Sometimes we think other people’s lives must be perfect. At least they must have a perfect husband…or perfect children…or perfect spiritual lives…or a perfectly clean home. Always.
And by “perfect,” we mean easy.
That’s just a lie. It’s all a lie.
Here’s the line of thinking we often fall into:
Amy writes a blog about homemaking. Therefore, she must be a perfect homemaker. She even has a printable list to follow for cleaning and organizing. So, of course, she has a clean and organized home. Her kids probably never make messes. Her laundry never piles up. Her dishes practically wash themselves. Oh, if only I was like her, then I would have a perfectly easy life, too.
Please excuse me while I go laugh my head off.
We do the same thing for the godly women whose books we read or teachings we listen to. Just the other day while I was reading a book by a beautiful Christian woman who I want to be like when I grow up, I started thinking how easy it must have been for her to be so content and spiritually mature. She was married to a well-known pastor, her adult children went into the ministry, and she had an active speaking schedule.
She was actually writing the book from her hospital bed after having major surgery. Sounds like the easy life, huh? And, obviously, being married to a famous pastor is a piece of cake because pastors are never criticized or attacked. I’m sure her children fell out of the womb without an ounce of sinfulness, too. Oh, and perhaps all that spiritual maturity happened without the trials and suffering God usually uses to bring about spiritual growth.
So, just in case you regularly need a dose of reality like I do, I thought I’d show you some real life messy spots in my home. You’ll just have to trust me when I tell you my heart has some pretty big messy places, too.
Real life…right now.
This the Christmas garland that still needs taken down. Most of the bulbs have been taken off, except for these last few. It’s looked like this for days.
Update: By the time I wrote this, I finally got those bulbs taken off and the greenery put away. Now, half the bulbs are in their box and half are on the floor. I hope to get them completely put away before it’s time to start playing Christmas carols again.
This is the basket where I keep all my quiet time supplies. For some reason, I began stacking all those supplies around the basket and decorated them with bills that need filed, several to do lists, and a ribbon. A pink ribbon, to be exact.
These are the shoes we step over to get into the house and we dig through whenever we want to leave. Ahhh…at least they distract me from the two cases of water bottles I have sitting on the floor just inches away. Because water bottles clearly belong on the floor in the hallway.
These games have been piled in the dining room since Christmas day. Every time I walk around them, I have the joy of remembering what a fun time we had playing Monopoly together. See? There’s a good reason I left them on the floor. For weeks.
This basket is full of newspapers I was supposed to sort through and get rid of four days ago. Then three days ago…two days..one day…today. I may actually spend two more days putting off this three minute task. Please don’t ask me why. Please don’t.
This is just a sampling of the less-than-perfect areas of my home that I can’t seem to find two minutes to deal with. Or, more likely, I find the two minutes, but I decide to sit and eat a bowl of chocolate chips instead. True story.
I will never be perfect, but I can be faithful. My home will never be all-the-way clean, but I can try to make it peaceful. I will never stop eating chocolate, but I can eat responsibly.
I can put forth some effort toward making my life and home a blessing to those around me. I’ll take a deep breath and focus on my Morning To Do List, which is the best place to start when my house is a mess. It’s amazing how motivated I am by small homemaking successes!
Today, I’ll do everything I can to make things around here a little better. Tomorrow, I do a little more. And the next day after that, too.
But please don’t think I’ll ever make my home picture perfect. My life will never be picture perfect, either. That’s just a fact. So let’s all give ourselves and others a little grace and a great big dose of reality, agreed?
How do you view the lives of others? Do you usually assume everyone else has their life together, and you’re the only one floundering about? How does this affect your view of yourself, your home, and your family?