I have a hard time keeping up my house. I’ll be the first admit it. I have four children ten and under, and we homeschool, so often spending time with them takes the place of any sort of clutter-busting that I might have in my head. I’m also not a naturally clean person. I tend to accumulate piles and stacks of stuff that are only organized to me as I make my way through books, Bible studies, art journaling and cross-stitch projects each day. So, when I had the opportunity to read and review Having a Martha Home the Mary Way: 31 Days to a Clean House and a Satisfied Soul, I thought it might be a good time for me read a book that would help me to keep a cleaner house.
Having a Martha Home the Mary Way is a 31 day devotional and cleaning challenge. Each day, as you read, you’ll read a short devotional from the author, along with some cleaning tips. Then, there’s space for reading scripture and journaling answers to reflection questions. Finally, there’s a challenge to be done for each day, starting with putting your kitchen in order.
While I’ve read the entire book, I haven’t done the reflection questions and the challenges yet. I decided that I want to save it for when we’re on summer break and it’s easier to start a new routine with the house. However, I think that it’s going to be a fruitful and helpful routine for me.
I did already find the book inspirational. I’ve taken two main things away from my first reading of it. First, I’m who God made me to be, and things aren’t changing in myself without him changing them. I’m probably always going to have to work hard at keeping my house clean, and I can’t allow myself to feel intense guilt or shame that it’s a struggle area to me. I can only compare myself to my progress and God’s work in my life. I can’t compare myself to a super-organized friend with a beautiful house.
The second thing I’m going to take from this book is that I can do a little at a time here and there and make a big difference in my house. Most of the cleaning challenges are organized to where (outside of the kitchen and the laundry) you only do a little additional housework each day. I’ve already found great happiness in finding little fifteen minute projects to do each day throughout my house. For example, yesterday, I spent time going through a plastic milk crate that had all the children’s school notebooks for the last two years and cleaning out the notebooks that we didn’t need any longer. Just a little bit of decluttering and my heart already feels lighter. I’m finding these kind of little projects around my home to work on in my spare time, and I’m seeing and feeling a big difference and a sense of accomplishment in myself that I didn’t feel before, and I’m so glad that this book helped me to find that.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.