I’ll show you mine if you show me yours…

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This post is dedicated to all of the friends whom I’ve ever told “You’re house is always so clean!” and they’ve sighed and shook their heads disagreeingly. It’s also dedicated to every friend who’s ever said that to me about my house and I’ve done the same. It is certainly not true.

I’ve been reading a book that my sister-in-law gave me for Christmas, “Breathe: Creating Space for God in a Hectic Life“. It’s been very helpful to me so far, and made me think alot about the pace of my life. Today it was discussing how we sometimes commit ourselves to things for the wrong reasons, and I started to reflect on what, if anything, I do for the wrong reasons.

The first thing that immediately popped into my mind is cleaning my house. I’m not a super neat freak or anything, but there is something in me that just feels better when the house is clean and orderly. Being a mother of two very small children, my house is now rarely clean and orderly at the standard it once was. I try to keep things as unsticky as possible, and the dishes get done every night, but I’m always feeling badly about the state of the house in general. A little guilt, a little shame. Especially when somebody comes over unexpectedly.

Oh, if I know you’re coming, I will clean and put everything in it’s place. The floors will be swept. The bathroom sink will be shiny. I will not let you see our “real house”.

Herein lies the problem. Our houses need to be cleaned at times, and I think it’s appropriate to try to take good care if what you have. But why the pride and shame connected with it? With me it is an act that is done “to be seen by men“, and I don’t like that. I know that I’m not the only one who worries about the way their house looks to other people.

So I felt the need today to take pictures of all my rooms, in the state they were in at 3:30 this afternoon, and put them here. I unashamedly (sort of) give you…my messy house. Not the worst it’s ever been, not the best, just a typical day. Feel free to show me yours. Maybe it will make us feel better.

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January 23, 2009

6 Responses to I’ll show you mine if you show me yours…

  1. Amy says:

    I have never laughed and cried so hard at the same time! I was laughing, because it all sounds so familiar. I was also crying because it’s all so familiar! Thank you for being so honest and giving me more freedom in my life to be real.

  2. RachelMM says:

    Ooh! I love your kitchen! What cool cabinets!

    I know what you mean about the mess. It’s a constant.

  3. kprentice says:

    You are officially my favorite blog from this day forward. I home school 3 of my 4 children and have many obligations with said children, church etc. I am always at odds with enjoying my children for the season I have them and having an immaculate home. It is a struggle so many moms have! Bless you for sharing!!!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    I’m sure Natalie would love this!!! I wonder what the chances are that she would post pictures of our house…

  5. Theresa says:

    Mary, I have thought of posting pics before, too, but can’t right now as my camera card uploader quit working on me. It can be really helpful to see that other’s houses are crazy looking plenty of the time! Soul care, laughter, snuggles, a thought shared, a book read- all have inestimable value, and those accomplishments are not visible as readily. I think it is a constant struggle as a mama to keep focus on the One thing that is needful (Luke 10:42) BTW, I think my house is way worse that yours! :-)

  6. Jana! says:

    Looks great to me!! But you know me! :-)

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