Drop clothes in the washer… pick up the shoes from the living room floor… unload the dishwasher… vacuum the hallway. Mop the floors… switch the clothes from washer to dryer… start another load. Pick up the shoes from the living room floor AGAIN as well as the toys that have somehow migrated. Wipe off the table crumbs from breakfast and load the dishwasher with the just used dishes.
Does this sound familiar? Home management can be relentlessly mundane and incredibly repetitive. There are times that I look at the one plate with the duck and the blue flower pattern and ask, “How many times have I washed this SAME dish?” Keeping your home neat and orderly while homeschooling can be such a daunting task! Children surround me at all times throughout the day, usually messing up what I have just straightened. How can we fight the doldrums when faced with the same chores day in and day out? How can we fight the depression that weighs in when we watch all of our hard work be destroyed in a matter of minutes?
Some might say that we should never consider taking care of our home as depressing, seeing as it is our greatest honor! Though I would agree, this does not lift the burden of the mundane nor does it lift the guilt when we fall short. You know that feeling that says, “So-and-so probably always keeps a clean house. You could take a picture of it for a magazine at any time of the day. You would never find a jelly streak on the counter or a cup of cereal overturned in the living room!” How our eyes would be opened if we were a fly on the wall in so-in-so’s house! Besides, I have said it many times: I am managing a home… not a museum. We live here: two adults, three kiddos and a dog. Creativity is found, lessons are learned, life happens here! So, what can I do to make sure that I keep life in perspective? How can I fight the sighs that try to well up when I see that same dish sitting on the counter?
Keep Christ the center of it all.
Does Christ care about the half a dozen loads of clothes in my laundry room that still need to be washed? Not necessarily! He cares about you and the fact that you carry stress from it. Is He disappointed that your sink is filled with unwashed dishes from breakfast? Ummmm… no. But, He does care that you are running around with guilt. Consider 1 Peter 5: 6-7.
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.
Though sometimes as mothers we feel that we are merely humble servants to the brood, consider that Scriptures acknowledge us to live in such a manner! In fact, verse 5 states that God will give grace to the humble. We operate each day with the knowledge that He is extending His grace to us as we work to make our house a home. Here are a few ways we can make Christ the center of it all:
Pray for your home. I have found that I can sometimes be laden with guilt that everything is not just so. In fact, there are times that my home gets into a rut and I just can’t seem to catch up! I have found that as I lay it all before Christ, both the lack of order and my exhaustion, His grace will fill me and it seems that the mountain of laundry that had been staring me in the face all week suddenly looks conquerable! Pray for God to grant you the strength and grace to bring order in your home as this will cause you to view your home in a brand new perspective.
Utilize music as a motivator. I am one that loves to have music playing in the background. In fact, as my fingers are typing this post, I have piano music playing in the background. Music helps me to focus and is a great way to make a job fly by faster! Why not use spiritual music to uplift you while mopping your kitchen floor? The words and notes reinforce the fact that by bringing order to your family and home, you are in fact worshipping the God who enables you to do so!
Extend grace to yourself. Perfection can only be found in the imaginations of the overworked mom. We compare ourselves with others and imagine that no one else struggles to juggle home, homeschool, and family. This is simply untrue. So, the floors still need vacuuming from the potato chip incident. Take a breath and know that it will get done. Each day is a brand new opportunity to cross one more thing off the list!
Life does not get put on pause just because our home asks for attention. It is a steady stream of moments, lessons, talks, and experiences. Ask Christ to be the center of it all as you seek to bring a sense of order. You will find that only then can order ever be attained.