Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Evaluating Why We Do What We Do

This is my bedroom at its best. Everything is in its place. Is it clean? Not necessarily. I didn't zoom in but if I did, you would see the dust and cob webs. This is where I have been reading each morning this summer. I love this room. We NEED new carpet in the worst way but it's not a top priority right now. So we will wait.

This is my kitchen at its best. I LOVE this room also. It's the newest room in our house. I enjoy keeping it clean.

However, I don't want you to get the wrong impression. This is what it looks like most days:

OK, where am I going with this? Yesterday, my friend and I were talking to another friend about clean houses. I enjoy going in to someone's house and not seeing it "perfect". It takes the pressure off of me. Then we got on the subject of another friend and the topic was "knowing this person, it would seem that her house would be PUT TOGETHER". I don't know how to say it without it coming out offensive. It is just always lived in. And that's not a negative thing. I am not slamming her or her house. I love her. It just doesn't match with her personality. So it sparked this conversation through email. But first, I decided to look up a few good quotes to share.

This is the one I was looking for:

A clean house is the sign of a boring person. ~Author Unknown

But instead I found a website called Gardenquote: Quotations about Housework.

If the shelves are dusty and the pots don't shine,
it's because I have better things to do with my time. ~Author Unknown

Doesn't that make you feel better? Or this one. So true.

Housework is something you do that nobody notices until you don't do it. ~Author Unknown

Not that I am a Roseanne Barr fan, but I thought this was funny.

I'm not going to vacuum until Sears makes one you can ride on. ~Roseanne Barr

This is a great one for my man:

Three-fourths of the Earth's surface is water, and one-fourth is land. It is quite clear that the good Lord intended us to spend triple the amount of time fishing as taking care of the lawn. ~Chuck Clark

Then you have the ones that make you really think:

Thank God for dirty dishes,
they have a tale to tell;
while others may go hungry,
we're eating very well.
~Author Unknown

And my favorite:

I am thankful for a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.... I am thankful for the piles of laundry and ironing because it means my loved ones are nearby. ~Nancie J. Carmody

Then I decided to google: What does the Bible say about housekeeping and found this:

to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. (Titus 2:5 NIV)

The King James Version says "keepers at home."

The New Living Translation says "to work in their homes."

The Amplified Bible simply says "homemakers."

Well like I said, a conversation started between a couple of friends and with permission I am sharing it with you:

Just the other day it came to my mind how when I lived at home with my parents I got up every Saturday morning and cleaned my mom's house. When we lived at the house behind the church I had a really great cleaning schedule - cleaned a room every morning and kept things in really nice shape!

My question was: Knowing your personality, why isn't your house immaculate? Now don't judge me. I am not judging her. I love going to her house. It makes me feel really comfortable. It is lived in. She doesn't run around to make it look perfect because I am coming over. She is comfortable with me seeing it just the way it is. Here is her response:

To answer your question, I guess it's a couple things - priorities being the main one- I just don't have the time to clean things the way I would like to clean them. I usually do go through my house at the end of the night and tidy things up so it's relatively in order the next morning. Second, organization is more important to me than perfectly clean. I could probably tell you where just about any item is in my house to the exact location. I do not keep excess around ;)
Third, and most importantly, God just working in my heart to help me keep the right priorities! Fourth, I do try to teach the kids the importance of taking care of their things, putting things away, etc but I also want my kids to feel at home and comfortable here and be able to be kids. I don't want to be uptight that something is going to be damaged - there is nothing that is not replaceable or cleanable ;) (Again, not that we just eat everywhere, etc b/c we don't, but just not being uptight).
So, I don't know. Yesterday I was babysitting a 2 year old and at one point my living room and porch looked like a child's consignment shop. It made me absolutely crazy!!!

God is good ... He is always working on things in my life ... priorities is a big one.

After I asked if I could share the above, she responded with more:

To me clutter = distraction. It is a constant battle in a small house - which is why I try to clean out all the time.

You can share what you want, just don't put my name on it. It's not about me, it's about what God is doing! The truth is, if I could have an immaculate house I would in a heartbeat, God is just helping me w/ the reality of this season in life, I won't.

So why do we do what we do? Are we trying to put up a front? Are we hoping to be someone we are not?

Why do I feel that I have to have everything in order to sit down and enjoy a book or read my Bible? Does God care that the dishes are not done? My neighbor commented on my sink full of dishes last night. He said, "don't you have a new dish washer?" LOL. It didn't bother me. I did get around to loading it before bed and running it today.

There are some days that I clean for the majority of the day. Then there are others that I don't do much. I don't have "clutter". I have organized everything. It is either being used or it is gone. I either love to look at it or it is gone. The toys have to have a category (Legos, Lincoln Logs, Barbies, etc.) or they are gone. I can't stand all of those random McDonald's Happy Meal toys.

I am a minimalist. I like it that way. I have two pairs of jeans. I have three bras. It's all just stuff in my world.

How about you? Why do you do what you do?


  1. With the kids home this summer, I'm definitely behind in the housecleaning department....I'm intending to start on one room / day once they head back to school. Definitely looking forward to it!

  2. Lovely kitchen. :) I read a sign the other day that said, 'sorry about the mess, we live here'.

  3. I always like to stop by and see what is on your heart and mind.

    I tend to be a clean freak...no clutter or dirt! But I have to pray about keeping my focus, or other wise I would clean over other more important things! There truly can be a balance, when we seek His desires and not our own...yikes, the old dying to flesh thing! Much easier said than done. I guess that's why each day he gives us new graces:)

    Love to you my friend!