Friday, June 3, 2011

Housework & the Devil

I was blessed today with accomplishing enough housework to feel smugly self-satisfied.

As I was revelling in my accomplishment, my mind wandered back to a conversation I had with my three teenage children several months ago.

I remember looking around my house in disgust and asking them, "Do you remember when I used to keep the house so clean we could have eaten off the floors if we wanted to?"

The three looked at me, a bit puzzled and replied, "We don't remember how clean the house was, but we remember how crazy, scary you got while doing it!"

Yes, that was me.
It was as if Satan himself would possess me and turn me into a rotten, cranky, screaming, madwoman.
It was not a pretty sight.

The fact that that's what my children remembered both saddened and humbled me.
As I pondered their words, the Lord revealed to me my error.
Several years ago, as I did a study of the Proverbs 31 Woman, I fell into a trap.
A trap that said  I had to be Suzie Homemaker, Betty Crocker, Joan of Arc and Mother Teresa all in one.
It was a train of thought that said I had to perform a certain way in order to truly be the model of that Proverbs 31 Woman.
It was exhausting. And unfortunately, I remained in that trap for several years.

 You see, my children didn't care how clean or dirty my house was. They cared more about how it affected me. They noticed more whether I spent time with them or on housework. They shared how, to them, they felt as if I cared more about how clean the house was than I did about them! The very thought of it brings tears to my eyes!

Through life and circumstances, I (thankfully) was freed of that way of thinking and began to relax a little bit more. I have learned to choose my battles more wisely and how to make the best use of my time...
time with them.
They're teenagers now and don't necessarily want to always spend time with me, but when they do, I jump on the chance!
The years go by too quickly and I now see that I wasted some of the best years on things that don't matter as much as I used to think they did.

The children don't hold it against me though.
Most of the time they laugh about it and make jokes about how "crazy" I was.
Thank God that I'm better now - well, mostly.

As for my husband, he has never said anything about the cleanliness or dirtiness of the house - ever.
He's always thought of me as Suzie Homemaker, Betty Crocker, Joan of Arc and Mother Teresa all rolled into one.
And I suspect that it shall remain so for the rest of our days.

So, when all is said and done, what matters the most is that
"(My) children stand and bless (me). (My) husband praises me: “There are many virtuous and capable women in the world, but you surpass them all!" 
And the Lord declares, "(She) was a woman who fear(ed) the Lord and will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise."
( From Proverbs 31: 28-29, 30b-31)

This is how I will know that I have, indeed, been a model of the
Proverbs 31 Woman whom I so greatly admire.

1 comment:

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