Finding joy in household chores


 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might  ~ Ecclesiastes 9:10

Whether you live in a house, unit, apartment, condo, tent, caravan, cabin, houseboat or tree house — you will have chores that need to be done. You can't avoid them — well you can, but it will make your environment pretty unpleasant in no time flat. Whether we like it or not, household chores need to be done and we can't escape the drudgery of it. 

Even today in 2016, most chores falls to the lady of the house even though women around the world  are in constant battle to get their menfolk to help (it can be one of the major points of tension in a marriage).  Some say that housework is solely a woman job and we shouldn't even be asking men to assist. I look at it slightly differently, whilst women are managers of their homes — everyone in the household contributes to the mess, therefore it would be nice if everyone helped in some small way.  It is a great way of training up the children (or rather a necessary training as they, once adults, will have their own homes to care for) and there are a many jobs around the house that men can do and their contribution helps towards the overall running of the house and home and in turns creates a lovely environment to live in. Its all about team work and a husband and wife are a team.

Just remember HYGGE, the Danish concept of home that I wrote about in a previous post!!

Some women outsource — my mother had an ironing lady for many years, others have a cleaning lady  who comes weekly or fortnightly — but most of us do it ourselves.  Interestedly, with more women in the workforce, the standard of cleanilness has declined in the last 30 years. Women no longer iron the sheets and vacuum the drapes like they use to (I don't even iron my tea towels). Ovens and fridges are no longer cleaned as often and houses are far more dusty. Overall, less housework is done now compared to the 1950s or before.

My motto for housework is simple — do a little each day and stay on top of it, otherwise it doesn't take very long before you start to drown in the amount of the work that needs doing. If a little is done each day, no one needs to spend very long doing housework. And if the load is shared among the family (my husband vacuums which is such a great help), including the children—the workload is no longer daunting. 

Regardless of how I do my chores, there will always be chores I strongly dislike doing — cleaning the shower and bathtub, cleaning the fridge and ironing. Whether we like these jobs or not, we still need to do them and as Christian women we need to have the right attitude towards our chores . . .


. . .  a godly attitude of servicedoing each chore joyful and hopeful with a smile on one's face! And remember, that once done, the pleasure of a sparkly clean house is very rewarding for all.


* Lets be thankful that we have a home of our own to clean and take joy in what God has provided for us. We need to thank the Lord for the beds that give us a good nights rest (even if we have to make them in the morning), for the washing we have to do (as it means we have clothes to wear) and for the crumbs on the floors as it means we have food to eat (even if we have to sweep and mop afterwards).


* Look at our chores as a blessing and find the positive in this work — that we have a home to clean, that we are able to clean our homes and that we have a family that will appreciate all our hard work (even if they don't say so).


* Remember, our chores keep us busy and active and that in turn keeps us out of mischief (too much time on the internet or watching TV) and that is also a good thing — "She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness." (Proverbs 31:27)


* And no matter what we do — including the yucky chores and keeping our homes in order we need keep this firmly in our minds: "do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men" (Colossians 3:23)


* Focus on why we are doing these chores — its not about pats on the back or rewards for having the cleanest house in the street: "Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others." (Philippians 2:3-5)


So whilst we grumble and avoid doing chores and for some women, happy to live in messy homes (saying its more important to spend time with the children) — we do have a responsibility to keep our homes clean, tidy, hygienic and in order and in turn, all our hard work will create a wonderful environment for all to enjoy.  We aren't doing this for ourselves, we do all things for the Lord, including a clean home.


PS focus on the end product - whilst you might make a mess cleaning up the bathroom cabinet — what a great feeling once it is all done and the room is neat and tidy. 



One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries. —A.A. Milne

Comments

  1. I enjoy my chores! I break them up, so on Monday I clean the kitchen. While on Tuesday I do the laundry, Wednesday the bathrooms, etc. If I miss a day, I'll pick it up the following week or add it to the next day.
    Enjoyed the posts on HYGGGE!

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    1. I agree with breaking them up - doing all the chores at once makes it feel so daunting and horrible. I find playing music makes chores more enjoyable. Isn't Hygge great!!

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  2. Thanks for encouraging us today. I'm going to light a candle and make breakfast. The laundry is my big chore today.
    Laura
    Harvest Lane Cottage

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    1. We have had rain on and off for days making washing the clothes difficult - God provided us with a beautiful sunny day and everything was washed and it all dried beautifully :)) I love the idea of a candle at breakfast.

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  3. Thanks for spurring us on to do good work in our household chores.

    I loved your insights for finding joy as we work at home, even those chores that seem mundane, the very things we are cleaning come with a blessing from the Lord.

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    1. Everything we do, whether we like it or not - we need to have the right attitude and remember always it is for the Lord and He would hate us to do it ungratefully or with a bad heart.

      xx

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  4. I needed this reminder today! Thanks for bringing me back to the truth that whatever I do I should work at it "with all my heart as working for the Lord not for man."

