Monday, October 6, 2008

AT THE WELL...keeping the home

CHELSEY is leading us in the discussion of "keeping the home "over AT THE WELL today. Chelsey is stepping on our toes here this week. No doubt the discussion will be varied and interesting as we all share our take on keeping order in our homes. Come check out what everyone has to say about this topic, click HERE!


do you keep a neat and tidy home? ~If so, what do you do to keep on top of this? Schedules? Routines?

If you have children at home, do they get involved?

If you are lacking in this area, why do you think that is?

Give any practical hints or advice that work well in your home and that might could bless someone else! :)


I am the worse critic when it comes to asking myself if I keep our home neat and tidy. First of all, for you readers that do not know me personally, there are two things you must know about me.
  1. I own my own business...yep, you guessed it right ... a CLEANING SERVICE business!
  2. I have been typically described as a OCD person ...that is over compulsive disorder!
So when it comes to cleaning - let's just say...I could do it 24/7 and it would never be clean enough! (I know - I'm working on letting up alittle on this ...)

You would not find my home "spotless", but you would find me working like a busy little bee trying to get it all organized and clean to my satisfaction. When I go on one of my little cleaning spells, my kids will say to me, "Whose coming over?" (why does someone have to come over in order to have it clean I ask??)

The only routine and schedule we have at our house is DO IT everyday! That thought may seem like a dream come true for all of you clean freaks like me. But face it, life happens. We get busy. projects...weekend retreats...overtime at work

If we could only eliminate all of the distractions....I believe that we could all have impeccable homes. If we lack in the area of good housekeeping, most likely one of the reasons is distractions!

In the book of Luke, we see another woman who was distracted by many things...Martha!

LUKE 10:38-40 "Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. (39) And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word. (40) But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me."

I am very much like Martha! Because I am a detail/detail/detail person! Did I mention how important details are to me? this is an important characteristic to have, because I do not think that Christians should be in total chaos or disorder. But being consumed with details, such as Martha was, can mean that important things will be missed. In this case, Martha missed out on spending time with Jesus...

LUKE 10:41-43 " And Jesus answered and said to her, 'Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. (42) But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her."

When I read this passage, I had to look twice, I thought for sure my NIV said "Laurie, Laurie, you are worried and troubled about many things!"

ARE YOU LIKE MARTHA...and miss out on important things?

Since I am my worse critic, I decided to have my family critique me in this area of keeping the house in order. I wanted to be sure I was not missing out on "important things". Here are some of their responses:

  1. "It is not solely your responsibility to clean the house"
  2. "Sometimes I wish you would practice ball with me instead of cleaning"
  3. "On a scale of 1-10, you score a 1000"
  4. "Being a nurturer ...which you are (physically and spiritually) is more important than having a clean house"
It is so easy to be like Martha and miss out. I believe there is nothing wrong with being like Martha (aka... Laurie) but there are steps I believe that can be taken to make sure important things remain important...

a. PREPARATION...I believe Martha could have enjoyed more of Jesus like her sister if she had initiated some preparation. Prepared the meal before hand...even simplifying it.

What preparations do you initiate in your home?

  • Do you plan your meals ahead of time...
  • Do you lay out clothes the night before...
  • Pack lunches the night before...
  • Do you have a chore list that everyone can help with weekly...

b. PRIORITIZE...Martha could have been sitting at Jesus' feet as well if she would have made priorities. If Jesus' was at my table...I would most definitely want to roll out the prime rib and the best cheese cake ... would He be impressed with this or impressed that I took time for Him?

What are your priorities in your home?
  • Do you spend enough time with the kids?
  • Do you make special time for your hubby?
  • Do you make unfulfilled promises..."I'll help you when I'm done with the laundry."
  • Are you a good "time manager" in your you do household chores before getting on the computer, is the laundry done before you turn the tv on, are the beds made before you play solitaire on your laptop?
Our homes should be a "safe haven" for our families. I believe that our homes should be orderly, organized and clean. This would take away so much stress that families may feel. Stress of "I can't find my shoes Mom!!!" "I have to leave in five minutes and I can't find my keys!" If you are a woman who is feeling overwhelmed in this area of keeping your home clean - you may want to initiate some help...if your family will not help then consider budgeting a cleaning service.

PSALM 51:10 "Create in me a clean heart, O god, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."
  • The kids will grow....
  • the ball practices will end...
  • the chaos will slow down...
When I polled my family in regard to my role as keeping order in the house ...One of my son's answers really ministered to my heart. His answer says it best when it comes to what is most important, and what will be remembered most...

"Nurturing us physically and spiritually is more important than having a clean house".

~spiritually speaking~


Devita said...

You are just like my mom:D:D

yes, we must remember that God also wants someone like Mary which is not being busy with all her activity only, but He also want someone who could sit and stay and listen to Him.

A really wonderful writing sister, i like it. thank you.

have a great day!

Joyfull said...

Oh my, Oh my. Your post hit me square between the eyes! I am a Martha all the way who is learning to be more like Mary. The Lord has spoken to me and I am working on doing more and being with my family more than working in the house. Your post was a great encouragement. Thanks for sharing!

Mary Beth said...

Great post, Laurie... we all need to ask these questions regularly.

Melanie said...

Such a great post, Laurie, that spoke straight to my heart!

JesusRulzMe said...

This is great! Yes, it is far more important to keep a spiritually clean house rather than a tidy physical one and a very filthy moral one!

Great point!

Bless you sister!

Debra said...


Your son's words to you must have just warmed your heart so!! This was such a beautiful post.

Blessings to you today sweet sister.

Rebecca said...

Oh there was SO much good stuff in here! Preparation, prioritize, Martha, the clean "spiritual" house. I am soaking it all in!

You wrote, "Our homes should be a "safe haven" for our families. I believe that our homes should be orderly, organized and clean. This would take away so much stress that families may feel." I believe my husband would sign his name to this statement in a heartbeat. His job is stressful and chaotic and to come home to a house that is the opposite, peaceful and orderly, means the world to him. Thanks for helping me understand his perspective.

But what spoke to me the most was, "The kids will grow....
the ball practices will end...
the chaos will slow down..." Reminding me again that 1) it is all a season, and 2) to take time to be present in these stages, the Better Homes and Garden house can come later. :)

Thanks for sharing your wisdom!

lori said...

Are all "Lori/Lauries" alike?? I too have read the passage in Luke with my name inserted...:)

There is a time to do and a time to be still....funny thing is that the more organized we are at doing, the more time I have for being still....TRY and explain that to a disorganized soul...:)

Wonderful post! I completely and TOTALLY relate...IF I had a business...It WOULD be a cleaning business!:) most definitely!


Kat said...

"Nurturing us physically and spiritually is more important than having a clean house."

What a wise son you have! Yes a clean home is important, but it is the nurturing that goes on in the home that will be remembered, so true :)

Laurie Ann said...

I love your son's answer at the end! That's so true. The preparation part is something I really need to work on, as is the prioritizing. I'm so glad you wrote on this topic, Laurie. Awesome hints.