Sigh. I always thought I wasn’t a perfectionist. I don’t need things to be perfect(I just don’t try to do them if I don’t think I can do it well). I can handle living in a mess (for a time). Jill Savage’s book No More Perfect Moms is messing with my self image.But I promised in this post about the launch team for Jill’s book that I would be more real. Sigh.
When I blog, I usually share stories about how to trust God, to share faith, to read better books, to create cool crafts or to understand various issues more deeply. I love researching and sharing with you. I get to write, you get to read info that inspires you (hopefully) and none of my failures are evident. One thing about bloggers, you must always remember– behind the carefully constructed posts on faith and trust in God and being a better wife or mom, is a struggle. We all have them. We all fail in certain areas. Regardless of how great we appear at organizing or crafting or mothering, there is an area of life where we cry out for help. And the internet has not helped expose the realities.
Today, the Hearts at Home blog hop is asking us to share about our imperfect homes. Really? I would rather keep this part of me off the internet. My home is so disorganized. I am lazy when it comes to keeping up the house. I hate cooking. Don’t misunderstand, I cook most nights, and I clean most weeks and I would never be considered a candidate for a Hoarders show. But generally when someone drops by, I offer an excuse for why things aren’t picked up. I want a neat and organized home. As a stay at home mom, I feel like I have failed because if I am home all day, I should have time and desire to keep this little home sparkling. I don’t have the skills or habits to create one. Sometimes I don’t even have the desire. I would rather call my friends on the phone or write a blog post than pick up, knowing the room will be a mess again at the end of the day.
I love friends who drop by unannounced. Then I feel like I can be real. This is the mess. This is our life. Thank you for looking past it. Once a friend knows my house is not naturally neat, and keeps coming, I stop pretending and cleaning like crazy before she arrives. It’s freeing.
I grew up in a house that was always picked up, tidy, and organized. Every room, except mine. And clean and tidy is what feels calm to me. The problem is I have no idea how to achieve clean and tidy, much less train these kids and husband to help me achieve it. So too often I give up. I let the mess slide, the daily pick up go undone. Or, more often, I try to pick up everything myself and as I move from place to place my frustration grows and I snap at my dear ones. And then I have to apologize because really no one has taught them the habits that lead to tidiness. And no one said I couldn’t ask them for help.
I am embarrassed by how my house will not stay neat. Certainly some of my lack of discipline is reflected in my troubles. But I also know this: I don’t want to be remembered for my neat and tidy house when I pass. And while I am still learning to care well for my home, I rarely miss a evening of snuggling and praying with my girls. Tonight as I write this and snap this picture of our schoolroom, with its messes and unpacked boxes that came in the mail yesterday, I must remember that today I snuggled my friend’s baby girl for two hours so she could go to the doctor, I helped another friend with homeschool curriculum choices and I took my girl to a book club she enjoyed and made the snacks to bring along. Plus we got MOST of our our schooling done today. (Big sigh again…it is hard to post a picture of imperfection!)
Keeping the house neat and organized will bless me and my family, so I keep working at it. But God looks at the heart and I am choosing to rest in this knowledge. He knows my desires and my short comings. And maybe someday, one of the women God has gifted in the area of organization will pull beside me and teach me the ways of the naturally organized and I will teach her how to start veggies from seed in March and then she will teach me how to start veggies from seeds in March without creating a disorganized mess.
Until then, I pray for grace to not snap at those I love, patience and peace for the weekend (since my husband is redoing the floors in the kitchen and dining room and the whole house will be mess). And maybe some insight into this mystery of home organization by visiting the blog hop!
And if you drop by, I won’t run around trying to tidy and talk. I will throw the stray things on the couch to the ground, get you a cup of tea and sit and listen, for almost as long as you have words.
To visit other bloggers writing about No More Perfect Homes click here. If you want to embrace your imperfection and lean on God, then consider Jill’s book, and purchase it Feb 4-9 and get bonus material! Here’s why and how.