Saturday, August 30, 2008

Taking Care of Your Home

Dear Moms,

To some, this will be the least favorite of all the areas to balance in your life; nonetheless, it is God’s will that we keep a clean, orderly home. It will bring peace to your life as well as to the lives of your family members. Order brings peace. Your home must come fourth in your priority list. Mom, you know that your life is out of balance when your home is falling apart. I’m not just talking about those dusty end tables that have been calling your name for two weeks. Is your home peaceful and organized? Many times, women serve outside the home because it makes them feel loved and appreciated. After all, when was the last time someone thanked you for cleaning your toilets? I’m all for appreciation. Sometimes, Mom, we feel like housework is a thankless job. The key to being fulfilled daily in housework is to do as the Bible says “Do all as unto the Lord, not for men." Never do you need this Scripture more than on cleaning day!

Yes, but we all know deep in our hearts, that God’s best is for us is to put our home first. Then if your home is running smoothly, then and only then, are you free to serve outside the home. Some people believe that the sacrifice is to leave your house undone and help someone else with their needs. This, except in the case of an emergency, is just not true. The greater sacrifice is to clean up your own house; trust me on this one. I have a dear friend that is always asking for prayers that she can get her home in order. On many occasions, I just blurt out, “I’ve got an inventive idea; stay home and clean it.” I gently add, “The angels will help you, but you actually have to be there for them to do that, my friend.”

Change is difficult, so here are ten tips to get you moving in the forward direction toward order in the home. Keep in mind, I’m a little like the character MONICA, on the TV sitcom FRIENDS, so bear with me patiently, for you may very well be the opposite extreme. Remember, “THEREFORE THERE IS NO CONDEMNATION FOR THOSE WHO ARE IN CHRIST JESUS.”

1. Never leave the house without picking it up with the exception of carpools. I know I was a carpool mom, and the house takes second to carpools because the children come first.
2. Start in one room and finish that room. Room hopping causes confusion.
3. Take a laundry basket and put all item that belong elsewhere in it. Later put all items away.
4. Do heavy cleaning all in one day, once a week if possible.
5. Grocery shop from a list. Go grocery shopping once a week. It helps to make out weekly menus.
6. Delegate the chores, using your assets, your children.
7. Call a Saturday work party weekly. Have a list ready for your husband and your children.
8. Use a day timer. Make a weekly list, a monthly list, and a yearly list and. Refer to it often.
9. Run errands all in one day. It’s a time saver.
10. Put away laundry the day you do it.
11. Aim to never leave dishes in the sink or clothes not put away or beds unmade.
12. Start the day in prayer. Ask God to help you to be a planned, yet flexible person.

An orderly house is a peaceful house, and one your children and your husband will love to come home to, so make that your aim. Good habits, once formed, will serve you well. When all else fails, hire a maid. It was a need for us when I was raising seven children. Now, it is a luxury, which gives me time to write. The truth is, even with Ella cleaning, who is like part of the family, since she has worked for us nearly twenty years, there is still plenty to do. Mom, a Proverbs 31 Woman doesn‘t happen overnight; it takes years to grow into this barely attainable goal. Never forget, "I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO STRENGTHENS ME," then get out that toilet wand and see if anyone thanks you for cleaning them!
Have questions or something to add? Leave a comment or send an e-mail!

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