Hymn text by George Manwaring, 1884-1859. View the full text of this hymn.

There’s something about housekeeping that makes me think of the gospel. The hard parts of the gospel.

If this isn’t already apparent by my tone, I am not a diligent housekeeper. I take little pleasure in the daily grind of tidying and dishes, and even less in laundry. I do it faithfully for one day a week and rest from my labors another five, then play catch-up and resolve anew to stay on top of my responsibilities only to slip again into a coma when faced with the laundry yet again.

However, there are times when I put the housekeeping first that I find a small, peaceful space embedded in the tedium. My hands are busy so my mind is free and sometimes, sometimes I receive revelation while standing at the kitchen sink, up to my elbows in greasy dishwater.

Sometimes Sunday School is the housekeeping of my gospel experience: it can be repetitive and tedious. But then there are times, as this hymn outlines, that sitting in my meetings I “learn the will of God/For wisdom seeking, that [my] feet/May walk the narrow road.”

I believe that part of our spiritual housekeeping is doing the little things every day that invite the Spirit into our lives, much like it’s part of a successful housekeeping habit to make your bed first thing every morning (or so I hear). Part of this is diligence, part of it is humility, and part of it is believing that your small sacrifices will matter in the end.

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