This week I started reading 31 Days to Clean and participating in the HOMEmaker’s Challenge working through it. I am really enjoying this book. If there was any doubt before, this book has confirmed something to me. I am more of a Martha than a Mary. At least my natural inclination is more that way.
31 Days to Clean is divided into 31 short chapters. Following each chapter are 2 challenges: A Mary challenge and a Martha challenge. The Martha Challenges are cleaning tasks. Great! Give me those! I’m very happy to report that my refrigerator has been cleaned inside and out. My kitchen cabinets are clean and shiny too. I love these type of assignments. They keep me accountable to do an extra chore, and I’ve always loved the gratifying feeling of tangible accomplishments.
But the Mary Challenges are….hard. I’ve been thinking and pondering this week about WHY I clean. I’ve been thinking about a mission statement for cleaning. But I haven’t come up with anything concrete and definite yet. But something did happen this week that is very relevant to the challenge, even though I wasn’t trying to discover the answer.
Day 3’s Mary Challenge was:
Ask your family what makes them feel the most loved when it comes to you caring for your home – ask them to be specific so that you can begin (or continue) to give life to your domain.
Confession time. I did not ask. But apparently the Lord really wanted me to do this. On Tuesday evening my husband and I got into an argument. I don’t want to share the details because they’re private and not pretty. But I do want to share that at the root of the argument was the fact that my husband didn’t feel like I appreciated the things he helps with around the house. And he doesn’t like it when I leave dishes in the sink when I’m cooking and expect him to wash them for me.
OK, so I took this constructive criticism to heart and realized that I was indeed expecting him to wash those dishes for me. Umm. Not exactly. Not at all. At least not initially. My ruffled feathers are smooth now. I was doing what he said. I wasn’t expressing my appreciation to him enough. And now I’m making a conscious effort to clean up as I cook.
So this has definitely been a productive week for me. I’ve cleaned, I’ve learned something I didn’t know, and I’m expressing love to my husband in a way I hadn’t realized was needed.