Let me tell you a story and you tell me if you can relate. Your mother-in-law calls and says she is on her way over. She is about 15 minutes away.
You put the phone down and look around you at the mess – overwhelming.
Suddenly you spring into action, fitting in 3 days worth of cleaning into 14 minutes 50 seconds. With 10 seconds to left to catch your breath by the front door before opening it and greeting her in your best and most casual, “Oh, Hey!”
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Motivation for Homemaking
There is something about the announcement of a visitor to our homes which gives us the long-sought for motivation to clean like we get paid to clean.
I suppose there is some sort of payment exchanged.
The kind of payment where the visitor looks around your home and says something nice. When they “pay you a compliment” on your homemaking prowess. And you blush, and look around like, “Oh, this old thing.”
Like it looks like this everyday. The funny thing we forget in all the cleaning-for-company madness is the visitor is not:
- there to check out our home,
- evaluate our homemaking skills, and
- going to give us a grade based on their experience while in our homes.
Still we do the 15 minute mad dash.
The Comparison Trap
We are living in a comparison-conscious society. With all the social media channels out there, showing one another a peek into our lives has somehow morphed into a competition. Keeping up can be OVERwhelming!
We “follow” one another and look into each others kitchens (recipes and pictures of wonderful food), each other’s bedrooms (decorations, DIY projects, and organization), each other’s playrooms and homeschool rooms (the activities and the accomplishments). We can be tempted to look at these things and say, “I want that! I should do that in my home!”
Which is good.
…Until its not.
Because the feeling which comes crashing in right after the “Oh, isn’t that neat” thought, can be inferiority extraordinaire. The less-than feelings that we just need to say “NO!” to immediately. But somehow those feelings have a way of sticking with us.
If we view other people’s lives from just social media or articles we read on blogs, we can be tempted to assume they have got it all together. When in reality, usually people are only good at a few things and they share things about themselves from their wheelhouse – things that represent themselves in the best possible light.
We don’t typically share with one another the real struggles we have. The places where we feel less-than. The places where we recognize our deficiencies.
Who’s Really Watching
There is only one Person Who really sees you. He knows your greatest successes and your deepest failures as a homemaker, a mom, a wife, a person.
The weight of that seems a bit heavier than Instagram lurkers and Pinterest peekers. And yet, I tend to think there is a freedom in that. Because God sees not just my results – the clean, organized kitchen – but He sees my heart.
There are so many Scriptures which speak to the Lord’s awareness of us – His intimate acquaintance with our ways, our will, our wanderings. But this one spoke to me again this morning,
O sons of men, how long will my honor become a reproach?
How long will you love what is worthless and aim at deception?
But know that the LORD has set apart the godly man for Himself;
The Lord hears when I call to Him.
Tremble and do not sin;
Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still.
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,
And trust in the LORD.Psalm 4: 2-5
Tucked in there in the midst of the doubters and the haters shouting distressing reproaches is the little revelation of God’s character. It comes just after he speaks of my position – He has set the godly man apart for Himself.
He hears when I call to Him.
Through the chaos of my life, when the volume is turned up to eleven in our home, all I need to do is call out to Him. He will hear. Why? Because He has set me apart – He has placed me in a special hearing place. He has tuned His ear to hear and has made my voice sing in tune with His.
Who Motivates You?
Because I am His and He hears when I call to Him, I can order my life in His ways. Instead of looking around me for motivation, for affirmation, for congratulation; I need only His approval.
The instructions of Psalm 4 are thus:
- do not sin
- meditate in your heart upon your bed
- be still
- offer the sacrifices of righteousness
- trust in the Lord
I may be looking in the wrong places on social media but I have yet to see pictures of these things. They are the inner workings of a child of God, of a woman of God. They are the hidden part, seen only be the Almighty.
His eyes upon me, His ear tuned to hear – are my motivation as a homemaker, as a mother, as His daughter. And only He can see. These are not the things of Pinterest and Instagram. They cannot even be inspected by the most critical mothers-in-law.
And yet when I do them, I am seeking not the approval of men, but the approval of God.
This knowledge is my motivation for homemaking.
The Good He Shows Homemakers
I can’t end this article about Psalm 4 without showing the results of God’s watchful care.
Thou hast put gladness in my heart,
More than when their grain and new wine abound.
In peace I will both lie down and sleep,
For Thou alone, O LORD, dost make me to dwell in safety.Psalm 4:7-8
Gladness! Harvest gladness! Best harvest ever gladness!
Peace! At night, in the morning, peace.
Safety! A dwelling in safety.
No one on earth can offer these things to me. God alone.