Most of us have unconsciously assumed the modern feminist lie that housework is menial, unfulfilling work that we should all hire out if we can. Then we wonder why we can’t get traction in that housework, no matter how many systems we try.

It’s dumb work. It’s easy work. It’s mundane work. Just do it and get it out of the way. Thinking this way, we get nowhere.

Our disrespect of the work prevents us from making progress and seeing traction. Even if we have chosen to stay home with our kids, even if we are not feminists, even if we want to be homemakers, most of us still assume housework is simple, brainless work we should be able to get ahead on with just a little discipline and elbow grease.

We don’t because housework is not simple, brainless work. Homemaking is not menial.

My new book, Simplified Organization: Learn to Love What Must Be Done, is all about the six skills of homemaking, and half of them are mental-emotional skills for a reason. We need to change our approach, our mindset, about housework before we’ll find joy and satisfaction in it – but joy and satisfaction — and traction — are totally possible, no matter how many failures you’ve had to date.

We’re always telling stories

Before my husband began working from home eight years ago, we would stay in touch throughout the day on Slack, basically texting questions and telling stories to one another throughout the day. I had all small children in the house, and it was helpful to bounce ideas off not only another adult, but my husband and the children’s father.

I had a rude awakening when my husband started working from home. He didn’t need my storytelling skills anymore. He saw the real story in progress for himself whenever he’d come up for a drink of water or bathroom break.

I realized that, unintentionally, I had not been telling him true stories about our day. I had not been relating bare facts. I had woven stories together for him. They weren’t factually untrue, but the tenor of the stories was shaped by my own self-pity and discontent.

I didn’t even recognize my own filter of self-pity until he would walk up the stairs and I’d suddenly see our scene-in-progress through his eyes and not my own. My own eyes, it turns out, were colored, lending a hue that jaundiced the whole thing.

We’re never just recounting facts to ourselves. We’re always adding color commentary to those facts. What color is our commentary? What filter are we streaming our life through inside our heads?

Is it one of gratitude and humor and joy or one of discontent and discouragement?

Both are layers of interpretation added on to the bare facts.

The gratitude is the true interpretation. The discontent is a lie.

Are you telling yourself the truth or are you lying to yourself about your own life? You can’t grow in the skills of homemaking until you know and repeat the truth of your situation and yourself to yourself.

How to tell yourself the truth

There are three simple ways we can practice telling ourselves a true version of our life scenarios instead of a false one.

First, we can take feelings of irritations and self-pity and discouragement as cues that our inner narrator is off-kilter. Stop and reframe the story. Notice your perspective. Notice your interpretation. Try again. Tell the story over again with the perspective of gratitude. This is repentance: recognizing our sinful perspective and rejecting it, replacing it with an obedient perspective instead.

We’re covered with Christ’s forgiveness, so repentance is always possible. It’s always viable. We don’t need to be good enough or strong enough or smart enough ourselves. When we repent, we’re grabbing hold of Christ’s obedience for us and applying it personally and actively.

Second, choose truth to meditate on. Instead of rehashing our complaints in our heads, we need to give ourselves quick and easy truth to latch onto and repeat instead. Write a quote, a motto, or a Bible verse on post it notes and put them right at eye level wherever you spend a lot of time. Look at it, repeat it to yourself, and you’ll find that thought popping to mind at applicable moments.

Third, take five minutes to brain dump things in your life that aren’t the way you want them to be, for whatever reason. Just get those thoughts out of your head and on paper. Then, take another five minutes and pray over that list. Let your anxiety and self-focus be replaced with peace and God-focused joy.

Skillful homemakers are homemakers whose hearts are tuned to God’s grace, not tuned to songs of self-glorification or self-pity. Homemaking is personal, so our persons matter in each and every skill and step.

Tomorrow I’ll have step 2 for becoming a more skillful homemaker.

Dig deeper by getting my book, Simplified Organization: Learn to Love What Must Be Done. It’s available in paperback, on kindle, and via Audible (yes, read by me): click here to find it on Amazon.

Make 2024 the year of embracing cheerful, competent homemaking. Better yet, do so with a friend! Use the share button on your phone or below to send it, then set up a time to talk about it!


“Declutter Your Story”
Module 1 of Organize Your Attitude

The Organize Your Attitude course inside Convivial Circle will teach you how to change your thoughts and choose your feelings so you can create a positive, loving atmosphere in your home.

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