Am I the only person who’s always on the lookout for faster, simpler ways to keep my house clean? When I look at magazines, blogs and Pinterest I see so many beautiful, well-organized homes, and I always wonder how they live in a house like that. Where do they sit and do craft projects? Where do the kids play? Do they actually cook meals in that pristine kitchen? And then comes the inevitable feelings of failure and inadequacy because, no matter how hard I try, my house will never look like that. When I read Having a Martha Home the Mary Way, I found out that I am not alone. There are others out there who feel that their homemaking skills are less-than-perfect to say the least. And then there is the Mary life. Don’t most of us wish that we could spend more time at the feet of the Saviour, listening to His words and soaking up His presence? And more than that, don’t we wish for a space that feels comfortable, homey and welcoming to friends and family?
In this book, Sarah Mae has presented thoughtful, clear ways to keep your home clean, without spending 90% of your time with a scrub brush in hand. She also gives practical advice for finding the time and energy to spend in prayer and Bible study that so many of us sacrifice for various reasons every day. She has broken her plan down into thirty-one days. Every day has a simple devotion with a life-lesson, followed by a Mary challenge with a scripture reading and a Martha challenge. By following along every day you’ll be able to find the balance between the hard-working Martha, and the friend-visiting Mary.
Mary challenges will help you to see yourself in a new light, more like He sees you. Challenge yourself to give up your expectations of what you think your life and home should be. We all fall short so many times of the goals we give ourselves. Mary will challenge you to forgive yourself when you fail, and get up again tomorrow ready to give it another try. And always remember that you are you and no one else. We don’t all approach life the same way, so our homemaking routines are different, too. There are lessons about kindness and diligence, and so many other traits that we need, not only as wives and mothers, but as Christians. There is encouragement for those days when you just feel tired, run-down and discouraged, and advice for when you find yourself getting distracted.
Then comes the Martha challenge. These challenges are broken down by rooms, where you tackle a few jobs in one room every day until it’s clean. The tasks are very manageable, and will have you feeling better about your homekeeping skills in no time! As you complete each job and each room, you will be able to develop a routine for yourself to keep the mess from piling up and overwhelming you again.
If you already keep your home pristine and have a perfect cleaning routine, yay for you! But I would still recommend this book. The spiritual aspects and journaling prompts alone make it worth reading. The cleaning plan would also be great to follow if you are performing your spring cleaning for the year.
What makes it a must-read:
The most important thing that I took away from this book is the realization that things don’t have to be perfect. My worth isn’t based on my abilities as a housewife, or the cleanliness of my home. While these things are important, they aren’t the most important. There will be days that I fail, or don’t measure up to the standards that I’ve set for myself, but I can’t give up! I have a Heavenly Father who loves me whether my floor is clean, or not. One of my favorite quotes from the book is, “It is practical to clean, and it is necessary, but my identity has nothing to do with it…It is purely in Christ. He tells me who I am, and loves me where I am.”
If you are a woman struggling to be the homemaker you think you should be, but keep falling short, I recommend this book to you. Your home (and my home!) may never win awards for being the cleanest in the neighborhood, but if it’s a place where our family, friends and most importantly, our Saviour feel comfortable and at home, that’s really all that matters!
Happy reading…and cleaning!
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own. Having a Martha Home the Mary Way is available now.