Check out the the dirt on my wood floors highlighted by the long-forgotten sunshine this morning. See?!
Yes, thats a kidney bean.
Feel better about your life. Ha!
This kind of homemaking failure recovery effort used to get me really down, but as I’ve striven as a homemaker over the last couple years, one thing keeps coming back around to me: grace.
I’ve spent so long trying to earn peace in my home with my performance.
Mindy’s Ridiculous Rules Regarding Floors:
Vacuum really well at least twice a week, and mop weekly= the right way, the good way.
Vacuum sporadically (with varying degrees of proficiency) when you think about it or are on your game but forget for 2 weeks at a time here and there resulting in shock and awe when you change the light bulbs or the sun comes out, and what’s a mop?=the wrong way, the bad way.
Right way= peace and happiness.
Wrong way=guilt and defeat.
I have mental rules like this for all areas of homemaking (life in general?) and if you’ve been around here long you can guess how often I’m able to do it the “right way”.
In a week like this one, where I had other priorities and just didn’t care as much, I did most all the homemaker things “the wrong way” and have been wrestling with how to feel about it as I catch up.
For example, I spent most of the afternoon yesterday cleaning and organizing my kitchen. Yes, most of the afternoon. And I’m not all the way done yet. Granted, it wouldn’t take that long if I were alone in the house, but nonetheless it was a big chore because I am “behind”. When my husband got home I said, “Hi honey! Quick, go look at the table. I cleaned, shined and wood treated it. It looks pretty. It’s the only clean thing in the house so you don’t want to miss it.” He laughed at me and loved me like usual.
I was tempted to feel like a failure all those cleaning hours because I’ve let myself get so far behind in the house, but I’m learning my “you only get to be really happy when you do things the right way” philosophy is most of the problem. It’s called perfectionism I think…
Nothing in scripture ties my happiness to my performance.
Jesus doesn’t give orderly-clean-floor-girls more points or more love. He doesn’t give the scattered-sporadically-clean-floor girls less of an embrace.
I’m free to clean my floors the right way or not and be happy either way.
This takes so much pressure off. Yes, there are more and less effective ways to clean my house, and I’m going to be exploring that here on the blog over the next few weeks, but we are free to implement them and use them without trying to earn anything with them.
My list today is too long. I won’t get it all done. But I can be happy with the “some” I accomplish because grace leaves me free to do it for God’s glory, my good, and the benefit of those I love.
I’m not bad because my floors look like I’m trying to grow beans in my floor scunge right now. I won’t be good when they’re swept. Thinking this way steals all the fun and peace out of how we’re trying to grow.
So, breathe grace with me today. Clean your floors (or whatever) simply to enjoy a clean floor, not to chase “good”. It isn’t there, it’s in Christ.
I think this will make all the difference in the world for us as we go forward.
May your aprons and bibles both be well-worn,
The Remedial Homemaker