Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Do your Duty with a Heart Full of Song

For the last while as I've been praying and contemplating over our unique family situation and how I am going to be up for the demands it brings, two words repeatedly have come into my mind and have been laid in my path, "meekness" and "work".  Recently I have been exploring this idea of work.  In our morning devotionals we have been talking about being a "willing worker".  I so desperately want my children to be good workers.  I usually consider myself a hard-worker when the task is at hand, but lately I have felt unmotivated and overwhelmed with WORK.  {Can you hear the resentful tone?}  I am grateful for a loving and forgiving Heavenly Father who has confidence in me and who has been sending me little messages here and there to guide me to a change of heart in regards to the matter of WORK.  {sounding a little bit better already, right?}

"Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven."
- final verse of the hymn "Praise to the Man" {Tate's favorite}

"Work is to be reenthroned as the ruling principle of the lives of our church membership"

"Organize yourselves; prepare every needful thing, and establish a house, even a house of prayer, a house of fasting, a house of faith, a house of learning, a house of glory, a house of order, a house of God"

"The world has need of willing men who wear the worker's seal.  Come, help the good work move along; Put your shoulder to the wheel..Push along.  Do your duty with a heart full of song.  We all have work, let no one shirk.  Put your shoulder to the wheel."
-first verse of the hymn "Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel" {our devotional anthem for the last weeks}

"The heart of our homes is not in the ability to keep it perfect at all costs; the heart of the home is love.  We live in a thing, a non-eternal structure that needs to be maintained.  The thing is worthless without the life we bring to it and through it.  This book is about bringing life to the mundane in order to love well."

These all have come to me over the past couple of weeks.  I think I'm getting the message.  Now to change my heart over and put my shoulder to that wheel.  

If you have noticed in my sidebar, I have decided to try this Homemaker's Challenge which corresponds to the "31 Days.." book mentioned above.  Beside helping you do a major overhaul on your house, the primary goal is to change your vision about why we should keep a clean and orderly home.  When I came across this challenge I felt like it would fulfill this need to readdress my idea of work at home.   Each day corresponds to a chapter in which there is a Mary challenge {looking at our motivations, our heart} as well as a Martha challenge {actual cleaning}.  I have come into this late, but I am excited for the journey.

Day 1's Mary Challenge was what I needed to start off.  Looking at your true motivations for why you want a clean home.  It was a wonderful time for reflection.  There were many reasons, of few of which include: want to feel peace when I wake up and walk in, to be a working family, to have order and feel less hurried and stressed, to have more freedom to do things I want to do, to be the friend that invites people to enter her home not just hide behind the front door.

I opened this discussion up to the children tonight for our Family Home Evening and I got some great responses.  Owen and Eyan both said that they can have and feel the Spirit "cuz its clean". I asked Owen how it feels to have the Spirit, "warm, cozy, and comfortable:-)"  I asked Eyan why it was important to feel the Spirit, "it helps me to be obedient".  Tate received a little help from Dad, "When the house is clean, Mommy is happy."

I pray that my motivations to keep a clean home will be as bright and pure as my children's answers.  That I may see through the mundane to a brighter perspective.  Peace is what I want to feel, the peace the Spirit brings.  Peace begets gratitude and confidence and laughter.  I told my mother today that I have been ruled by chaos and how I hope that by choosing order, freedom will rule instead.

Part of the Mary Challenge was to create your mission statement, something that will remind you of your vision and purpose amongst the mundane.  I thought of "Put Away so we can Pray and Play".  I really like the phrases "willing workers" and "house of order".  But I do love the line "Do your duty with a heart full of song." as quoted above.  I think that may best describe motivation in our home; everything is done with music.  We love to listen to music, dance to music, sing, and even make our own.  Maybe we'll have to try that one out!

1 comment:

  1. It's the perfect motto for a Dix family member since it comes from the hymn of choice of the infamous Dix brothers...in fact I think it's the only hymn they know!! But boy do they know it well and sing it with great vigor and enthusiasm!! Sweetheart, I have always told you that you are the type of person that once you put your mind to something you master it! I have every confidence that you will find the peace, order and joy you desire as you meet this challenge!! I'm so amazed at the woman you are! I love you!



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