31 days to clean: week 1

This week I started the Homemakers Challenge: 31 Days to Clean. 31 Days to Clean: Having a Martha House the Mary Way is a book written by Sarah Mae that I heard about over on Joyful Mothering. Joyful Mothering is heading up the Homemakers Challenge & once I heard about it I knew I had to give it a try. Keeping my house clean & making my home a haven is something that I have been struggling with a lot lately so I am stoked to dive in & get to see how other women are doing, too.

So I’m not going to lie…I’m already behind & it’s just the first week. Ooops!

Day 1: I took some time to sit down & really think about why I want to make my home a haven. All of my reasons were good, honorable reasons, but I realized that they were not all completely God centered. In the simple task of keeping my home clean I was worshiping multiple idols; approval of others, pride, and control. I took some time to journal, pray & talk to my husband about them. He was super encouraging & pointed me back to God & His reasons for wanting to make my home a haven. When it came time to work on a “Mission Statement” I looked up some verses to help inspire me. I was instantly pulled to Proverbs 31 & Colossians 3:23-24. Instead of writing a “Mission Statement” I’m going to hang the following verses from Colossians in my kitchen; “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.” I thought it was an awesome reminder of who I am serving as I work. Ultimately my house is not clean for myself, my husband, my kids, or my friends, but for God in whom I seek to please.

Day 2: I love the idea that I am a life-giver! “Who is woman? She is the redeemed Life-giver, enlivened by the love of Christ and continuously renewed by Him as she nurtures others”-Barbara Mouser, Five Aspects of Woman. I was really encouraged by Day 2 & am excited to learn new ways that I can bring life to my home, my children, my husband & to those around me. A few of the things that I wrote down to bring life to my family were; speak lovingly, encourage them, & pray with them. Everyday I ask God for patience; that I would act lovingly as He would with my family. I know that I can always improve more (!), but I love learning to love my children & husband well by not yelling at them, being patient with them, and praying for them when then need gospeling. I have already begun to see such a change in my toddlers heart as we constantly pray together & work on serving Jesus in our home.

Day 3: I LOVE the list of 10 Ways to Give Life to Your Home. I really think that I’m going to print it out & hang it in my bathroom so while I’m getting ready in the morning I can be reminded of these goals when I start my day. My favorite was #3: Make our homes a place of grace where mistakes and sins are not met with anger but with love and hope. I really long to raise my boys in a home where they are constantly being shown grace, as Jesus was our ultimate example of grace. I know that I am not always the most graceful, but through Christ I know that I can improve this. My other favorite was #10: Ask the Lord: What areas of my home are causing stress or bringing spiritual/emotional/mental ‘deadness’? What can I do to bring life to those places instead to make them a place of refuge?” I have not taken the time to sit & journal about this question yet (I told you I was behind!), but I have been thinking a lot about it & God has revealed multiple areas in my home that are definitely not a refuge.

Day 4: I love a “comfortable” house. A house that you can walk into and just feel like you want to hang out in…That is the kind of house I want & I’d like to think that’s an environment I’ve been able to create. Our “Mary challenge” for this day was to invite a friend over to just “put their feet up” & hang out. I didn’t get to do that yet (though I have had friends over earlier this week…does that count? haha) so I’m going to do it next week for sure.

Day 5: Priorities, priorities. I only skimmed over this day & haven’t had a chance to really sit down to journal & pray about my priorities, if they’re in the right place & what I need to change about them. I’m super excited to just spend some time figuring them out & how I can improve for my benefit & for the benefit of my family.

So the week is done & I got more of the “Mary challenges” done than the “Martha Challenges.” I started to clean out my fridge (with the help of an awesome friend), but I’m not quite done yet. Hopefully next week I’ll be able to report different. All in all I’d say this was a pretty good first week & I’m stoked on the way that God has been speaking to me through this so far. Here’s to hoping for a better next week!

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