Let me tell you friends…I was seriously LOVING the cool weather we had in the South this weekend. Oh my words. L.O.V.E! Bring it on fall…I look forward to you all year long!
I finished painting Jane over the weekend. I’ll give you a more thorough look later, but just trust me…she is GORJ! (That’s “gorgeous” for those of you who weren’t tracking.) And, she’s for sale… along with Tilly at Jennie Leigh Design in Greenville. So if you’re local, you really must go see them in person…and see Jennie’s store. If you’re not local, then it seems to me that you may have a roadtrip in your near future!
I think I mentioned that I started leading a book/Bible study a couple of weeks ago. The book we’re reading is called 31 Days to Clean:Have a Martha Home the Mary Way. We’ve met twice thus far, and it’s been going really well. It’s a really neat group of ladies, and last week I think nearly everyone teared up at least once. Not about cleaning (although there are times that I want to cry when I think about cleaning,) but because we talked about how our homes reflect so much of our hearts.
One of our tasks for this past week was to create a mission statement for the “Why” behind keeping a tidy home. (This class has both practical living tasks as well as heart-focused ones.) After we came up with the mission statement, we had to make it look pretty and put it somewhere in our home where we’d see it and be reminded of it. Here’s mine. It’s on the front of my fridge.
And all this mission statement making and talk last week really hit me hard. What I think everyone signed up for in this class…to learn how to clean their homes….it’s happening for sure, but it has been met by some much deeper stuff that is honestly just so much more beautiful than any shining countertops. Women are finding purpose in maintaining a home…not cleaning one, but creating one. Establishing a place of joy and rest and family. A place that reflects who they are and who they want to become…and that is so beautiful that I have been really overwhelmed by it all.
One of the ladies in the class sent out an email with the following quote from a really excellent book called “1000 Gifts” by Ann Voskamp (who I’ll actually have the chance to meet at the end of this month at a conference I’m attending!)
When the laundry is for the dozen arms of children or the dozen legs, it’s true,
I think I’m due some appreciation.
So comes the storm of trouble and lightening strikes joy.
But when Christ is center, when dishes, laundry, work, is my song of thanks to him, joy rains.”
I love that. And I’m not trying to over-spiritualize housework either here, but as a friend of mine said to me recently when I was debating buying my awesome boots…”laundry is a Sisyphean task.” And so is most housework. It’s never-ending, always piling up, and there’s always something more with it that I could be doing. So, if I can’t get a handle on my heart behind it all, then that Sisyphean rock will not be something that I’m pushing up a hill, but rather it’ll be the thing that can crush my spirit….a heavy boulder that instead of being moved forward, rolls backwards over me…leaving me flat as a pathetic pancake on its way back to ground zero.
But here’s the thing too. I don’t want to be so overly concerned with some Sisyphean task either that I lose sight of all the beauty of life around me. Because in my opinion, that’s still allowing that rock to become my focus and it can just as easily dominate all of my attention if I let it. Check this out. It’s a beautiful quote that another friend in the class found and sent to me.
It’s a hard balance to strike for sure. There’s absolutely no doubt about it. But I have to tell you, there was something really awesome about standing still to think about all the reasons behind so many of the movements that I make each day. About what I want my home to be…and to reflect. About how I want people to feel when they come into my home….the place where we live life, and do life, and share life with one another. And while I definitely want to make sure that I get things done around here….I sure don’t want to miss out on “treasuring all of the doing” that happens at the same time.
How about you? If you had to make a mission statement about keeping your home and what you want from it….what would it say?