I’ve just completed the first week in the 31 days to Clean challenge, hosted by Joyful Mothering. Each day I read one chapter from the book by Sarah Mae, 31 Days to Clean, Having a Martha House the Mary Way. Each day had 2 challenges, a Mary challenge and a Martha challenge. The Martha challenges are, in my opinion, the easier ones. These are the cleaning tasks, one per day. This week, I cleaned my refrigerator and freezer, cleaned the outside of my cabinets, cleaned the microwave and oven, and washed the window and curtain. I can do those things without much trouble. I just usually procrastinate about doing them.
The Mary challenges, on the other hand, are a bit more of a challenge for me. This week, these challenges included making a mission statement on why I want a clean home, giving life to my home and creating a place where people can relax and put their feet up.
The one challenge that I chose to focus the most of my time on this week was Day 3–10 Ways to give Life to Your Home. The first on the list was to retrain my tongue to give words that encourage, comfort and edify others. This was followed by #2–Offer life-giving and grace-filled words to husband and children.
My first thought? Both of these deal with my speech, not my cleaning habits. How can these help me get my house looking good? #3 wasn’t much better. Make my home a place of grace where mistakes and sins are not met with anger but with love and hope. Even though they didn’t seem to relate to cleaning, I decided to give them a try.
You know what? On the days that I followed these guidelines, the days went smoother. There was less bickering and more willingness to be helpful. I found that I was in a better mood and seemed to have more energy and motivation to get my chores done. Hmm..maybe the book is on to something.
My kitchen is getting cleaner and my attitude is improving. I can’t wait to see what is accomplished next week.