Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Day 2: Created to Give Life

It is day 2 in my cleaning challenge and I'd say it is more about cleaning the heart the the house, so far. I cleaned the kitchen recently, but it was good to do it again. Our biggest pitfall in the kitchen is leftovers. (Well at least since I'm getting a better and better system for washing dishes, they are already all clean!) We usually have about one serving of food left from dinner that we save. Usually, Stephen will take it to work and eat it there or Zoey and I will eat it fro lunch. However, there are some weeks where the leftovers just pile up. I dislike letting food go to waste, and I dislike handling food with mold on it even more than that. I'm not a germaphobe by any means, but come on, that is just gross. So that is the Martha challenge for me today...clean out all the left overs. I have recently followed a rather handy system to help in this process though. That is to put the date on what meal it is on a label (i.e. masking tape) so I know how long something has been in the fridge. It has helped me catch the older ones before the mold sets in at least.


AFTER: wow, it looks empty now, but clean!

But on to the heart matters...We are created to give life. That is a simple statement that I think many of us forgets about on a daily basis. I mean, it's obvious women give life because we birth babies. But I think it goes beyond that. Sarah Mae includes several ways that women (or people in general) give life, but I find one in particular that calls to me. That is to create an atmosphere of peace. All the things we do for our family and ourselves is thwarted if we do not feel comfortable and at peace in our surroundings. It actually ties into my mission statement from Day 1 of the challenge about having a clean area so you can think and breed creativity. By having a clean area we can breathe and find peace in our home. I want Stephen to come home from work and be able to relax in peace (environment at least, there isn't much I can do about Zoey running to jump on him when he walks in the door.) I want Zoey to be able to play and feel comfortable to learn. I want to feel comfortable while I write and live as well.

This also means to me that Zoey and Stephen come above any housework. I give life, and though that means I want a peaceful and clutter-free home, it also means I am there for my family for support and playtime. I feel like I spend a good bit of the day doing nothing while I sit with Zoey, but the more I think about it the more that statement is incorrect. Even though I feel like I'm just sitting with a list 10 feet long of things to do, I'm actually bringing peace to Zoey. She knows that I am there for her no matter what else. We sing, play blocks, read, do puzzles and anything else she brings me to explore. She is working on her letters now (she can almost spell her name, it is so cute!) She is also working on counting. I love how much she can understand and surprises me everyday by doing things on her own that we have talked about. For example, she spilled her crackers in the floor during snack time and immediately picked them all up before I could say anything to her. Times like that I know that what I do with her every day really does mean something and she is growing up to be a very good big girl.

There is a quote (p. 8) that I really enjoy..."Life-giving is about receiving from God in order to give to others. --Barbara Mouser, Five Aspects of Woman." I enjoy this because there are days when I feel like I can't give any more. But I know God gives me the strength and the purpose to give to others, so I enjoy fulling my purpose.

*Note: The challenge is associated with Joyful Mothering from the book 31 Days to Clean by Sarah Mae.


  1. Amanda, when you have those days, when you feel like you can't give anymore, that's your invitation to go sit with Jesus and draw from Him the strength you need. :) Read the Bible, pray, put on praise & worship. Whatever it takes. Just go to Him. :) In order to give to others, we must receive from God, just as Barbara stated. :) In order to receive from God, we need to go to Him and listen and draw from Him.:)
    Joyful Mothering

  2. Amanda~ I so desire a home filled with peace, and I have been trying to be very intentional about that. This was a beautiful and insightful post! Thank you for sharing your heart.

    Be Blessed.