My letter to the editor would probably go something like this...
"Dear Better Homes and Gardens,
I thoroughly enjoy your magazine. But I have come to grips with the fact that photos of my home and/or garden will never be featured amongst your pages. In my opinion, being a HOMEmaker is so much more than having a spotless and stylishly decorated home and pristine gardens. Quite honestly, we LIVE in our home and spills and messes happen often...so instead of beating myself up over a less than dreamy home and garden...
Today, I'm going to give myself a little grace."
I get caught up in the fact that that I am SO behind on housework...there is ALWAYS something needing cleaned or reorganized. Stress and anxiety mount, that feeling of never being done with my job. Everything I do, gets undone and everything I don't do, piles up. I never have the satisfaction of "completion", because there is no such thing as a house that stays clean or chores that stay done.
I look around, praying that no one just "drops by" because judgement looms, or at least it seems that way in my mind. That the stains on the carpet or the extremely cluttered counters could taint my "image" in someone else's mind. But today, after spending a little time reading God's Word, I am reminded that what others think is not the most important thing. My focus should be elsewhere...
Today, when I look around my house, I'm choosing to see the blessings.
That cobweb in the corner is still there because of the five times I read
No, David to a sleepy toddler at naptime.
The dirty dishes in the sink are a reminder of the times I've spent cutting the littles bologna into the letters of their names at lunchtime.
The splatters of tomato juice that are still on the cupboards from when I canned pizza sauce will remind me of the times I've stopped to do morning devotions before they catch the bus for school.
The collage picture frame (that still needs 3 more photos added) hangs on the wall unfinished because I take the time to do things like researching online how fog is made after Hank and Hope ask questions before leaving to learn at school.
The window smudged with handprints will represent the time we focused our sights on giving to others as we collected items to donate to Kenya.
The weeds in the flower bed represent the times I traced and cut out paper leaves for our November "thankfulness tree".
The load of unfolded laundry sometimes waits because of an unexpected trip to the library.
The crumbs on the floor aren't swept because I grabbed ahold of a teachable moment about contentment when talking about our Compassion sponsor children from Uganda and Tanzania.
Today, I choose to see the beautiful moments that occur in this mess of a home I'm "making". I choose to see the blessings of being a HOMEmaker and mother of five wonderful children. My list of One Thousand Gifts goes on...
#101 Cuddling up under a warm blanket on the couch to watch a movie on a rainy day
#102 The memories that looking at old photos bring back
#103 A sweet treat of a spoonful of cookie dough
#104 a plump little bird hop hop hopping along our back porch rail
#105 chubby little hands scribbling on a white piece of paper
#106 homemade bread--SO good!
#107 Free programs that encourage learning for children
#108 A calm, yet fun, trip to storytime at the public library
#109 A community supporting its public schools
#110 The excitement and promise of a new community pool:)
#111 A stocked pantry
#112 A husband who is willing to eat just about anything without complaining too much
#113 A kind word and sincere thanks from my son
#114 A laundry task completed by a young helper
#115 The feeling of being needed
#116 Caffine on a morning that follows a restless night of being much needed by a sick child
May you choose today to bless despite the mess and remember that HOMEmaking is not just about the place but more about the people.
"Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain" -Psalm 127:1