Friday, May 6, 2011

Mary and Martha: Home Life

     Day 5 of the Homemaker's Challenge and after Tuesday's debacle (here) I am almost caught up on the Mary and Martha challenges.  Washing the windows in the kitchen was easy, just glass shelves to wipe and decorations to wash and dust.  I took my time and worked carefully.  The windows were dusty, but not awful because cleaning them is part of the kids' regular chore rotation.  That's not to say the chores are done on schedule, but they're not entirely neglected either.  While I worked I had time to think and time to think is a blessing not to be overlooked.
     Last night I tried to write out my priorities and came up short of five.  God, husband, children, home, those were all easy.  But the fifth?  I got stuck and couldn't think of one single other area that I devote significant energy to, but I could think of many things I devote some energy to.  I looked to Titus 2 for an idea, but found that other than loving my husband and children and keeping my home, Paul recommends being sensible, pure and kind.  I'm not sure how to prioritize kindness, it falls in another category.  So I left my list one short, four priorities.
   Then I asked Bryan what I do around the house that makes him feel most loved - Day 3's Mary challenge.  You see I'm making up for lost ground and doing this while my dad is visiting, so my days are jumbled but my efforts sincere.  Bryan loves my cooking, or rather, he loves eating what I've cooked.  He thinks I'm a great cook and he loves the variety - because I'm always trying new recipes.  I knew that already; he tells me all the time.  I know I'm appreciated as the chef.  I love that feeding your family well truly is a life-giving activity.  The second item on Bryan's list is picked up, uncluttered rooms.  He wants to be able to sit on the couch and not have chaos swirling around him in the living room.  There can be dust bunnies under the couch, just, please, not one thousand Legos on the floor.  Bryan wants to sit down for dinner and not have a pencil rolling around under his feet, dropped eight hours ago during math and forgotten on the dining room floor.  I have some work to do on this one!  Now I know where to focus my energies, what he really wants to see, or not see, when he walks in the door.
     As I was Martha in the kitchen this morning I did a little Mary thinking.  On our kitchen counter by the back door we have a dump spot.  A serious dump spot and you know what?  Three quarters of those items belong to my children and only need to be carried all the way to a shelf or closet and put away.  Remember my four priorities?  If I want a clean (or 75% clean) counter, I need to train my children.  By training my children, I please my husband, both because he has more obedient children and because the one thing he most wants when he walks in the door is done.  If in one day I've cleaned my house, trained my children, and blessed my husband, I've pleased God.  I have been busy about the very things He tells me to do.  All four priorities are inter-connected, and I figured it out while I cleaned the windows.
     Now I am off to cook dinner, fajitas tonight, and I'll make an extra effort to have the clutter cleared.  Life for the body, life for the spirit, love poured out.

Homemakers Challenge - 31 Days to Clean


  1. Our kitchen counter by the back door is a dumping spot, too! I can't say it is all my kids' fault, as I am guilty of dumping there as well. Enjoyed reading your blog.

  2. I think we all have that dump spot. :) I will confess that I still have not asked my family what they would make them feel blessed because I am afraid I already know the answers. I am not a great housekeeper, let's leave it at that. ;)