This past weekend I went away for with 5 other ladies! It was a weekend of God’s beauty and love! I was blessed to have this time getting to know these other women better over delicious food, by a fire, enjoying the beauty that one lady decorated our table with and the beauty that God created for us to enjoy! We talked about friendships, God, family, and more. I seriously can not put into words how wonderful the weekend was but I will be trying to in future blog posts. Today I want to touch on something I said to one of the beautiful ladies while we were sitting around the fireplace.
Yup – I went there!
And she looked shocked and upset. Makes sense right? You and I would look like that too if someone just said that to us, right?
She asked me what she could do to make it not intimidate me, I told her to dump Lego’s and Little People all over the floor. When I got home from our trip and told My Man about the conversation, he answered with my answer of making her home a mess before I even told him my reply – and he’s never seen her home.
Her home is different than mine in that it is clean and decorated in a beautiful way, a way that sometimes I feel will never happen in my home but I deeply desire. Her children are older than my younger ones are, so they can help more and have different interests than mine do.
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I emailed her the day after we got home, I apologized for saying what I did and assured her that her home is welcoming, comfortable, clean and inviting. She replied, “I was taken aback by what you said because I had no idea but I am really glad you said it — really I am. I need to know about those blind spots so unless someone tells me I will not know. Thank you for that. Your next words “your home is welcoming” “and inviting” are what I am striving for. Thanks for that encouragement!” (We ALL need encouragement, even those we look up to)
I replied back to her, “Ahhhh…but please remember that something you may feel is a blind spot for you may be (likely is) me wishing for something at least somewhat different than I have. I’m in a stage of life where clean and beautiful is not easy, lived in – very lived in – is the norm for me right now. There is something you have that I want – and that thing I want is what intimidates me because most days I never know if I will ever achieve that!
We are constantly getting rid of things
We are constantly getting rid of things (toys, clothes, shoes, broken items, etc.) but it never seems to make more room or leave me with less to clean, wash, do. I dream of a bigger home and more space to have all this stuff and to live life (I’m moving closer to having that home every day). I’ve had people tell me it won’t make a difference (having a bigger home) b/c I will just be moving it all into a different wrapper but all the issues will still be there. That discourages me, and makes me feel like it’s more me than the amount of space I live in.
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I’ve also heard people say that what your home looks like is a reflection of your spiritual state…that’s very discouraging, disheartening, and frightening to me. And even if I don’t believe these people, I have that fear sneak up at the most inopportune times. Then I feel guilty because My Man remembers his mom being in the kitchen every morning making breakfast when he was getting ready for school and every night making dinner. I didn’t have that as much because my mom worked. He wants me in the kitchen providing those memories for our kids and I get it, I do. But then I wonder when I have time to work out (something else he really wants me to do b/c he wants me taking better care of myself for our family. And I want the kids in the kitchen because I want them to learn to do all the things I feel inadequate doing.
Inadequate…maybe I see myself as inadequate when I walk in your front door because I’m not tripping over Little People toys and Legos and I’m comparing myself to some figment that I think others are saying I should be…and I think I want to be….
You are not telling me I’m inadequate or that your are better than me in any way. You are showing love and hospitality in ways that God has gifted you to do and in ways that the age and interests of your children allow. I want to be able to do that, and someday I will be able to. I guess I could do that in a different way now – I just need to search for my how and my who…”
My Mom’s addition to the conversation, “while you strive to have a clean, clutter free home, enjoy the chaos, enjoy every little minute, even when it is aggravating, enjoy the time with your children, smile often, hug more than you have time for and give lots of kisses, even to the big boys!! Tall Boy still needs kisses. Kiss your husbands often, for just the simple pleasure of a kiss.”
My end note…
My who right now is mostly my family and my kids friends and my friends. My how? Taking birthday cake to the single neighbor when one of us celebrates a birthday, making sure my kids friends know they are loved & welcome here, not shutting the door in a friends face because my home is a mess when they stop by (because even if you are expected I won’t get it spotless, I can get it clean but not spotless – we live here after all).
I’m getting rid of clutter and making sure I add or keep things that are pretty and comfortable and inviting to me and my family. I am encouraging my kids to help neighbors and help with the home to have a weekly or monthly night where their friends are welcome no matter what. I know that my who and my how will continue to change and my gifts will not be used like others who have the same gifts and I don’t have the same gifts that others have, so I will always be seeking out my who and my why – I just need to remember to keep doing what God lays on my heart not what others (or myself) are pushing in me…