I found myself praying specifically for one person this morning. I heard myself saying, Lord, please be there for this person. Then I caught myself. Of course God is there. He’s always there.
So I changed my prayer around and prayed that this person would find God through her circumstance. That God would become real to her!
I’ve prayed that for myself many times. I was recently challenged by a reader’s comment, asking me what I do when life gets me down, or I get caught up in the everyday aspects of being a wife and mother.
Will you address in a future post what you do to get yourself out of homemaking doldrums and back into the spirit of a keeper of the home? Sometimes I get overwhelmed with the many tasks of homemaking and the whole thing starts to feel boring and/or overwhelming. What can we do to kick start ourselves into being excited over our callings as homemakers?
What's so mundane about homemaking? Repetitiveness of household chores! The feeling that you just did the dishes four hours ago or you just vacuumed the floors the day before yesterday -- and now it all needs to be done again. I’d say every woman knows this feeling!
I rarely find myself in the doldrums because I keep a pretty active life with working from home and keeping up with three active kids and a busy husband. But when my children were younger, I definitely found it easier to find it all “mundane.” And most of you who have visited my home know that I do not have a perfect house. I have given many women permission to not be perfect simply by inviting them through my front doors!
So out of these few tips I have found to be helpful in my life, I bet one or two may resonate with you:
Change your Routine
I’m a big believer in exercise. It makes me a more cheerful mom and wife, and of course is essential for my health. If you are in a rut, get out! Change your routine up a bit. Find a friend to do something different physically and make a change. I have running partners I am so thankful for. But I’m adding in a new “hill climb” walk on Wednesday mornings with a friend I’ve never exercised with. I’m looking forward to our time together!
Read Something Inspiring
I’ve always encouraged women to start their day off in the Word or reading something inspiring. One time when I was really down in the dumps, I went through Beth Moore’s Get Out of that Pit. It was a personal study that helped me out of my pit and back into the land of the living. Seriously, for that season in my life, God changed my life! Starting my day off with inspiration always changes my attitude and gets me going in the right direction for the day.
Look for a Need
When I have found myself down, it’s a sure sign that I am not giving myself away to others. I am constantly looking for ways to offer help to others when my schedule allows. Just today I picked a kindergartener up from school to help out his parents. It was 30 minutes out of my day that was actually fun. We went to Wendy’s together and ate lunch. And little Perry is old enough to find toys around my house and just “hang” while I get my work done.
Find Someone to Encourage
There is always someone who could use a listening ear. Or perhaps someone who comes to your mind who you could visit, help, or even send a note in the mail to. With today’s technology, how about sending a quick email? Or if you are a blogger, send a positive comment or note? I have received so many positive comments regarding my blog. And I don’t take them lightly – I am grateful for the encouragement that I receive.
Give to Someone
How about finding a family that you know is struggling and take them a meal – just because? Or drop off a loaf of bread, jam, or even something you’ve picked up from the grocery store? You can always send a care package in the mail to friends or college students. Or if you have a lot of time, give the gift of time! I struggle with giving the gift of time because I am in the busiest season of my life right now. I recognize that, and I embrace it. I will keep my family as priority and not get side-tracked. But I still look for ways to give.
Change Up Your Cooking
Try some new recipes! Don’t overcomplicate things by getting overwhelmed. When I go to the store I have a few meals planned in my mind. I always cook enough for leftovers (meat), and then I make a meal from that. Make up extra meals and freeze for the days that you don’t feel like cooking. It’s okay to occasionally put a frozen pizza in the oven and serve with a salad, or make grilled cheese and tomato soup, or even breakfast for dinner! Or swap a main dish with a friend like I recently did (here). I just don’t stress over cooking – and neither should you!
Remember, it doesn't take great intellect to do housework. It takes great care to do it well but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to scrub floors and mix bread. I’ve found that getting in there and just getting it done – fast – really helps. Turn on music, put your IPOD in your pocket, and make a goal of how fast you can get the chore done. Whatever your method, just DO IT! Procrastinating robs you of productivity. Keep the spiritual meaning to it, remind yourself that's there's a greater purpose for it, and try to keep a positive attitude. I always tell myself, I am doing this for my family!
Schedule a Date
If you are married, schedule a date night with your honey. Having a dinner out is definitely something to look forward to. Trade babysitting with another family, and work on keeping your marriage alive. I had to learn how to prioritize this, and then it became essential for my marriage. I remember the days when my kids were little and I knew I had a date night with my husband – I couldn’t wait! If you are single, schedule a dinner or a movie out with a friend. It’s still good to get out and change the routine.
Changing things up a bit can help you get out of the mundane and back into the land of the living. And changing things up a bit can also help get my eyes off of myself and on to others and God.
Yes, it’s possible to find God in the mundane – to be reminded of His blessings to us in our home lives, and to have the privilege of caring for what He has given us. It just takes a little effort on our parts.
Sandy Coughlin is a wife and mother of 3. She loves her family and loves blessing other people's lives by entertaining in her home. Sandy’s husband, Paul, (who used to be the reluctant entertainer) has come on board, and they often offer hospitality together. Sandy and Paul co-authored a book called Married but Not Engaged(Bethany House, Aug. 2006). It's written to women who are married to "checked out" or emotionally absent men and who want to create a more satisfying, intimate relationship. This article was adapted from Sandy’s regularly updated blog “4 Reluctant Entertainers,” which you can visit at www.reluctantentertainer.com. Get more information on Married but Not Engaged by clicking here. Visit Paul's website at: http://www.paulcoughlin.net/