I’m going to make a declaration about housekeeping that’s probably going to sound stupid. I don’t claim this philosophy to be any doctrinal absolute, and I admit up front that it may be entirely motivated by rationalization; nevertheless, I’ve thought about this for several months and I’m ready to declare it true in the Book of Stephanie. Ahem . . .
I don’t think we’re supposed to have a clean house. I think we’re supposed to WANT a clean house and work toward it. This phrase from April’s General Conference about Mary and Martha’s house fit in perfectly with my philosophy on this:
“It was a welcome place for the Master, where He could rest and enjoy the surroundings of a righteous home.” ~ Elder Gregory A. Schwitzer
I think the Savior would rather hang out in a home where people are working together harmoniously (even in a very unfinished project) than where a mother on the verge of a nervous breakdown is screaming at her children to get their last sock off the floor, and they better not have left the hand towel on the floor when they just used the bathroom. In fact, if he showed up at my house right now, I bet he’d sit on the floor next to me and help me fold laundry while we talked about important things. But I’d miss out on that if I ran around like a freak trying to clear the counters and make the beds really quick before I paid him any attention. I think I’d even miss out on that if I sat down with him, but my mind was constantly focused on everything that was undone.
Don’t get me wrong, I still believe that “cleanliness is next to godliness,” and all that “house of order” stuff, but I believe what matters most is that we are consistently striving to make our home a place where the Spirit of God is welcome. And if that’s our goal, be it in the early stages of chaos or the last load of laundry, for all intents and purposes, I think the Savior knows He’s invited. And that’s all that matters.