Sunday, April 26, 2009

Insults and Accusations

My husbands partner and one of our dearest friends, John, recently commented on what a "sanguine couple" Jess and I are. That sounded like a compliment until I heard he used his observations of our chronically messy home to backup his theory.

As I contemplated this I realized deep down I view myself as a as a cleaning perfectionist like my mother, but in actuality Johns right, I've only inherited half of my mother's over zealous cleaning trait: the mental half.

I practically obsess about a tidy house. I nag and complain with the best of wives, but that's about where it ends. I almost feel liberated as I write this next line:

I am a terrible house keeper, and not that fabulous of a homemaker in general. While I probably own a more extensive collection of organizational/cleaning books than the public library, my laundry continues to threaten take over and the pizza shop knows me by name. But, I think I can be okay with, I think.

Now I have theories. I think somewhere deep in my subconscious I have some morphed unrealistic ideal of a homemaker and "good" mother. This an ideal that matches up with my core beliefs or values and yet it seems to influences my very self concept. Leaving me with guilt and grouchy feelings that often cause everyone else grief as well.

I met with a physiologist recently who asked me to go home and reevaluate my ideals and goals and see if they match up with what I really believe to be truth. Everyone should do this every now and then, to make sure they're heading on the path they mean to be on.

I won't give up on trying to be a better homemaker for my sweet family who needs clean clothes and nutritious meals, but instead recognize where these things fall on my priority list. I've been trying to remember my morning prayers and ask what would be most important for me to spend my efforts doing that day.

Time and time again I feel the most important things, are things that will encourage feelings of love, and joy for our family. This sometimes includes cleaning and errands but even then my focus is on keeping the Spirit, and having joyful moments with the kids. I realize when my goals of a well run home are first on my priority list, everything seems get out of sorts. It's not that those activities are a problem, but rather my goals. I can do those activites with the goal of helping my family feel my love, and hopefully through this feel and recognize Heavenly Father's love for them as well and the way I feel at the end of a day is drastically different than how I feel when my goal is a show ready home. Especially because that's really not possible with these little rascals at my heels all day There's a reason there are not children in those show homes! :)

I love writing out my thoughts, it helps me put things into even better perspective. Writing things down also helps me remember but, nothing helps me remember to put this lesson into action as asking the Lord what he would have me do with my day each morning, if only I could remember to do that everyday! :) Maybe I need a prayer rock at the foot of my bed, so I stub my toe.


MARTHA said...

You have three little children, I rest my case. You're on the right track Steph. I love you! I admire you.

Amber said...

I love this post. So true for me, too!

I also love that picture of your family holding hands. Would you mind emailing me a copy for us to possibly use for some Arbinger ads? It's perfect.

Elizabeth Cranmer said...

What a great way to start your day! Your a great homemaker. We all do it differently and your way sure looks like fun! Your kids will grow up knowing they lived in a happy home filled with the spirit, what else can you ask for in the end.

Kristen said...

That comment didn't make any sense, the word was not used right. (So ha for you!) As a very wise woman once told me, "We aren't all Marthas, some are Marys." Refering to Martha and Mary in the Bible. As a fellow struggler, your kids are happy and you are always doing fun things with them. Keep up the good work!

The Young Ones said...

You amaze me regularly. Hence the reason I keep returning to read your insights on daily Mama happenings. I always have heard: a clean house is not a happy house. Meaning if it is too clean then you are not spending enough time with those you love. I keep a clean house but often cluttered with kid stuff. oh well.

Tanya said...

Referring to the Mary/Martha experience: "only one thing is needful" and you have "chosen that good part"! (not sure if that's the exact quote, but you get the idea:)
One thing...! Simple, true - as long as we seek Christ first, everything else follows. If only I could remember that everyday, too! Thanks for the reminder.