Oct 5, 2014

Leveling with you

That's me.  Up there.  I have no makeup on in this picture and I'm sitting on the front porch chillin' in my messy braids and new $5 poncho rocking in my rocking chair which is on it's last legs.  Which means I'm at my real best self inviting you in to some honest chatty chat.

Once upon a time I was part of a play group where the mommies all read inspiring books together and swapped prayer requests.  We all had little ones underfoot, and boy, we needed those prayer requests.  So an inspiring book was picked...all about that Proverbs 31 woman.  Each chapter was carefully divided and then subdivided into areas of serving our family and keeping our homes top-tip.  With scripture to back. it. up.  Here it was.  The holy grail unlocking this wife and mother thing if only these chapters could be mastered. There were chapters exhorting us to aspire to healthy meals at all times, keeping the house spotless with tips to do it, how to clean, keep up a perfect budget, how to keep an encouraging and happy spirit at all times for our children and spouse, and you know, be the perfect wife.  With strong suggestions on how to make it happen.  Charts, and lists and tips.  Let's just say, I was NOT the party responsible for picking out that gem of fiction. So the inevitable happened.  A few picked it up with triumph.  Aha!  This would be the answer!  A few had their "fake" radar up but were nervously game.  And within two weeks we had our first mom snap.  She literally came into my home and chucked this book at my wall and yelled at it.  I bit back the suggestion of a book burning.  So at any rate, that book was toast at least figuratively though a few struggled gamely on and trailed off after a few more chapters.

I post ideas and pretty pictures, but I hope you don't think that being a perfect person is my philosophy of life.  Because it couldn't be farther from the truth.  I actually chose the tagline to my blog with purpose. "A little love makes even the weeds lovely" is a true statement around here.  This house, this marriage, this motherhood, this person called Jenny, is full of weeds.  It's a constant work in progress around here.  We try to make the guiding principle in this house love, but even that can get messy.

Oh you want an outward example? You want to see my craft room?  It's not the pretty kind that deserve whole blog posts showing it off.  Nope.  It's a messy, working space.  Here ya go.
Uh huh.  You're welcome. My point is that our hearts are the same.  They can be messy working spaces.  No book is going to give you the answers on this perfect way of doing motherhood and being a wife.  I think what flipped it for me in my mind was when my husband asked me to point out the SPECIFIC verse that told me toys should be picked up and healthy dinners on every night with dishes and laundry completed. Well, I opened my mouth to retort back with, "Well, everyone knows that it's...".  Well, daggum, he stumped me.  Maybe everyone doesn't "know" the exact one.  With of course, the answer being, well there isn't one.  No, I will not give anyone the title of that book lest you secretly go out and buy it having doubted me.  I'm sure the author meant well, but the point was that that was worked for her family and the way she loved them best.   Not the way all Christian women should do it to be holy.  It can be actually tougher yet easier and so much more freeing when you chuck the lists and get down to the brass tacks of loving.  Because that means having conversations about unspoken expectations and studying your people to see what makes them tick.

Here's an example.  I stink at doing dishes.  By stink, I mean that it's not high on my priority list and I don't regularly get to them.  Guess who does my dishes a lot of the time?  Tone, and it's his way of loving me.  And he kindly doesn't make comments when they aren't done but chips in.  We both know that we hate doing them after dinner because we eat late and we are too tired after the whole bedtime routine.  So we do them in the morning.  You want to know what wouldn't be loving?  Forcing our family rhythm to do them at night or making a big deal about them being done immediately.  Do I know families who can't STAND having dirty dishes in the sink and part of loving their family is getting them done pronto?  Yes, I do.  I grew up in one in fact.  When I visit, we get those dishes done, Stat.
So when I post pretty pictures and ideas, it's because I'm focusing on looking at those weeds and making them lovely.  I knocked my favorite picture frame off the wall one hour before my in-laws were supposed to arrive.  It was a doozy.  I broke the light switch and glass splattered everywhere and that large, multi-paneled frame was in pieces.  But the thing about weeds is that they can paralyze you.  That frame was never fixed and a blank wall stared at me for two months. You can get stuck.  That's where a little inspiration and not comparison comes in.  I still really wanted those family pictures up,  but nothing was going to compare to that purty frame I smashed.  After I came to terms with this factoid,  I bought a $1 raisin drying tray, hot-glued some twine and with some teeny tiny clothespins, stuck those pictures up.  Deciding it was still lacking in it's visionary glory, I propped open a vintage seasonal songbook found for $.50 on top with a dollar tree pom pom trim.  Well, hello new frame. Slap dash, imperfect, trash to beauty (in my mind).  My house speaks of my life.

What did I find this week?  Oh a new globe for $5.  See then what happened here was that I decided the fake nasty plants needed to come down and a display of globes and our airplane collection needed to go up there.  But then it was too bright, so I turned the books all around.  But then the pictures in front of the books were the hiding the beautiful page tones so I took them down.  But then I decided a teacup on each shelf would show off that collection and be a nod to tea and books and not hide the pages.  And then my son officially decided Mommy was crazy, having watched this whole process, and Tone wanted to know how practical it was not to see the titles.  I don't know, guys, work with me here.  It's pretty-ish right? (Oh hey, hi, me in the TV).  And they love me and work with it.
My second best find this week were these two deer for $5. Together.  I know.  I practically stole them since I've heard deer are so "in" this season in the decor world I don't belong in. Eh, one had a gold Christmas wreath around it's neck, so I slapped on a white berry wreath to hide it for the meantime.   Say, what, my plant is dying? I know.  Lets focus on the deer.  I just love them.
They bring to mind that verse, "As the deer pant for water so my soul longs after you."
Because really, let's not long for perfection. Perfection gets you nowhere but a book burning.

Let's long for the love of the Lord.  His love will make even your weeds lovely.

1 comment:

  1. That pretty much sums up my house. I'd be afraid to see what it looked like if I worked full-time instead of part-time. Thanks for sharing :) It made me feel better knowing that I'm not alone. I do realize that it doesn't really matter and I need to chill out about it, but it drives me insane having such a messy house all.the.time. Nice find on the deer!