Howdy! Mary here.
Let’s talk about chores…
Now I feel like in the minds of most people, the word “chore” has a negative vibe to it. As though it’s a task that you have no choice about. Well by golly, that’s exactly what it is! Now since chores are a part of life and will always be(unless you marry rich and can afford a servant) wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy them?
God has helped me overcome a LOT of attitudes that had to do with chores. I hated dishes. Laundry was gross. What’s the point of vacuuming if you’re just gonna dirty the floor again? Am I right? Maybe, but that’s not the point. The point is, I hated chores. And that’s not good. What did chores ever do to me? Nothing bad!
In fact, I gained responsibility, obedience, perseverance, creativity, appreciation and a whole lot more, due in part to my daily chores.
Let’s launch right into the reasons why I now LOVE chores and cleaning and work of all sorts…
NUMERO UNO: Cleaning is so fun. Don’t laugh at me now, unless you want too, but I’m dead serious. I absolutely love to clean things. I love the process of making something look nice again, I love doing it to bless my family, I love the end product of a sparkly clean whatever and I love working up a sweat weather it be shoveling manure, washing the floor, or scrubbing that one pan that I know we all have in our lives.
Two: Have you ever experienced that feeling of pure bliss where you walk into a freshly organized, vacuumed, shining room after forgetting you cleaned it earlier that day? Okay maybe that’s just me. But that feeling makes me dance. I jump around the room, make invisible snow angels on the clean floor and then finally sit down on a chair and just look at it for a few minutes. What a lovely thing a couple hours of work can do.
Three: Hand washing dishes makes me feel like Caroline Ingalls. Ever since reading Little House On The Prairie, I marveled at the fact that they hand washed their dishes every single meal. And they typically all pitched in to get it done within a matter of minutes. I am very thankful for our dishwasher, but my favorite part of doing the dishes is filling one side of the sink with hot soapy water, laying out a clean towel and then scrubbing away as I empty the sink one dish at a time.
Four: Making patterns on the carpet with the vacuum is way too fun. You know like when the suction makes the carpet looked shadowed when you stand a certain way? I once vacuumed our family room with these perfect acute triangles in 4 or 5 rows. It was awesome. I have yet to attempt a checkerboard pattern… Maybe next time.
Five: Warm laundry. That’s all there is too it. You go to empty the dryer of it’s contents only to find the cycle has just ended and everything inside is warm and fresh and clean. Oh what a beautiful, beautiful thing. I have yet to experience the beauty of freshly aired clothesline laundry, but I’m hoping to build a clothesline in the spring.
Six: Washing windows is very satisfactory. The smudges, bits and fingerprints are minuscule but nonetheless present. How much of a difference it makes when the windows are clean! You feel like you’ve experienced clear vision for the first time as you gaze out on the world(or into the house) through sparkling sheets of glass.
Seven: I love the story of saint Nicholas and how delighted the people were when he secretly blessed them. Then there’s Bible verses about letting your giving be done in secret, and when someone asks you to go with him one mile, go with him two. I remember those verses every time I wanna do “just enough” with a job that I was assigned to(or took upon myself). I’ve begun to develop the mindset of “How can I go above and beyond here?” So instead of simply vacuuming the family room, I might do the hardwoods and dust the furniture as well. Or when I’m asked to take out the garbage, I’ll empty all the cans in the house and take out recycle too. Yesterday I was asked to hose off our dirty truck, so I scrubbed it clean with soapy water in the pouring rain. You get the idea. It feels so good to give!
Eight: I’ve developed an uncanny knack for taking a seemingly hopeless space and organizing it to perfection. I have quite the reputation among my colleagues. Well, family members. Okay it’s mostly my Mama. She doesn’t know how I do it and I honestly don’t either. What I do know, though, is organizing is AWESOME. It’s like playing Tetris or rush hour or something. You can take a cluttered mess and with the use of a simple strategy, make it useful and efficient. I love organizing so much that I can easily get caught up in re-organizing my closet, and bookshelf, and desk, and rabbit shed and the kitchen all in a matter of days, and then a couple weeks later I do it again. It’s a good problem.
Nine: It makes me so happy to be able to care for my animals because they depend on me, they love me, and I love them. Though I am getting over not wanting to clean the guinea pig cages, I still do it cause I want them to be healthy and happy as long as I have the privilege of caring for them. As for my farm animals, I have come to love the 2 or more hours of work I put into them every day. The early mornings, the rushing to get ready for the day so that the chickens can be let out, my 11 rabbit’s quiet but lively excitement when they hear the feedbag rustling, restocking hay racks, filling waterers… It’s all a part of me and I am so blessed to have my animal chores.
Ten: The ongoing to-do list of a homesteader. There is always something to be done and just when you start to get the hang of things, something breaks and needs fixing, or it’s spring and you absolutely have to plant the garden, or you begin to notice every little thing that needs improvement and set out to improve it yourself. It can become stressful and overwhelming, but only if you let it. I’ve realized the importance of asking for help and I’ve also learned to prioritize. Even though I never get it ALL done, I’m never at a loss for something to do and I count that as a blessing.
So, fellow citizens, today I challenge ye to go about your chores with renewed vigor and appreciation. Some people don’t have chores to do. Be thankful you do! Because if not you, then who? If not now, then when? If not this, then something else! Today is the day!
Do the chores, love the chores, be the chores. Here is an acronym for additional inspiration: Clean Houses Only Rest Easy Soooooo… I’m sorry, it’s the best I could come up with on such short notice.
Stay awesome! Have a fantastical day!
“Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work.” ~ Aristotle