This is one that really threw me and yet it is so necessary to making our homes a haven for our families. We need to make sure we know the basics.
There were four girls in our family, and as we were growing up, my mum made sure we were all taught the basics of keeping a house. We all learnt how to cook, clean, iron, sew, garden and how to wash and dry clothes correctly. It all seemed very simple, and it is when you break it down, but somehow in my journey from childhood to homemaker, I seem to have lost touch with it.
Where it would have been second nature on vacuuming days to plug the vacuum in and do the whole of the upstairs (we lived on a farm so there were seven rooms and two hallways upstairs) it seems alien for me to do the same thing in my own 3 bedroom house. Weird?! And its this weird phenomenon that has me baffled when it comes to housekeeping in general. How can I have lost the ability to see what needs done, think things through and then actually do them?
One of the answers is obvious - a great degree of laziness which finds me looking at my ironing from a comfy seat on the sofa rather than doing it - but I also think that I am overwhelmed by the sheer volume of things I am meant to do as a wife, mother and homemaker.
But God didn't design me to be overwhelmed. He designed me to be a wife, mother and homemaker whose desires and will matched His, and whose life glorifies Him with all that she does.
Proverbs 31 is one of my favourite chapters and if you get a chance to, sit with a cup of coffee and read through verses 10-31 slowly and carefully. It is a very useful exercise to sit and jot down how many and what tasks she undertook for her household. I used to get very annoyed reading about this 'superwoman' of God - someone who manages to do 10 times the amount of things I have to do, and manages to stay in control and on top of it all. And she sounds like she probably has a smile on her face too!! :)
But one speaker had a different view on the Proverbs 31 woman and I thought it was lovely. If you read it with the thought that this wasn't someone we were trying hard to be, but the woman God has created us as, it takes on a completely different meaning. It is amazing to read the verses and realise that God can actually do all of this through me if i let Him have complete control of my life. It is all do-able and smile-able at - if we look at it as something God helps us do and something we do in His strength, not our own.
Take a few minutes and read back over those words, imagining God telling you that this was who He created you to be - digesting the fact that you have all of these abilities inside you, if you just give your life totally over to Him. Don't worry - I'm not suggesting that He is going to tell you to go out and buy a field tomorrow... although you never know - He just might!! :)
Just remember as we seek to glorify Him and honour Him in our homes, we need to keep praying and keep asking Him to help us to do the basics - knowing that He can enable us to do so much more.