In this day and age of Pinterest perfect Martha Stewart’s on every corner, it’s time to get real. Life is busy and messy and rarely perfect. I vacuum and clean and minutes later there are crumbs again, I finally wash that last piece of dirty clothing only to see the hamper full again…life is to be lived, and living is messy. It always makes me chuckle that we clean and straighten and clean and straighten, only to do it again tomorrow…the actual definition of insanity! But that’s life!
Lately it seems homes have become this thing that has to be perfect, and perfectly maintained, or we are paralyzed to invite others in…by allowing this to be an insecurity, we are shutting ourselves out of the awesome community that comes from letting people “all in” to our world. If you are too worried about the crumbs on your counter and dishes in your sink, then you might miss out on the chance to invite your neighbor in for coffee, or your friend over for some much needed girl time. I believe wholeheartedly that God created us to be relational people, and it’s terrible losing out on that because of our own insecurities and fears.
I’ve been pondering why this is such an issue for many of us. What causes us to panic at the thought of letting people “in”?! And folks, it has nothing to do with them and everything to do with us.
I received a compliment a few weeks ago and at the time thought it was sweet, but didn’t think about it again. Then today a friend mentioned the comment in passing, and I realized I had overlooked a gem gifted to me that day. Someone had offered me kind words and insight into his view of me, but I didn’t let it sink in. It hit me like a load of bricks, that in that moment I had stopped loving myself.
I’m sharing this with you because, while it isn’t about messy (or not) houses, it really is. Every thought and perception that I have impacts my view of the world. If I’m so critical of myself that every thought going through my head is about where I’m failing and what I can’t do, I never allow myself to experience the gift of others. Because those critical thoughts about me, turn into fears and misconceptions about the world around me, and what they must think of me. If I’m upset with myself for the dirty floors, sticky counters and sink full of dishes…then I assume the rest of the world is judging me for those messes.
Our thoughts and hearts are totally “what you put in, is what you get out”. Are you putting in love and offering grace for all the “messiness” that comes with living; embracing the awesome person God created you to be!? Because you are awesome! All of those little quirks and intricacies that make you you, the wonderful little things that separate you from every other person around you…its all awesome! If God says that we are a perfect creation, then how can we not love it!? That means love you! Life is messy though, and that wears on us. I’ve always been a pretty laid back person…but after the many stresses and setbacks of life, that laid back person became a tightly wound mess of crazy. All of that free spiritedness was replaced with disdain for me, the person I have to live the rest of my life with! All of my failures big and small took place of genuineness and grace in my life…and I was sure that every person I came across was judging me. It’s time to let all that go!
So as we embark on this blog journey, full of fun and all sorts of real in one place, lets also take a look inward and make sure that we did not become our own worst critic. Lets not look at this as a marker of how good or bad we are doing…is my house clean enough, pretty enough, perfect enough…but instead use it as a reality check that we all have messes (literally and figuratively) and life is too short to be a wind up toy.
I will probably spend the rest of my life learning to let go and love me, but I will gladly work on that if it means that my life is full of authentic and meaningful relationships. The kind that make your heart soar and make life worth living! So lets all run to the mirror, look at that beautiful person looking back at us, and do everything in our power to love on that person!! And the next time someone compliments you, proudly claim it for the gift that it is!