Monday, August 04, 2008

The Daily Disciplines: Chores

Chores are something we all have. The choice that we each have to make every day is whether we will do them quickly and cheerfully or whether we will procrastinate and drag through them. I have been guilty of procrastination and drudgery, but find that when I consciously choose to do things cheerfully and quickly, it makes an amazing difference! In fact, I find myself actually enjoying the "mundane" tasks like cleaning!

It can be hard to stay on top of chores sometimes when the weeks are full and busy. However, as I've mentioned before, doing a little bit at a time goes a long way! If I don't stay on top of the chores and the house gets grungy, I find that my attitude suffers as well. Although we should be "joyful in all circumstances" a clean house goes a long way in helping one have a cheerful attitude.

So, the first thing you may want to do is develop a schedule or routine for chores. Each person has different commitments and time constraints, so you want to find one that works for you and your situation in life. For quite some time, I would do the bulk of my chores in one day, usually Friday, as it was one of the days I had more time at home, and I enjoyed freshening up the house before the weekend. More recently, I've tried to spread the chores out, targeting one room per day in cleaning and trying to straighten up other rooms as I go through the day. Though I don't always keep up with it, when I do, I find that it feels nice to have a cleaning time each day and feels wonderful to see at least one room nice and straightened each day!

Though there will be times you'll need to clean things more in-depth, by working each week or each day to keep things looking nice, dirt won't build up so much and it will be quicker and easier to do the cleaning required.

Cleaning isn't the only kind of chores to do, though. Laundry, dishes, cooking, outside work, and more can also be a part of your daily chore list. If you're a child at home, your chores will usually be assigned to you from your mom, so your duty is to do what she asks you to do. As you get older, you'll probably be able to take on more responsibility and do things to bless the family without being asked. If you're a mother yourself, you'll be in charge of the assigning and daily run of the household. One thing I'm trying to learn is the art of delegating and working well with others. If something needs to be done, I tend to just do it myself in order to ensure that it is done and done like I like it. However, in a family one person can't and shouldn't do it all, so if you have siblings or children, you should learn to work with them!

Whatever your chores are, you want to work at doing them well for God's glory. A verse I try to remember is Colossians 3:23-24 - "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, because you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." Even in scrubbing toilets, we should be working for the Lord and glorifying Him in what we do. Proverbs 31 is also an excellent passage to inspire us to watch over household affairs and not eat the bread of idleness.

What does my chore list look like? Well, things will soon change, as I'll be going to college. It will be weird to go there and only be responsible for my own room! =) The last few years at home, however, have seen me taking on more and more responsibilities as the oldest daughter at home, and as I learn things to help me run a household. Dishes have been shared between us siblings from the time we're around 6 years old to the time we leave for college. Since there's only been two of us home the past few years, I've been in charge of washing dishes and cleaning up after meals every-other-day. I do laundry when needed, but mom is mostly in charge of that. I prepare almost all the meals, a duty I've really enjoyed (for the most part!). The household rooms I'm specifically in charge of cleaning are the kitchen and bathroom nearest my room, though I'll often clean many of the family rooms as well. Jubilee has been in charge of taking care of the animals, emptying trash, and doing outdoor chores such as mowing and sweeping sidewalks, as well as cleaning when help is needed. I feel for her as she'll soon be the only child left at home, with so many things to be done to upkeep our big house and property!

Your outlook while doing chores is very important, as I've stressed before. Yes, things will still get clean when you do things grudgingly, but you won't feel the satisfaction that comes with doing them. I have my share of procrastination tendencies, but I try to remind myself that the sooner I start, the sooner I'll be done. I also try to focus on glorifying the Lord as I clean, praying as I work or listening to praise music. Sometimes I work in silence and enjoy the times to reflect on the day and think about things; other times I enjoy listening to lovely instrumental or worship music. It helps to focus on serving your family as well, praying for them as you work, for the household and those that enter as you scrub the floor, and focusing on making an atmosphere that is pleasant for them by cleaning. By putting your focus on others instead of having a "poor me, why do I have to do all this work?" attitude, your outlook will get wonderfully better!

Doing chores in a nutshell: work quickly, start sooner rather then later, stay on top of things, have a cheerful attitude, work for God's glory, and focus on serving others rather then yourself!

