Today I read 1 Peter chapter 4. This chapter talks about living for God, and gives direction on how to do so. And as on most days, one verse in particular struck me this morning. Here is 1 Peter 4:9
"Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay."
This has been something that we have been learning over time. It was a big step for us to decide that we were going to host a small group through our church. We'd previously been in a group that rotated from home to home, so we only needed to host one out of five weeks. Hosting a small group every week was quite a commitment, let me tell you! That said that we were going to have to clean up for company every week. With small children, that is no easy task. Plus it became even more difficult when we decided that our group needed to meet during the dinner hour- that meant cooking for everyone and providing food and drinks for both adults and children.
At first we tackled the challenge with gusto, but it really didn't take long for us to start dreading the weekend. Our weekends were devoted to cleaning the house for company on Sunday, and by the time our group was over we were crabby and exhausted. I really had to change the way I thought about our group. And that's where today's verse comes in. It says cheerfully. Not with a pretend smile on your face, and not grudgingly, but cheerfully. Yikes. We needed to work on this. At the same time that I was working on my attitude about our group, I was also working on my attitude about housekeeping, and my daily activities. And it wasn't long before I realized that they went hand-in-hand. For it was because of my lackadaisical approach to housekeeping that made the weekend so tumultuous for us. One week I just determined that I was going to keep the house clean all week so that I didn't have to unbury everything for Sunday.
And imagine that... it's been working. A few weeks ago, on a Thursday afternoon I surveyed my clean kitchen and dining room and was all excited because I knew I could keep it clean until Sunday. I wake up in the morning now ready for my day. I tackle any dishes that need to be done first, followed by any baking that needs to be done and one load of laundry. That right there has been a savior. Doing one load of laundry every day has eliminated the dreaded "laundry day." The only day that I need to do more than one load is when I wash bedding and towels. It's great. One load can easily be washed, dried, folded and put away in between games with Zander. Every weekday I also tackle a room in the house for a deep clean. Some days it's a bathroom, some days a bedroom, or even a kitchen cabinet. And because God has helped me view housework in a more pleasing light, I am now much more welcoming to guests. I look forward to having company, because I don't have a major housecleaning event to plan for.
We now happily share our home. Our house is devoted to doing God's work, and I suspect will continue to be used for that purpose for a long time.