Keeping the Balance While “Keeping the House”
My thoughts this month has been on keeping the balance in our homes and in our lives. Fall seems to be the season where routines and busyness can become the norm for our lives. For me, my homeschool schedule consumes a large portion of my day. Then I have all the regular things that make life function in my home…. laundry, meals cooked, bread baked, and clutter picked up, cleaning done. And finally there are other creative pursuits and activities such as sewing and decorating, craft work. Sometimes in the past as I was trying to learn how to juggle all these different areas of life, the house would slide and become in disarray and be dirty. So the thoughts that came to my mind this month are on keeping our lives in some sort of balance, and focusing on the home and housekeeping specifically.
The first thing I think of as important to help us keep this balance is to rise early (if your schedule allows this) and get the dailies out of the way. What are the dailies?? To me they are.. unloading the dishwasher (or dish drainer/rack if you wash dishes by hand), start laundry or move laundry to the next step, making my bed, getting breakfast started. Then I make sure that my children’s alarm clocks have gone off and they are up and doing their dailies too. They need to make their bed, pick up their room, dress down to shoes, and comb hair. Then after that they each have expected jobs… some are outside and animal related and some help inside with the breakfast meal.
Then the next thing after routines is to determine if you have a housekeeping plan. Do you have a plan for keeping your home clean and orderly? Housekeeping needs to have a plan. Remember that one of the most important aspects of being a homemaker is creating a loving and peaceful environment for your family. I have never been to a dirty home that felt peaceful. Not to say there was no peace possible, just that with so much chaos it could not be experienced. There was too much in the way…. so to speak. The other important thing to keep in mind as you clean your home is that this is a service to those you love. This job is an act of your love to those who are nearest and closest to your heart. When my hubby comes home to a clean and orderly home where there is not a lot of chaos, this blesses him tremendously! When my children deal with daily life in a home that is clean it gives them more ability to focus on important areas of their growing lives. Clean homes are orderly homes. I know I can think much more clearly in a clean home than in a messy or dirty one.
The housekeeping plan you use needs to be one that works for you and your life. I have read lots of books and read many ideas and used different plans, but ultimately these plans and ideas were not the end in themselves… they were the means to creating my own plan. My home is unique and so is yours. I don’t believe we could follow someone else’s plan exactly and have it work for us. We will tweak it and modify and then find something else and say.. “oh that might work” and try it and tweak that, etc.. until after a time what you have is “your” plan. That is the goal! This is what you want to happen. But if you don’t actively decide to create a plan, it will not happen. As the old saying goes.. “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”.
After your plan is set, the next most important part is rolling up your sleeves and getting in there and doing it! Being a homemaker is hard work and it takes a lot of energy and determination each day. But it can be one of those areas in life where we can learn to get into the rhythm of the tasks and learn to appreciate things like warm soapy dishwater on our cold winter-time hands, the soothing hum of a washing machine going, the smell of dinner wafting through the home, the beauty of a shiny clean kitchen floor, the peace that comes from a home where all is clean and in order. We do not have to carry the weight on our backs of much cultural opinion of housekeeping; the drab, slavery type feelings that can permeate our society and attitudes. There is much to be gained in our life from not allowing these lies about this topic to come into our own views and give us incorrect messages, messages that are not as God would want us to have. In Titus 3:4 &5 we see that first women are told to love their husbands and children in verse 4 and then in verse 5 to be homemakers (among other godly qualities). This is an act of love for our family when we embrace a godly view of our role, not mundane meaningless work.
As a homemaker you have in your control the ability to create a mood and environment for your family and what an honor it is to do this! Think of all the other jobs and careers out there where the job is one of purely performing a repetitive function daily with little to no ability to make changes. When I think of that I realize what an honor the Lord has given us as homemakers to have this control and to use it to create something that will glorify Him!
So this month as I strive to keep my life in balance and to stay on top of the housework I will stick with good routines and a plan that always has room for improvement, as well as a desire to view my role as a homemaker as an honor before the Lord and an act of love and service to the family He has given me.
© Crystal Miller, 2007 All Rights Reserved
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