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A Reformed Martha Cleans her Drapes

As I cleaned house last Friday, a segment from the book Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World (Joanna Weaver) came to mind.

You see, I spent a lengthy amount of time Friday vacuuming my living room drapes.

Don’t get me wrong: this is not something I do often. As a matter of fact, Friday was most certainly a first for me. But let me explain.

While I busily & awkwardly vacuumed up and down each 108″ drape, this blog post began forming in my multi-tasking mind.  One of the first things I supposed upon reading my ‘drape vacuuming post’ was that the ‘Marthas’ among you would most certainly jump to the self-incriminating, personal crisis question:

“She vacuums her drapes??  Should I be vacuuming MY drapes???”

Which brings me to my aforementioned segment from Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World.

I received this book years ago from a dear friend who thought I might find it enlightening.  Hmmm…could it be she observed Martha tendencies in me at the time?

Certainly not….:)

You’ll remember the familiar Bible story in which Jesus comes to visit sisters Mary and Martha.  While Martha understandably scurries from living room to kitchen to bathroom to pantry anxiously preparing her home and food stuffs to accommodate Jesus’ entourage, Mary sublimely sits at His feet drinking in every word He speaks.

Martha, again understandably, becomes quite frustrated at Mary’s lack of helpfulness, and says as much to Mary in Jesus’ hearing.  To which Jesus calmly replies,

“Martha, Martha…you worry about so many things.  Mary has chosen the right thing.”

And then Martha, scolded and infuriated, retreats back to the kitchen to continue punching down the dough.  (Not really, but possible?  I think so!)

One of the things I remember, though, about the Mary/Martha book is a segment from the first chapter in which the author discusses the housecleaning task of dusting one’s lightbulbs.

No, not the light fixtures….the light bulbs.

And as I read this passage, my Martha mind immediately questioned, “People dust their lightbulbs?  Should I be dusting MY lightbulbs??”

Then, after overcoming my tiny personal crisis, I continued reading.  In the very next sentence, Ms. Weaver politely accuses me of asking the exact question which just ran through my mind!  Then she goes so far as to assert I may very well be a MARTHA!

So there ya go.  Busted before I even finished Chapter One.

However, by the grace of God I’m more Mary today than I used to be, and I pray my journey at His feet will continually increase in importance in my life.

So back to my drapes 🙂

I ordered these long creamy Peyton panels from Pottery Barn two years ago.  They’re a wonderful linen-type weave, do amazing things for our space in terms of softening and adding an element of elegance, and our living/dining area boasts a total of 9 panels.

Two panels hang by our dining room table which is to the left in this picture, and one more panel is to the right of our deck door to the right of the round table.

9 panels is a lot of drape.

Over the last couple months I started noticing dust building up on the curtain rings and drapery rod, and even on the tops of the panels themselves.  After two years of no cleaning, I didn’t think this was too bad 🙂  But alas, it was time to get out the ol’ upholstery attachment on my vacuum and go to work.

With the sun streaming in, the job was quite pleasant.  So pleasant, in fact, I decided to go the extra mile and not only vacuum the tops of the drapes, but also the drapes themselves.  After all, two years of home dust was probably enough build-up, even if you couldn’t see it.

I did feel pretty funny vacuuming my drapes, but it sure beat removing them and washing them, or even shaking them outside like Laura Ingalls used to do.

I simply spread them out on the road a little, brought in my handy-dandy step stool, and went to town.


I even reached up high enough to vacuum Mr. Moose.  Yes, I do have moose antlers hanging in my living room.

And it’s really not that bad.  I tried to convince Mr. Wonderful to let me paint them all white last year but it didn’t work.

Hey, it adds texture, right?

While I was at it, I went ahead and vacuumed my two sofas, which I still love. I’m so glad we waited to get what we really wanted.

I haven’t admitted that we’re totally nuts to purchase ivory sofas with three kids, a dog, parties, bbq’s, homeschool crafting, pizza nights, wood-cutting apparel, body oils, and on and on and on. Maybe love is blind. Or I’m in denial. The sofas do get spot cleaned, and I try not freak out too much about them.

The kids know the rules, however, and try to follow them most of the time.  Bless their messy little hearts.

Clean drapes, dusted hardware, and a sunny day.  What a great Friday.


Here’s to each of our journeys from anxious Marthas to peaceful Mary’s~



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