Cleaning: An Act of Worship?


Can I just be real for a minute? I hate doing housework. I don't mind the warm water that caresses my hands as I wash the dishes. I actually find the rhythmic sounds of clothes in the washer soothing. And who doesn't appreciate the smell of a freshly-cleaned house? Here's my issue: I hate playing catch up on my daily chores I never seem to have time to do. I hate when there's so many dishes in the sink they start to overflow onto the counter. (I'm not even kidding.) I hate when the shower/tub combo is so filthy I start to question if I'm even getting clean in it. I hate when there are dirty clothes in every.stinking.room. of the house. (How does that even happen??)

Ideally, there is minimum housework to be done each day because I have kept up with the daily chores. But, that never happens. The lifestyle that comes with working in the ministry is partly to blame, but if I'm completely honest, I just feel plain tired after work. When I come home from an eight hour day, I just want to crawl into bed and snuggle my iPad. I've set in motion a vicious, never-ending cycle of being tired then scrambling to clean the disaster of a house I've created because some has once again showed up unannounced. (I keep hitting up Micah to build a moat around our home, but no luck yet.) I'm causing myself unnecessary stress constantly because of this issue.

It was while reading my daily devotion in Simple Abundance that my attitude toward housekeeping began to change. Sarah Ban Breathnach had written about how the Shakers believed that housekeeping was actually an act of worship. In her book, Being Home, Gunilla Norris wrote, "Prayer and housekeeping-they go together. They have always gone together. We simply know that our daily round is hour we live." Many a Christian have come to the realization that worship is not something to just be done on a weekly basis in a sanctuary, but rather, worship is a lifestyle. So why shouldn't cleaning be counted as an act of worship?

With this new thought in mind, I decided to give it a go. I now listen to worship music such as Jesus Culture, Hillsong, or Christ for the Nations as I fold and put away the laundry. I sing some of my favorite hymns as I scrub the toilets. I pray as I sweep the kitchen floor. And honestly? It has made the world of a difference. I notice my muscles are not as tight afterwards, and I'm in a decent, if not great mood. I highly recommend trying this out for yourself next time you're feeling overwhelmed with housework. Let me know how it goes. :)

Stay classy, ladies. :D

-Jessie

Photo credit: Marie Coleman

Jessica Wynn

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