Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Redemptive Nature of Housekeeping

I tackled a week's worth of laundry today!
My legs ached from yesterday's workout, but I lugged the heavy clothes basket down two flights of stairs and across the parking lot to the laundry room.  The sheets needed to be changed, the bathroom was a mess and our home was in general disarray from having guests for a week.  I got a few things done, and sat down for a minute, looking over at the dirty dishes that were waiting for me.  And even when my home is set aright later today, it will last for just a few days before it all needs to be done again!

This picture always makes me smile--and yes, Paul does help!
Does any of this sound familiar?  Sometimes it is hard to have a joyful heart in the midst of cooking, cleaning, laundry, rinse and repeat!  But as I went about my tasks today, asking the Lord to give me a sense of joy and purpose as I worked, I realized there is more to housework than meets the eye.

1.  It changes me.  Doing mundane things is not my strong suit.  I'm just not a task-oriented person like my husband!  He could attack a list of chores happily, day in and day out.  Or is it just that I am a sinner?  Perhaps some of both.  Doing things that do not get much attention, but yet still need to be done, is the essence of humility.  Taking on the servant nature of Christ, and choosing to serve in some very menial ways, including toilet-cleaning!  (Also not my favorite :)  But I must be quick to say, though it does not provide worldly acclaim to be a homemaker, it is something my husband truly appreciates, and that is enough motivation for me (most days).  Even more, choosing to be a servant is what I am called to as a Christian.

2.  It provides a beautiful and relaxing haven for my family and others.  Paul and I just completed a New Members class at our church, and will be saying our vows in front of the church soon.  As part of this month-long class, we took spiritual gifts inventories, and I was not surprised that hospitality is one of my gifts.  I just LOVE having people over!  But it requires a lot of effort to create a beautiful, serene space for others to put up their feet and feel at home.  Cleaning, cooking, and meeting the needs of those in need are all a part of hospitality.  And even if hospitality is not your 'spiritual gift', it is something we as Christians are all called to.

3.  It is an act of redemption, returning chaos to order, over and over.  Redemption is very important to me.  I love seeing old, broken, or dead things brought back to life.  This could apply to hundreds of different scenarios.  But as I knocked down spider webs on my front porch (the spiders just won't stay away!), I thought about how these seemingly mundane tasks are quite profound.  You see, I am taking on the redemption nature that my Lord and God has, as He goes about making our lives, our souls, and a host of other things beautiful in their own time.  God is the God of Redemption, and caring for the beauty around me is a way to partake in my calling as a Christian.

I hope you are able to approach your mundane tasks with joy, knowing you are impacting the Kingdom of God in a powerful way.



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