One thing I really admire about the women I’ve met at Mars Hill is that so many of them seem to be these amazing domestic whirlwinds of skill, discipline, and drive. I don’t think I’ve ever walked into any of your homes and thought, “Oh man, what happened here?”

This has, however, lead me down some unhealthy roads of thought. In my head, you, my friend, keep your house organized and spotless all the time. If you have a slob for a husband, you catch his dirty clothes on their way to the floor and they are actually laundered and folded instantly in your hand. If you have a child, after s/he makes a mess, s/he disappears for a few minutes while you clean up the mess and that’s why you are have the discipline to get it done right then.

I’ve been convicted about my discipline lately. Our house is not yet unpacked and gets messy in a heartbeat. I HATE being in cluttered rooms and can’t relax when I am in them but I have NO natural instincts that help me keep things picked up. I grew up putting things down next to me when I was done with them, and I would pick them up when I realized that the entire room was a mess. Then, it took me a while to notice and care about the mess. Now, the mess drives me crazy, but I am still the person with empty muffin cups in 3 rooms of her house. I was so excited to have a new coat closet in our new house, but I still throw my coat on a chair half the time. I acutally have to walk farther into my house to do this.

I also have a tendency to pick up and organize every room in my house before I devote too much time to cleaning. This is why I have not vaccuumed our house or cleaned our bathroom in an embarrassing amount of time. So embarrassing, that I am not going to tell you how long.

I recently listened to a sermon about discipline from Mosaic Church. The speaker said something about how discipline is something you usually do alone and it’s not usually fun. I’ve been using the excuse for not waking up early that if Dexter doesn’t wake up early it’s too hard for me. But, that’s a really bad excuse, and I know that the real reason is my own laziness and lack of will power. The fact that Dexter isn’t much of an exerciser is also one of my excuses for not exercising. I mean, I don’t want to get too fit and fabulous and make him feel bad, right? I kind of think that if I can become disciplined in the areas of waking up and exercising, I can conquer most of the areas in my life because I hate these two so much. However, I think keeping my house in order will be a battle all its own.

I know that some of you (or maybe just one of you) enjoy cleaning your home, and maybe a few more of you are good at it despite not enjoying it. What suggestions do you have for a developing habits that will help me not be a lazy slob? (You may think this language is too harsh toward myself, but really, I can see my house right now and I know that I took a nap on accident during time I set aside to clean today.) I’ve told myself that not all of you are naturally good and perfect picker-uppers, organizers, and cleaners, otherwise I’d feel extra bad about myself. Have you been transformed by the renewing of your mind in the area of cleaning? Or are you a pillar of will power and cleaning acumen? Either way, if you have tips about keeping your house clutter-free or building your personal discipline, please share!


4 thoughts on “Discipline

  1. This post makes me laugh because I think I could have written it myself, nearly word for word. Mike and I have been talking a lot about this lately. We both prefer our house clean and in order, but have no pattern or habits in place to have it actually be that way. My weekends are often spent cleaning up the “tornado” of the week. Lately, I have been trying really hard to make myself clean up after dinner and to hang up my coat. I’ve found that if I keep myself going before I let myself rest at all it’s really helpful. Or if we’re watching a show in the evening on tv, I will make myself do quick things during commercials. I agree that it’s no excuse to not do things because our spouses don’t, but it really does help to do them together. I get super motivated to clean when Mike is busy working because otherwise I feel lazy. I don’t think that having your spouse along side to help motivate is necessarily bad. We are trying to commit to making each other exercise more as well. I could go on, but seriously, don’t feel alone or like some big failure. Recognize your weakness and resolve to work on it and pray for God’s work in you to improve, but don’t feel like you’re the only one with such weaknesses!

  2. I have a secret that will help you keep your house orderly for the rest of your life (if you are anything like me). Have guests over at least once (but better twice or more) a week! This is honestly my biggest motivator to clean. Someone over on Tuesday night for dinner, then someone over on Friday or Saturday night. That way, come Thursday, when things start to get a little out of control, you are already thinking about how you have guests coming over soon and you must not let them know the truth about how much you hate to clean your house! My biggest pitfall is the bathroom. It may have mostly to do with my son “missing” regularly. Sometimes if guests are coming, I will do a wipe-down to get rid of the obvious. However, that does not help my bathroom from smelling like urine… sorry guests!

  3. I actually really like cleaning. Go ahead, laugh. I find it very therapeutic and have since I can remember. But, that being said, I do actually have some tips.I keep my house clean by doing little things all the time. Two minutes there, 30 seconds here. And BHAM, my house is clean again. Also, if I’m not up for cleaning (say, unloading the dishes when I’d rather read, watch tv, do anything else in the entire world) I just tell myself “take x amount of time and it will be done and then you can relax”. I’ve also realized that having a kid makes things ten times harder to keep clean. But I’ve found myself relaxing about it, because after all who wants to live with crazy-cleanup-never-play mom? So I tend to make sure that “big” things are done. 1. Beds made. 2. Clothes in hamper (even if they go unwashed for way too long). 3. Dishes put away. The rest seems easy to handle in a quick minute. Also, I have found that when guests are on their way over and I know the bathroom needs a little help, I tell Jonathan to watch Julia so I can “finish getting ready”. I grab a few wipes, do a quick once over on the sink and toilet, rub out any toothpaste splatterings on the mirror, light a candle and I’m done. And trust me, even if you think this is a weakness in your life, I could name easily a dozen weaknesses in my life, that I feel people have mastered. Like seemingly always having their kids under control. Oh, or my personal favorite, always looking like they just did their hair/makeup/laundry when I know I haven’t showered in over 24 hours and am wearing the same jeans for 3 days in a row… and still have yet to put on a hint of makeup.

  4. I like Wendy think having people over is a HUGE motivator for keeping the house picked up. My other motivator is to spend time in people’s houses that are not perfect and helping them. (It’s kind of a joke from our church if they can catch us with our house not picked up.)I am a person where clutter doesn’t bother me. It bugs my husband a ton so it’s something that we work on together.For me, I have to set little personal goals. I always have lent/new year’s resolutions happening in my world. I’ve done crazy things like vowing not to watch TV unless all of my clothes are picked up. I’ve all vowed not to go to bed unless clothes are off the floor. I can’t make the goals too big, but once I’ve done one goal for a couple of months then I personally don’t need to be as realistic about it.Tackle one small thing at a time…don’t condemn yourself. You are very young and in major transitions in your life! Now have some people over for motivation.

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