Monday, August 15, 2011

Only Rich People Have Clean Houses

Library of Congress: Dining room in the Billy Graham Homeplace, North Carolina

 "Our homes should be neat with a swept sidewalk leading to the front door." - Emilie Barnes

Have you ever thought that only rich people have clean homes? When we consider the idea of poverty, we imagine dingy, dirty, tenement homes and people wearing tattered garments. It is the image of being in dire straights with no money for soap or the basic necessities of life.

As we work in our humble homes, we must not have dirty surroundings. It is not only the rich who have clean homes. While they do have servants and housekeepers and fine things - we have our own labor, and we must take pride in a job well done.  We are like the Hebrew women spoken of in Scripture (by the midwives)  who were strong and hard working, unlike Pharoah's Egyptian women who lived a life of ease.  We can most certainly find a little time, each day, to tend to our homes.

A clean and neat home makes it a welcoming place.  But we must make the effort to work. Doing dishes, sweeping floors, doing laundry  - these are all necessary tasks.  I read about this elderly aunt who walked into the home of her grown niece. The Niece was the mother to 5 children. She was an excellent housekeeper. Well, on this particular day, she had a sink full of dishes and other housework she needed to do. But the Aunt found her resting in bed. She thought, perhaps she was ill, or expecting another child. She said, "Why else would you be laying down when there is work to be done?"  I have thought of that statement on many occasions. I would sit in my parlour chair and start to read a book, but remember those wise words. It would startle me into being responsible. I would clean my kitchen first. Then I would sit down for my break.

 It is a precious feeling, knowing I have a home I can make into a lovely place.  Yet I must do the work.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

What Many of us Crave - An Ordinary Life at Home.

Finding Genuine Happiness at Home - Peace be Upon This House.  

Careful thrift in the Home - Reducing Expenses.


 - To find out more about this blog, or Mrs. White, please visit our About page. -


Now Available:

"Gracious House Keeping: Advice, Encouragement, and Cleaning Help for the Christian Housewife."

Complete with Encouragement and Work Charts to cheer you along in your homemaking!

115 pages, paperback.



jeana said...

Thank you for posting, I often find myself sitting or reading when I have so much to get done. I will remember this when I need a boost.

Tiffany said...

Good words...
BUT...there are some times when rest is ok and there are some people who can't do it all.

That Mom Kelly said...

I had to LOL. I so need this. I am reading it while a pile of laundry that needs to be folded sits next to me :) Off I go!

Michelle Murray said...

Um..ok I gotta go do some chores. I'll be back later ;) LOL

Mrs. Stam said...

Amen!!!! Even a humble abode with willing and working hand can be made to look like a castle fit for a king! Or at least the king of his home, our husband :-)

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing this post. I have been struggling with keeping my home lately, not because I'm being lazy but because I've been too busy. Ok, maybe some laziness because if I got up earlier I would have more time but I do get up before the rest of my family as it is, still not enough time. Anyway, it has been on my heart lately that I am not keeping my home as I should and I'm in the process of changing that.

Elle said...

I'm so glad I washed my dishes this morning and finished folding the clothes and swept the floors..before I read this. :)

Kristin M said...

Poor people can have clean houses too. My father grew up very poor. I once saw the tin roofed shack where he grew up. It may have been humble, but it was always spotless. He always dressed neatly even if his clothes were a little worn. He was always well groomed. A lesson he taught me was that pride doesn't cost anything. They didn't have much, but they took care of what they did have.

I think that is part of the problem with home keeping today. We have too much stuff. Too many clothes, toys, things. It gets overwhelming. I used to live in an enormous house. I always wanted a huge house. Well, that house wore me down. It was too much to clean. I worked outside the home then, too, in order to have that big house. When we moved here, I was able to realize my dream of staying home with my child. We have a smaller house, and I enjoy caring for it so much more. My ongoing project is getting rid of all the stuff we don't need.

Thank you so much for this blog. I have enjoyed reading it every day. I have gotten so much out of it.

Far Above Rubies said...

You are so right. It does startle you into doing what needs to be done then taking a break.

Thank you.


Unknown said...

Dear Mrs. White,

Thank you for find the time and taking such effort to write these sweet posts. I am praying for you and your computer situation. I have had those times, too! I know that God has purposes for these times, and He works all things for our good.

Just wanted to let you know that your humble spirit is both refreshing and convicting--and I can tell you aren't trying to impress anyone!

Keep up the good work as long as God leads--we need voices like yours!


angie said...

Blessings, indeed! Thank you for this timely reminder to get to work! Love it.

Lydia @ TheVintageMama said...

And now those words are ingrained into my heart!
What a great post...thanks for the reminder (and very much needed conviction).

Unknown said...

Amen! Love this comment! So true!

omgsharon said...

My grandmothers and mother all said, "Just because we're poor, doesn't mean we have to live in a pig sty." My mother was also famous for saying to us children, "Idle hands make the devil's work." Housekeeping was always done every day. There was always something that needed tending. There are days that I don't get done what I think I should be accomplishing, but I still get enough done to make it company presentable at the drop of a hat... or at least a good 30 minutes of tidying would make it presentable. :)

Rhonda said...

Hello there, I'm just hearing about you and your blog. I can't wait to order some of your books, as the budget allows. The Lord has led me to your blog. I'm so enjoying it. Thank you for sharing.