The Making of a Domestic Queen

My domestic princesses excited
in helping me out to make breakfast 
The big journey of life is made up of many smaller journeys. There's the journey of growing up, the journey of learning, of marriage, of parenting, of writing or of any interest, of trials and victories. And for women, there's the journey of becoming a domestic queen.

Yes, you heard me right. Domestic queen. She is someone who has mastered the art of household tasks--- the decorating, the ironing, the cooking, the cleaning, the scrubbing, the mundane, the drudgery--- and goes about it in an awesome manner--- happy and serene. The book of Proverbs has this to say about being a domestic queen. "She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness."

In our modern times, girls are brought up without education of what goes on in a home. We are sent to school with our parents' intention for us to earn a degree so we can get a job. Nothing wrong with that. But we get this education at the expense of neglecting what is most practically needed in life. A home education. Thankfully, my parents, though they insist on us hitting the books and discouraged us to get work so we can concentrate on our studies, they also assigned us simple tasks. Hence, I have a masters in dishwashing.

As long as the water keeps on flowing, I can wash dishes like a pro. I know how to wash that dishes are washed in the order of their grossness or their need to be sanitized. I was taught to wash the forks and spoons first because they directly touch our mouths. Then, the glasses and cups for the same reason. Next, the plates and bowls. Lastly, the pots and pans and any cooking utensils we use while cooking.

I wash better when singing. Dishwashing and singing goes together just like butter and bread do. Without singing, one often finds oneself grumbling when washing the dishes, just like when one has to eat butter without bread. I have performed many of my best concerts in front of the sink, with a ladle as a mic and the neighbors as my invisible audience. I can often hear their silent applause. **wink wink

However, aside from dishwashing, I don't know much about homemaking. I was brought up to earn a degree so that I can earn money. So I have a degree in Accountancy--- counting other people's money. I have found it useful in a time when our family had to get serious about money management, but it hasn't helped me much when home life got overwhelming. Then, I got a Masters in Counseling, found answers in many of my questions and personal issues, but many of the practical mess I found at home stayed unsolved.

I found that... I wasn't ready. I wasn't prepared. I wasn't willing.

I was reluctant. Hey, I have an education! Isn't house work supposed to be for those who haven't earned a degree at all? Like a maid, a clean lady or something? I was willing to get married but was not ready of what it entails. As a wife, I am responsible for the home as my husband works. And I find, that even if I work outside of the home, and even if I am the primary breadwinner, and my husband pitches in with the house work, I am still responsible for whatever goes on in my home. That's the truth whether we like it or not, ladies. We are responsible for our homes. But it took me quite some time to realize that. I just wasn't interested.

I was resentful. When I did realize that my responsibility as a woman is that I have to take care of home, I got resentful.  I work. I mean, hello, I have a job! Why do I still have to keep the house? Then, I have children. Why do I still have to do the cooking and cleaning? Can't I just simply spend all day with them, playing and teaching them? So I raved. I raged. I ranted. Most of the time, I sulked. My husband got more quieter until he wouldn't talk to me at all. My children tried to avoid me as much as they can. Or they tried to walk on tiptoes around me, lest they wake up the grumpy in me.

Things weren't working. Why, oh, why, when I want them to SO MUCH ? The problem? I wasn't. I wasn't working to make our home work. Schedules were not followed. Things or clothes were not in place or were not ready when needed. Home life was a muddle and it was no surprise that I was in such a big mess.

For a long, long time (I have a stubborn personality), God kept on talking to my heart. But I was proud. Too proud to admit I needed to change myself and not my husband, not my children, not my circumstances, nor my home. I need to work on me.

Then one day, a friend and I were talking and she said, "We need to serve our families, not as slaves, but as queens." And it got me to thinking about my dilemma. I have a challenge--- the challenge of becoming not as a slave, but as a queen of my own home. A slave is not paid and has no freedom. But a queen has no need to be paid as she has everything--- the loyalty, trust and love of her family. She is free to do what she loves, and as she loves her family, she is doing what she loves to do the most.

