Jun 30

Homemaking is Not a Holding Pattern

2008 at 3:47 pm   |   by Carolyn Mahaney Filed under Homemaking

Boxes Phew! Moving is an all-consuming, full-time project: Collecting boxes, packing boxes, dismantling furniture, removing wall hangings, patching, sanding, and painting the holes left by those wall hangings, sorting through everything – deciding what to keep and what to get rid of, collecting and packing more boxes, holding yard sales, cleaning…

And that was only the moving out part.

Saturday was the big move and now that my stuff is in the new house I need to start the whole process over again—albeit sort of in reverse: Cleaning, unpacking and getting rid of boxes, putting furniture back together, hanging pictures on the walls (and of course making new holes in the wall), creating a place for everything…

In the midst of all this packing and unpacking I’ve found myself thinking, “When I get through this move, then I can get back to more important things.”

This is not the first time I’ve succumbed to such faulty thinking. Throughout my career as a homemaker I’ve been tempted to look past the duties of the day to the more “important,” “significant,” or “exciting” work of tomorrow.

“When the baby sleeps through the night, then I can begin to…”
“When the children are a little older I’ll have more time to….”
“When this sports season is over than I can turn my attention to….”
“If they ever graduate from high school, then I can finally….”

But there are no holding patterns in God’s kingdom. As homemakers, we are not simply circling the skies of life, waiting for God from His control tower to call us to real kingdom work. No, we’re doing that important work today. As Dorothy Patterson observes: “preparation and care of the family shelter are important enough for God himself to assign that responsibility” (e.g. Titus 2:3-5, Pr. 31).

If God himself has assigned me the task of caring for my home, then I don’t want to half-heartedly perform the duties of today, reserving my best efforts for “tomorrow.” Rather, I want to follow the advice of missionary Jim Elliot: “Wherever you are, be all there. Live to the hilt every situation that you believe to be the will of God.” I want to unpack boxes and scrub my new bathtub and run errands for the new home and take my son to the soccer scrimmage for the glory of the One who saved me and who, by His grace, called me to this wonderful work.