“What must be done is best done cheerfully.” - Laura Ingalls Wilder
I set about my home cleaning and tidying, with a bad mood. With everything we are dealing with at the moment, the last thing I wanted to do was wash yet another dish, fold one more shirt, or vacuum the carpet for what seemed like the millionth time this week.
My mind filled with thoughts of things I would rather be doing, than tackling another homemaking task.
I even asked myself "Why bother? It's a never ending job, often overlooked by the other family members, and completely repetitive with what feels like no rewards in sight."
At one point or another, we all feel that way. We look around the house at the same mundane tasks, day in and day out, no matter what else is happening around you or the world in general. It's easy to get caught up in those thoughts, but to stay in them is counter productive.
It was in one of these frames of mind that I found myself the other day. I wanted to just lay on the couch, cover myself with the blanket and sleep the worries away. After all, when we're asleep the problems are out of mind, out of sight, buried in the subconscious. Almost like a monster laying in wait, so that the minute you open your eyes, it pounces.
And then as I was standing at the kitchen sink, washing dishes, in a methodical way, rinse, wash, rinse and set in rack to dry......I started thinking about the homemakers of eras gone by. Even my own great grandmother and grandmother.
I never once heard my great grandmother complain about her mundane tasks. She woke up with a smile on her face, tied on her apron, and faced the same daily chores. Always cheerful, always thankful for her life, always humming some old song her mother used to sing to her, while preparing the evening meal.
She would sit at the kitchen table and snap green beans, while telling me stories about her life as a child. How her mother had died of cancer when she was four years old, and it was just her, her father and older brother. How at the age of 8 she became the homemaker and cook for the household, and how every meal she would sit at the table with her dad and brother, and they would offer her a small glass of wine.
Today, we would frown upon giving an 8 year old a glass of wine, but back in the early 1900's that was not a big deal. That simple act from her father, stuck with her, her entire life. For every meal, until she passed at 94, she had a glass of wine. Not a bottle, or a few glasses, but one, just one single glass of wine.
She was an incredible woman, who take great pride in her housework and being a homemaker. To her it meant the world. She had an important job and she made sure that it showed in everything she did.
I grew up wanting to emulate her. I was determined that I would be the homemaker and woman she was. And I was, well AM!!!
But sometimes life throws you for a loop and brings you down so much that you forget certain things. You allow the enemy to keep you captive in those negative thoughts, and before you know it, you're in a slump, fighting and clawing your way back out.
“It's sad if people think that's (homemaking) a dull existance, [but] you can't just buy an apartment and furnish it and walk away. It's the flowers you choose, the music you play, the smile you have waiting. I want it to be gay and cheerful, a haven in this troubled world. I don't want my husband and children to come home and find a rattled woman. Our era is already rattled enough, isn't it?” - Audrey Hepburn
I was standing in my garden, looking at my pumpkins, watermelon and cantaloupe plants, and it's almost like my great grandmother came up behind me, touched me on the shoulder and said......
"You're having a hard time, you're struggling, but that's ok. Remember that you need to shine even in the darkness, you have an important job to do, and you need to do it, cheerfully, with joy and love in your heart."
That was an eye opener. This job that I have always loved, respected and took to heart, was being set aside, so that I could dwell on the bad things, the problems. I think for me the biggest thing was that I was not wanting to come home.
Every time I would leave the house I felt relief. Every time I would drive back up my driveway, I would feel dread.
This home that I have always adored and took such pride in keeping, was now being transformed into the walls that kept me stuck in my problems. Not out of it's own doing, but rather from my own perception and negativity.
So I faced it head on. No more.
Dwelling and sitting in the problem does not make it go away.
I started going about my chores with a smile on my face. Forcefully at first, but I did it anyway, and before I knew it, I had smoothly slipped back into my happy homemaking.
“Have regular hours for work and play; make each day both useful and pleasant, and prove that you understand the worth of time by employing it well." - Louisa May Alcott
“A true home is one of the most sacred of places. It is a sanctuary into which men flee from the world’s perils and alarms. It is a resting-place to which at close of day the weary retire to gather new strength for the battle and toils of tomorrow. It is the place where love learns its lessons, where life is schooled into discipline and strength, where character is molded. Few things we can do in this world are so well worth doing as the making of a beautiful and happy home. He who does this builds a sanctuary for God and opens a fountain of blessing for men. Far more than we know, do the strength and beauty of our lives depend upon the home in which we dwell. He who goes forth in the morning from a happy, loving, prayerful home, into the world’s strife, temptation, struggle, and duty, is strong–inspired for noble and victorious living.” - J.R. Miller
My home is a safe haven, not the place where all my problems, worries or fears are contained. Those? They belong in the Father's hands, and not within my home walls.
I am now going about my days with a joy in my heart. Cleaning, laundry, dishes, cooking, baking, taking care of my family and my pets.
I come home, and immediately breathe a sigh of relief, when I walk through the door. This is the place I belong to, whether I'm going about my usual homemaking tasks, or whether I'm sitting on the couch with a good book, or indulging in a rare afternoon nap on my comfy bed.
So yes, I'm doing it all cheerfully. The problems are still there, but no longer have an impact on my attitude, nor do they possess the power to dictate how my days go.
Are you taking care of your house with a cheerful, joyful attitude?
Thank you for this post, I needed this message.ReplyDelete
I don't spend as much time inside my home now. I love to be outside, kayaking, hiking, sunbathing, and boating. I'm not as good as a housekeeper as I used to be, but I keep up on the daily chores. Right now I'm having the trees trimmed and new floors and carpets installed. There is also lots of watering to be done in the garden. I hope you also get a relaxing break from all of the housework. That used to really help my mom...ReplyDelete
Love this post. It's just what I needed to hear today.ReplyDelete
Thanks for being open and honest, and sharing your heart.
Sending you hugs and prayers my friend. XOXOReplyDelete
Sandra, those clear jars with the blue lids on the shelves to hold foods, where did you get them? Can you tell me what the brand name is?ReplyDelete
Thank you, thank you, and thank you again for these wonderful reminders of what our homes can and should be!ReplyDelete