Jan 10, 2014

A Battleground

Christmas is cleaned out.  Gone.  Needle explosion has been banished.  A few stray pine needles will float around the house for a few months.  This part is truth.  No matter how much I sweep, I will still find needles in May.  They're sneaky like that.  Oh hey, there's one on the window sill in the picture below.
Keeping the house clean feels like my daily battle ground.  My weapons are a broom, dustpan and three minions to whom I bark clean-up orders in rapid fire.  My house uses those same three minions against me.  I'm telling you, some days you just clear a space, stake a claim on it and call it good enough.  This chair right here?  Mine.  I clear a little path around it, grab my tea and then fiercely pretend the rest of the house isn't calling my name.  
I thoroughly enjoy starting with a clean slate after Christmas.  My parents had this deer in a frame in a junk heap when they bought their cabin and were cleaning it out.  In true pack-rat Jenny form, I claimed it, stashed it, and finally brought it out a couple years later to display in all it's wacky glory.  It was a little plain, so I put washi tape all over that sucker.  Yep, it looked good to me. In fact, mantle worthy.  It's having a moment on display here for winter time.
I posted this little gem on instagram earlier.  I had my feet up, still in my jammies (it was noonish), and I was reading one of those free Beth Moore books that she so kindly put on Amazon for free over the last week.  Wouldn't you know it, after seeing it, three friends asked me how I keep a house clean and keep a schedule.  Whaaa?  Ok, let's be really real.  I don't.  No schedule.  No secret.  I just plain don't.  I clear a path and then take a picture.  And then I crop the basket of toys out of it.  Which I did not do for you here so you can see it peeping out from under the coffee table.  Bright, primary colored toys.
Which made me think that I should share with you that my house was a battleground for me that led me on a path to true freedom in Christ.  It was my heart's battleground.  I lived for so long in a world of "shoulds", "coulds", and lived under the perception that good wives and Christians did more, were able to accomplish more, kept to a schedule, behaved certain ways, cooked certain ways, cleaned certain ways....and I found that all to be a bunch of bunk.  It was a lie fed to me from my own heart, when God was whispering no such thing.   There are many good ways to keep a house and care for a family.  If I do not, or choose not, to do them all or to do them different, that did not make me more or less a child of the King, or more or less devoted to Him, nor was He even calling me to do those "things".  Once I let that all go and decided to listen to only what fit a rhythm of love for my family and our needs, then I found real freedom.
So, my house gets clean...but not on a schedule.
We eat healthy food...but it's not all organic, nor do I fix a full course dinner every night.
We do devotions...but not at a set time, but whenever a teaching moment pops up during the day.
I do NOT get up early....and everyone is much happier.
And not a single soul needs to do things exactly my way to serve their family.  Just serve in love, and meet their needs, whatever that looks like.  I can tell you what works for me, and give you tips, but that doesn't mean it's the gospel truth way to do it.  Christian women, why do we sabotage each other in this way?  Let's lift each other up to serve our families in the best possible way without trying to prove that my own style is the best.
And while the inside of my home has ceased to be a battleground for my heart, those dang pine needles keep showing up.   And since California seems to be so confused this winter, my leaves out front are still dropping leaves...in January.   I bet I'll still be raking those suckers up in May.

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