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Evolution of a Housewife

Being unemployed this summer has been an interesting experience.

Oh, to be sure, I’m totally enjoying staying up late and sleeping in, although the flip side is that I have no idea how I’m going to pay some of my bills this month.

But, other than my sleep patterns and income changing, another strange thing is happening lately.

I find myself actually, gulp, enjoying housework!

I’ve been thinking about this lately and wondered how it happened.

The Mr. and I have been married almost 20 years.  I don’t remember especially liking housework at the start of our marriage.  I had to work full-time from the get-go…supporting us while he finished school and job-hunted after.

We decided to start our family early in the game, so working full-time and being a mom definitely did not contribute any love towards chores.  The Mr. and I made a deal when Rooster was born.  If I changed all of the diapers, the Mr. would cook.

You’d have to be a dummy not to, in the words of an enthusiastic Deal or No Deal audience, “Take the deal!”

I still had to clean up after…a chore I loathed after bathing children and getting them ready for bed.

Even after I started staying home full-time, I don’t recall a time when I “enjoyed” housework.  Maybe it was because I could never seem to get caught up.  Maybe it was because I never had help.

As the kids have gotten older, they’ve been able (and expected) to contribute.  They do everything from washing dishes to laundering their own clothes.  They scrub their tub, scoop dog poop, and iron clothes.

When I enrolled in college courses, I found myself with less time to clean the house, and the kids picked up the load exponentially.

In the process, I grew a wee bit lazy.

The yard and house went to pot because, although the kids tried, they were cutting corners.

The last couple of months, things have slowly changed.

The kids’ schedules have picked up substantially.  They are often out of the house…spending a lot of time with the church’s youth group, attending school functions (the last month of school), and basically just being teens.

The week they were gone to camp, I had to do everything.  You remember my “done” lists.

As I typed those lists, something began growing in my heart.  It was pride in a job well-done.  My yard, although not green and certainly not weed-free, is properly “groomed,” so-to-speak.  The house is dusted, vacuumed, and sort-of neat.  Not that it would pass the white glove test, but it’s so much better than it was.

Somehow, through the last work-free month, I’ve begun to enjoy the responsibilities entrusted to me.

I can’t help but wonder if it’s God working this inside of my heart.

I have, after all, been reading some fantastic blogs…True Woman and girltalk.  These blogs talk about Biblical womanhood.  They stress that women are to live their lives in a way to goes in the opposite direction of what the world puts out there.  We are to be our husbands’ helpers…an image that the media portrays as old-fashioned.  This post really plucked my heart and has given me pause.  I encourage you to take a few minutes to read it.  This link will take you to a series on Biblical womanhood on the same blog.

I’ve been convicted about the way I have often treated the Mr.  I’ve had hissy-fits…frustrated that he doesn’t help.  And, to be fair, he probably should a wee bit more than he does.  But it’s not right of me to insist on my way or else.  I shouldn’t be complaining about being asked to help him.  I’ve often looked at his requests as laziness on his part…something I just have no tolerance for.

And yet, God calls me to be the Mr.’s helper.  That was a vow I made when I said, “I do.”  Rather than feel resentful, I should be thankful that God has given me such wonderful opportunities to serve.  Serving my family models the way we are to serve God and imitates the ultimate model of servitude…Christ’s service to sinners.  Remember the story of Him washing His disciples’ feet?

Yeah.  Humbling and convicting.

True change comes about slowly…especially when you are the stubborn student that I am.  Onward I plod…one precept at a time…

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