I'm doing a bible study called, "Called to be a Keeper". A woman from Henderson Hills wrote it and we watch a video every other week. Think: Beth Moore bible study. I've enjoyed it thoroughly and have learned a lot, even though I have studied the main passages over and over (Titus 2:3-5 and Proverbs 31:10-31). You can never learn too much about being a homemaker and a woman of God!
The study has progressed biblically, which would be getting your priorities straight: God, husband, children, home, ministry. Last week we studied keeping our homes, or being a home maker. You probably know that I feel very strongly about this and LOVE my job, my calling and my privilege of caring for and making our home a place that's comfortable, warm and, mainly, where God is known and glorified.
Over the last 5 weeks, my effort in our home has been less than stellar. It's not desire that's keeping me from working hard. It's mostly motivation and exhaustion from Beta (which is what we affectionately call baby #2. You know, Greek for the number 2). I've found myself laden with guilt and shame because all of the laundry does not get done as usual, my bathroom is not as clean, the kitchen is pretty messy and the floors need mopped very badly!
After wrestling with this, I called upon the Lord for guidance and wisdom. Then I went to Patrick. His response? Grace! My sweet husband simply reminded me that my standards are pretty high and now is not the time to over-do it to meet them. He also told me that he thought I was doing great and he appreciated me. His kindness, grace and willingness to remind me that our home doesn't need to be perfect was just what I needed.
Sure, I prefer my home clean and neat. But that's not the reality of my life right now. I have a toddler who we, kindly, call "destructo". We are not busy, by any means, but I don't want my life to be so consumed with cleaning and doing laundry that I miss opportunities to bless and minister to my family! Besides, how can you feel comfortable and cozy in a house that is so neat and clean you're scared to relax or touch anything!? :)
I read this quote in Country Living the other day. "Clutter is the poetry of our homes. It is an intimate view that is not always perfect - a few dishes in the sink, books piled next to the bed. Everything in its place may give a certain satisfaction, but a lived-in room exudes comfort and warmth." - Mary Randolph Carter (author of A Perfectly Kept House Is the Sign of a Misspent Life)
Good reminder. Plus, I need to remember who I'm serving in the first place: The Lord. And if my heart is seeking Him and my desire is to bring glory to Him, my house will be warm and comfortable and, quite possibly, neat enough for company.