Friday, June 1, 2012

The Homemaker's Confessional


Welcome to the homemaker's confessional!

I love caring for my home.  But I am quickly learning that I have a few quirks in this area of my life.  So I thought it might be kind of funny to let you in on some of them.

confession #1

Laundry is my greatest weakness.  Often times I will put a load in the washing machine, then get busy with my kids, or other chores (or daydreaming) and completely forget it's in there untill the next day.  By then I have to wash it again because the clothes have been sitting in a wet heap for 12 hours and are starting to stink.  The worst part is sometimes I will do this two or three times before the load makes it into the dryer!  I know its crazy right?!  Someone please tell me I am not the only one who does this?

I can so easily get frustrated with myself over these kinds of things, but I am learning that being a homemaker isn't necessarily defined  by whether or not I measure up to Martha Stewart.  A wise friend recently said to me  "The woman is the heart of the home.  Its a hard reality but it's true.  You set the tone for your home."  What she said really stuck with me.  If this is true (and I believe it is) then what is the tone that am I setting for my home?  In her book, Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches. authoress Rachel Jankovic says this,

"If there is anything I have learned in the course of  my fast and furious mothering journey, it is that there is only one thing in my entire life that must be organized.  The kids can be running around like a bunch of hooligans through a house that appears to be at the bottom of a toaster, and yet,  if organization and order can be found in my attitude we are doing well.  But if my attitude alters even in the midst of external order so does everything else."

The job of a "homemaker"  is not simply to be a housekeeper but it is to make a home.  Whether we like it or not, we are the ones who cultivate our home environment.  We make the heart of our home.  This implies that my home environment is directly linked to the state of my own heart and my behavior.  I want the climate of my home to be one that seems to say,  "God's love dwells here."  I want it to be a place that is filled with grace, peacefulness of heart, and the ability to feel that you can be completely you and still be completely ok.  I wish that every time someone came over I had an immaculately clean  house, a vanilla scented candle burning and cookies baking in the oven.  But that is just not always the reality for me at this stage of my life.  Some days my house looks beautiful and others, it looks just how Rachel describes  "like the bottom of a toaster."  What I am trying to learn is that this doesn't make me a bad homemaker.  I can still make a lovely home, regardless of how crazy the things that are outside of my control get.  I have to remember that God's grace is present with me in those moments when things get super intense and the kids are cranky and I am exhausted and the laundry needs to go through the wash cycle for the THIRD time in a row.  I am a home maker and I want to make a home where we let the grace of God transcend our imperfections and the reality of His mercy leads us every day.

Some days I feel so overwhelmed by my imperfections.  In those moments I need to check my own heart so that I can be aware of the tone I am setting?  If I let my feeling of being overwhelmed become the dictator of my behavior, then my home quickly becomes an overwhelming place for everyone in it.  Being out of control, overcome mommy doesn't change my external circumstances but it can completely shift the internal circumstances of the people in my home.

Colossians 3 is a good reminder to me of the kind of home I want to cultivate.  I try to meditate on it often.

The whole chapter is good, but here is a snippet (verses 12-17)

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility,gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.  Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.  And whatever you do,whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

That is the kind of home I want to make.  I so often fall short of it (like pretty much every day) but it is what I am striving for and I know that God can help me get here.  There may be days when the house is organized  and I am doing so well with the whole Colossians Three thing.  Then there are days where everything seem to be falling apart at the seams.  But if I am seeking Gods grace for myself every day, then the home  I am making is a beautiful one because nothing speaks more loudly of true beauty than the mercy of  God.  If I am prostrated towards the Lord, regardless of the chaos going on around or even inside me, I can have faith that my home will take on that posture as well. 



Confession # 2

Think I'd give it away that easily?  No way!  You will have to stay tuned for the next time I step inside the Homemaker's Confessional...



11 comments:

  1. I love that verse. Was my wedding verse. And I'm so happy youre not Martha Stewart! I love the Annie Bol Frase that you are. I come back from your house wishing mine was as cute!

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  2. Annie, that is so good. I've totally been seeking the Lord about this kind of thing lately and you hit the nail on the head. I want to cultivate the heart of my home - and that is what my job truly is...not external perfection. This spoke to me so much...and that section of coll. 3 is totally what I read to let it soak in...for parenting :) that was wonderful! You are a really good writer, and this was so what I needed.

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    Replies
    1. Isn't it amazing how we can all be going through the same things at the same times and not even realize it? God is so faithful to meet us where we are at and I am glad that the timing was right for the things that he is teaching me to speak to you. Go God!

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  3. So good Annie. I love the way you write. I'm really challenged by this as a single person too, even just to read and re-read Colossians 3 and continue to ask God what it means to honor the people around me and the girls I live with. Because it's so relevant for all of us to sit at the feet of God's mercy! Thanks for sharing your beautiful heart in your blog =)

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    Replies
    1. Becca! I am so blessed that this spoke to you! I really think that it applies to all women, and was hoping that it would speak to readers of all different stations in life. Thanks for sharing this with me.

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