeschool books stacking up around the place anymore.
The conclusion I have come to in my twenty-four years of marriage is that there are some things that are more important than a clean house. If I have the choice between visiting with my daughter or doing the dishes or folding clothes, you better bet I’m going to choose the visit. If my husband wants to watch a movie, I may fold clothes while doing it but I certainly will make time for him. If my son wants me to listen to his latest song he’s written, I’m going to put the tasks aside and do it.
They say “cleanliness is next to godliness” but I’m not so sure that’s true. However, having a clean and orderly environment for your family does honor the Lord. It’s part of being the Proverbs 31 woman. But when I feel guilty for not doing everything the way my friends do them or feel terrible because I don’t take joy in the menial tasks of housekeeping, I remind myself that “home is where the heart is” and it’s all about what you make it. It’s the love that flows throughout the walls of the house. It’s the feelings your kids get when you bake brownies. It’s the joy that occurs when you sit and watch a favorite show on TV together and laugh until you cry.
It’s the comfy feeling that takes over when everyone is in their beds at night and you close your eyes to thank the Lord for the day.
I am a mediocre housewife.