It is rather cold here in south east Texas. The temperature is 41 and it feels like 32. That is winter weather for here and usually not November weather. The wind is blowing the back porch swing and my hot pink blooming roses around.
This morning I am pondering about the Homemakers pace of life. I am sure that if I asked ten different homemakers I would get ten different answers. Right now mine is pretty slow or maybe even a steady pace. If I wanted I could fill my entire day with housework. There is always a deep cleaning chore that can be done or an organization project waiting to be completed. They say a job always expands to the time you give it.
I think there is a balance that we can achieve by building a rhythm to our housework. This balance starts in the mind and hearts of the homemaker. Nothing produces a peaceful home if you are not at peace yourself. I find peace in two ways: first in something so large it’s depths are unfathomable and second in things very small that they are often overlooked.
God our Father, the maker of Heaven and Earth who is boundless and stands outside of time, is with you in your heart and home. To find peace, sit with His greatness and His mercy. Be still in His comfort and supply yourself with His word. Measure all your striving and trying with His ability to create with just simple but all powerful words. You will see that only His peace is true peace and that any work that you do, no matter how seemingly needed and pressing upon your mind, shrinks in awe of His wanting of time with you. Knowing that being in his presence will turn your “Martha” heart into a “Mary” heart.
Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ seen and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, an she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”
And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
Luke 10: 38-42 NKJV
Dust, meals and laundry will always need our attention and Jesus never said to Martha that these were not needed or to be neglected. He simply put them in the place they belonged which, is after time spent with him. Jesus asks us to serve and do things for others which he showed by his example. When he spoke of true religion being the care of orphans and widows he knew what that entailed. It meant feeding and cleaning and all the small and labor heavy duties. He knew time with Him equips us to do all things for him and thus gives them real meaning and purpose.
So after this great equipping of our hearts and hands what are the small things that can bring us peace as homemakers? Very simply it is what you have done, the works you have accomplished. Stop looking at what you have to do and see all the task that you have done. I challenge you instead of keeping a to do list, to try keeping an I did it list. Don’t just include big jobs or chores either but include everything you do. For instance you started a load of laundry but you also noticed the top of the dryer needed wiping so you quickly did that and then did a quick 30 second sweeping of the utility room floor. Note those small task because they add up. How many small tasks do you not acknowledge doing? This isn’t to say wow I’m really great but to say I am taking care of my home in all the large and small ways. Many time it’s those small touches that make the difference in your home.
My “Tupperware” cabinet in the kitchen needs to be cleaned out and organized and there is dust on my desk, but at the same time my sink is clean, my bed is made and my tub is clean and ready for someone that needs to soak any aching muscles. Maybe you have small children and these things all seem impossible tasks to complete but I bet you fed your child today and I bet you hugged them and kissed their little heads. You probably sang them a song and laid next to them, played patty cake with their cute cherubic hands and gave them a bath. Don’t worry the dust will be there tomorrow even if you do wipe it off today.
What should the homemakers pace of life be? It varies from day to day, year to year and season to season but is should be set by a few important things. Homemaking is a long race and it doesn’t have a stopping point each day except for sleep and that in itself may be interrupted. There is no prize for quickest or hardest the only prize is for the homemaker that works unto to Lord.
Let your pace be the one that is walking with Jesus and resting in his peace.
P. S. All pen and ink pictures in this post are from the book Creating A Beautiful Home by Alexandra Stoddard. The link I added is to a paperback version from Barnes and Noble. I found my hardback copy at a near by Half Price Books.