Having A Martha Home The Mary Way
I was instantly attracted to Sarah Mae's new book, Having a Martha Home the Mary Way: 31 Days to a Clean House and a Satisfied Soul because I am a confirmed Martha: Type A, OCD, perfectionist, list and schedule writer, and always wanting my house to be perfectly organized and spotless. However, I also have four kids, so this isn't always a realistic or attainable goal. I love cleaning (read: hate cleaning, but love the way a clean house looks). I often read books to try to balance myself out a bit, and this one seemed to fit the bill. It promised to hone my Martha side while also bringing balance to my personality by exploring and growing my Mary side. The book description reads:
"Get your home and your heart in order in just 31 days!
Sarah Mae wants to let you in on a little secret about being a good homemaker: It’s not about having a clean house. She’d never claim to be a natural, organized cleaner herself―yet, like you, she wants a beautiful space to call home, a place where people feel loved and at peace. Where people can really settle in with good food, comfy pillows, and wide-open hearts.
Is it possible to find a balance? To care for your heart―and your home―at the same time?
Journey with Sarah Mae on this easy, practical 31-day plan to get you moving and have your house looking and feeling fresh. But even more than that, you’ll gain a new vision for the home of your dreams, and how to make it a place of peace, comfort, and community. Originally published as the e-book 31 Days to Clean and now revised and expanded in print for the first time, Having a Martha Home the Mary Way will inspire you to find a happier, healthier . . . cleaner way to live."
I absolutely loved this book. However, it was a bit more of a "beginner" book than I had anticipated. This book is definitely geared toward the most beginner, least "skilled" homemakers to be sure. This book is all about the basics - digging out from an already messy/dirty, overwhelming house, and then learning to keep it that way. Many of the tasks during the 31 days are things I do regularly already and/or weren't a big deal for me to do (ie cleaning the cabinets which I do weekly, clearing counters whereas I already keep them clear to begin with, an entire day dedicated to vacuuming the living room, creating a schedule - I already have one, but I updated it and recommitted to doing a better job following it).
However, there were many tasks here that I haven't done it a long time, whether it be because I just hate doing them or I never seem to fit it into my daily life (ie cleaning out the refrigerator and microwave, cleaning the top of the fridge, scrubbing the tile floors by hand, emptying and organizing closets, throwing away my kid's old toys, organizing cupboards, etc). I really appreciated the push to do these things that I honestly might've put off doing for a really long time. I also really enjoyed and benefitted from the "cleaning personality" quiz Sarah included and the idea about tornado cleaning. There are a lot of tips here that I can add to my cleaning routine. After 31 days I will have a spring-cleaned, refreshed house and a much more relaxing place to live. I could really relate to Sarah's struggles with business, the internet, social media, Netflix, kids, and laziness. I felt like she really dealt with these topics with a lot of grace and love, without enabling women to be lazy and "just never clean the house so they can spend all day playing with the kids" like I see some women proclaim. I also enjoyed the brief devotions in each chapter with the Scripture reading and questions to answer. I appreciated that the book had adequate space to write your answers inside; I hate books that include devotional questions but you have to dig up a random notebook to write your answers in. I loved this book and I will definitely be picking up her previous two books (Longing For Paris and Desperate) as well as purchasing any she writes in the future. I highly recommend this book to any woman who needs a little kickstart with her housekeeping.
I received a copy of this book from the Tyndale Blog Network in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.