I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of problems keeping up with housework. I used to marvel at my husband’s grandmother. Open heart surgery could have been performed on her kitchen floor at a moment’s notice (I believe I first read that quote in the book I mention later). I never saw a dirty floor, disorderly closet, or cluttered counter in her house. I was in awe and envy of her, and I wondered what her secret was.
I was in my early twenties and had two young sons. On a sleepy Saturday I received a phone call. it was my son’s Sunday School teacher. She wanted to come to the house for a visit. I was a working mother. I will leave it to your imagination, but my house was far from presentable. It really broke my heart to have to tell her she could not come to visit. I was embarassed, but so grateful she had the good taste to call ahead. The only thing worse than having to say “No, you cannot come” would have been if she had shown up unannounced and actually seen my living room!
With two small children and a full-time job I went from day to day just trying to keep up. Weekends were spent catching up on laundry and housework. There wasn’t much time for fun. I was a discouraged, bedraggled young wife and mother.
I wanted my home to look like a magazine, but it was a cluttered mess. After hanging up the phone, I had a meltdown. In an emotional and frustrated prayer I fell on the bed and poured my heart out to God, telling him how I was so sad about my home and really wished that I understood how other people can keep their homes clean all the time when mine is always such a mess. I cried and cried, I was totally overwhelmed. After a while my sobs subsided and I went back to the same old routine. It would be much later before I even gave that prayer another thought.
A few weeks later I took my little guys to the library for an excursion. The boys were entertaining themselves in the children’s section. Not wanting to get too far from them, I wandered over to an area of the library where they would still be in site. I had no idea what kind of books were there. It was a total “coincidence”. I stopped, looked on the shelf in front of me and spotted a book that caught my attention. The name of the book was “Sidetracked Home Executives”. I opened the book and looked at the beginning. This is what it said: “We think the system in this book is going to be the answer to your prayers”.
No kidding or exaggerating folks, that is exactly how it happened! I literally went to the library and walked straight up to that book without so much as a peek at the card catalog. I borrowed the book. When i got home and began to read it. I laughed until I cried. It was so funny – I suppose because I had finally found someone who was possibly even messier than I was! And here they were explaining, in detail, how to overcome being what they called a “Sidetracked Home Executive”. What a nice way to put it! Not a slob, loser, hopeless mishap like I felt. They did, however, refer to themselves as “The Slob Sisters”.
Over the next few weeks I went to work following the plan that was laid out in the book. I also got “lucky” with a long holiday weekend. The next weekend there was a huge snow – and I had another long weekend. In about six weeks my home was beaming!
I received a notice from our landlord that they had placed the condo we lived in up for sale. They would try to give me advanced notice, but might not always be able to do so. I was ready – bring it on! And so they did. Over the next few months we had a steady trail of visitors, and I was always ready. I will never forget my proudest moment. The potential buyers had toured the condo and left, and our landlord was about to head out the front door. Before he left he looked down at my son and said, “Mommy is an excellent housekeeper!”. To me, it was my finest moment!
The bliss lasted about two years then I started to slip. Of course I still get off track, and sometimes my house gets messy. But I have never again felt that overwhelming sense of frustration as I did before.
I tried to find Pam and Peggy on the internet a few years back. Apparently their system had been modernized by “The Fly Lady”, Marley Cilley (www.flylady.net). You can still purchase Pam and Peggy Young’s book on Amazon. Pam’s website is http://www.makeitfunanditwillgetdone.com.
I owe a great debt to these ladies. Recently, I found Pam’s contact information and sent her an email letting her how much her book had helped me. Much to my astonishment, I received a reply from the bestselling author! She was so encouraged to know that God had used her book, and was grateful that I had taken the time to let her know.
It has been said that salvation is one beggar telling another where to find bread. These posts are intended to share the information that I have found helpful.
Thanks for listening!