Once I finally got myself going this morning I worked my tail off. By noon, the house was tidied and dusted (in itself a formidable task, let me assure you), floors and furniture were vacuumed, the whole place was mopped, including under all the furniture, the kitchen was scrubbed clean, in some cases with baking soda and a toothbrush, and a load of laundry was drying on the line. It took the better part of two hours of hard work to get this all done, and at the end of it all I felt great. And this feeling of accomplishment got me to thinking about two things:
Firstly, of how many thankless jobs there are for the housekeeper. For example, I can assure you that my husband will never thank me specifically for scrubbing the grime off the dishwasher buttons, or for keeping the dish drainer sparkling white (honestly, I spent at least fifteen minutes with a toothbrush on that thing) – but at the same time if I never ever did it, well, he’d be sure to notice (side note: please don’t hear what I am not saying, if he did happen to notice such a task undone, he would rarely bring it up, just take mental note…only after I made mention of how grimy something was would he agree and say “yeah, I didn’t want to say anything.” He is a gracious man). I realized as I pondered the many thankless jobs that I no longer view myself as a housekeeping martyr – but rather, I clean because my family and myself are blessed by a tidy, healthy atmosphere. No more grudges. Ladies, I implore you take on the same attitude. Trust me, you will never get enough thanks for the work you do to make you feel truly appreciated, especially if you have bad attitude. So give yourself an attitude adjustment, and consider my second pondering:
Hard work with a happy heart is a blessing to your soul. The feeling of accomplishment in a job well-done, however small, is the reward for your efforts. Whether monumental or mundane, I believe that we were created to take joy in our work, and to feel the satisfaction of our efforts. Consider your mood on a day when nothing is accomplished, when lazing around in PJ’s with guilt hanging over you for all that you should be doing. Compare that mood to how you feel when you have conquered your to-do list and finish your day with accomplishment, though you may be tired. Enough said?
I only had the time for a cursory look into Proverbs on the subject while the kids napped this afternoon, but this is what I found:
“The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied” (Proverbs 13:4)
Does that not just sum it up? How many times have I lazed around “wanting” – but never getting? How many times have I been satisfied and content after completing a task I set out to do?
How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
When will you get up from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest-
and poverty will come on you like a bandit
and scarcity like an armed man. (Prov 6:9-11)
Whoa! – this verse used to convict me every time I read it. To me this means procrastination (a little sleep and slumber) will lead us straight into poverty. Well, all I can say is I don’t want to live in poverty, and if all it takes it some hard work – I’m game!
“Sow your seed in the morning, and at evening let not your hands be idle, for you do not know which will succeed, whether this or that, or whether both will do equally well.” (Ecc 11:6)
This was a particularly helpful principle for me when I was working full time. I think most of us feel entitled to put up our feet after a day’s work, flick on the TV and zone out, but I found that something as simple as knitting in the evening is so incredibly beneficial to my outlook … I wish I could explain it better – You’ll just have to give it a try. Do something constructive during those evening hours and see if your life is not changed.
All this to say: I am not afraid of hard work. I am not afraid to be truly busy from the moment I wake up until the moment I fall into bed. I don’t want to squander the time I have been given.
“Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Ps 90:12)
Be blessed, my friends, and walk in the peace of the Lord.