Intentional (and practical) Housekeeping
Homemaking is a great privilege I do not take lightly. Being a wife, mother, and most importantly a woman of God, keeping the home is a commandment... something we are called to do.
I've been a stay at home mother pretty much my entire married life. Over the years and as our children grew, I became aware and appreciative of the duty I have. Housekeeping is way more than cleaning the home but it also entails creating a home that is a safe haven for my family and any who enters it.
"She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” Proverbs 31:27We are all aware of Marie Kondo's method of tidying the home. Right? Well if you're not, here's a recap of her method: In her native Japan, Kondo says, tidiness is a way of everyday living. She applies feng shui principles to the tenets of her tidying and ditches long-held organizational beliefs (such as cleaning little by little every day, storing items according to the seasons and discarding one item for every item brought into the home). She says that these principles, though meant to help, are the very reasons why we seemingly are never able to maintain our mess. she has coined the term "Spark Joy" and it has become the thing to consider when housekeeping intentionally. There is an excerpt from her book when she refers to one such item in her home—her Kiccoro T-shirt; it's a memento from an expo she attended years ago ("How can you keep this? Aren't you embarrassed? How can you wear that? You should throw it away...") she has held onto it with fierce affection. "These are the types of things you should boldly hold on to," she writes. "If you can say without a doubt, 'I really like this!' no matter what anyone else says, and if you like yourself for having it, then ignore what other people think."
To sum it up even more, if it "Sparks Joy" keep it, if it doesn't get rid of it.
There are many ways to "Spark Joy" in your home but let's ask these questions before we begin.
- Are you creating an environment for love and encouragement?
- Does everything in your home have a "home"?
- How easy are you to confront the things that come against your home?
MAKING YOUR BED TO LIE IN IT
When I asked the question about creating an environment for love and encouragement, it is to provoke us all to greater works as homemakers. As mentioned before homemaking is more than cleaning a home, but it entails maintaining life and love for those who occupy that home. The book of Proverbs shows us the difference between a wise woman and a foolish one. Ladies, we have a choice when it comes to setting a standard for our home and family. Proverbs 14: 1 says, "The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down." There are plenty of things and people we can place blame on when things don't go well in our lives, but in our home life, we have the ability to set the tone. It's our responsibility. When the house filled with love and openness, our family reflects that. Same as if we fill our homes with confusion and disorder, our family will reflect that. We are what we put into our families, so fill it well. Now, cleaning has that same prospective. If we fill our home with meaningful things (inspirational quotes, calming colors, family time, etc.) we will reap amazing benefits.
Speaking of filling the home, let's consider...
EVERYTHING HAS ITS PLACE
Home life can be as simplistic as you make it. For me, I try to make my life simple by keeping my home simple. As a home educator, school supplies and books can creep in a take over the house, but consistently, I'm reorganizing so I won't be consumed with materials. Having my children of age to see a mess and clean it is also a huge blessing for our family. There was a point when cleaning was dreadful, but now, everyone has the reponsibility to keep the house clean. It's practical good stewardship. Now, don't get me wrong, our home isn't :Home and Garden" ready by any means, and it's definitely lived in with plenty of character to say the least. BUT WE KEEP IT CLEAN! :)
With the kids home during the day, it can indeed get pretty chaotic, but that's where order steps in. See a mess, clean it up! I will talk about our chore system in a later post, but my children no longer follow a chore chart (for now) because they are old enough to clean what they see need attention. The main goal of cleaning a home it to know that everything has its place and if not, let it go. I've adopted this method of letting things go recently and listen when I tell you... IT'S LIFE CHANGING!
There's some things in life that sometimes test your standards and can sometimes cause you to question the things you've put in place for your home, but you have the authority to confront those things and even people. Which bring us to our last point...
CONFRONTING THE STATUS QUO
Now remember, we live simply on a 2 acre farm we love and cherish. There's still many things to finalize the farm of our dreams, but we all know things take time. Society, sometimes will flirt with the idea that what you're doing isn't popular or your way of living is outdated. I've fought plenty of times trying to ignore the comments and suggestions of others trying to convince my lifestyle to be more like theirs. Coming from Chicago where we lived the suburban life, we knew that lifestyle wasn't meant for us. We enjoy our freedom to dig a hole where ever we choose or to house chickens and pigs in our backyard. It's what we want for our family. To go outside and grab an egg from the chicken coop if you're preparing breakfast. That's what we absolutely enjoy. No one can force my mind to think otherwise of my life. Breaking from the suggestions and complaints of others can change your life and give you a better appreciation of what you built for your family. Every opportunity I get, I would post some fascinating details about our daily homestead life. I get a kick out of some of the comments or texts I receive that say, "Oh girl that couldn't be me!" or "Whew, I would be deathly afraid of that goat!" I just smile! Or even the not so happy moments when we're flooding. The comments are usually more heartfelt with the side note of "Are you sure you want to stay there?" WHY NOT!! God always knows what He's doing.. we're just sitting back and enjoying the ride! When you are comfortable with what you instilled in your family, peace is easy. When you rely on God to lead you in building your reality, you can trust that He knows what He'[s doing and that He will give you the desires of your heart.
I thank you for the life I live. I take nothing for granted. Teach me to become a better steward of the blessings you have given me: My family, my home, my ministry. Let everything I do reflect Your goodness and Your favor.
In Jesus' Name
Posted from my blog at Burns Homestead : https://www.burnshomestead.com/2019/02/05/intentional-and-practical-housekeeping/