Ok. So you have been on a tour of homes… or you’ve at least heard of them. You know the ones that “showcase” the design of a house… the extraordinary Christmas decor… extravagant cabinetry… luxurious window treatments and exotic furniture from far away places. Every wall hanging is perfectly square, hard wood shiny with not a smudge or smear, sofa looks like it has never been sat upon, carpet stainless and it smells like a secret garden. Really? I don’t know if you are like me, but I usually feel discouraged leaving a “super-house”… like a failure… a looser homemaker. So, I want to institute a new tour of homes. The “TOUR OF MESSY HOMES.” I know it’s good to have cleanliness, and trust me, I’m all for it… but life seems to happen around here. Maybe it’s the 6 kids, the busy husband, homeschooling, and what it takes to care for all these people (and 2 outside dogs)… maybe.
Here’s the truth. I’m a closet perfectionist. Ok. I said it. I feel better. I like the “super-houses” I long to live like those who live in the “super-houses”… I don’t really mean money-wise… I mean the perfection. I really WANT things to be tidy, all laundry folded neatly in drawers, no dust, alphabetically organized pantry…I just don’t feel I have enough time or energy to manage all that.
I was talking with my sister the other day and she mentioned a lady she knows (or heard of… something like that) who has 20 adopted kids. She said she was asked the question all large-family-types are asked, “How DO you do all that?” She said she responds, “I just don’t do it as well as you do.”… I will use that because it is SO true. My laundry is never caught up (I tell people we are 2.5 loads walking), there are always dishes in the sink and the garage looks like a bike shop vomited in it. You’ll be lucky if you find even one clean bathroom suitable for guests and no matter how hard I try there are always toys here and there. There are school books, crayons, papers, rulers and pencils on most flat surfaces in the house. All these things challenge my inner sanctuary 🙂
So I decided we should all be real with our frustration with messiness and be transparent… Kind of like therapy, I suppose. So here goes, I got my camera and took a few shots of some of my favorite sights in my house today and will display one of my favorite publicly. Note: I couldn’t bare to walk upstairs… too much therapy for today :]… so here goes: (taking a deep breath)
So here’s the fridge… cluttered with instructions, art, lists and Lord Nelson (that’s him a little left of center)
I felt really discouraged today about my housekeeping skills… or lack thereof, so I had to email my friend, Teresa and get some therapy. She understands me… she has 5 precious kids and home-schools them as well. I gave her my big, long sob story and just like a GREAT friend does… she reminded me that there will be a time in my life that I have no children at home… I can have a “perfect” house at that time… but for now I need to rest in the truth that the big things should be the big things… and making it on a tour of homes ain’t “it”… thank you, Teresa! We only have a short time with our children at home. Although the days are oh so long, the years pass so quickly. If I know me like I think I know me… once I have that “perfect” house… and the kids are all out of the home… I’ll wish I had that messy, kid house again….
I was reading through that wonderful and instructive passage on the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31… I know you’ve probably read it 100 times… but let’s read it again…
10 [b]A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her female servants.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Honor her for all that her hands have done,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.
Lord Jesus, thank you for the truth of your word. I pray you shape me to be a woman of noble character… may my husband be blessed my me, may I serve the needy, be an excellent steward of your money. I pray that I will work with willing hands and provide my family with good foods. Give me strong arms and health. May strength and honor be my clothing and please help me to laugh at the time to come. May my mouth speak wisdom and may my instruction to the children be loving. I need your help not to be idle. Lord may I fear you and may You be honored in my life. Amen…