Are You a Gatekeeper? – Encouragement for Today – March 27, 2019

Melissa Michaels

March 27, 2019
Are You a Gatekeeper?

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

I am naturally skilled at creating chaos out of chaos.

This is a bit embarrassing to admit, but we're among friends here, right?

When my house is in a state of disarray, my first inclination is to feel overwhelmed. Which leads to procrastination. Which leads to me feeling paralyzed. Which leads to me feeling panicky. All of which causes more chaos.

Maybe you can relate. (If not, just smile and nod - we can still be friends.)

Perhaps you've looked through the Proverbs 31 passage for insights regarding how to properly care for your household. Maybe you felt a bit defeated because, if you're like me, some days simply getting the dishes done with a happy heart feels like a praiseworthy achievement.

How could any of us be expected to exemplify the skills of such an accomplished woman?

When I first started learning to take care of my own household, I developed the habit of leaving dirty dishes, laundry and garbage out each night so I could tackle it all later, during our designated "marathon weekend chore time."

Doing it all later seemed like a reasonable plan at the time. After all, we were busy on weeknights. On Saturday, we would wake up to so many crusted-on dishes covering the kitchen that we had to pitch in as a family. We would relocate those piles to the dining room table, which freed up just enough space in the sink to start washing them.

Of course, a full sink, dishes on every surface, and overflowing garbage cans and laundry hampers often necessitated a full day or two of family effort. This in turn would lead to quick trips to the fast food drive-through for burgers and fries so we could have enough time to do the laundry.

Once the mountain of clothes was finally washed, we were always too exhausted to put it all away. The 20 minutes we routinely spent each morning digging through our clean laundry pile (while muttering under our breath about being late for work, again) resulted in frustration and the near impossibility of locating even one set of matching socks.

Eventually, it became painfully clear that my Saturday housecleaning schedule just wasn't working for us. Those deferred daily tasks were actually multiplying our stress levels, which then inadvertently caused a pileup of even more undesirable circumstances and attitudes that didn't serve my family or me well. Lesson learned.

Today's key verse, Proverbs 31:27, doesn't offer an ideal housekeeping plan that we should all follow, so rest assured, you're free to care for your home in any way and on any day that works well for you.

Gratefully, it's also not suggesting a checklist of qualities or accomplishments we must possess before we're appointed as official keepers of our home. It's a learning process. Honestly, my kids are now grown, and I'm still learning better ways to avoid housekeeping havoc!

But the verse does illustrate the key mindset and resulting actions of a woman who is diligent in caring for the well-being of her home, family and beyond:

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

I have come to realize it is a privilege to learn to serve the Lord well as the gatekeeper of my home. That mindset has helped me transform how I view my daily responsibilities.

What we bring across our threshold and the choices we make in our home matter to the well-being of those inside. Our dwellings - both our home and body - are intricately connected. Each one impacts the other.

The diligence we demonstrate in learning, growing in purpose and making wise decisions for our day will create healthy ripple effects through our home, family, community and generations to come.

Lord, I pray for Your guidance and wisdom to create a home where You will be glorified through my daily actions, mindsets and decisions. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Proverbs 31:17, "She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks." (NIV)

Colossians 3:23a, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord." (NIV)

For practical help in making small, simple changes to strengthen the connection between your home and body, check out Dwelling: Simple Ways to Nourish Your Home, Body, and Soul by the New York Times best-selling author Melissa Michaels.

Find Melissa on her blog, the Inspired Room, and on Instagram.

Enter to WIN a copy of Dwelling by Melissa Michaels. In celebration of this book, Melissa's publisher is giving away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We'll randomly select 5 winners and email notifications to each one by Monday, April 1.}

What are some practical ways a new mindset or a change in your daily habits could lead to greater well-being in your home?

© 2019 by Melissa Michaels. All rights reserved.

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