5 Ways to Be a More Joyful Homemaker
Sometimes it all feels like too much. The laundry, the cooking, the cleaning, the organizing, the child-raising, the hospitality, the marriage-investing, and the list goes on.... Sometimes it is rather easy to feel very overwhelmed as a homemaker. When this happens to me, the furthest emotion from my heart is joy. Instead, think anger, frustration, angst, selfishness, and despair, and you'll be pretty close! 😉
This is not what the Lord desires for us, though. He wants joy to reign in our hearts, even in the midst of the busyness and demands of everyday life. With that realization in mind I want to share with you 5 little practices I have been seeking to implement lately in my own heart and home in order to be a more joyful homemaker. I hope you'll find something in this list that will prove helpful to you, as well!
5 ways to be a more joyful homemaker
1 - Don't compare yourself to other homemakers.
This is a really important one! As women, our default position oftentimes tends to be that of comparing ourselves to other women. Comparison and competition are two huge enemies of joy and our desire to cultivate it in our lives. I write a lot about the importance of mothering by faith, and the same concept applies here: we need to be homemakers who are walking by faith, as well.
What do I mean by that?
I simply mean that it is incredibly important to look to the Lord alone, as our Creator and the Creator of each member of our family, for the direction of our homes and our work within them. If we spend all our time comparing ourselves to other homemakers and thinking that their meal planning practices, cleaning schedules, and home decorating style need to all become ours, as well, we are going to wind up stifling ourselves and robbing our hearts of joy, because we will be forgetting one very important truth: God created each of us uniquely. God did not create you to manage your home in the exact same way as the gal you follow on Instagram. He created you with your own unique personality, family dynamics, and needs, and the same can be said for each member of your family.
When you begin to understand and embrace this truth, you will begin to feel a lightness come back into your heart as you realize that you have the freedom to fashion your home in the way God calls you to - and no one else!
2 - Don't take yourself too seriously; make it fun!
This is an area in which I sometimes struggle. Too often my joy is based on what I accomplish on any given day, which then results in my taking myself and my daily work way too seriously. I become nearsighted and zero in on my to-do list when what I should be doing is seeking to cultivate a home of fun, love, joy, warmth, and life. I can only do this, however, when I first no longer buy into the lie that motherhood or homemaking or anything else is my ultimate highest calling or the place in which I am to find my identity.
My ultimate highest calling is to be an image bearer of God (Genesis 1:26-28) and an ambassador of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20). That is where my identity comes from - not who I am on my own, but who Christ is and who I am in Him. My identity is not based in what I do, but what He has done. With this gospel truth in mind, it becomes so much easier to begin to let go of the expectations we place on ourselves of all the things we "must" get done in a day. Instead we can rest in all that the Lord has done on our behalf, stop taking ourselves as seriously, and just enjoy life.
3 - Have worship music playing as you go throughout your day.
This is one of my favorite ways to cultivate more joy in my home, and it is also one of the more practical tips, as well. We have a playlist on YouTube which begins with a song by MercyMe and goest from there into playing songs by a number of different Christian artists and bands. Many of them are very upbeat which is really fun, and all the while we are hearing gospel truth as we go about our day-to-day lives. It's great! Especially when you begin to hear your little ones memorizing the words and singing along! It's hard not to be joyful when having a dance party set to songs which speak of the goodness of God and the freedom and forgiveness that are ours in Him!
4 - Remember that what you are doing is not mundane; it is important.
As I was working on a book last year on the topic of lies moms believe and how the truths of the gospel refute them, one subject I set out to address was our common practice in Christian circles of referring to the work we do within our homes as being "mundane" and simply encouraging one another to try to find the meaning and purpose in the "mundane". However, when I looked up the actual definition of the word "mundane" last year, I found that, truly, our practice should not be to merely find meaning in the mundane, but to instead altogether stop using that word to refer to our work as moms and homemakers - because it simply does not apply when we view that work through the lens of eternity. Homemaking and mothering are anything but dull or merely earthly. It is truly life-changing work we are doing! And when we understand that to be true, we can begin to take joy in performing that important work.
5 - Remember that the blessing of children and guests sometimes means that your home will be messy - and that's ok!
We get bogged down in our homemaking when we think that our worth or ability is found in keeping a spotless home. But Biblical homemaking is about so much more than household chores (as important as those are!). It is about positively impacting each and every soul that lives in your home or walks into it as a guest. It is soul-enriching, life-changing, eternity-impacting work and ministry that we conduct within our homes. As such, it's always good to remember that where mission-minded work is taking place, where children are, where people are coming and going, there is, of necessity, going to be a mess sometimes. After all - "Where no oxen are, the trough is clean; but much increase comes by the strength of an ox." (Proverbs 14:4). If we can remember that and learn to embrace it, such a perspective-adjustment will go a long way in enabling us to cultivate more joy in our lives.
Take joy, friend!
So, take heart, sister! The work you are doing is important. Your identity is safe in the firm foundation of Who Christ is and what He has done for you. Your worth is not found in whether or not your home is spotless. And you know what? Sometimes you just gotta crank up the high-energy worship music and let the joy of the Lord be your strength! Look to Him, friend. As you do, you will begin to see Him cultivating joy, one of the fruits of the Spirit, into your daily life (Galatians 5:22-23). Praise the Lord for that!
Rebekah Hargraves is a 20-something Christian, wife, mama, homemaker, homeschool graduate, writer, home business owner, blogger, and Texas-native-turned-Tennessean. She is author is the book Lies Moms Believe: And How the Gospel Refutes Them and you can find homemaking encouragement on her podcast The Home and Heart Podcast.