The Joy of Housekeeping?

Philippians 2:14  Do all things without grumbling or disputing.

Do you EVER look like this when you’re cleaning house?  Yeah, me either.  Typically, I’m running around in sweats with a scowl on my face wondering why these people can’t just pick up after themselves!  The endless battle of cooking, washing dishes, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, washing clothes, folding clothes, cleaning the toilet, and so many other tasks, gets to be more than a little frustrating at times.

I have a chore list with the scripture above printed on it for my kids.  After all, who wants to listen to their kids grumbling at having to do chores?  I looked at that chore list one day and my eyes were opened.  The Holy Spirit spoke to me.  He said, Stephanie, how can you ask this of your children when you don’t do it yourself?  Ouch.  Message received.  Just because I print some scripture on my kids’ chore list, doesn’t mean they’re going to learn what it means.  They learn by watching my example.  And that was a terrifying reality in that moment.

I tend to get frustrated when I make dinner and then have to do dishes afterward without any offer of help from my kids.  Then I got to thinking, do I ever offer to help my kids clean up something just for the sake of helping?  The answer is typically no; I expect them to do what I tell them to and be happy doing it.  I had kind of a revelation this day.  Some people don’t have food to eat, so no dishes to wash.  They don’t have full wardrobes, so no laundry piles in the laundry room.  Some don’t have a roof over their heads, so they don’t have to take care of a home.  Some don’t even have indoor plumbing, so no toilets to scrub.  These thoughts were hitting me hard in my heart and I looked up to God and immediately repented.  I’m so sorry, Lord, that I’ve taken all these gifts for granted.  I am so grateful to have a family to prepare a meal for, a husband who provides so that I can be home to do so, the blessings of a roof over our heads that I get to be the caretaker of.  Lord, please help me to set an example of gratitude for my children.  And in all things I do, help me to not grumble at them.

Talk about an eye-opener.  I’m not going to say since that day I’ve been dancing and singing around the house with a feather duster; I have my days when I think if I pick up one more piece of dirty laundry, I’m going to lose my mind, but I have started verbalizing how thankful I am to have a family to take care of.  I remember the following verse in my times of struggle:

1 Peter 4:10 (ESV)  As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.

We have been given a gift.  Whether you have a husband, children, pets, or also work outside the home, we have all been given a gift of serving those in our lives.  I think often times we mistake our gifts for burdens.  Remind yourself today that you are blessed with many gifts and serving your family is one of them.

Think About It:

  1. What chore do you have to do but absolutely despise?
  2. How can you change your attitude toward this task so that you become more joyful in completing it?
  3. Do you think if you got the help of your husband or kids with that task that is super challenging for you, it might create a family bonding moment?  Try folding laundry as a family, if at all possible, without the distraction of electronics and use that time to share the details of your day.  You may create some memories in the process.

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