*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.