Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Is it type A, or the old way?

I've been thinking about this amazing woman the past couple of days. She's one of the most organized people I know. She's a full time working (outside the home) single mother to soon to be 12, 14, and 15 year old girls. She drives 25 miles one way to work each day, round tripping over 50 miles each day after taking and picking up the girls from school- add another twenty if the youngest has softball practice. She travels every weekend for travel (soft) ball, and is in her third season now doing this. Aside from the working and traveling, her house is always amazing. A classy flair for decorating, but not overboard about it. Everything has a place, and everything is in it. "Clean lines", no clutter.

She's my best friend.

You would think I was the same way, but I'm not. I have always admired her neatness. We vacationed together, her and the girls, Jay, myself and our kids, last summer. I saw why her house is always neat. She never sits down. She is always moving, doing something. We have loosely established she has a "Type A" personality (quiz). Her world is a routine of getting things done and fighting clutter: Kate Gosselin has nothing on her! However, she's not a hostile person. No really. Unless she's late. (No I'm just joking! and I don't believe Kate is, either, for the record.)

She's on vacation right now and yesterday I went to water her flowers for her. She's so independent- on the way to her house (27 miles from my door to hers) I got to thinking, she's only asked me to do something for her three times, counting yesterday, in the last five years. Dad went with me because he'd been wanting to see her new house (she moved back before Christmas, we've been best friends since we were 14, known each other longer than that!). Dad, by habit always makes note of whether a person could benefit from his house cleaning services. We got into a conversation about how clean her house was as he peeked through the windows (and shes going to die laughing when she reads this!) and it made me think about something I wrote on Saturday.

On Saturday I mentioned Jays grandmother:
"You can eat off her floors- she's one who doesn't go to bed until every dish is cleaned and put in it's place- nothing left in the dishwasher."
There's no difference between my best friend and Jays grandmother. I got to thinking about how people tend to look at ladies of grandmama's generation and lift them up to "heavenly homemaker" status, and they look at my generation, like at my best friend and attribute her same homemaking success to "survival".

Is there really a difference? The older generation had to survive, too. The necessity for neatness was the same when grandmama was our age, as it is now. Her habits of having a clean house and no dishes left (at the end of the day) started when she was our age. The difference is, she's had the drive to keep it going. I look at grandmama and her specific ways of doing things, and can easily see my best friend in fifty years. Why am I different? In grandmama's generation, if a homemakers house looked like mine, they might be silently accused of drinking during the day while their husband was at work! That's the change in our society. Sin has become explainable.

Yes, I said sin. How many excuses do we make for sin each day? It's not that we don't have time to do something: it's that we won't. The bible says:
1 Corinthians 10:31
"Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God."

How does wasting an excess of time to the detriment of our homes, fit into "whatsoever ye do"? It doesn't, really, does it? Our society has become so acceptable of sin, it actually encourages laziness to a degree, would you agree? All too often you'll see moms online telling each other "go ahead and ______, you deserve it!", but do we really? Does that mom actually know, that we truly deserve anything? I'm willing to bet in grandmama's time, if they were on the phone talking and mentioned wanting to do something, the friend's response would like be "well when you finish ____ maybe you will have time this evening"- the priority was the home, the job. I'll be the first to admit, right now, the way my house looks, if I was my housekeeper, I would be FIRED.

Excuses. They are so easy to make. This brings me back to my best friend. I said earlier we established she was a "Type A" personality. Some people call it OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, which often is identified first by a strong desire for things to be neat and orderly). We see these neat, organized, orderly women and excuse OURSELVES by saying "Oh she's Type A ...." "She must have OCD ....". Maybe she has it right, and we need to start acknowledging "Wow, I need to get a move on!" "I need tips from her!" "I need to get more sleep so I can have more energy!". She is really no different than grandmama, except that way of handling life and home has become the exception instead of the norm.

The bottom line is, we can have a neat and orderly house if we choose to have one. It might just be the feeling of inability we have is really months and possibly years of our excusing our sin for something else and not addressing the issue at hand: our own natural tendency to laziness. Some people can quit smoking and have no problem with it- others (like myself) have to fight a serious spiritual battle to overcome that problem. Some people tend to not struggle with the sin of laziness (or distraction), while others of us do. {Distraction in and of its self is not a sin, but the result of distraction can be.}

So what do we do about it as Christians? Confess your faults (and sin) to the Lord and get it right. Pray about it. If you are comfortable, ask a trusted friend to pray for you concerning this.
James 5:16
"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."

If you would like, leave me a comment and I will pray for you- we can pray for each other :-)

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