I won a fabulous prize package a couple weeks ago at Raisinghomemakers.com.
I started off super excited to even enter because of the 31 Days to Clean e-book (find the link and a youtube video about it on the right hand side of her blog). My youngest daughter used to beg me each night to read the story about Mary and Martha in Luke 10:38-42 in her children's Bible. This e-book teaches us to have a Martha house the Mary way. Martha spent time cooking, cleaning, etc, while Mary sat at Jesus's feet listening intently while He taught. While there is nothing wrong with cleaning and serving, Jesus said Mary did the better thing by spending time with Him. I want to please my Lord, spend time with Him each day and still serve my family by cleaning my home.
Unfortunately I've been in a rut and miserably failing at both tasks. I'm constantly checking email and facebook, looking stuff up and learning how to be a better homemaker, mother and wife. I clean other people's homes for a living (well, about 4 hours a week isn't really "a living" but it gives us a little extra money to toss into the emergency fund that Dave Ramsey said we should be building for Baby Step #3 now that we're completely debt free (except the house). Unfortunately, I clean other homes, know how to be a great homemaker, but don't actually do it. It's been a couple months since I actually cleaned my bathroom (other than just a quick wipe). My kitchen is constantly covered in flour dust, and the counters covered in dirty dishes. I get started on cleaning something, then I decide to bake a loaf of bread. After all the kneading, the dishes still aren't done, but my arms are tired from grinding flour and kneading. My home is no longer a castle fit for the man of this house. It's no longer comfortably allergy-free for my health (and my little ones who also suffer from allergies). I recently read that clutter can cause migraines, which have been an increasing nuisance to me. My home is no longer fit to invite people over, or when they stop by unannounced to allow them to step into my home. My home isn't filthy, but it's not what I'd like to present to people or have my husband come home to after a hard day at work.
At the beginning of 2011, I was challenged to read the whole Bible in 66 days. I thought it to be a crazy and unattainable goal. January 6th, I decided that I'd try to read it all in 60 days, since I didn't start on time. I read 43 pages each night for about 40 days. Then I started to struggle. I knew I didn't have 2 hours each night sometimes, and I let other things get in the way. The 60th day came and went, while I sat stationary in 1Corinthians. After reading so much of the Bible, I gave up because I didn't reach my goal. Once in a while I'd read a page or two, but overall, I totally neglected my relationship with God in many ways.
I'm motivated once again by this book to focus on why I clean, spend time with Jesus each day and to actually clean my home - not just think about it or read about it.
The Mary challenge for Day one is to come up with a mission statement and make it pretty. I've been mulling over my mission statement for the past two weeks. I would write something I think is great, then I change my mind and think it's corny. I even tried to steal some other people's ideas at Joyful Mothering who is hosting a 31 days to Clean challenge. This is what I finally decided on because I can't come up with something better. It's an acrostic poem and I hope to make it all pretty to display in my hallway of aprons soon. Right now my dear husband is trying to sleep after a 22 hour work day that ended at 5:30am. That keeps me from my pretty papers and scrapbooking stuff.
Why I Clean
Create a castle for my family that I adore and want to serve
Lovingly train my daughters to care for their family and home
Eager hands that work bring glory to God
Able to have friends and family over
Now I can truly relax, breathe and enjoy my family