Do you have the right personality for home management? Have you ever asked yourself that question? Have you ever felt like you just weren’t cut out for all this cleaning, organizing, maintenance, and more? I can relate! It took me ten years of home management to realize that I just didn’t have the skills necessary for the job. Yep, ten years!
I would let the clothes pile up in the laundry room – and I mean pile up – three feet high! And one time, when we had a repairman coming to our home, we actually put a bath towel over the dishes piled high in both sides of the sink so he wouldn’t see them! I honestly just waited until the sink was overflowing to get them washed. I was not prepared for this job of home manager!
An often forgotten aspect of becoming a good homemaker is our need to discover who we are and how we’re wired. Success in home management is not all wrapped up in the techniques you use or in the perfect cleaning schedule. A huge factor is knowing what makes you tick and how you think.
- Ah, the simple life – but not an easy one!
Are you a cleanie or a free spirit?
Ah, notice I said free spirit. Betcha thought I was gonna say messie! I like a more positive approach. I have wrestled with my free spirit for my 33 years of marriage. I’ve read all the books that convince me that I can do this house-cleaning thing like my very organized cleanie friends. It’s been a battle. Doesn’t there seem to be a battle around every corner?
But life is about growing and accepting the challenge to learn new things and become all that God intended for us to be! In the past—in my “I’m doing great (doing things my way), while God takes care of me” stage—I thought growth was about learning things in my timing and in my way—while God was just waiting around to pick up the pieces.
But living the Christian life is about growing and accepting right where God has us today and learning to follow Him around! My husband looked at me recently and said, “I think I like getting older.” Now that may sound odd to put in this post, and yet, getting older is about maturing, mellowing, and accepting the need for growth God’s way. Even growth that isn’t in our timing or our way.
“But she came and began to bow down before Him, saying, “Lord, help me!” And He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” But she said, “Yes, Lord; but even the dogs feed on the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus said to her, “O woman, your faith is great…”
Okay, so how’s this relate to house keeping? It’s about discovering who you are and how you’re created and wired to function and accepting the challenge to find God’s best for you, no matter what your original picture or ideal was. It’s about living in the here and now with what you have in front of you, not hoping or striving for what that perfect picture in your mind (or in that magazine) is.
So, are you a cleanie or messie? Organized or free spirit? Left or right brained? This is where you begin. Ask God to reveal how you are wired. And when you discover it, accept it! Find how you function best and stop trying to be someone else.
Stop trying to get your home to look like Sue’s. Stop seeking to use Betty’s daily schedule. Stop searching for the perfect way to organize your home. I’ve had to tell myself over and over! I’ve tried and sought and searched for the right way over the years.
That isn’t to say we can’t learn from others or read books for ideas. Just keep yourself from the trap of thinking that if you become like them you’ll have arrived. You’ll probably just get frustrated.
One simple fact: all of us, organizers and free spirits alike, must manage our homes. It’s the style and the priorities that change.
Let all things be done decently and in order.
1 Corinthians 14:40
Work With Your Personality
Another thing we hear all too often is, “this shouldn’t be that hard.” Think about that for a minute. The first question we might ask is “who says?” Shoulds are very stifling. The only shoulds we have should come from the Bible. Any others only trap us into thinking there is one right way.
God created a myriad of personalities and talents and lifestyles that fit well within His parameters for godly and faithful living. Our job is to find our personality and talents and work within them. If we’re always concentrating on our weak areas, we waste all the potential that our strengths could accomplish.
So my point? Seek Truth. Where? It can only be found in the Bible. Know what God commands of you as a wife, mother, and homemaker. Then, consider who you are. Discover how you’re wired to best function in your day. Me? I’m a messie, a free spirit, a right brained thinker. And believe it or not, I’m a bit OCD at the same time.
It’s been a long battle trying to figure out how I function best. Crazy, I know, but I think my upbringing by a West Point father made me seek to find the best ways to do things, but fear of being caught doing something wrong was also a great motivator; hence my back and forth between creative thought and perfectionism.
But as I’ve discovered who I am and how I function, it has given me freedom to know what I need to do to make my day, my home, and my schedule work. It’s made it easier to “obey God rather than man.” The goal is to get your personality to work for you, not against you.
I think for so many years, I was trying to be someone else. To do things their way. To have a home that worked for them. Now I function just fine doing things that work for my thinking processes, my personality, and my talents, with the goal of glorifying God in and through it all.
A few resources to help you on this journey:
Busy Homemaker – This article really confirmed what I was discovering about my homemaking style. It’s a fascinating part of the equation for our enjoyment or failures as a home manager.
Desperate – Hope for the Mom Who Needs to Breathe by Sarah Mae and Sally Clarkson
“….The high priest questioned them, saying, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” But Peter and the apostles answered, ‘We must obey God rather than men.'”
- Oh, to have the simplicity of a Woodpecker’s home!
Be Comfortable in Your Skin – and Your Home!
I’m not one to worry much about having a perfectly clean home. But compared to when I first was married, I’m organized! I used to have no discipline at all, but I didn’t know it was necessary! Then God gave me ten children to purge me of that naïveté! So I’ve struck a balance. I could stress about having a much neater home, but I’ve come to see my own need for a home that feels lived in. I want to know we are living a full life, not living our life fully to keep our home perfect.
Something new I’ve discovered about my personality style – if things get put away, like a project or a magazine, I forget they exist! Really. So I need things out in front of me to remember their importance. Fortunately, this goes for projects, not people or God. And I’m glad for that!
Even this small truth about my personality is so helpful, because I don’t have to fight against it anymore. It doesn’t stress me out the way it used to. My home isn’t going to be in Better Homes and Gardens, and I’m comfortable with that. I need personality, life, activity, and most of all, people in my home.
The moral of this blog post? Discover how you’re wired. Find what works for you. Understand how God designed you and work with it. And grow into the person He created you to be! You will be blessed and He will be glorified. It’s not about being perfect, it’s about being used to serve the King!
Let all things be done decently and in order. 1 Corinthians 14:40