Hi there! I share a lot of articles on green living/ small space solutions/ practical housekeeping tips/ decorating ideas on my social networking pages (you can connect with me on Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest if that strikes your fancy). I love a quick suggestion on how to live more naturally, and we all dig a great new recipe. I promote the posts because I appreciate practicality, and many Smallish readers are also on the journey to living well either on a small budget, with a small environmental footprint, or in a small space. But it struck me the other day that all the focus on housekeeping articles could actually cause someone to miss the point of what my true passion is: homemaking with excellence. Click through to join me in considering the difference between mere housekeeping and homemaking.
I am committed to creating a nurturing home for my husband and children. It’s one of the biggest reasons I chose to stop working and be a mommy full time. I want our home to be safe, peaceful, beautiful, fun, full of laughter, good food, great memories, strong friendships. A place where truth thrives, bonds grow, love reigns, joy abounds.
A home like that isn’t the product of focusing primarily on housekeeping or by trying out the latest fall Pinterest crafts or by staying away from cleaning chemicals or even by living together in a small space. It’s about attitude, and it’s hard work. It means, first of all, being responsible for my own mood because you know what they say: If Momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. Sadly, that’s truth. As women and homemakers, our outlook sets the tone for the entire family. And I think that a home can be created anywhere, with any resources, with the right attitude. I believe homemaking starts with a contented heart grounded in the Word of God, able to plant and grow and nurture right where she is.
I believe homemaking starts with a contented heart grounded in the Word of God, able to plant and grow and nurture right where she is.
It begins with a heart happy to spend her days talking about diggers for hours on end and singing Thomas the Train’s theme song while changing diapers and slapping together pb&js. (Preferably not at the same time.) A heart present enough to patiently correct, to gently redirect behavior, to kneel at toddler eye-level and apologize when her own behavior is less-than exemplary. (Oh, I wish I didn’t have to do that as often as I do!)
Once the homemaker’s heart is rooted in Christ, she can better care for the home and the other hearts she stewards. Homemaking at the core is heartkeeping.
Homemaking at the core is heartkeeping.
Do the hearts of my children feel valued and cherished? Are their hearts surrounded by truth and love and gentle guidance? Does the heart of my husband feel respected and uplifted and honored by my actions and words? Am I taking good enough care of my own heart in order to faithfully nurture those of my little gifts?
Focusing on your own heart and then those of your family trickles down to momentary actions and thoughts that order your days and direct housekeeping activities. Keeping the house tidy becomes less about having a spotless pad and more about a peaceful atmosphere and accessing usable spaces. Cooking a healthy meal becomes not so much about channeling Martha Stewart but more about serving wholesome food over which your family can bond and grow. The day’s schedule might yield slightly to the importance of your child’s heart feeling cared for and not pushed around to activity after activity. Finding great new storage solutions might actually be used for blessing your husband with more tool space instead of reorganizing the gift wrap cabinet…again. See the difference?
Finding new space-savers is useful; discovering delish recipes is fun; talking about better ways to respect the budget is necessary, but really that’s all housekeeping. Let’s not miss the point. Homemaking is a heart chore, not a house chore. Focus on serving your family’s hearts first, and the rest of your activities will quickly reprioritize.
What do you think? What else would you add to the differences between housekeeping and homemaking? Start or join the discussion below. 🙂
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