Here are a few thoughts I have been thinking about housekeeping.
Doesn’t get much more basic than that does it? Stop whining and moaning and do it. It’s got to be done because the last time I checked cleaning fairies only exist in my feverish imagination. And, here is the real kicker, do it with a happy heart. Why?
Because we’re told to do all things…even laundry, dishes, and toilet scrubbing…without complaining.
Happy, happy , joy, joy, right?
There are days when I hate the idea of cleaning up again because it seems like the same mess I cleaned up yesterday. Dirty dishes. Every day. Dirty clothes. Every day. Sweep the floor. Every day. Okay, well not that last one. Not every single day. But, hey don’t judge me 😉
You get the point. A lot of what I do is the same thing I do all day everyday. Why pick up the living room when I know that four girls will come bounding in later this afternoon leaving remnants of themselves and school all over it? Because I want them to have a place to unload all of it. Knowing that it will be dealt with and put in it’s proper place. Knowing that someone else’s eyes will sweep over the load they’ve been carrying, helping them sort out the unnecessary and trash, letting them know that someone else will accept the color page offering and treasure it or will give them a place to cry over a failed test. I want them to have a place where wounded hearts and hurt feelings can be soothed or bad attitudes can be adjusted and joy can be shared.
Sort of like us being able to go before God and unload all of the stuff we lug around. We can trust that He will put our messy emotions and thoughts in their proper place. His eyes sweep over us seeing into the deep pockets and helping us get rid of the unnecessary things we carry there…he accepts our broken hearts and failures and chips away at the walls of pride. I want my living room to be a place where my children come to find mercy and grace and it’s really hard to do that if it has piles of laundry and yesterday’s junk everywhere distracting us.
Sound like I’m spiritualizing a little too much? Maybe. Except for two things. First, my kids come home to laundry on the couch some days. And, as I sort of confessed earlier, my floor isn’t always swept clean and hey, isn’t that a barrette on the mantle and oh, I’m sorry you just sat on the hair brush. The parallel of having your home in order to minister to your children (husband or friends) doesn’t magically transform your humble abode into God’s throne room. But it does bring me to the second reason that I don’t think I’m over spiritualizing house work.
We are imitating God as Father and God as Son when we tend our homes. In the book, Keeping House ~ A Litany of Everyday Life, the author reminds us that housework is all about bringing order out of chaos…it is a way that we participate in God’s work of creation. God’s continued involvement in this world is not done and we see His work everywhere everyday. Our need to tend home and hearth each day is an answering faithfulness to His steadfastness. Christ came as the ultimate housekeeper. Putting to rights that which had been put into disorder. And, as Margaret Kim Peterson also states, “But if in Jesus God himself could take up a towel and wash other people’s feet, surely we, as Jesus’ adopted brothers and sisters, can find it in us to wash one another’s dirty clothes and dirty dishes and dirty floors.”
Viewing your daily homemaking chores with spiritual eyes will not suddenly give angelic wings to your cleaning routine. But it is a way to see the value of your everyday work no matter how monotonous it may feel. It’s a way for our story to echo His story. All of our stories read differently so it is natural that the way I keep house will be different from how you keep house. Figure out the best way you can tell that part of the story and then be faithful in the telling of it.