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Messy house? Here’s how to (prayerfully) love cleaning up!

Cleaning window with WHY? in soapsuds

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Sarah Robsdottir - published on 03/14/24

A popular reel got Aleteia writers chatting about our own 'faith hacks' when it comes to doing housework -- from apps, to rosaries, to doing good works.

A recent video released by entrepreneur and lifestyle influencer Lindsey Ferrell is making waves on social media. I must admit it arrived on my Facebook feed just in time — I have seven sons and my chore load is always heavy. So, I’m not exaggerating when I say that this reel actually brought tears to my eyes. In the clip, Ferrell explains why she loves a messy house: 

“I was constantly frustrated with cleaning up. Then the Lord spoke to my heart and said, ‘Turn your mess into prayers.’ So anytime I was picking up for my family, I’d pray for that person. If this is Ryan’s cup, I’m gonna pray for Ryan. If these are Charley’s shoes, I’m praying for Charley…” 

Ferrell goes on to explain how she’s no longer irritated with cleaning her house; how this method of making housework a means to prayer, rather than a distraction from it, has been a game-changer. She not only finds time to pray for her kids this way, but for her husband, their marriage and the customers at her faith-based family business.  

Superhero doing housework

Helpful hacks and holy apps

After watching the reel a few times, I tackled a towering mountain of laundry in a new way. I also reached out to a few fellow writers at Aleteia to trade notes about our own ‘faith hacks.’ Tess Barber, Kathleen Hattrup, Cerith Gardiner and I shared a few laughs as we discussed ways to not only weave more prayer into our daily lives, but methods we utilize to seamlessly live out our faith in general — spiritual reading, meditation and evangelization. 

Tess: “I like listening to Hallow or a spiritual audiobook or a rosary app while folding laundry in particular – it’s my most hated chore so it feels a lot less onerous when I can “multitask” and use the time for prayer/listening too. Still, I might have to steal the idea from that reel and pray for each person while folding their laundry – what a sweet idea!”

Kathleen: “Hallow’s great. I use it too. And there’s a podcast site called Discerning Hearts that has various really enlightening and helpful sessions by Fr. Timothy Gallagher. I find if I’m listening to something, I can ward off the sense of overwhelm that threatens to make house cleaning impossible for me.”

Sarah: “My ‘go-to’ hack for saying the rosary is to head to the park with my little kids. They swing on the monkey bars while I walk laps around the grassy perimeter and pray. I watch my boys play freeze tag while lifting them up in prayer with our Blessed Mother. We all get exercise, and I come home de-stressed and ready to make dinner.”

Cerith: I work full-time and raise my four kids alone; my mind is constantly on a million different things. So, I try to act out my faith in my daily life. There’s a lot of homeless people in Paris, and I try to help when I can in practical ways — donating to food pantries, etc. I also try to smile a lot, which may seem trivial. But in capital cities such as this one, people are more self-centered and a little grumpy. So, I try my best to share my faith by simply spreading some happiness.”

In short, this sweet clip got an awesome conversation going between some of us at Aleteia. And it’s a conversation you should continue by tagging your own friends with this article and asking them about their best ‘faith hacks.’ Not only will you join forces to make the homemaking load a little lighter, but you’ll certainly find some soul sanctification while you’re at it (Philippians 2:12) — and catch a few laughs as well!    

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