Cleanliness is next to godliness.

It seems that most of us translate this statement as "cleanliness is a form of godliness".

Well, maybe.  Maybe not.  


1. Freedom from dirt, filth, or any foul, extraneous matter.

2. Neatness of person or dress; purity.
(1828 Noah Webster's Dictionary)

Cleanliness and order can be synonymous, and 'order' can be defined as 'priorities'.  Proper priorities are definitely a form of godliness: sometimes 'proper priorities' means leaving a mess behind so I can focus on my children, or my neighbors, or my husband (not necessarily in that order).  And usually proper priorities means cleaning the SLOW way by teaching my children to do it.  It's easier, and cleaner much sooner, if I do it myself, but one of my God-given jobs is to train them.

In other words, I often have to choose between being godly and having cleanliness; and 

cleanliness is 



I have a large freezer; this lets me stock up when perishables are on sale or overflowing in the garden.  The freezer is full of fruit, vegetables, butter, nuts, shredded cheese, and meat.
Having a freezer means extra expense to run it; to cut operating costs I have a manual-defrost freezer, which takes about 2/3 as much electricity to run.

The reason a freezer needs defrosted?  Each of the shelves in the freezer has cooling coils running through it.  Whenever you open the door, new air gets inside, and this air always has some moisture in it.  This moisture condenses on whatever is coldest- the coils- and freezes.  It gets thicker with time, and that layer of ice traps the cold.  This makes the freezer work harder and harder to cool.  Ice blanket= bad.   
Defrosting every 6 months is usually about right.  It's a little hassle, but pulling everything out reminds me of what all is in there. Seeing it all again= good.  

At any rate, you're trying to melt all the ice out of the freezer while NOT letting all that food thaw.  There are some tricks I've learned along the way to help with that.  Watch the slide show above to learn them.
Cute as a button!  My mother-in-law sent this today.  As far as I could find on the Internet, the source is unknown.

Answers given by 2nd grade school children to the following questions:

Why did God make mothers?
1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2. Mostly to clean the house...
3. To help us out of “there” when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?
1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
3. God made my mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

What ingredients are mothers made of?
1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world and one dab of mean.
2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string, I think.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other mom?
1. We're related.
2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's moms like me.

What kind of a little girl was your mom?
1. My mom has always been my mom and none of that other stuff.
2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.

What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?
1. His last name.
2. She had to know his background. Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer?
3. Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs?

Why did your mom marry your dad?
1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my mom eats a lot.
2. She got too old to do anything else.
3. My grandma says that mom didn't have her thinking cap on.

Who's the boss at your house?
1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to.
2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3. I guess mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What's the difference between moms and dads?
1. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them...
2. Dads are taller and stronger, but moms have all the real power 'cause that's who you got to ask if you want to sleep over at your friends.
3. Moms have magic, they make you feel better without medicine.

What does your mom do in her spare time?
1. Moms don't have spare time.
2. She pays bills all day long.

What would it take to make your mom perfect?
1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2. Diet. You know, her hair. I'd diet.

If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?
1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
2. I'd make my mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it not me.
3. I would like for her to get rid of those invisible eyes on the back of her head.
Clean, tidy, with no crumbs or sticky spots...

This will be a no-brainer for some people, but it took me until about five years ago to figure this out.

To keep your kitchen (or any other area) clean, you don't have to take a whole day, or week, to do it.  That's hard to schedule anyway, and usually overwhelming.   Yet there are some deeper cleaning things that need done- like cleaning out kitchen (or bathroom) drawers, wiping the tops of the cabinet doors, or cleaning the nooks and crannies in them.  Here's what I do now:

Every now and then, when I open a drawer, I notice there are crumbs in the corner.  Or in one of the organizing baskets.  Or maybe there's some sticky line where a child spilled their juice down the front of the cabinet.  If it's a two-minute job or less, I clean it right then.  Most of these things are.  If it's done then,  it doesn't have to be added to my already-huge "To Do" list in the back of my head.   That takes a load off me.  Dumping out the whole drawer, wiping it out, and putting everything back will take only a couple minutes more.  If I happen to have extra time, I may go on to the next drawer. If I'm wiping a cabinet, I usually finish wiping all the cabinets on that side of the kitchen. 

It doesn't all have to be done at once.  Just clean little bits as you notice them.  2-5 minutes a day gets the job done in a hurry, without leaving you frazzled!