Family · Household Management! · motherhood · Spiritual Musings

Square Peg, Round Hole

*This is the testimony I referred to here about home management not coming naturally. For really outstanding homemaking help please read the girltalkers latest series on the subject starting here. It is excellent.

Messies. SHE’s (sidetracked home executives). Type B. I prefer to call it “creative and spontaneous”. We are the ones for whom this whole area of home management doesn’t come easily. Rather than list the reasons for this, or the ways to change, I decided that it would be best to share with you my own story. I have experienced much grace in the area of home management. This is to the glory of God alone, believe me. My hope is that you will have fresh faith in God’s ability to work in your life in any area, not just keeping house.

Change in my life began when God showed me that it was His will for me to be a worker at home. Through His word, various teachings, books, and others around me I was able to understand this was part of God’s design for me as a woman. After various phases such as resenting my house-keeper status, frustration over the never finished nature of housework, and an arrogant need to be seen and appreciated God mercifully broke through giving me a desire to pursue growth in this area. You can read more detail about what I learned as far as motivators and motivations here.

Change in my life continued when God began convicting me of the various sins that were hindering my obedience to His will in this area. Laziness and self indulgence along with bowing to the idol of comfort and ease were the most consistent areas of sin being exposed. There was such liberty in calling sin “sin”. Before this I just figured I was a square peg of a woman trying to fit into the round hole of home maker. There is no hope in this conclusion. Jesus came to die for sinners, forgiving them, and changing them. I can’t be set free from my personality, but I can be set free from laziness, self-indulgence etc. Even more amazing, I can have grace to change in these areas.

Change happened as God showed me my need to depend on Him even in this practical area. Dependence meant prayer. Believe it or not there were many times I had to pray, “God please help me to get up and unload the dishwasher. I don’t want to do it. I just want to sit here and…” Then I would get up and do it. It was an embarrassingly hard battle with my flesh to do fairly routine housework. This was such grace, though. I didn’t mount up on some mystical bubble that carried me up to the laundry room where my tingling fingers would work their way through a mountain of laundry. It felt like really hard work. Working hard is profound grace at work nonetheless.

Finally, change came as my husband prayed over me for anointing to do the practical work of home making. This sounds rather dramatic for what it really looked like. Jason prays briefly over me most mornings. The prayers are basically, “God help my wife today” kinds of prayers. But in the early years, he distinctly prayed for anointing for home management things. God answered those prayers. I believe He gave wisdom (mostly through books and older ladies) to run my home more efficiently…this obviously wasn’t a tribute to my personality, but to God at work in my life.

Truth is, even though I don’t generally have a huge battle with my flesh everytime I unload the dishwasher anymore, I am still seeing my need for growth in this area. I am not discouraged, I am full of faith. More than God helping me establish patterns of keeping the kitchen clean, learning how best to store legos, or stay on top of the laundry, God has changed my heart. Willpower would only result in external comformity resulting in pride or more likely, failure. But God’s grace at work resulted in a heart change. I can honestly say that by God’s grace, over the years my love for my home and joy in working in my home has increased. I want to learn more of the domestic arts and improve in the ones I already know. If you looked in my garage today you would agree that I have definitely not arrived. In fact, Jason and I just recently had a little lengthy discussion about my priorities lately reflecting more selfishness than a desire to help and serve him. Ouch. But when I consider the grace that has been available for change so far, it gives me hope that He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it.

7 thoughts on “Square Peg, Round Hole

  1. I remember talking about the messies manual with you, in fact I still have my copy. (now having it doesn’t necessarily mean i follow it LOL)

    Thank you for the reminder and encouragement in
    my ministry to my family.. err, looking around now, i better clean up the dinner dishes 🙂


  2. No, you’re “patient, relaxed, and easy-going.” Ha ha, I just read the definition of Type A & B today and this is the definition of Type B in Wikipedia. It’s funny you mention personality types here. I looked it up today for an article I’m doing . . .

    I think it’s better than my personality type, which is described as “impatient, excessively time-conscious, insecure about their status, highly competitive, hostile and aggressive, and incapable of relaxation. They are often high achieving workaholics who multi-task, drive themselves with deadlines, and are unhappy about the smallest of delays.” Wow. That describes me to a T! I read it to Josh and he was like, “Yeah, that’s pretty much you.”

    Thankfully, whatever personality type we are, God can refine those messy or hardcore edges to reflect more of HIS personality!

  3. Is it ok to pray for annointing for yourself?

    I read the girltalkers stuff on homemaking and felt encouraged that I didn’t have to be perfect at everything. But I think there are things I could certainly use improvement on!

  4. I think I have a split personality type–that sounds disturbing…anywho, I find that in some areas of homemaking I’m definately shall we say “uptight”, (ah, prideful), and in others very “easy going” (who am I kidding, LAZY).

    The amazing thing about grace is that it covers all.

    Thanks for the encouragment once again to persevere in whatever area we are tending toward one extreme or the other instead of relying on the Lord.

  5. WhenEVER I get a lot done, or even WANT to do a little hard work, I am quite aware of God’s grace cuz by nature I’m not a roll-your-sleeves-up kind of gal (unless it’s to MAKE a mess like planting flowers, doing art, spread out curriculum or other things I naturally enjoy). Just today I am very aware that God answered my prayer for grace to scrub the kitchen floor, dust the whole first level, clean a bathroom and say yes to going swimming at Sandy Cove (I’m no longer a summer lovin’ fool. It’s not relaxing with a little guy to be in or near a pool.)

  6. home management, eek! I try so hard to explain to other mom’s how awful I am at it and I don’t think they get it! It is embarrassing, but you are right, grace brings us a long ways from our old ways 🙂 thanks for sharing your story.

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