Funny how—in light of this Proverbs 31 Woman study I’ve been doing—I’m realizing how much better I can get at cleaning.
I was raised with a very loving mother who also happened to be somewhat of a cleaning perfectionist. She ended up taking over all the chores, and thus, I had to discover the art of house-keeping on my own.
Year one of marriage, I was a total slob. And year two I was only slightly better. I remember once we had an unplanned visit where a sister was going to sleep over. We lived in an apartment, and Jonathan dropped me off in front so I could dash up to our place and try to clean before he found parking and they came inside.
I had my dog and cat hair all over, and my dishes piled embarrassingly high. The bathroom was gross. I had five minutes to make the apartment look decent. Poor girl was a great sport. She didn’t show displeasure, but man, how much more peaceful would sir Jonathan and I both had been if I only kept our place clean on a regular basis.
Now here we are in year four. I’ve made leaps in the cleaning department. I can say I now keep this big house we’re staying in (by God’s grace), decent and nice—for the most part.
But when my mother-in-law comes over, I always learn just how far behind I still am in this whole house-keeping, homemaker deal.
I thought our bedroom has been decent and maintained for a longer period of time than it’s ever been. But then my mom-in-law comes over last night and she says, “I can smell the dust.” She orders me to grab a wet rag and puts me to work, and I quickly realize just how despicably dusty and cat-hair-infested our bedroom really is.
She sweeps while I dust and sir Jonathan moves things around and throws stuff away, and then afterwards she says something like, “You know hun’, you can just sweep everyday, or at least say two days out of the week are my cleaning days so you keep up the house.”
I’m thinking, woah, this woman is a machine! Sweep every day? And here I was thinking I’ve been doing a pretty good job. Her house is beautiful by the way, and if she has no excuses, I shouldn’t either. She works full time at a bank, cooks maybe two meals daily and still has time for recreation. She reminds me of how the Proverbs 31 Woman’s lamp doesn’t go out at night. She surely works hard.
And as I write this, my mom and grandma are here and guess what they’re doing? Yup, cleaning. Seeing the two of them scrub and rearrange, I’m humbled yet again at how far behind I am at home-making. But I am highly thankful God is showing me first-hand how to get it done. I only work 12 hours a week babysitting, and I write a lot, but I am home most of the time. I can do this with Christ’s help and it is my desire to. Hey, God made us women this way didn’t He? What He commands is what He knows is best for us and others. I’m discovering home-making is a ministry in itself, and I’m excited to begin this new kingdom service.