Thursday, May 24, 2012

the importance of the mundane

Today I sigh and look at all of it.  Dishwasher needs emptied again.  Clothes need folded again.  Floor needs vacuumed again.  Bills need paid again.   

My son and I have a discussion about making the bed.  He makes his dutifully, but he wonders why.  What’s the point if I’m just going to crawl into it again tonight?  It matters! I tell him. 

But why?  Why does it matter?

And I give one of a mother’s finest answers.  It just does. 

Don’t tell him, but today I’m wondering the same thing –does it matter?  All of this repeat of menial chores? 

My mind goes to Uganda, the land of red dirt.  I was mesmerized by women sweeping the red dirt from store front steps.  Does this chore really matter, if someone is just going to tromp that red dirt up those steps again in a few minutes? 

We visit an orphan home that is filled with love but is literally nothing but a cement structure with some beds inside, and I see this: 

In a completely empty home –no living room furniture, no toys, no dressers full of clothes, no kitchen cabinets, no pictures on the wall, no washer and dryer –in this completely empty home order matters.  One lone piece of paper hangs on the wall.  It’s a schedule -a minute-by-minute schedule the orphans will follow so their day is routine and orderly. 

“She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”  (Proverbs 31:27)   

A clean kitchen counter, a pile of neatly folded towels, a scrubbed toilet.  These things matter because outside these walls of our home nothing is in order.  Outside these walls there is work stress and frustrating school experiences and rush-hour traffic.  As women we have the opportunity to create order.  Nobody notices it much, unless it’s not there, but it matters.  A peaceful refuge –that’s what the mundane chores add up to. 

So I’m going to hit “publish” on this blog and go unload the dishwasher.  What mundane chore do you need to get moving on?


  1. Hi Christy! As a semi-newlywed (8 months) I'm still struggling to figure this out. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the subject; I really appreciate the validity your are giving to the things that usually go unoticed and then can feel pointless. I've really beem enjoying your writing.

    -andee ethington

    1. Andee -so good to hear from you! Yeah, it's really a daily challenge to remember the value of being a housewife. Every once in a while I watch the show Hoarders, which is a disturbing show! But it's good to be reminded how much the simple picking up and cleaning makes a difference over the long haul.

      Thanks for the encouragement about my writing! It's cool to connect with you this way. I've been married 21 years next Friday, so if you ever need advice from an old married lady, just give me a holler. :)