March 03, 2014

My favorite Hint from Heloise.

I learn gentle, eternal principles as I clean my house.
I believe my love is expanded as I physically serve my family.
I feel Christlike as I feed the hungry, cleanse the unclean, comfort the weary, and heal the sick.
I believe a clean, orderly home is possible (even with a large family) and good.
I think one of the best ways we can teach our children self-mastery (a pivotal virtue) is to teach them to be clean.
Work is good for us, housework is a great teaching tool.
I have spent years praying for the spiritual gifts to be effective, efficient, and organized.

And yet-- my goal is NOT to have a clean home.  I am not a stay at home house cleaner.  My goal is to love, serve, teach, connect with and serve my family and others.

I love this account I read in the March 2013 Goood Housekeeping magazine.

The author of the article, Amanda Robb, had a chance to meet with Heloise and ask her a few questions.

After telling Heloise that she cleans her bathroom grout with a cotton swab and bleach every other week, Heloise responds, "Amanda!  You're obsessed with cleaning.  I'm worried about you!"

Taking her hand Heloise continues-
"Housekeeping is not my life's passion," she says gently.  "It is not even really a hobby. . . . I just clean and organize in order to take care of the things and the people I love.  Hopefully, my hints make doing that faster, cheaper, easier, and a little more fun for people.  But they're not meant to be your life's work.  They're meant to get work out of the way so you can enjoy your life."

This week I have been pondering what I can do with a body that I couldn't do without a body.  I am re-inspired to serve more, love more, focus on the eternal more.
This is my life's work.

Cleaning my home is a task that helps me develop eternal qualities but it is not my life's passion.

Sometimes, cleaning my house feels selfish and distracting.  Sometimes cleaning keeps me from serving.
I am very conscious that I never get so set on the state of my house, that it precludes me from welcoming people into my home and my life.
One thing my blog doesn't capture well is how often we invite people to be with us.
Our home is open to friends and neighbors, in its real-life form.
I am neat-- but I have consciously choosen and tried to become a person who does not apologize for a less-than model home life.
Any virtue, taken to an extreme can become a vice.
Let's not allow things (too messy or too clean) to keep us from relationships.
Relationships are eternal.
We must be aware lest we are deceived.

Life (with a tidy, inviting home) is good!

How do you find the balance in your own life?  Clean but not paralyzingly clean?


Jill said...

Hi Jenifer. I have been reading your blog for probably 4 months now buy I have yet to come over from Bloglovin to comment. Thank you for your words, I am sincerely so inspired by your reflections and what you share. I am a mom of 3 little ones with a husban working on his Phd. I love our home life and inspiring blogs like yours help me to keep focus on what matters. Thank you!! The words in your post rang so true to me about keeping a home clean, clean for living, clean for loving, clean as a discipline. But not just to have a clean house. I have found so much peace when I try to be orderly, I stress less, my kitchen floor is dirty? That's ok I clean it on Wednesday. Having a plan, even when it gets thrown off, helps me feel in control.

Thanks for what you have taught me. Have a great week.

Stephanie said...

Very well-written, Jenifer! I love a tidy house, but it definitely takes a back seat to my family. I try to remind myself that there will always be housework, but I won't always have young, sweet children at home. And everyone tells me to enjoy these days, since they'll fly by! :-)

Rachel said...

I would love to master this balancing act. Sometimes I clean to escape other kinds of loving and nurturing that need to be done. And so I appreciated your thought that physically serving can help me develop more love. Perhaps I will gain the wisdom and strength to let go of cleaning to do more connecting. Although my attitude is significantly improved by an orderly home.

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