A Sunny Corner, by Susan Rios
Some of the programs that I use for blogging have not been serving me well in the past few days so I have been posting lovely paintings instead, hoping that they send out the message of homemakers who love their homes.
I am always delighted to see a painting or photograph of a calming interior of part of a house, and this corner with the chair is one of them. There should be a place for every homemaker in every home that is kept to her pristine standards, where she can feel she has realized her goal of being a good keeper at home.
For as long as I can remember, I have wanted a nice home. It could have been anything from a cabin to a trailer, but it would be a place of beauty, order and rest; a place I could make my own with personal possessions and things that reflected the beauty of the Creation. This is what many homemakers want. There are some people who have sought it all their lives and never attained it, for one reason or another: illness, family problems, lack of family cooperation, lack of time, lack of knowledge, or discouragement.
Some women have never wanted a luxury vacation, or beautiful jewelry; not even expensive furniture or original paintings. They never wanted a swimming pool or a bonus room or a fancy new kitchen. They did not desire expensive clothes or shoes --- maybe they just wanted to sew their own. All they ever sought was a clean and pretty house, kept in repair, with normal and necessary appliances; a house looked after as though the owners had respect for the house, respect for each other and a high regard for the lady of the house.
I believe our homes should be a reflection of our hearts. Our property should reflect our belief in good stewardship, as the Bible teaches. We should keep our houses as though Jesus were coming to see us.
Not everyone around us will practice this cleanliness and neatness, but if the Christian homemakers will insist on keeping their realm in order, it will be a shining light to the world.
If you have been struggling to get your home the way you have always dreamed, but cannot seem to attain it; if you feel like crying over it when you wake up in the morning; if you are angry at the lack of perfection in your home, there might be a few things you can do to change things for good.
1. Remember you are not obligated to pick up after everyone. Husband and children are expected to be thoughtful and not leave work for you to do. You may have to come on pretty strong in the beginning if you want to establish some good habits. They will get tired of hearing your voice, but assure them that the constant reminders will stop when you no longer have to tell them to pick up every little thing. Sometimes just a look of disapproval or of being displeased will be the signal they need to clean up after themselves. If you consistently make everyone pick up after themselves and do their share of the work (or more, going the second mile) they will hear less of your voice and will notice how pleased you are that they are not adding burdens to your work.
2. Just because you are a homemaker, and home during the day, does not mean the family can disrespect your standards of housekeeping. They should not insult you by leaving things all over the place or making fun of your high standards. This training is very good for them. They should never be adults leaving a trail of trash or lost shoes wherever they live. Good standards begin with the homemaker, and she has the duty to enforce them, for the home is her domain, given by God, and she will be giving account to Him for how she has taken care of it. She is not obligated to clean up after able-bodied people and is allowed to insist that they take care of themselves. Babies and toddlers are a different matter. The homemaker's job is to guide the home. This means that she can tell other people how to clean up after themselves, to make the home a better place for everyone.
3.In illness, when things are getting out of order, you can still do a lot of praying about it.
4. In total chaos that you do not think you will ever create order from, you can begin your day with a serious prayer for help from the Lord. He is our aid and our deliverer. Sometimes, cleaning a house can seem like walking through the valley of the shadow of death, but you can fear no failure, because our prayers for excellence will be answered. If you will pray to get through your housework, you might find you can do more than you ever expected.
5. The New Testament teaches us to be good stewards, and shows a parable of what happens to the unfaithful steward who did only what was required of him and nothing more. We need to fear that being negligent of our homes can cause us to lose what we have. Things will deteriorate if not cared for. Things will cost more money to repair if not looked after properly.
6. We can cause people to have an unfavorable view of the true Christian faith, when we neglect housekeeping.
7. Do not be intimidated by people who say you are too focused on housekeeping. There has always been the saying that "people are more important than things" but keeping house means you care enough about people to make a clean and pleasant dwelling place for the family and for company. In order to keep things from getting out of control, you have to develop picking-up habits that never quit. If you have a messy family, you cannot let one single thing get out of control, or it will slide into an avalanche once the pile gets too big. Let outsiders mock all they want, but do develop good habits and be determined to keep them.
8. Beware of the distractions of ministries, charities, social things, too many classes to attend, or things that will take away your time. Your home is the center of your ministry, your charity, your social life and your creativity. If you become overwhelmed, try eliminating everything outside the home until you get total control of your housework and get caught up with everything.
9. It helps to have a pretty notebook and pen to write down the following things:
-Everything you need to do in your home that is urgent.
-Things that need to be done eventually
-Things you would like to do that are not necessary but personally fulfilling or interesting
-What you can do today (dishes, floors, laundry, putting things in order, cleaning off the tops of tables, etc.)
It is satisfying to list the "today" things and check them off, including the start and finish time.
10. Realize that homemaking is not as simple as just doing the dishes. I almost never get out of the kitchen having just washed dishes. There are always extra things involved, such as wiping around the sink with a towel, cleaning the fingerprints off the stove and dishwasher, sweeping the floor, re-filling the flour jar, straightening a few things in the spice cabinet, etc. There is always the chance you will spill or drop something, which will entail mopping the floor or double-bagging the trash and replacing the bag in the bin.
Everything task has other tasks connected to it. Sometimes while training children in housework, they will claim they cleared the table after a meal. Certainly, they removed all the dirty dishes, but left crumbs or napkins or other things. We have to avoid the attitude of just doing enough to get by. We cannot be completely happy at home unless we go beyond what is absolutely necessary. Of course, a lady has to develop the good sense to do only what is necessary if she isn't feeling well or if she is in a hurry due to some pressing problem.
If you treat homemaking as a service to a great king and a respect for yourself, it helps a great deal in how well you keep the house.
The Bible teaches that whatever your hands find to do, to do it with all your heart, as unto the Lord, and not unto men. This is a good motivation, because if your efforts are limited to pleasing other people, you might find you can never quite get their approval, or they will disappoint you by not appreciating what you do. If you go over their heads and work for the the Lord, you are serving someone who is giving you the ability to do what sometimes seems impossible.