I’m not a fan of housework, but I’ve started to make peace with it.
It’s easy to dismiss the the mundane as insignificant. The days of dirty dishes and folding laundry seem to stand between me and doing something that matters. The chasing after what matters “out there”, though noble and admirable, always needs to be balanced with the daily. The daily is what keeps my life from disorganized chaos.
(Chaos: Exhibit A)
Dirty dishes go in the dishwasher. Dirty clothes go in the washing machine. If I’m lucky, I’ll remember to put those clothes in the dryer. The to-do boxes get checked off and I get to move along to other things. The biggest problem with housework isn’t that it’s complicated, it’s that it’s daily. Sometimes hourly. The things I thought were done become undone. Sometimes people notice. Mostly, they appreciate it silently.
I’m starting to realize, though, that for all it’s dailiness, housework still has value. The simplicity of housework can be what grounds me. When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I do laundry. When I feel like my house is out of control, I do the dishes and clean off the counter. I don’t love folding laundry, but on a day when parenting feels too complicated, a straightforward task feels like a break.
It’s one area where I can pretend to have a little control for 5 minutes. My kitchen is the place I get to practice serving. It’s the place that reminds me that small things matter. It’s where I learn the value of doing the next thing. The big things are always made up of small next steps.
The discipline of serving in small ways prepares us for the big things.
Zechariah 4:10- “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin . . .”