Check out her Holy Experience post here: http://www.aholyexperience.com/2010/01/real-secret-to-happy-homemaking.html then come on back and meet our holy mess :-)
Now that you are back, what did you think of that? I can share what it did for me...it gave my world a little tilt in the direction of accepting love.
I look around my house and I used to hear my Grandma's voice in my head - dust, dirt and dismay at it all. She was, to me, a perfect house keeper - dust didn't dare settle on her knick knacks, mud would never smear her floors, feet wouldn't dare touch the top of a coffee table and socks never were up on the slip covered couch (unless sneakily tucked under a blanket). Her dogs were small and tidy, and knew their place. Or they lived outside. Her husband had a porch to drop his things in after work. Everything that could possibly wrinkle was ironed and sometimes starched. She had different cloths for washing and drying dishes (and an order too). Her pride and joy was her home and how it looked. It showed. She was a phenomenal cook and baker, but that's for another post. She was a loving lady who had a real pride in her home.
I have some people in my family who do 'dust checks' and feel that that is a sign of a good housekeeper. It may very well be, but I am not a housekeeper, I'm a homemaker. I have dust, thank you, and you can write it it. Just don't leave a date! I am proud of our home, the creative things my dear husband makes, the renovations to turn an older house into a home.
Our house is full of many things that are our lives. Some of the things you might see when you come to visit could be surprising but all have a place here. The front door is crowded with boots, mitts, hats and scarves. We have jackets and caps, mostly hung but some draped. There are two boots at the top of the stairs, they are a boundary for one of our rescue dogs, Abby the Pyr. Activity books and markers scatter the floor, overflow their bin. The dogs lay where they will amongst cars, trucks, books and work things.
The laminate floor doesn't shine much anymore, and it shows scratches and scuffs from a happy little boy driving trucks, dragging a second generation rocking chair and has some dull spots from spills that got missed in the last cleaning swipe. There are some dustbunnies, the family called Fluffypants, that come mostly from our four dogs. All rescue dogs, all living here in a heaven they never could have imagined, and leaving their wet with snow, shedding in season, sleeping and drooling mark upon us.
Swiffer should sponsor rescues, the number of those dusters and pads we go through to keep the bunnies under control is mad - but worth it. Worth it to see the sweet relaxed faces of animals that know in their animal souls that they are safe, loved and home.
My kitchen can be tidy as a pin, for about 10 minutes at a time, and then it comes undone. I bake, I cook, we snack and use dishes. They get washed, and sometimes we let God's air dry them and others we use the towel. Juice boxes and coffee mugs, spoons and bowls clutter the counter between washings. When Luke wants to be a chef we don't fuss over egg shells, spilled flour and dirty measuring cups.
The laundry piles up, and joyfully gets 'smash crashed' on our bed before being folded. My iron hasn't seen water or the light of day for years, I'm not sure where the ironing board is.
The sunroom is the Lego Room and is full of Lego, love and fun. No grownup space for visiting, no clutter free zone of peace. Even the smallest of rooms shows evidence of our child, animals and our love for our life. I'm not a housekeeper, although I can be a homemaker.
I say yes to wiping up markers off the floor because that means he was learning printing with his Dad.
I can pick up dust bunnies because that means we have furry love in our house.
I can let the laundry get smashed before folding because it brings him and us joy.
I can try to be tidy and neat, but would rather be creative and free which hurts much less and allows for such abandon.
When we do our tidy up - sweep, swiffer, wash and tidy it isn't to meet the standards of an inspection, but rather to clear the decks for another round of life. A clean floor for building, playing and driving cars. A clean counter for making waffles and cookies. For peeling apples for pie. Clean clothes to wear, smashed into a pile on the bed, means someone was using his imagination for wonderful play. Books scattered to the four winds means we have places all over to rest, read and be close to each other.
When we are cleaning up his room we find a book, Bible Adventures, so we stop cleaning to read. We find some other books to read and talk about. He goes to Lego Town and finds is Grandma in church. He talks to God everywhere he goes and sees Him everywhere He is.
Sometimes we have a calf in the house, new born, wet and dirty. Sometimes we have wet dogs, paws frozen but melting, leaving wet trails on the floor. Sometimes we come in cold, tired and drag ourselves to the shower leaving a trail behind us. We have made a home here, with the Grace of God, that has love, creativity and is welcoming to all. Our friends with tidy and pin neat houses come and relax, they sprawl out. Our friends who live in bigger chaos than us marvel at the serenity of our 'mess'. We look around at the signs of love and living and are thankful...for this too is a blessing.
This is a reminder to me that God loves us in our tidy places and in our messy chaos. He loves us through the dustbunnies and the spilled milk and cereal. He loves us through dusty picture frames and finger print covered TV screens. He loves us because He sees past it to the heart and soul beneath. No hollow shell of tidy here, we have no time to put up a facade. This is us...in the tidy moments and in the daily twister...my prayer is that no one who enters our home feels that they cannot be themselves, and that they won't leave without feeling God's love and acceptance here.
*Word art is by my blog friend, Bethany, at Elegant Word Art by Bethany. She does wonderful work, check it out...