Well, my first week of the 31 Days to Clean Challenge is over. Let's see how I did, shall we? The Mary Challenges were thought-provoking questions, designed to challenge me and the Martha Challenges were a specific cleaning task for each day - I did not list them all because I didn't want to give the whole book away! :)
For Day One, the Mary Challenge was to come up with a mission statement of sorts for WHY I want a clean house and it is as follows: Myself and my family will thrive better in a cleaner house. I want to be more organized, have less stuff and more time for other things. The Martha Challenge was to take stock of my cleaning products and determine if there's anything I'm going to need. It looks like I'm pretty well set on all my cleaning tools.
Day Two talked about how we as women were created to give life through many various forms. Today I had to think about how I can bring life into my household. I think that improving my attitude about cleaning will make a world of difference. Some tasks are dull and boring but that's only because I make them that way - if I think about them in a different way or think about WHY I am doing them, perhaps that will help.
On Day Three, I learned some different ways to bring life into my house. I really need practice on these - especially on "making my home a place of grace." The Mary Challenge was about talking to my family members what makes them feel the most loved. Although it said to ask I didn't ask Hubs because I know the things that make him feel loved - he has told me many times. He likes things being done at home. He likes having a clean sink, free of dishes. He feels loved when I take care of his household and children. I don't always excel at those things.
I loved Day Four. It talked about how cleaning isn't just about keeping a tidy house. It's also about creating a space that makes people feel welcome. It reminded me of some friends of mine & hubby's that have a beautiful, well-maintained home. We both love their house (and their friendship, of course) but it's not just that it's always very clean & nice looking - I think it's the warm, homeyness of their house that we are drawn to. You always feel like you are a welcome visitor - even if you're dropping by - and that you could stay for a week, if needed. The Mary Challenge for this day was to invite a friend over & instead of worrying about cleaning, to just enjoy them. I had *intended* to do this tonight but with a mix-up on invitations & the date not working for others, I had to cancel the Pink Spa party I had planned. But I do have friends coming over next week for something...so I shall do that then! :)
Day Five, today, is all about priorities. I really enjoyed all the encouraging verses on this day. For the Mary Challenge, I was supposed to come up with a list of my priorities. This was a real eye-opener for me. I wrote down what I thought my priorities should be:
1. Relationship with God
3. Children (and Homeschooling)
4. Household management
5. Extended family and friends
I guess this was an eye-opener for me because where do you think Facebook rates in all this? Yeah. At the bottom. Has it been at the bottom of my priorities recently? Have I worked on everything else above it first? Probably NOT! Or how about my hubby and kids? Have I been putting them above all these other things? Hmm. I wrote this down in a little notebook and am trying to keep it floating nearby me throughout the day so I can remember what I really SHOULD be working on.
Overall, this has been a pretty successful week. Some of the cleaning challenges I didn't do on the exact day because of one thing or another (baseball games, babysitting, etc.) but I really like the format of having the two different challenges for each day - thinking AND doing. It's short enough to not be overwhelming but still thought-provoking and challenging. I am really enjoying it and am looking forward to next week! :)