I’ve been having some sort of inner crisis lately. I’ve been burnt out on doing what I HAVE to do and not really feeling like I am doing anything I WANT to do. I haven’t even been able to think of what it is I would rather do. I’ve been at a stand still and not happy there.
There was a lot of work to be done all those years raising little ones, but there was also an element of gratification to it. It was simpler in so many ways. I’m not there anymore.
Having older kids is great in the respect that they can tie their own shoes, shower themselves, help out with chores around the house, etc, but it’s much more mentally and emotionally taxing. It reminds me of that saying, “Little kids wreck your house and big kids wreck your mind.” Life just feels much more fragmented now.
So I’ve found myself less than excited about keeping house, making meals, etc. It feels like it’s pointless..after 25 years, it’s still never finished. But I don’t think that’s really the point.
I’ve had a cluttered heart and mind and haven’t been sure what the problem is or what the solution could possibly be. So I did all I know to to: I prayed and asked God to give me wisdom (James 1:5) and His eyes to see things the way He does.
What I discovered was simple and yet profound: I am missing that basic gratification that comes with the menial, simple tasks of keeping a home.
We have trained our kids to help around the house and in order for life to run smoothly in the midst of busy tweens and teens, we really do need their help.
But there is something to be said for folding a warm load of laundry… one that hasn’t been sitting in there for 2 days and is now cold and wrinkled. There’s a satisfaction in cleaning the kitchen thoroughly with my own two hands and joy in filling our home with the comforting aroma of a well planned, home cooked meal. There can be such peace in finishing a task like washing the windows or polishing the table top.
I’m not taking the kids’ chore responsibilities away, but I’ve decided to participate more and work alongside them…like I did when they were younger. I will also work alone quietly, with my own hands and my own thoughts.
When my house is in order, my world seems calmer and less chaotic. We aren’t talking perfection here, but there’s something about working with our hands that helps our hearts sort things out. I think God meant it to be that way.
I am not saying that all house work is for women only (just ask my teenage boys), but we are one of many generations of homemakers who have gone before us. For centuries, women have bent over the stove/fire and prepared meals for their families, maintained their homes and created an atmosphere that helped keep the family cohesive. We were born at different times, but we are part of that sisterhood that spans between now and the dawn of time.
It might be good for our hearts to remember that these “menial” tasks just may be more valuable than this culture gives them credit for. Jesus was about servanthood…about the small things, because, quite often, the countless little things really turn out to be the big things.