Keepers at Home

Keepers at Home
December 12, 2016

I GET TO:

There’s much to be said about having the “right attitude,” when it comes to many things in life. As single gals, wives and mothers, we all should strive for- and demonstrate- a right attitude. So often, we get in a pattern: an ugly, downward spiral that is anything but “right.”  Sometimes, it’s good for all of us to “listen” to ourselves. Are our comments (concerning domestic duties and other opportunities) pleasant, sweet, encouraging, kind, courteous, cheerful, joyful, and respectful, or do they resemble a huge, adult WHINE?

I often hear mothers tell their children, “That is not the right attitude,” or “Are you having an attitude?” We endeavor to correct it in our children, but it can be a malady at any age.

I remember years ago, as the former Pastor’s wife taught a class for women, a lady asked her this question: “How do I get my husband to pick up his clothes?” Apparently, the young married woman was perturbed at her husband’s inability to pick up his clothes. Now, I am ALL FOR men being taught things like this…there isn’t really a reason for anyone, man or woman, to randomly just leave clothes, towels, shoes etc. on the floor; dirty dishes in the sink; countertops full of a mess; etc., all to be left for someone else to pick up. However, an older married woman responded and gently said, “Perhaps you might want to just cheerfully pick up the clothes, because if he died, you wouldn’t have to worry about picking up his clothes.” That stuck with me until this day, for more reasons than one! As absolutely wonderful as my husband is, he gets his dirty clothes about four feet from the clothes basket most times! When I pick them up and put them in the appropriate basket, I smile and am reminded that “I get to…”

I think of so many scenarios that allow us to “get to…” do something that is sweet and a blessing to others. Let’s create those scenarios….

Wife, do you make sure your husband’s clothes are clean, pressed and in the closet? Do you try to prepare healthy, interesting meals that are served with a smile, on time, most days? Are you available to help him with projects when he asks, or do you sigh, whine and make his life miserable while you are helping? (Or maybe unwilling to help at all!) All of these scenarios are just daily opportunities that you are given to be able to say, “I get to…” If you read Proverbs 31, you will see that woman is not lazy. She is all about doing what’s best for her house and her family. She’s a great example for all of us!

Mom, do you realize your responsibility to discipline and train your children for the Lord? Do you take each day as an opportunity to instill character and respect in your kids? Do you rise to the challenge to be consistent in all things? Do you try to see (and eliminate) things like whine, sass, disobedience, bad attitudes, and manipulation at every opportunity? Mom, you “get to” be an integral part of your children’s lives. I know you WANT what’s best for you children, but do you have the right attitude about it? It’s such a wonderful opportunity, literally to “create” great kids. It’s an overwhelming task at times, but so rewarding. Consider what an awesome challenge it is of what you “get to“ do!

Ladies, how about extended family? Do you take EVERY opportunity to be a blessing to your parents? Guess what! If you don’t, there will come a time when you won’t be able to. Do you call, write, or text, OFTEN, so that they feel connected and loved? I can tell you that before you know it, you will have a parent that is either very ill, or is crippled, or dies, and you may wish you had done more. All you wish for is ONE MORE phone call to hear their voice! Are you thankful and grateful for all your parents have done for you? I sometimes see an “entitlement” mentality with young people. Once parents have raised you, it is NOT their responsibility to continue to supply every whim you might have that maybe your husband isn’t able to do right now. When your parents bless you with a meal out, or help babysit, or actually pay for part of something you really need, BE THANKFUL. Express it and remind yourself that “you get to” do that. You get to show your appreciation and love. Don’t get into the habit of “allowing” your parents or in-laws to “take care of you,” as they once did. Grow up and get up and get going. Allow your relationship to be more of what YOU can do for them and how YOU can bless them! It totally changes your relationship.

How about service to our Lord? YOU GET TO do so many things, if you just WANT TO! (Right attitude.)

Think of all the service areas we have at church: there are many levels of service, .and having the right attitude means that you get to clean the church on a routine basis- maybe once every 5 weeks; write to our missionary wives, once every 6 weeks; teach a Sunday School or Children’s Church class; sing in the choir; play your instrument in the orchestra; help in the nursery; make a meal to take to someone who is ill, recovering, or who has had a baby, etc.; write an encouraging note to someone who is struggling; be part of a baby or wedding shower; GO TO a baby or bridal shower to be a blessing and encouragement; be part of a team when we thoroughly spring clean the church; help paint and decorate; be a part of the group that prepares a Christmas gift for our missionary wives; work to get camp ready in the spring; volunteer for other tasks while at camp; babysit for some mother that has to run errands; take someone to a Dr.’s appointment, etc. Now, we can’t do ALL of these, but we can do some of them! Remember, I get to…..

I will share with you an opportunity that I have that is really a fun “I get to.” Recently, our church decided to set up a missionary apartment/prophet’s chamber for our own missionaries to have a home on furlough, but to also to make accommodations available for visiting preachers and missionaries. It was fun to be able to clean, paint, and decorate the apartment, initially. But, as you know….that was one-time event. Cleaning and maintaining, literally, another home, is another thing. Sometimes, we have a missionary in there for a few weeks or months and are not required of much during that time. Sometimes, however, we have someone in there for 3 days and turnaround is 1-2 days and someone else is using it another 3-4 days. Although a lady and her teenage daughters rose to the occasion of taking care of the apartment, there are times she is not able, so another lady and I gather up the laundry and do that at home. Then we meet at the apartment for 3-4 hours and go through it with a fine-toothed comb. (Stopping to get a good cup of coffee first, of course!) We “get to” put on all the clean, freshly IRONED sheets. Hang fresh towels. Tidy the linen closet. Check the fridge for outdated food and clean if necessary. We scour the kitchen, clean floors, sanitize the bathroom, dust and wipe down anything that needs it. Check the supplies. Check to see if any maintenance needs to be done. We do many things each time we are there, but it is a FUN time. “I get to” says it all. I can’t sing in the choir. I can’t roof the pavilion. I can’t play the organ. I am not the best in the nursery—‘cuz I don’t do diapers! So….this the best place for me. Yes, I “get to!”

Young, unmarried ladies- you have such potential for this kind of “I get to,” because generally, you have fewer responsibilities than wives and mothers. You have more freedom each day, even if you work, to be able to be a blessing to others, like a new mom, who may need a little help. Maybe you can make a visit to someone in the hospital to be an encouragement. Often, you can offer to babysit (free of charge!), so a couple with many children can have a “date night.” Be creative and see how many things you will “get to do!”

If you have the wrong attitude regarding ANYTHING or ANY AREA of your life, ask the Lord to reveal that, but you probably already know! CHANGE it.  A happy countenance and a happy disposition create a blessed soul.  Psalm 100:2 says, “Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.” Psalm 100:4, 5a, says, “Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good…” What a great reason to “get to do.”

Evaluate your attitude and look at those daily tasks, those domestic duties, and your outreach, as “I get to!”