Better-Homes-and-Gardens-itis : Day 1 of 31 Days to Clean Challenge!
I suffer from a syndrome that I lovingly refer to as “Better-Homes-and-Gardens-itis” I see these beautiful BH&G homes and dream that my house should look something like this…
BUT, in reality, if I were to have a ‘family room’ like that, the furniture would be covered with various juices, the walls would be decorated with red handprints, that pretty carpet would be ‘colored’ with sharpee markers, and I’m sure the ceilings would end up with some kind of pasta hanging from them. (Just saying… I’ve never been in a house with small children that doesn’t have pasta stains on the ceilings unless it has really high ceilings!)
… it just isn’t realistic for us!
That doesn’t really help me though. What it does is hurts me because I live with the guilt that, although admittedly self created, I should be able to maintain something that I can’t.
And that just sucks.
So I’m so, so glad to have an opportunity, nope- a challenge- that requires me to really examine why I would set such high standards for my self; standards that do nothing but cause me grief when I fail to meet them.
Because I really don’t want to live in a show room. Honestly. I would much rather live in a home full of life and happy messes, than one where our lives revolves around maintaining our spotless house. I love it when we are jam-packed and opening the door for more friends, who come in and sit on the arms of the furniture because there are no chairs left.
So I just have to say it: I think that this Homemaking Challenge is AWESOME. It’s giving me an excuse to be accountable to someone about actually sticking with something for an entire 31 days…. which is a pretty amazing feat with six children under 7 years old!
I was gonna say I would ‘try’ to stay accountable, but one of the most common quips outta my mouth is “As Yoda says, ‘Do or Do Not- there is no try!’, that might be a little hypocritical of me! LOL
Onto Day 1… Why Clean?
Aside from the obvious reasons (health, sanitation, blah, blah) it sinks into slightly murky waters. Do I clean because I want to impress people? Do I clean because I care what other people have to say?
Yeah… a little bit.
But maybe not for the reasons you’d think. But more on that later.
Here’s my goals for being a homemaker:
#1- To glorify God by translating the inner peace and calm He’s given me into a peaceful and calm atmosphere where His love can suffuse everything that happens here.
#2- To be a good steward of the physical gifts (our home, our belongings) that I’ve been given in order to be an even better steward of the meta-physical gifts we’ve been entrusted with (our children, family, friends, etc)
#3- To maintain an atmosphere of creativity, joy, and love that will always be ‘home’ to whoever crosses the threshold.
Yeah…. they’re a little lofty, right? And I don’t know that any one of them are something that I could ever say “Oh… DID THAT, check it off the list!”. But I would be dishonest to not include them in my goals, because that’s what I want people to look back and say about where-ever I call home.
So, I’m gonna narrow it down a little bit and be more specific with some ‘baby-goals’ so they can grow into those great big ones.
My baby goals are:
#1- Wake up before the rest of my household.
I know a lot of ladies are probably going to post that goal, because it’s a really BIG one! But I have just a couple of things to say about it: a) I say household because we usually have over-night guests several times a week so I think it’s best to include them as well as my husband and children and b) I’m reading through (and working on) Maximize Your Mornings, soo… hopefully, I’ll have this one down before long.
#2- To wake up to a neat and tidy house each morning.
Boy, I have a lot of goals for in the morning, right? But I’ll be honest with you- how my mornings go is usually how my days go because if I get stressed in the morning, I’ll be stressed the rest of the day!
My next goal is more abstract and I don’t know how to describe it in a sentence except for this: To keep something warm in the crock, coffee in the pot, and at the table, open spot. And it’s more than hospitality (although it is that too), it’s more for the people who live here. I don’t want the actual housekeeping to get in the way of the homemaking… if that makes any sense.
In fact, I’m going to use that for Part B of todays challenge: my Homemaking Mission Statement. (And excuse my cheesiness… sometimes cheese is a good thing!)
To keep something warm in the crock,
And coffee in the pot,
At the table, an empty spot.
To keep down the laundry pile,
And do it with a smile,
To have time to chat for a while.
To keep the grit off the floor
And the dirt off the door
To keep ’em coming back for more.
To not step on that toy,
To not fall for that ploy,
And to fill my home with joy.
(Hey… I warned you it was full of cheese! LOL)