A list of tips and tricks written by someone else may be an inspiring starting point for homemaking, but when it comes to closing the laptop and actually turning to our homes, it’s hard. Like I might cry.
This post could have been named “When Decluttering is just another stress to add to the already-to-long list of things I must do to be a good homemaker.”
It’s overwhelming to remember all these tips and lists and rules and have to constantly be fighting the inward push of the clutter. Living in this culture can seem like living in a cavern made of stuff that could implode on us at any moment. We have to run around patching weak spots or plugging a leak, or else the stuff will flood and drown us! Can you relate?
What if I just become an uptight control freak who can’t enjoy life because I’m to busy trying to keep clutter out of my home? Or what if I walk the line for a while, then just run out of will power and let it all go to H-E-double-hocky-sticks in a hand basket?
Shockingly, neither of these options seems very far fetched. I’m a mess! I’m a human woman and I don’t want to spend my life noticing all the ways I’m failing.
You may have heard the advice “Be kind to yourself”, and I agree with that. But when the pressures of life seems so terribly heavy and urgent, what in the nugget does that even really look like? How can I get all the necessary stuff done if I don’t goad myself into action with some hard-nosed rules and regulations?
Here is my best answer for that: God is gracious.
Wait what, I thought we were talking about clutter, are we talking about God? Yes. It’s time I stopped seeing myself as someone struggling to keep my head above water, and to see myself as God seems me: His beloved daughter who lives under His blanket of grace.
Fretfulness is sometimes glorified in housekeeping, wouldn’t you agree? Even as a Christian homemaker, there’s pressure to keep a tidy home because it’s our God-given duty to be a faithful steward of the resources He’s given us.
When we permit ourselves get out of control and let consumerism and carelessness dictate the state of homes, it’s easy to start to fret about getting things back in shape. After all, it’s right to keep a tidy home, isn’t it?
Well yes, it is right to keep a tidy home. And I do keep in mind a helpful list of way to reduce clutter creep and make my life more peaceful. But I also want to hold fast the grounding knowledge that I am a being created for better things.
When my home and life are filled with less clutter, I have more capacity to enjoy God blessings. My family, my sweet little home, my art, my food, my glorious garden and my homestead creatures. These gifts are what I choose to dwell my mind on, and not be consumed by fretfulness to keep everything perfect.
It can seem like a fine line to walk for a Christian homemaker. We must neither be anxious nor lazy! But here’s the wonderful reality of being a Child of God:
He holds us.
This isn’t a tightrope act, folks. When I am held by my Father, I’m in no danger of toppling of this or that side of the wire. I only must trust Him. It’s when I get overly focused on strict lists or despairing thoughts that I feel myself being to wobble.
For the Christian homemaker, the bottom line to success is this: Fix your heart on the Lord.
List and ideas and inspirational blogs all have their roll to play when it comes to the nitty-gritty, practical side of decluttering and house keeping. But my sister, we are created for better things. Don’t lose sight of that!
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8 (ESV)
We may be holding a toilet brush, or we may be singing the praise of the Lord with our children by our side. We may be checking off a list of housekeeping chores or we may be soaking up the sunshine in a soul-restoring walk through nature. We may be baking our daily bread, or we may be heating up left over take out (just bein’ real, nkay?)
In all these things, He holds us, as a father holds his beloved child. When you feel yourself wobble, when the tears of overwhelm cannot be stopped, when the list of necessary things seems to smother all the best things, when your head is cluttered up but your heart seems empty…
Stop. Listen. Wait.
“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (ESV)
With out hearts full of gratitude (for He has saved us!), let us live in peace and purpose.