“She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day. She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, diligent in homemaking,” (Proverbs 31:18–19, MSG).
Last week, I spent a sunny Monday afternoon scrubbing my kitchen floor. It was delightful.
Because I was alone.
Most days, I have helpers—my children. I sweep; they beg to hold the dustpan. I fold laundry; they play rowboat with the baskets. I wash a pot and put it away; they pull it from the cupboard again to stir imaginary soup.
Have you ever held a toilet brush in one arm and a baby in the other? Me, too.
Monday, however, was different. Monday was rare. The little one napped while big sister was at school. In those odd, quiet hours, I usually feel pressured to relax and read a book or do something that counts as “me time.” But you should’ve seen the sticky mystery blotches on my kitchen tile—like Venus fly traps for socks and stray cereal crumbs. The urge to clean took over. I had to scrub the floor.
At first my strategy was to get the job over with as fast as possible so I could move on to something indulgent. But as I whirled the mop across the room, it occurred to me, this is something indulgent. No little legs scurried around me; no sweet voices begged to play outside. I heard only the hum of the dishwasher and my own random thoughts. So I scrubbed and scoured and sashayed through that kitchen like I owned the place.
Wait a second. I do own this place. Isn’t that fantastic?! I’m not the maid, for crying out loud. I am the queen.
And this house is my castle.
When was the last time you viewed your home as a prized possession rather than a chore? I honestly can’t remember. Somehow in the daily grind of childcare, cooking, clutter and spills, my castle lost its magic. It became a loud, unceasing mess to maintain, instead of what it should be—my safe haven.
I want my haven back. So I’m claiming a fresh perspective on housework.
Dusting is optional. But loving my family is not, and housework is one of the ways I care for them. From now on, I’ll imagine every swipe of the dust mitt is like blowing a kiss.
Wiping bathrooms is gross. But clean tap water sure is a blessing. And so are piles of dishes and bags of groceries to unload and a thousand other conveniences that millions of people in this world live without.
Laundry is no party. But sorting colors with two little girls can be a rollicking good time—especially when a toddler dances around wearing big sister’s underwear on her head and we all burst into giggles.
Which brings me back to my helpers. Housework might be more challenging with children underfoot. But isn’t that exactly what I love about this life? I have a family sharing my space, praise God. They make this house a home.
A safe haven.
And yes, it’s true—I am the queen.