February 15, 2013

small change :: being a homemaker

A friend recently sent me a message, basically saying, "How are you so organized??  And how do you have the energy to get it all done??"

I think I did the snort-laugh as I read that.

Friends, can I just say that my plate is full.

And if I have given any of you the impression that I am first of all, organized, or second of all, get the infamous all done, we need to have a heart to heart.

My plate is full of good things.  Lots and lots of Bible reading and community building and praying through this busy season.  But doing it all is not part of those good things.

Remember when I talked about giving up good?  Well, lately I'm struggling to even keep up with the things I've labeled as priorities.

One being, this blog.  {For that, I am sorry and grateful for your grace!}

Another is housekeeping.  I do not have the clutter-free gene.  Any of my roommates in college can tell you that my natural-born tendency is slob.  I have to create reminders for myself to do simple things like make the bed and do the laundry and pick up as I go.  It's just not in my nature.

The upside to this?  It doesn't really phase me when my kids make a mess.  I hope that this will one day work in my favor in ways besides destroying my house.

The downside?  My hubby is the tidy one.  And lately I have been convicted of the fact that it really blesses him when I keep a tidy-ish home.  Something that I lack at and must work towards.

I asked for advice on facebook the other day.  And I got tons of great tips on how to be a good homemaker.  What works for other people.  What they make priority and what they let side.

But for me, the heart of this isn't necessarily to just have a tidy house.  That is great and all.  But I do have young kids and messes are going to happen and I am fine with that.  But my heart in this is recognizing how I can bless my husband as a homemaker.  So that my home is a place where he comes home and doesn't feel the weight of a dirty bathroom or a cluttered sink (things that may not phase me, but stress him out).

So, here are some of my favorite tips I received from you.

- Have a written out plan emphasizing what is important to you.
- Do a little bit of laundry every day.
- A nightly clean-blitz (run around finishing up cleaning tasks) for 20 mins can make all the difference.
- Involve your kids.
- Know your priority areas (such as the bedroom or bathroom) and focus on those.

I think another key to less clutter is to simply have less stuff.  Remember my revelation with the dishes?  I'm now paying very close attention to what comes in my home and if it doesn't have a specific place or need in my home, out it goes.  Especially in a small house like mine, clutter happens quickly and without my permission most times!

The key here for me will be to create new habits so that the little things don't become big things.  I don't want to add to my plate by trying to have an immaculate house.  Because that's simply not going to happen.  But there are small changes that I can make in how I go about my day that will lead to big change in the atmosphere of my home.  A home that allows for less stressful living.  A home that I feel comfortable inviting anyone into at any time, despite whatever mess I may think is there.  And a home where I take on the attitude of a servant and present the laundry and the clean dishes and the made bed as a gift to those I live with.

What does it mean for you to be a good homemaker?  What are your priorities and what do you let slide?

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