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    1. I think we all need it from time to time with any work we do :))

      Have a wonderful weekend. xx

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  5. What a wonderful post. I know I always feel such a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment when I take care of my home and my family. It's such a blessing and privilege to be able to serve God and our families. Visiting you from the Raising Homemakers link up. Blessings!

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    1. When you come home to a tidy clean house it is a wonderful feeling and it really does reduce the stress levels too :)) I can't imagine what it is like to walk into a messy home and try and think straight !!Thankyou for popping by :)

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  6. This is such a good reminder! I find that the busier I am, the more I need to stick to my cleaning routine. Being busy is no fun when everything is dirty!

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    1. If you are busy, keeping on top of it is critical because once you slip back it becomes such a task to catch up.

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  7. Oh, such wise words, dear Jo...I enjoyed reading your post today, for what you shared is very true... I have come to love house work and derive much satisfaction from a job well done... At this season in my life as a daughter living at home, I am learning so many wondrous skills and also developing a healthy attitude towards the daily chores and such that fill our lives whether we like it or not! My mother is expecting another blessing, so naturally a good many of her usual jobs have fallen to me...such as the ironing! Whilst I used to dislike this chore with a passion, I have now come to enjoy it and find it relaxing!
    Thank you for the sweet encouragement to do everything for the Lord whom we serve! I love the verse that says to despise not the day of small things - sometimes household work can be classified as 'small', so I hold onto this beautiful verse! Oh, and how cute are those vintage cleaning pictures...love them!
    With much love...
    Kelly-Anne

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    1. Hi Kelly-Anne,

      I can remember doing ironing when I was your age and I didn't like it one bit - but as it needs to be done, it is better to enjoy it rather than always trying to avoid it. Some people listen to music whilst ironing and others like to watch a movie. I quite liked listening to audio books as it makes the time go by much quicker.

      You sound like a wonderful daughter that your mother must be so proud of - keep up the good work.

      PS I love your blog, its beautiful and I have enjoyed reading some of the posts. I do hope your mother has a wonderful birthday on Sunday :)

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  8. I couldn't agree more! Also, with the husband's helping... Before I had our first child, I worked full time so my hubby helped me with the chores (we were both in the workplace and it is only fair to share in both responsibilities if that is the case). But once I became a stay at home wife and mother, I took all the household chores on myself. It is, after all, my full time job now. That is how I see it at least :) Thank you for sharing on the Art of Home-Making Mondays Jo!

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    1. My husband is at home retired so he often does a load of washing or vacuumed. However I don't ask him to do the housework unless he wants to because he does other jobs around the home like cleaning out the gutters and maintenances plus washes the car that I don't do. I think we share things pretty well.

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  9. This is wonderful. You've really encouraged me and admonished me a little, too! I tend to get grumpy when I don't hear a lot of "thanks" and "looks great" accolades. I need to remember I'm doing this as unto the Lord. I think that will really help me keep up better. Thanks so much! Hope your homemaking is extra blessed this week!

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    1. It is so nice to hear a thankyou after doing a job - I cook dinner every night and my husband rarely ever says anything about the meal. It annoys me as it would be nice if he just said thanks or "that was nice". But I try to remind myself I didn't cook the meals for accolades and I shouldn't be asking for them and that my job as a homemaker is about rewards or pats on the back :) Hard one to remember when feeling a little grumpy!!

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  10. It's easier to do the bare minimum. This is something I struggle with personally and find that my excuse is, I have to live with it so why should it bother you? Which is obviously not the correct attitude to bear in mind.
    Thank you for sharing your techniques and experiences on this subject! It's always encouraging. :)
    ~Haley

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    1. If you have children it is important to set an example to them so they know what a clean and tidy house looks like and all the work involved - it means you pass on these skills to them so when they have their own home they will be able to look after it successful. Whilst I never enjoyed the chores my mother gave me, I am so grateful she taught me house to keep a home clean and tidy :) Trying adding to your bare minimum until it is more than the "bare" and much more substantial !!

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  11. We do often expect people to "notice" and acknowledge the work we do too often... but we don't really need the praise of people. It's the LORD we're doing our jobs for, ultimately! A lot of our household chores fall onto my children's shoulders during this season of our lives as outside of home school hours I am usually taking care of business or working... I think it is wonderful to train the children to be able to take care of the home anyway as it is good preparation for their futures. :) I don't mind doing the chores I do though - I find them therapeutic, time to work together or time to think!

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    1. When I see my son changing his bed sheets or vacuum cleaning his studio or even washing up after himself I know that something has sunk in and that when he lives by him self at least he can cook, clean and buy his food. It is such an essential skill to have but so many parents simply aren't teaching their children :( I don't mind doing chores but I don't have any great timetable for when I do them, just do them when they need doing!!

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  12. I am really impressed along with your writing skills and also with the format on your blog.
    House Chores

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