As a new wife, I now have the responsibility of taking care of my own home (or apartment, in our current case). While I have grown up helping my mom do dishes, laundry, and clean windows (which I am sure she had to clean again) and, of course, keeping my dorm room and houses clean that I have lived in over the past four years while in college, I have found cleaning, upkeep, and running my own home is a whole different ball game. First off…guys are WAY messier than girls. At least, my man is. I mean, how many glasses do you honestly need to use in one day? Sometimes I wonder if he thinks our bed is the laundry basket or if he just likes our sheets smelling the same as his sweaty gym shorts. And HOLY COW, the kid drinks more coffee and eats more trail mix than a caffeine addict who is allergic to everything but chocolate, peanuts, and raisins.
I have always wanted to run my own home. I used to want to be a 40’s housewife. I THOUGHT I would like doing laundry, folding my husband’s clothes, and lovingly placing them in his drawers, vacuuming till the carpets are free of any dirt particles, having dinner ready for him when he arrived home from work, and having a Granny Smith Apple Pie with a homemade crisscross crust cooling on the windowsill (all while wearing a cute frilly apron and a Donna Reed hair-do). Boy, was I naïve.
I do laundry. Once a week I drag three loads of workout clothes, boxers, and holey socks over to the laundry mat and pile it all into the washers (and ALL of this…just Brandon’s clothes. I swear he changes more times throughout the day than a teenage girl figuring out what she is going to wear on the first day of school!), shove it into the dryers when it’s finished, lug it back to the apartment (up a flight of stairs) and throw it onto the bed, where I begin folding. Jonah, our puppy, meanwhile has been strangely silent this entire time. Once all of the clothes are folded perfectly and stacked in neat, tidy piles for Brandon to put away, Jonah decides to haul it down the hallway, jump, and slide to a stop on our bed. The piles are ruined, but at least the clothes are still folded. That is, until Jonah flings EVERY article of clothing on the ground. Needless to say, Brandon’s clothes are rather wrinkly and hairy.
Oh, and did I mention the bi-monthly load of permanent press only ABUs, that cannot be washed with softener (woops) and can only be air dried (woops) and must be hung, folded, creased, and flattened into perfection (yeah…never gonna happen).
Vacuuming…is a daily need in our house. If you have ever had a big fluffy husky in Texas heat, you’ll understand when I say I vacuum up enough of his hair to stuff a set of pillows daily. And that’s with brushing him twice a week! So, as for the spotlessly clean carpets, they are beautiful when I vacuum, and ten minutes later there are enough tuffs of hair scattered about to make it look as if our house got into a fight with a baby polar bear.
I make a homemade dinner every night. I am still learning to cook… and Brandon likes more variety than oatmeal for breakfast, PB&J for lunch, and cereal for dinner (the extent of my college cooking). So, typically I start cooking dinner around 5:30 to have it ready by 6:30, what I would consider a normal dinner time. Three hours later…Brandon and I, starving, are finally sitting down to enjoy a lovely Chick-Fil-A or Pizza Hut meal after sliced open fingers, burns from the oven, and crying over raw chicken that just won’t cook!
As for dessert, I am a pretty fair baker and I, humbly, admit that I make a mean apple pie. But, with Physical Fitness Tests coming up, Brandon’s want for a six pack, and the ridiculous lines at the commissary…it’s just not worth it.
With the disappointment of job applications being turned down and just not being able to find a job in this military town, I admit, I have become a little bit resentful about the work I have to do at home. When people find out I have a Bachelor of Science and ask where I work, their “oh’s” and looks of discomfort at the direction the conversation has taken when I admit I stay home all day is enough to hurt anyone’s pride. I know I have the education, skills, and potential to have my dream job. But, that’s not God’s plan for me right now. And, no matter how many applications and resumes I turn in, I know He sits up their smiling down at me with that mischievous twinkle in His eye, waiting for me to realize that, no matter what I do, how hard I try, kick, scream, and fight, His way is the only way. Whether He is giving me time to properly learn to run my own home before I have the added responsibility of a job (or a baby), answering my prayer of leading me to be the wife He calls me to be, or, most likely, something amazing that I can’t even imagine, I have resigned to let Him have the control. Along with that, God calls us to do EVERYTHING we do with a joyful heart and to bring Him glory. And, my mumbling and grumbling about all the house work I have to do and how nothing goes the way I thought it would (and those days where I just don’t feel like doing anything so I just lay around on the couch playing Candy Crush) doesn’t exactly scream “I am glorifying God”.
I love my husband, and truthfully, finding glasses with yesterday’s green tea still in the bottom shoved in between the couch cushions and walking down the hall to the bedroom picking up his flung socks, the ABU pants and blouse, and t-shirt along the way, brings a smile to my face. He’s quirky and cute and I love it. As for Jonah, he is wild and crazy and keeps me on my toes. I adore him and he is my constant friend (and probably good practice for having a baby).
Proverbs 31:27 tells us of the woman I hope to be- “She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”
I have resolved to glorify God in all I do (or try my very hardest). Even if I feel that my daily tasks are unimportant and aren’t changing the world (like scrubbing the toilet), I will do them with a joyful heart. I praise God for all the blessings he has given me. I have the wonderful opportunity to spend all day with my dog, walking and playing with him, preparing a nourishing meal for my husband, and keeping the roof over our head a cozy, warm, and loving environment for my family. Doing these things….I can glorify God. It is my privilege and my pleasure to run the Stenger Household.
Colossians 3:23-24, “Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ.”
How can you glorify God in your everyday life? What is your privilege and pleasure?