I may not be the most skillful person when it comes to homemaking and anything to do with my hands (read previous post Craft-y) but with love, the work that I do will change our home and life into something wonderful.

The point of being a domestic queen is not about mastery. Nobody is perfect. The whole point is doing the job as a queen does--- happy, serene and with dignity. And why won't she? She is doing a noble job! Whatever we do within our homes is the noblest task we can ever do on this earth--- treating our husbands with respect and raising the next generation to love God and fellow men.  And unexpectedly witnessing our children and husband 'rise up' and call us 'blessed' saying, "Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all" (Proverbs 31:29) will just be a second incentive to being happy and serene. So...

I got repentant. I asked forgiveness from God for my sin of neglect and unfaithfulness. He has given me my family and here I was resenting them for my personal troubles. I started to thank Him for them and I can see a shift of perspective. I have them to love like no one else can. That's all I have to do. With repentance, came the enthusiasm to do my best, and I can almost see heaven smiling down on my childlike excitement. I have God's stamp of approval. He approves what we want to do to worship Him through our families.

The Bible says, "Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death" (2 Corinthians 7:10). Repentance leads to being saved! To joy! To peace. And... no regrets. I don't want to live my life and look back and said, "If only..." If only I did my best... If only I tried my hand on baking (even if I think I am the dens-iest person when it comes to it... If only I spent more time ironing than on Facebook... If only...

It was time to change.

I'm on the process. God doesn't want me just to feel sorry but He wants me to let Him do His work. He wants transformation. He wants a heart change and a life change. And with God, everything is possible.

And how exciting it has been! Yes, the process of transformation takes time. Just ask a caterpillar in it's way to becoming a butterfly. It takes faith, hope and a lot of love. And lots and lots of work. But it also challenges us to be better. Even if it is just in keeping the bathroom odorless and mold-free.

I am domestically challenged but there's no challenge too big for God to take in. I have seen many make-over shows in which 'experts' take on a dowdy, mousy woman and turn her into a ravishing beauty. I have also seen disorganized, ordinary homes turned impressive and effective. And God is one master expert when it comes to transforming.

Hanging out with baby Ro
God transformed Paul from a deadly zealot to a loving missionary. He turned Rahab, Mary Magdalene and many modern women into faithful, chaste ladies devoted to loving Him, their families and those He loves. He made Gideon to lead an army to victory though he was cowardly and unqualified. He changed Peter from a proud, self-confident man into a steadfast leader wholly dependent on Him. And as God keeps the earth and the planets in their orbits in space, as He makes the sun to shine at day, the moon at night and the seasons to come at their appointed time, so does He keep transforming hearts and lives. He will not stop until He has completed His work. After Paul was changed, he wrote, "Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6)

I admit there are days I fall back, but deciding on becoming a domestic queen has given me more happiness and peace than not deciding at all. I learned so many things that I thought was just too impossible for a person like me to learn. I learned to cook Russian pancakes (bilinchik) as my kids love them, salmon cutlet (my husband's fave), and lots of other new dishes. I try to manage my time most days. Even ironing laundry is attainable when it used to be such an onerous mountain of a chore. I've learned to get the children's stuff ready when they need them. Cleaning is fulfilling after I get to sit back and relax at the order and beauty and not go dizzy at the mess and eyesore of a shambled home. I try at dressing up (meaning: clean, tidy and attractive) while doing my tasks, well, most days. Most of all, I have come to enjoy the company of my God as I go about the day's (and night) tasks and the peace in my heart knowing I had done my best.

David knew what he was saying when he told Solomon after a life lived full with God as his dearest friend, "Be strong and of good courage, and do it... for the Lord-- my God-- will be with you. He will not leave you, nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord'" (1 Chronicles 28:20).

I didn't ask to be a domestic queen, but being a woman, I can be one. God is in the process of doing wonderful things for me and my family. And He is working for you too. Just let Him. Paul urged us, "Be courageous, be strong. Do everything in love" (1 Corinthians 16:13,14).

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