“The wise woman builds her house,
but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.”
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31
I am not born organized. I was not born a neat-freak. My entire life, until a few weeks ago, I lived convinced that I hated to clean house.
I even wore my faulty state of mind as a badge of honor. I would say “I’m just not in the mood to clean today, so what’s the point if I won’t do a good job anyway?” Then, after I became a mom, I just reasoned that my time should be devoted to my child and therefore I didn’t have time to clean my house. Whenever I did actually clean, I went full throttle and then crashed and burned after.
This became a point of contention in my marriage. My husband likes a clean house, but works several more hours than I do every day, and he doesn’t want to come home and have to do housework all evening. In my head, I knew I had a lot more time than he does to keep the house in order, but I had two problems: 1) I continued my selfish reasoning of why I never cleaned because those reasons felt safe, and 2) even if I wanted to start keeping the house clean, I had no idea where to start so that the house woul stay that way.. He would try to tell me that things would go a lot easier if I worked on the house before he got home, but I wanted to hang on to my human and very wrong mindset on cleaning house.
I was the living embodiment of the foolish woman whose terrible, lazy thinking was affecting not just our physical home, but also our family. God began speaking to me about the state of our home and the role I should be playing. I could no longer tune out our home’s clutter and mess. I had more and more conversations with my husband about doing my part to keep the house clean, and I had long prayers with God about my attitude toward cleaning house.
One day, I decided to do a search online to find out how single moms keep their houses clean, since my cleaning time is usually when my husband is not home. I landed on a website called FLYLady. I started wandering around her site and read things like “Sidetracked Home Executive” an “A house cleaned imperfectly still blesses your family”.
I found on FLYLady’s site the truth, spelled out, that God had been trying so hard to show me. I found that some people really aren’t natural cleaners, and some people get sidetracked when they set out to complete a good task. That’s me!!! I wanted to scream. FLYLady explains that many people hate housecleaning because they were raised to do “chores, or else!” They may hate housecleaning because they let things get so bad they feel like they’re drowning in the mess. They may hate housecleaning because the “urge” to clean comes too infrequently to be a lasting habit, and the cleaning is done to death and to the point where you don’t want to clean again, ever. I am here to freely and willingly confirm I was “all of the above” – until I started to listen to what God was telling me through FLYLady’s words.
I had to admit that I am human and not perfect, but that’s okay. If I am not perfect, how can I expect my house to be perfectly perfect all the time? Why do I force myself to clean my house absolutely perfectly, or else not do any housecleaning at all?
The clearest and most striking message that FLYLady wants to get across is that cleaning house is a blessing because a clean house blesses you and your family. No more cleaning for company – you deserve to have a clean house. What’s more, your housework doesn’t have to be perfect. It just has to be done, and the best way to get a clean house is to take baby steps, as she outlines, to avoid burnout. Write down your routines so that you have a visual reminder to stay on task. FLYLady wants you to love yourself and learn that you deserve a clean and tidy home for you more than anyone else. Her system is working for me, and I am seeing the results daily! Best of all, all of her tips and empowering words are free!
As I started to clean with these thoughts in mind, I began to drift toward thinking about how we are to honor God in all we do (1 Cor. 10:31) and I quickly leaned and started to accept that I was not honoring God with my repulsion to cleaning house. My messy house dishonored God, because I was not taking care of what He gave me, and my inaction had very negative effects on the rest of my family. I prayed for God to quickly change my mindset and heartset on cleaning, and He answered loud and clear.
I chose to start smiling while I clean. I chose to stand back and look at all the shininess and sparkliness that is a clean house, and I chose to imprint that image on my mind, as an incentive to keep things that way. I chose to start following FLYLady’s system. ALL of it. After a week, I was shocked to find that I actually really like to clean. I am also choosing to stick with FLYLady and make cleaning my house one of the top priorities in my life not just for myself, not just for my family, not just for my house, but first and foremost for God!
It’s phenomenal how God works. I allowed Him to start showing me that I needed to work on my laziness and housekeeping, and now, by seeing the power in choosing a positive Godly attitude, I am so much more conscious of all of my other thoughts and actions in my life. God chose to use another woman’s solution born out of struggle to show me that I should be living intentionally, and that everything I do should have purpose.
Now, I am finally becoming the wise woman who builds up her home.