Thursday, December 28, 2017

Proverbs 31 Woman: Day 13- Homemaking is More than Housekeeping

One version of Proverbs 31:19 states, "She spins her own thread and weaves her own cloth." (GNT) But I feel like The Message really breaks this down in to terms for those of us living today. The Message states, "She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, diligent in homemaking." This really broke through to my soul this morning.

Now, one thing I want to stress is this: we all try our best for our families. We might not all be skilled in the same areas as other mothers, but we put forth our best effort in caring for them. I'll be honest- I cannot sew to save my life and I'm a terrible baker. That being said, any clothes that need tended to usually gets sent to my mother (thanks Momma!) and I usually leave baking to Walmart (or anyone that offers to help, especially when it comes to birthday parties! Lol) I struggle in these areas of 'homemaking', but I try as hard as I can in every other area for my beautiful family because God has impressed on me that He wants them to have a peaceful life, full of His joy-- not stress and worry.

And I believe that's what God is desiring from us as wives and mothers. 

To create as peaceful life as possible for our families.

I'm not saying everyone has to be June Cleaver-- vacuuming in pearls, making elaborate meals, house always perfect. I feel like through Proverbs 31, God is wanting us to be used for His kingdom within our homes. Making our homes full of His Spirit and His peace and His love. 

You all know, I love quotes. I feel like they break things down for us in ways that we can understand. And I found some great ones while studying this morning:

'The most important work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own home.' [Harold B. Lee]

'A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish one tears it down with her own hands.' [Proverbs 14:1]

'The purpose of the home is to be a place of refuge, grace, and productivity- not a platform for me to prove what a great homemaker I am.' [Courtney Reissic]

'You can give life to your home by building up the souls in your care and the souls who enter it.' [Sarah Mae]

'Homemaking is more than housekeeping. Homemaking takes into account the spiritual values: love, peace, tranquility, harmony among family members, security. It makes of a place of residence a spot to which family members can retire from a confused and troubled world and find understanding and rejuvenation. Its character is quietness; it evidences good taste, culture, and refinement. Men, women, and children alike have their individual contributions to make a good home and family life, and each shares in its benefits.' [Belle S. Spafford]

And last:

"Homemaking is an opportunity to.. care for those I love, become orderly and organized, make a home a haven, increase my ability to help others, share my life with those I love, invite the Spirit, truly enjoy my time at home, provide a comforting and calm space, create a refuge from the storms, and feel peace by being prepared."

Homemaking isn't about the meals you make, the cleanliness of your home, or the laundry. Homemaking is about WHY you make the meals you make, WHY you clean your home, WHY you do the laundry. 

I've told the story a million times: I haven't been the greatest housewife/housemother. Oh, sure. It probably looked like it on the outside, but I had a damaging, self-centered attitude about it. "I don't get any help around here." "Can't I just sit for 5 minutes." "This is ridiculous!" "I am so tired." "I don't feel like doing this." "Oh, well. He knows how to do laundry." It was awful. It was like I thought my family owed me or something. And as time has passed, God has dealt with my heart and my attitude. He kept instilling in me that truth-- God LOVES a cheerful giver (not just about money, but time, service..) What good was my laboring over the laundry if I wasn't cheerful in doing it? God wasn't going to honor that sacrifice--- no matter how tired or exhausted I was. 

So, one day, it was like He flipped the switch inside of me. He started showing me that I am vital in His plan because I GET to care for my family. I GET to make their lives easier. I GET to help bring peace in to our home. He wakes me up in the morning and pulls and tugs on my heart to pray over my family. He pulls and tugs on my heart to sing praises to Him so He can inhabit our home in the morning, before anyone else wakes up. He has shown me that He will use me to set the course for my family's day-- all by my attitude and my spirit. I find myself pleading with Him every morning to give me His joy and for Him to show me how to bless my family today. 

One thing He has revealed to me is my attitude towards my husband. How He gave us partners to be their helpmates... not their "You owe me because I did _____" mate. One morning, I promise it was like God was sitting right next to me and He said, "Look at your husband. Look at him. Do you see how tired he is? Do you see how the weight of the world is on his shoulders some days? Don't you want to show him love? Don't you want to show him peace? I need you to help Me give him rest, Alyssa. Will you be that for him?" And He worked and molded my heart.. and I realized how He needs me to bring peace in to our home. So (not by my own doing-- by His grace!) during the evenings, I find myself laying out his work clothes for in the morning right down to his undergarments and socks so he isn't searching for anything in the wee hours of the morning. I find God tugging on me to make breakfast so all he has to do is heat it up in the morning. He tugs to pack a lunch. He tugs to set the coffee pot so it is already brewing when Ethan walks out to the kitchen. He tugs to organize all of his things so he can just walk out the door in the morning. He tugs to be up singing and praying before he walks out in to the kitchen. He tugs to pray for peace in our home. And he tugs to pray over Ethan before he leaves that that peace will continue. He does the tugging-- and He created the change in my heart. 

He made me realize that I can be used for His kingdom right here in my own home. 

He tugs on me not to raise my voice at my children. He tugs on my heart to put my phone in our bedroom and leave it there instead of staring at it all day. He tugs to sing in front of them so they hear songs about Jesus' love. He tugs on my heart to make their lives easier with being consistent on providing them clean clothes and clean comforters. He tugs on my heart to not complain in front of them. He tugs to be optimistic and positive- especially about my own body-- because they see my example. He shows me that they will pattern their lives after our habits in the home... and I pray daily that He will change me so that my children can be used for His kingdom and that they consistently see a positive example in Ethan and myself.

Homemaking is more than housekeeping. It is more than the dishes, the hampers, the brooms. Homemaking is about making a home that shines JESUS. It is about making a home that is full of peace, joy, love, patience, and hope. 

The only question that keeps echoing in my mind today is: What kind of home are we making for our husbands? Our children? Ourselves?

God bless all of you today!