It’s REALLY not really about how much stuff we get done.
For the better part of the day I’ve been trying to cook a few things ahead for our week and do some planning. It’s afternoon, the air is still, my 3-year-old is napping and my 11-year-old is peeling hard-boiled eggs over the sink and giggling to herself. My 13 bean and sausage soup is simmering in my Instant Pot, with homemade stock no less. It smells like frugal meal planning success in here. My bed is made and, by some miracle, most of my laundry is done. This whole wheat sourdough boule with the little pretty lines on it just came out of my oven.
These things should make me feel encouraged as a homemaker since, for me, they represent nearly unbelievable progress–even if they did involve more screen time for my girls today than I’d like.
Why then, did I just walk out of my kitchen, sit on my sofa, begin to pray, and burst into frustrated tears?
Friends, so often the gap between what I think I should be as a woman and my actual reality is crushing and impossible. These few tasks I accomplished today (more than usual) don’t alleviate the fact that my garage looks like homeless squatters live in it, there are weeds everywhere, my floors need to be cleaned, I have not shaved my legs, and I am barely holding my own against an invasion of fruit flies from my summer produce.
Being a Christian homemaker is not about the things we did and didn’t accomplish today, or any other day. The to-do list is only the surface level. The boxes I can never seem to check off do frustrate me, and I’m working on them, but that’s not why I cried. No one demands perfectly checked off task lists from me. My worth and righteousness aren’t in a to-do list. The things I’m doing with my hands are secondary to what God is doing with my heart. That’s where the tears came from.
I cried because I’ve been fighting, and loosing, against the temptation to let my feelings control what kind of woman I will be today.
I don’t feel inclined towards discipline and diligent working with my hands today. I don’t feel inclined to serve my family, or God, with my joyful labor here. How can I get a heart like that?
I do feel inclined towards trashy Netflix and unrestrained carbs. I do feel inclined to sin–to grumble, to be short with my words. I do feel, as always, the urge to quest for my own sovereignty.
At this point, even after months of really trying, my misguided and undisciplined habits at home still exert considerable drag on my efforts to serve the Lord with gladness, to love my family selflessly in the way I live and work here. I struggle to do, and to love, what I ought. Even when I can get my hands and feet to do some good things, I struggle to value them rightly and do them with joy.
I want more than the proficiency I lack in the arts of a well-kept home. I want my affections as a Christian woman, ordered rightly. I truly am a Remedial Homemaker, and this is the struggle I’m writing about.
Though I will chat with you all about the practices which are finally making a difference for me in my home, this blog is less about the ‘what’ of Christian homemaking and more about the ‘how and why’.
How do I learn to keep my home and serve my family with some kind of proficiency and also truly do it for God’s glory and my joy?
This is the question that has been pressing my heart and helping me learn to navigate the “should’s” pelting me from every direction.
It’s the question that veers me away from both negligence and perfectionism, and with it I’m starting to grow.
This is the conversation I want to have with my sisters here.
Welcome friends, I can’t wait to share this journey with you.
Subscribe if you like, and watch for my next post to find out if you are a Remedial Homemaker too. I’ll be posting a brilliant and *super-duper* scientific quiz.
May your aprons and bibles both be well-worn,
The Remedial Homemaker