You walk through your house or look around the room you’re in. You see the work that needs to be done. You think of all the work in the rest the house that needs attention. And it just makes you tired. Can you relate?
At that very moment you have one of two choices to make:
- Give in to your feelings and find the nearest comfy chair to drop into
- Do the work you need to do
The first choice feels good, for the time being. But you’ll have regrets later. Regrets, guilt and frustration. You see, this is what often causes overwhelm. It’s knowing what we’re supposed to do, having the ability to do it, then making the conscious decision to go another route.
That other route is the well-traveled road. Scripture mentions this and tells us to choose the narrow road. The wide road leads to death, the narrow path to life. It’s hard though. Choosing the good (see James 4:17) isn’t always easy. But not doing the good we know to do is actually sin.
Choices Have Consequences. Good or Bad.
Here’s an example: You go into your bedroom to get dressed for the day. You see dirty clothes on the floor, toothpaste on the counter and an unflushed toilet. Part of you thinks, “Why bother. No one is going to see this room again for the next 8 hours.” The other part of you thinks, “It will only take a minute. I should just clean off the sink and pick up the clothes. But…” And you walk out of the room.
It’s that “but” that gets us into trouble. All these type of thoughts are setting us up for future overwhelm:
- But it doesn’t matter
- No one cares either way
- No one will notice
- I have other things to do
- I don’t feel like it
The Other Choice
Choice #2 looks like this: You go into your bedroom to get dressed and see the same dirty clothes, the toothpaste on the counter and the unflushed toilet. This time you still may think, “Why bother,” but when your second thought is, “It will only take a minute. I’ll do it.” you are setting yourself up for feeling on top of your home and day, as well as future productivity, fulfillment, and peace.
See the difference? In this example, you drop the “should” and just do the good.
- I should switch the laundry
- I should go outside with the kids
- I should make a menu for the week
- I should load the dishwasher
When we say we “should” do something, quite often we don’t. This is a problem. And in more areas than just homemaking.
It’s Not A Lack of Motivation
I know. That doesn’t sound right, however, when we tell ourselves, “I’m just not motivated to… xyz.” the truth is, we are lying to ourselves. Even if we honestly aren’t feeling motivated it’s really beside the point. A lack of motivation is just code for not being diligent enough to choose what is best at that time and follow through with it.
When you say you’re not motivated to throw clothes into the washer and hang up the ones that came out of the dryer, and then chalk that up to a lack of motivation, you are, (if I can speak freely) being lazy and sloppy. Please don’t take offense at the truth.
Taking the Right Path
Again, motivation is just a buzz word that allows us to flounder and stumble around in sinful laziness. And again… setting us up for a crazy amount of frustration, guilt and overwhelm.
My encouragement to you… look around and do what is good and right. It might be helping your 2 year old brush her teeth, it might be giving your husband a foot massage or it might be mopping the kitchen floor. What ever that good is, seek it diligently. Begin to work at it and follow through. And always, weary not in well doing.
Emily fritz says
You spoke right to my heart today! I’ve been studying James the last couple of weeks and also struggling with “motivation”. Thank you for the encouragement to follow the Lord in doing what is right and good in my home! Love in Christ-Emily.
Praise the LORD for encouragement Emily! Following Him will always produce righteous fruit! blessings!
Your thoughts are spot on. I hear women so frequently reminding people at large that homemaking IS a real job. (And it IS!). But then I see these same women forsaking their families because they “didn’t feel like it.” I don’t know any other “real job” in which that’s acceptable. (I know when I worked outside the home, my boss didn’t care if I was ‘motivated’ to do my job or not, just that I did it!) I’m all about imperfection, playing, impromptu trips to the park, and flexibility…but we also must remember our purpose and work diligently. Thanks for reminding me of this today!
I’ve never heard it worded better than that, Susan! You are so right. I often compare a homemaker’s day to her husband. He works when he is sick, when he doesn’t feel like it and when he isn’t motivated. Thank you!
grandma used to say.. today I had a bad case of the dropseats.
every time I saw a chair , I dropped my seat in it 🙂
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