When I was in high school I was, at more than one point, fueled by some evangelization gleam I sought to tote. I was quick to see how much greater our lives could be if we all reached this epic level of purity and holiness I had envisioned.
My mom didn't seem too keen on my notions of grandeur. Instead, she would remind me to do the dishes. In fact, it went something like this: "You want to be a Christian? Do the dishes." The snide remark would echo in my brain as an abhorred notion. How dare my mother corner me like that!
My mom also told me to thank God that I had the opportunity to clean; I had dishes to eat from - I should be happy to scrub them, I had clothes to wear - I should be happy to hang them, sort them, fold them. Yeah, I'm grateful mom. Whatever.
My siblings and I like to joke about the seemingly endless Saturdays of scrubbing, washing, folding, hanging, and so forth. It's our version of the "I-had-to-walk-to-school-uphill-both-ways-knee-deep-in-snow". "I-had-to-wake-up-every-Saturday-without-fail-before-dawn-to-clean-until-I-became-emaciated-or-sick." I would moan, groan, and curse deep into the linoleum while my knees hardened into a numbed mess of floor cleaner. I would roll my eyes and grit my teeth when I heard we had another load to put outside on the ant and walking stick [Hello - FREAKY!] infested line. I would pray to God and ask for His mercy for whatever I had done to deserve a cruel, cruel mother. And I swore to myself while furiously rubbing cleaner into the abysmal white of the shower I will NEVER do this to my poor children.
A few years later and hundreds of cycles of clean and dirty in my own home, I've had quite the conversion.
Beauty abounds in the home which is simply clean. Attentive love multiplies when household duties are taken care of in a fierce, organized, efficient manner. And hard work, well, hard work is a great secret wonderment which sets our gratitude on fire.
These days I'm eager to wake up on Saturday [and Sunday] mornings to clean the stove [the one which whips up Chicken Cordon Bleu and Lasagna], scrub the tea kettle [the beauty that serves me wild berry tea and tricks me into being relatively calm during stressful conversations with my husband], detail the Medela breast pump and its dozens of parts and pieces [the bridge I couldn't currently live without], and spray the romper [which covers a ridiculously adorable bottom of my Bam Bam, my little guy, our Booter Binkie from the land of Stinky #2, my Boo Boo Coo Coo, our Thomas]... the one who just a few years from now will be cursing into the dirty grout he's scrubbing while I smile on with an affection and sense of humor he likely won't understand [for a while].
So, when I started reading Kimberly Hahn's Graced and Gifted: Biblical Wisdom for the Homemaker's Heart [or what I would like to think of as my current guidebook to being an awesome wife, mother, woman] and I saw that the first chapter was titled "She Works with Willing Hands", I thought to myself ...
Heck yes she does!