by Rachel Ollivant
With a 6, 4 and 3-year-old in the house, housework starts to feel pretty pointless. I mop, they spill. I pick up toys, they throw them back out. I do the dishes, and then we need to eat again. I do laundry, they fill the hamper. I clean the bathroom, and they smear toothpaste all over the sink. Sometimes it feels like it's just easier to leave the toys on the floor and gunk on the sink. What harm can it do if they wear their pajamas all day?
But there are (at least) two flaws to that ideology. First, we live in military housing, so it's not ours – and we have an obligation to keep it clean and tidy. Second, it drives my husband nuts.
For some reason, God seems to like to pair people together with opposite personalities. To fit the military man stereotype, David is very tidy. The one thing he loved (yes, loved) about Basic Training was that he could always keep things clean and in order. I’m the messy one. I'm not one of those wives who can blame her husband if the house is messy. The pajamas on the bathroom floor and books that fell behind the coffee table a month ago are mine. David has spent the past eight years of our marriage bearing my messiness patiently, but I know that he wishes in his heart of hearts that I would put laundry in the hamper and deal with my "piles of dread" (those being the clutter I just don't want to sort).
Once when my husband got home after struggling through his work day with a nasty cold and ear infection, I went on a whiney tirade about how it was pointless for me to try to clean anything because it would just get messy again and I really did have the kitchen clean before lunch, but you can't tell now … and on and on. He sat down at the kitchen table and quoted the verse: "Do not become weary in doing good."
I thought about how that verse applied to missionaries and martyrs who fought for all that is great and good in the world, but then I realized that David was right to pick that verse for that moment. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up (Galatians 6:9). Even though I'm "just" a housewife, I have my own struggle for the great and good in the world, on behalf of three children, who are not only dearly loved by me, but by God. And I'm sure God didn't inspire that verse just for those who end up who end up going down in history, but also those quiet lives who work every day towards adding a little good in the world, one way or another.
And currently, my battle for the great and good includes making sure my first grader goes to school in clean socks, getting my 3-year-old potty trained, making sure my 4-year-old doesn't get lost in the middle child abyss, and picking up the MegaBlocks on top of the stairs so my husband doesn't end up tripping and breaking his leg. All that can wear a girl out. But there is a promise that comes at the end of that verse – that we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.