What are your thoughts and ideas on chores? Please answer any, all, or none of the question below.
  • What chores are you responsible for?
  • Do you have a schedule or routine for doing your chores? If so, what is it?
  • What helps you keep a joyful attitude as you work?
  • What is your favorite chore?


Anonymous said...

I appreciate, as a sister, your Godly blog and shining example for Christian tradition and God's Word.

I find that when I keep in mind when I am performing household chores that (1) it will be soon done! (2) it helps my family (3) I am growing and learning through doing things I don't particularly enjoy.

Or, I can just find a way to make chores enjoyable; do it with my sister or mother, so we can talk or use it as a quiet time with God.

Just some ideas...
May God be your joy & strength,

Anonymous said...

What chores are you responsible for?
*Cooking 2 meals a day. I usually only have 1 but for now I have 2.*Taking care of 17 chicks*Taking care of 1 rabbit* cleaning the closest bathroom to my bedroom*Cleaning our sewing room* Quite a few more I'm just kind of tired.. and can't think of any more right now!!

What helps you keep a joyful attitude as you work?
Praying for my family while I work*Know I'm helping keep up our hse.,yard etc.*Think about how nice it'll look when I'm done (hopefully :D )

What is your favorite chore?
Cleaning the kitchen!!! I know some hate it...but I like getting the dishwasher turned on, the floor swept, the surfaces wiped, and the lights turned out and thinking about how nice it looks!!
:D I like mopping too!

You cover such useful topics on this blog! Keep it up! :D
I like the new picture of you both in your sidebar!
God bless,
Julia in Oklahoma

Anonymous said...

Sadly, my family has never required chores of us, which means a lot of work is left undone. Because I am not accustomed to, I have a hard time picking up the work, but I am trying to change that. In other words, blessed are the parents who make their children do chores.

Maria Pauline

Tiffany said...

What chores are you responsible for?
All of them! Haha! Seriously my oldest daughter Samantha cleans her own room (including dusting and vaccuming) and her and her sister's bathroom (including scrubbing toilets). My youngest daughter Grace keeps her room and toys picked up. They both help with the dog and setting the table and cleaning up after dinner. And anything else I decide they need to do.

Do you have a schedule or routine for doing your chores? If so, what is it?
Not really. Only laundry is done on Saturdays and Wednesdays. Other than that I clean when things are dirty. Usually dusting once every week and a half.

What helps you keep a joyful attitude as you work?
Honestly I am a big nerd and I love to clean. I put on some praise and worship music and go to town! My kids and husband think I am slightly nuts because I actually find cleaning and taking care of the house such a joy.

What is your favorite chore?
I'd have to say reorganizing a room. But I also really love to bake.

Lover of Beauty said...

# What chores are you responsible for?
I have worked full time since I was sixteen alongside my father and brother in a family business, so I don't have many house-hold chores. I do have to do the dishes, and clean the kitchen every night with my brother though.
# Do you have a schedule or routine for doing your chores? If so, what is it?
The rule is 10 minutes after dinner is fiished, he dishes must be underway! Ideally... :)
# What helps you keep a joyful attitude as you work?
Well, I like to put on a praise and worship tape, or sing as I work, or joke with my brother! At the end of the day, one has to make an effort to be cheerful about dishes!
# What is your favorite chore?
Cooking, budgeting, planning some frugal excursion! General house keeping... When I was younger, I did not fully understand that homemaking is a ministry in itself, and a priveledge. Therefore I did not appreciate the opportunity I had to be at home all day. Now that I work, I really enjoy the simple things like cooking a meal, or planning a menu. Don't forget, being at home might not seem as glamorous or exciting as going to college or working, but it really is a priveledge to be enjoyed!

Anonymous said...

We like to tackle chores as a team and all at once, so no one is really responsible for certain rooms. Only the dishes and trash collection are assigned.

Basically, what we do is go around the house and write down all the chores that need doing and number them. One person is in charge of the list and no one else reads it. Then we all choose numbers, complete that chore, and come back for another when we're done. That way, no one complains about having certain chores, because the assignment is random.

My favorite chores are washing the dishes by hand (It's relaxing!) and doing laundry.
~Princess S