Friday, September 19, 2014

The Pursuit of Joyful Homemaking

It's 5:45 a.m.
That really annoying alarm clock has been going off for 30 minutes.
The hubs is grumpy, one child won't wake up even though she has to leave for school in one hour,
and one child can't stop crying because they stayed up far too long playing with blocks instead of going to bed like mama and daddy said. You're exhausted because you stayed up until midnight, desperately needing a few hours of time JUST FOR YOU. so, what do you do?
You  find joy in it.
Wait - say what now? How can we find joy that early in the morning with all those grumpy personalities clashing together like oil and water?
It's not easy. For me, personally, I have to consciously choose a better attitude multiple times a day. I have a temper. It's not pretty. I'm very particular about things. I don't want anyone to leave one single thing out or move it by a centimeter. I have dreams of my home looking like the Southern Living idea house. But as wives, mothers, and homemakers, our attitudes have more of an impact on the way our household runs and everyone functions therein than we think. If we are cranky, most likely it will eventually rub off on everybody else. If we leave things in a ridiculous mess, it will eventually stress everyone else out and create strife. Now, I'm not saying you need to be a neat freak - because the good Lord knows I am not one of those. How I wish I was, though! But this is how I see it - it is my job to stay at home and take care of my children and husband. Yes, it's my JOB to make his lunch n the morning if he wants to take one with him. It's y JOB to cook supper each night. It's my JOB to sweep floors and do dishes and wash clothes and decorate. So what do you do at a place of employment? You want to do the best you can - so that's what I do. I'm not vain, but I take pride in establishing a home for my husband and children. I enjoy being able to invite friends over and play games or have supper. It is my job to make a meal plan and figure out ways to save money so that I can continue to stay home, my children can go to college, and we can retire at a decent age. Just because a woman chooses to stay at a home does not lessen her value. Likewise, if a woman chooses to work a full-time job while running the household, it does not lessen her either.
One of my favorite things to do while cleaning is to put on an audiobook, Adventures in Odyssey, or music. I find the old adage, "whistle while you work" is true - it really does make time go by faster if your mind is busy. I also try my best to include doing something that I enjoy every day.  There are some duties each day that ar enot negotiable - making beds, cleaning up after yourself, balancing the checkbook (told ya'll I was particular!) - then I'll add in one "big" chore - like today it is cleaning out from underneath the girls bathroom sink and organizing the drawers. Then there are the normal things like washing clothes and sweeping that I do nearly every day. And for me, there are chores I am not allowed to do (cleaning bathrooms, dusting, mopping the whole house, wedding the flowerbed) that either my husband will do or, if we're able, we will pay someone to come do for us. I should say right here that I am VERY thankful I have a great husband who (for the most part, haha) is so willing to help me and doesn't complain. Because I mean, what sweeter words are there than,
 "Honey, I'm going to deep clean both bathrooms right this minute" ?
oh yes, you know it's true!
As I thought and prayed about writing this post, this Scripture came to mind.`
Psalm 118:24 -
 "This is the day that the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it."
That's some powerful stuff right there.
We're not guaranteed another day. When we wake up in the morning, we ought to thank God for giving us another day that we DON'T deserve! And very clearly, we are instructed to take joy in it.
now, I'm not na├»ve. There are going to be situations which arise that are just not pleasant. We just won't  be able to smile much, or have peace in our hearts. But I firmly, firmly believe God places us in those positions so that we can learn to depend more on Him. My life has not been a bed of roses. Not even since childhood. But I tell you what - through the two darkest times in my life - when my daughter was born at 27 weeks while we were on vacation and we spent 3 months away from our home, and throughout my multiple leukemia diagnosis', brain hemorrhages, paralysis, vision and hearing loss - God has never, ever left my side. I am closer to Him now that I have ever been in my entire life. I depend more on Him than I ever have any other person. Just like I depended on other people at first to give me food and water, to bathe me, to sit me up and help me walk - I depend on him for spiritual nourishment, for courage to fight my battles, and for His blessed peace that passes all understanding. Like the song says - 'Tis so sweet o trust in Jesus.
Yes, it sure is.

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