Cleanliness = Godliness


Before I became a mom, I was a very clean person.  I mean I enjoyed all the frills of being a girl.  Nails – check, hair – check, outfit perfect – check, even changing purses out weekly.  Then entered a new era.  One that when I did spend the time to get gussied up I was told amazing compliments.  “WOW where are you going today?  Are you heading back to work or an interview?  What got into you today?” (just a sampling)

Not to say that I don’t try to look more pulled together these days but sometimes I am truly the last one in the bathroom in the morning trying to put a few well placed curls in my longer hair.  Or some mornings I just go.  If you are around my town you have seen me “a la natural”.  It is fast.  I promise my hair is brushed and my clothes are clean.  But I am not in make up and I haven’t taken the time to really get gussied up to run to preschool, the grocer, or other little tasks.

Now that my kids are getting older I am enjoying shopping since they don’t come with me anymore.  If you have kids you know how much fun 15 minutes in your section of clothing in Kohl’s is with 1+ children in tow.  I used to get one shirt in 3 colors so I could have “variety”.  HA!  But times are changing and they are more independent which should allow me to get up and curl my locks and apply some make up.  It might happen but I have learned that I am ok either way.

I do think that motherhood also rolled in a new way of thinking about germs, stickiness and cleanliness.  I became aware that no matter how much you Purell, protect or prevent, my child was going to catch the “bubonic plague”.  I relaxed and now I even tease that they should just go ahead and lick each other to get the germs through the house faster.  (we don’t actually do this… yet)  All the dirtiness that comes along with children and young families got me thinking about the old adage, Cleanliness is next to Godliness.  This makes me laugh!  I know that I never felt closer to God then when I became a mother and was living in awe and wonderment of His plan, His creation and the instrumental part He has ordained me to be part of.

Our life as a family of 5 are what I like to call “lived in”.  We are orderly to a point, we are clean to a point, and we don’t live like hoarders. (unless you look at our storage room where I have been just throwing things in over summer… yikes) I want to spend time with my kids now, laughing, chasing in the backyard, being creative and goofy, consoling them with their hurts, fears and actual boo boos, time reading, and listening to them.  Cleanliness will come someday.  But for now we will live loved and express that to our family, our extended family and our friends.

Where did this post come from you might wonder… Well, here is the conversation that went down last night:

“Mom, how cool you have a new freckle on your arm!” exclaimed Kaylee.

“Do I?  Where?” said I.

“Right there.” she says pointing.

I looked closely and started to laugh.  She was puzzled!

“Well Mom, is that a new freckle?  Can I kiss it for you?” (we kiss all new freckles on the kids, like my Mom did to me growing up)

I kept laughing and replied.  “Nope that is just chocolate pudding!”  (Guess Rhett got me!)

Background for the curious on the history behind Cleanliness is next to Godliness:

CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO GODLINESS – “This ancient proverb is said by some to have come from ancient Hebrew writings. However, its first appearance in English – though in slightly altered form – seems to be in the writings of Francis Bacon. In his ‘Advancement of Learning’ (1605) he wrote: ‘Cleanness of body was ever deemed to proceed from a due reverence to God.’ Near two centuries later John Wesley in one of his sermons (1791) indicated that the proverb was already well-known in the form we use today. Wrote Wesley: ‘Slovenliness is no part of religion.’Cleanliness is indeed next to Godliness.'”
From “Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins” by William and Mary Morris (HarperCollins, New York, 1977, 1988). There are a couple more details in “Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings” (1996) by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996): “.According to the fourteenth edition of ‘Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable,’ it is an old Hebrew proverb used in the late 2nd century by Rabbi Phinehas ben-Yair. First attested in the United States in the ‘Monthly Anthology and Boston Review’ (1806). The proverb is found in varying forms.”



About Kristin

I started this blog thing years ago in August 2011. I have made attempts to blog over the past three years of seminary, but it was like writing when drowning. But I have completed the bulk of my course work, so I know there is a God. I am currently in my capstone creation phase this fall. This allows me time to unravel a little and renew my passion for writing my ramblings. If you like what you read, share what it stirs in you or even share it with others. I write for you from me. A little about me... I have celebrated 16 years of wedded bliss and reality with my best friend for over 17 years. We have 3 wonderful kids that are all unique, amazing and different in their own way. Our first born is nearly a teenager. He loves talking, Scouts, reading, camping and science experiments. Our daughter is a decade old. She is our creative soul and a planner! She loves to spend time dancing, singing and nurturing/teaching her babydolls and us. She is very sweet to her brothers. Last but not least is our daring 6 year old red head boy. He broke the "Wooldridge Mold". He is the fastest runner, our busiest explorer, our deep philosopher and biggest joker, oh and he gives the best hugs. You know the long lingering kind that truly fuel your soul to sing. I have been a stay at home mom for nearly 13 years and I have found a groove that works for our family. (That grove doesn't mean I have it figured out. It just means I am good with asking for help and having my family help us survive.) Twelve years ago, I joined a local MOPS group and I have been the Coordinator for 1o years. This group has given me a chance to lead without working full time, support other women in my community and help refine my walk with God. I also attend Central Baptist Theological Seminary. I am pursuing a Masters of Divinity and loving every minute of it. I am currently working on my capstone project, which a ministry guide for the MOPS group I have lead for a decade. It will serve as a touchpoint for those in leadership and also as a sweet offering as my goodbye to meaningful work that touched every part of my life and taught me that I am called to pastor. My life isn't perfect as the paragraph above makes it seem. But I have traveled through those harder times and found strength and support through them. Hoping to use this blog as a spot to write my thoughts, feelings and stories as I keep on living life! God Bless you and keep you. We each need to remember the Divine is within each of us. Be kind to yourself and to others.

2 responses »

  1. Funny!!!! I also think us moms get caught up in all the tv and ads, etc that say that you don’t want to look like a mom, a soccer mom is somehow frowned upon, don’t dare own “mom jeans” (whatever that means), etc! If you are comfortable in your own skin thats what matters! I think I feel better when I have my make-up on, hair done, etc but do not feel I HAVE TO to be who I am and thats a mom. In the end its fun to dress up when I’m going on a “date” with my husband and know he appreciates it. But I also know I was blessed to have married someone that loves me as a woman that looks like a mom too! 🙂 Because guess what – I am a mom and they love me no matter what I’m wearing!

  2. LOVE IT Beth! I completely agree. I don’t want to condone frumpiness forever (that is not my new platform) but I agree being confident in who we are is our own decision.

    What is this word “date” you mentioned??? I am not familiar! 🙂

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