Recently there was one of those polls on Facebook that likes to ask senseless questions. You know the kind. The kind that asks you if you’d rather know how to play all the instruments in the world or know all the languages in the world. The ones that often remind me of my four boys who have an endless supply of perplexing questions they like to throw at my husband and me at the dinner table.
This time “Facebook” was asking if I’d rather have a chef, a maid, a nanny, or a personal shopper. Since cleaning is low on my list of favorite things to do, the answer was pretty obvious to me- a maid (although the chef was tempting and probably makes more sense if I count the time I spend on each of these tasks every day.)
So when Tyndale offered me a free copy of Sarah Mae’s new book, Having a Martha Home the Mary Way- 31 Days to a Clean House and a Satisfied Soul in exchange for an honest review, I knew it would be the kind of book that would do me good. (You might recognize Sarah Mae as the co-author of this book.)
As soon as I read the introduction, I knew that I agreed with Sarah Mae’s premise for writing her book. She writes,
This book is for everyone out there who needs to know that being a “good” homemaker has less to do with having a clean home and more to do with loving others well.
Sarah Mae emphasizes in her book that having a clean home and trying to make our surroundings inviting is one way to love others practically. This meshes well with what my husband and I try to teach our boys. We tell them that the reason we are polite to others, or the reason we clean up before company is not to make them (or us!) look good, but in order to make others feel comfortable and welcome. Sarah Mae offers encouragement, in a non-condemning way, to do just that.
Having a Martha Home the Mary Way is divided into thirty-one days and each day is divided into three sections. The first section is a short meditation to inspire and motivate us. This reading is followed by a “Mary Challenge” usually a scripture to read and a few questions to answer to help us put God’s kingdom first, or as Jesus said to Martha to focus on “that good portion” which shall not be taken away.
This is followed by a “Martha challenge”- a short manageable task that, if followed, will help you to soon have your home in order.
I like the way the tasks are split up into manageable portions. Sarah Mae knows how organizing a junk drawer or sorting papers can derail a cleaning job so she schedules these for different days. I also liked how she emphasized getting rid of things that we no longer use or need, or even anything (clothes or toys) that we have too much of. The fewer possessions we own, the less there is to keep organized.
And she suggests getting the kids to pitch in whenever they can, which is more often than we give them credit for.
Now I have to admit that although I’ve read the whole book, I haven’t done any of the challenges. (Can you tell I like reading more than cleaning?) But I have had some good
excuses reasons. We attended an out-of-state funeral the week before last, and then last week a medical emergency came up. We are planning a family trip this coming week, so I knew it would be a while before I could start following the schedule in the book, but I wanted to get this review out. I am looking forward to starting (really, I am).
How about you? Is keeping a clean house something you have a difficult time with? If you’re looking for some motivation in getting your house in shape, I believe you’ll find the gentle encouragement you need in Sarah Mae’s book Having a Martha Home the Mary Way.
You might also enjoy my review of The Life Giving Home by Sally and Sarah Clarkson.
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