Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dirty Dishes

Yesterday, one of my favorite bloggers, a stay-at-home mom, said she was looking for women from different walks of life to write guests posts on how they stay organized. I saw "married woman with no children" and got really excited...only to realize that I'm not organized. I want to be. I desperately want to be. But I'm not. Insert frustration here.

So, of course, I immediately went to the kitchen and started chipping away at the mountain of dirty dishes that had accumulated over the past few days. And I beat myself up. How are all these women so much better than you at keeping their homes organized, Chels? How is it that your friends are able to crank out home project after home project when you have been scraping wallpaper glue off your walls for months? Are you just lazy? What's wrong with you? There must be something seriously wrong. You need to get up earlier. You need to set a routine. You need to do this, you need to do that. What kind of a wife are you?!?

My friends, I came to a realization today. This is EXACTLY what Satan wants me to think. He wants me to beat myself up. He wants me to be jealous of my sisters in Christ. He wants me to think that I'm a failure. He is the master manipulator, the father of lies, and he wants me to fall right into his trap.

As I thought through each and every one of these lies, the Holy Spirit helped me see the truth to attack each one them.

How are all these women so much better than you at keeping their homes organized?

Most of your friends are stay-at-home moms, so they spend more time in their homes! And many of your friends have been married for 3,4,5, even 10 years! They have had LOTS of practice and probably struggled adjusting to their role as "homemaker" too. Give yourself some grace! You are a lot better at taking care of your home now than you were a year ago. A year from now, you'll probably improve even more! And in the meantime, instead of being jealous, enlist your friends for some homemaking advice. Titus 2 says that the older women are to train the younger women, so ask them for pointers. They'd probably be glad to help you out!

How is that your friends are able to crank out home project after home project when you have been scraping wallpaper glue off your walls for months? Are you just lazy? What's wrong with you?

Ecclesiastes 3 reads:

"For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

A time to be born, a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to cast away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate;
A time for war, and a time for peace."

This is not the "time for home projects," daughter, rather a time of mourning, brokeness, and loss. This is a difficult season of life for you...a season of divorce, a season of broken relationships, and a season of changes. Do not be jealous of others, for they are not jealous of your circumstances.

In this season, it's okay to not have the perfect house. Focus on making a home instead. Love your husband. Honor and respect him. Take time to pray. Spend time with God. There will be a time when you, too, will be able to crank out home projects. For now, just do the doable.

You need to get up earlier. You need to set a routine.

The truth is, you could stand to be more organized. You do fall short in areas, and you need to work on being more purposeful with your time. You say you don't have time, but much of your time is spent watching TV or browsing the internet. It's important to relax, so do that, but don't be dependent on those things for your relaxation. Find your rest in me. Jesus said, "Come to me all who are weary or heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Spend time with me on a daily basis, and I will give you what you need to get through the day.

A routine is a good idea, so you should start implementing it, BUT don't feel like you're a slave to it. Much of your time is consumed by dealing with this difficult season, so don't beat yourself up if you don't get around to that load of laundry.

What kind of wife are you?!?

You are an aspiring Proverbs 31 woman. That's what kind of wife you are. Your husband trusts you. You try your best to do him good, and not harm. You provide food for your household, even if it's mac n' cheese or a frozen pizza! You make sure your husband has ironed clothes each and every morning, even if he has two different socks on. You work with willing hands at the office and at home. You are a modern-day resourceful woman, you "super-couponer"! You care for the needy and open your unpainted, less-than-perfect home to your family and friends. You are learning to be wise and kind more and more each day. You fear the LORD!

No, you're not perfect. Not even close. But a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

Be praised, my daughter, be praised. Just make sure you do the dishes;)


  1. Chelsea,
    This is a beautiful post. I can't tell you how many times I have gone through this very mind battle. The Lord has been gracious enough to put several "older" women in my life this last year and it has been a year of rebuilding because of it.
    After seeing you on Sunday, I haven't stopped thinking about you and praying for you. I keep thinking about these two things.
    1. I know that you love God.
    2. I know Romans 8:28
    And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

    I hope this season of your life brings you closer to the Father than ever before. It is only there that we find purpose.

    I love you sweetie. If you need an escape from your dishes (or anything else), I'd love to have you over to my place where you can watch me do mine. =)

  2. My favorite passage.I have to remind myself that there are seasons in life..hence what we are muddling through right now. A great passage to encourage friends with when they're trying to figure out why things are going the way they are. It's a season of life.

    And that's why you have me...to clean your dishes!

  3. Beautifully said...a few phrases I recognize. The quilting ladies often reminded me of the seasons of life to maintain my home. They always told me the relationships were more important than the dishes being done. I like that even though the walls aren't painted you're willing to open your door. Praying for you during this season as God prepares you for the next. And just a reminder, Grandma loves to clean windows. Paige loves to do dishes. I don't love any of it, but am always willing to lend a hand -- well, at least 4 fingers right now. Love you!