Managing Our Home

Managing our home has been a guilt-ridden, overwhelming, mostly-cluttered-and-rarely-clean mess of an experience in my married life — and if I’m being honest, my entire adult life — thus far. My husband has been a graciously patient man when it comes to the state of our home, and for that I am supremely grateful and blessed, but I do not want my family to grow and live in a home that is always cluttered and overflowing with dirty dishes and laundry.

My husband earned a degree from a Theological Seminary, and one of his classes involved making his own annotated translation (basically a commentary) on the book of Ruth from the Hebrew text of the Old Testament. Recently, he’s been reviewing notes from that class, and was reminded that in the original Hebrew Bible, the book of Ruth immediately follows the book of Proverbs. This was done so on purpose.

For those who don’t know, Proverbs chapter 31 — the last chapter of the book — gives a description of what an “excellent wife” looks like. This is often referred to as the Proverbs 31 woman. So in the original Hebrew bible, the book of Ruth was deliberately placed after the book of Proverbs because Ruth (the actual person) exemplifies the Proverbs 31 woman. She is presented as a model of the women described in the chapter immediately preceding the book about her life.

Here is the description of an excellent wife as recorded in Proverbs 31:

An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels. 
The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. 
She does him good, and not harm, all the days of her life. 
She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands. 
She is like the ships of the merchant; she brings her food from afar. 
She rises while it is yet night and provides food for her household and portions for her maidens. 
She considers a field and buys it; with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard. 
She dresses herself with strength and makes her arms strong. 
She perceives that her merchandise is profitable. Her lamp does not go out at night. 
She puts her hands to the distaff, and her hands hold the spindle. 
She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy. 
She is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household are clothed in scarlet. 
She makes bed coverings for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple. 
Her husband is known in the gates when he sits among the elders of the land. 
She makes linen garments and sells them; she delivers sashes to the merchant. 
Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. 
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. 
She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. 
Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: 
“Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” 
Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. 
Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.

This is a pretty hefty list and I must admit that I am nowhere near the woman described here, but she is the woman I aspire to become. However, the thought of becoming this sort of woman is overwhelming and seems impossible when one has spent her entire adult life doing the opposite.

I recently stumbled upon the FlyLady system of caring for your home. The FlyLady has developed a 31-day plan of BabySteps for Beginners in the home organization process. The FlyLady lovingly reminds readers that our homes did not get messy in a day, so it will take longer than a day to get our homes where we want them to be.

I have started in on the BabySteps and I plan to continue following the “Flight Plans” when I finish the 31 days. After only a week of working on it, my home is already looking better than it has in a long time — and I’ve only made a few simple changes to my routine so far. My sink is shiny and empty, my bed is made each day, and I’ve begun the long (and very slow) process of decluttering my home.

This section of my blog will be devoted to where I am at in my journey to declutter our home. If you’re interested in learning more about the FlyLady system, check out her website.

Below is a list of links to various Home Management sections of my blog.

My Journey Through the FlyLady BabySteps

My Control Journal