The Joy of Cleaning

1899 ---  by Helen Allingham

1899 — by Helen Allingham

I love to clean my home. Truly, I LOVE it. Some people look at it as a chore that must be done in order to not live in filth, while others dislike the task so much that they hire an outsider to complete the cleaning for them. I do not have either of those feelings. I am so grateful for all of the blessings that the Lord has given me that cleaning my house is like a weekly ‘thanking session’ with God. Each time I polish a piece of furniture that has been creatively fashioned by a carpenter, dust off a child’s work of art or wipe down a frame that holds our family photos, I am reminded of all that I have……and again I am so grateful.

Never enough time for everything!

Never enough time for everything!

As a former working mom, I know all about not having enough hours in the day to get everything done. I also remember being so tired that the last thing I wanted to do was manual labor in my own house, so I do not judge those who dislike the time consuming job of keeping house, nor do I judge those who hire it out. Yet, even back then I loved cleaning….even if I was exhausted!

Now, as a stay-at-home-homeschooling-mom, you would think that I had gotten my fill of housework. Perhaps if I stayed home since the birth of my children, that might be the case. However, as I have only stayed home for the past three years, I still cannot get enough of all things pertaining to keeping a home. I am joyfully amazed at this extremely noble profession and I marvel at all of the skills that are required to preform at the highest level.

While my son was away at a Christian concert, I washed all of his comforters, sheets and blankets.  I turned down the bed and left a note on his pillow telling him how much I love him.

While my son was away at a Christian concert, I washed all of his comforters, sheets and blankets. I turned down the bed and left a note on his pillow telling him how much I love him.

Cleaning your home for your family is such an intimate thing. When you wash their sheets, fluff their pillows and shake out their blankets, you are helping them sleep better by making sure they have a soft, clean and fragrant place to lay their heads at night. Vacuuming and sweeping takes on a whole new meaning when you have little ones in the house. Think of all the hours that they play and crawl on the floor! Carefully tending a daughter’s favorite shirt when you launder it, sewing a holey sock for your husband or son, washing a toddler’s favorite blanket (after tiptoeing into their room and retrieving it after they have fallen asleep)……all of these sweet touches are noticed and will be remembered.

Sewing Coconut's pajamas.

Sewing Coconut’s pajamas.

There is also an art to keeping a home. It is not just dusting and vacuuming, it takes skill and diligence. I am trying to instill that into my teenager’s lives, and although they do not love it as I do, I hope that one day they will see the importance of it. It only takes a few minutes more to vacuum under the sofa, wash the windows, or clean under the bed….even if it is only done once a month. Other things, like changing the sheets and whisking under the couch cushions are things that I like to do every week. All of my other cleaning regimens are geared toward not just going through the motions, but cleaning my home as if Jesus lives there….and it you are a believer in Christ, you know that he already does.

Even the little ones can learn to clean up after themselves....their joy in these tasks is infectious!

Even the little ones can learn to clean up after themselves….the joy they exhibit in these tasks is infectious!

So, the next time you dread the mundane task of cleaning your house, remember this awesome prayer by Samuel F. Pugh, which outlines why we as Christian’s should be so thankful for all that the good Lord has blessed us with…….even the privilege of scrubbing our toilets (beats not having a toilet)!

I love having all of my children close to me....it makes the work seem like a privilege.

I love having all of my children close to me….it makes the work seem like a privilege.

Oh, God, when I have food
help me to remember the hungry;
When I have work, help me
to remember the jobless;
When I have a warm home,
help me to remember the homeless;
When I am without pain,
help me to remember those who suffer;
And remembering, help me
to destroy my complacency
and bestir my compassion.
Make me concerned enough
to help, by word and deed,
those who cry out
for what we take for granted.

~ Samuel. F. Pugh

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