For years I have kept a cleaning schedule. It’s evolved a bit here and there, going from a daily clean up, to room focuses, to zone cleanings and back again. I have kept a laundry schedule as well and knew when I needed to vacuum behind the fridge. I knew when meal planning needed to be done, and what days errands got ran. My house was always spotless. And then my baby grew into a toddler and it was like having a blender, without a lid, running through my house. And then we had her brother, another blender, except this one like to break things too.
Through all the scheduling, planning and trying to fit into the day everything that had to be done, I forgot to plan a crucial detail in the caretaking of our home that caused it to almost collapse in on itself…
Taking care of my spirit.
Before I knew it, I was overwhelmed and uninspired about my responsibilities as a wife, mom and keeper of our home. I was not excited to play house anymore. I went into a “what’s the point” attitude. After all, I couldn’t get one mess cleaned up without another happening.
I sat down one day and thought “what am I doing wrong?” How come I spend all day cleaning and it’s still a mess? Everything still smells faintly like pee, and there’s dirty dishes still in the sink?? And then I asked myself a better question. “Why? Why am I beating myself into the ground trying to attain this picture in my head of how I think it should look when it obviously doesn’t really work out that way?”
After some thought about what I really wanted my house to look like, it dawned on me that what I really want my house to look like, has nothing to do with how it’s decorated or organized.
I want my home to not only look like, but to be, an earthly representation of Gods love.
I want it to be filled with belly laughs, sunshine, magical stories and make believe.
I want it to be filled with hand holding across a table with a take out pizza on it. I want it to be filled with happy memories to treasure.
I want it to be filled with friends and family who feel welcome, accepted, and want to come back. I want it to be filled with comfort, coziness, love and truth. I want it to be filled with hope, kindness & little footed pajamas.
Although my type A attitude has been hard to let go of in this department, I just have to ask myself,”what is my best yes?” And this has taken some real practice. But it doesn’t matter if the ceiling fans are dusted, or if the closet gets organized and labelled. It doesn’t matter if meals are served on matching plates at the table, even when company is over. It does not matter. Not one stinkin’ bit. Because let me tell you one very important, key concept of keeping a house…
The state of your heart is the state of your home.
You can have a spotless house with pretty little knick knacks on shelves. You can have perfectly groomed children who clean up neatly after themselves before pulling out something else. You can have a tablescape you did yourself that even Pottery Barn would envy. But those things DO NOT matter if you are not serving your family with a happy heart. Life does not come with an Instagram filter, and what company that enters your home may not see, God sure can.
Are you overwhelmed and uninspired like I was, too? Are you like so many mamas who I know are putting every bit of effort into something that is earthly and not into something that they can hope in everlasting? When I finally decided to stop picking up all of those messes and worrying about what I thought my house should look like, and started focusing on what I wanted my house to feel like, everything started falling into place. I took care of me by paying attention to what I really wanted and putting my priorities in order. I realized that the truth about keeping house,
was that I was really keeping a home.
A home where the people in it need to be given space to be themselves, flow creatively, grow their roots and spread their wings, and live in a way that makes them comfortable.
Don’t get me wrong, floors still need sweeping, laundry still must be done (folded is another story!) and dishes still need to be washed. But I keep those things in line with where my priorities stand.
As mothers, the best offering and legacy we can give our kids is our home. It doesn’t matter if the stuff inside is fancy, or decorated perfectly, or spotlessly dusted. It’s about the love that resides inside. The life it gives. So the best question you can ask yourself about your home keeping is this; is your home giving life, or is it sucking it out?
Shed the super mom cape that you think you should be wearing and wear the one God gave you. Stop going through the motions and be present with your babies. Take it from me, (and the other 100 people who have told you), they grow way too fast. Give yourself grace, a lot of it. Lean heavily on the Lord. And say yes to frozen waffles and hot chocolate for dinner. Say hell yes to extra marshmallows!