Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What I'm Learning Wednesday

Have you ever noticed that sometimes when God is trying to teach you something, he will often bombard you with the message?!

Well, this is my message of bombardment…I am so guilty of worrying about what others might think. Honestly, I’m pretty confident about myself…and quite frankly don’t care too much if you’re impressed with ME. But when it comes to my house…"Katy, bar the door".

It’s so bizarre. For some reason, I struggle with making sure that when you visit me, you KNOW that I have it all together. I may have two toddlers running around, but my house must be neat, tidy and organized when you come to visit. If you happen to stop by unannounced, panic will strike.

I have a house that is in desperate need of updating and repairs, and you’d better believe that I’m always on it. I never stop. Never. My mind is in constant motion about why something isn’t good enough, what I can change, update or paint.

It’s painful for me to admit, but I have truly been discontented. And even embarrassed at times when others have been to visit. And honestly, I have a sweet house. It's crazy thinking. But I get wrapped up in the "comparison game" with other people.

When my grandmother passed away recently, I had the sweet blessing of friends come to our home while the funeral was going on and fill it with food for my family to enjoy afterwards. For two days, I knew this was their plan. Blessed as I felt by their generosity, I am ashamed to admit it now, but I struggled for two days with anxiety over the fact that my sweet friends and extended family would be in my less-than-perfect-in-need-of-updating-house. What in the world would they think?! For it truly was a day all about me, right?

So the day came and went. And guess what? It was a sweet day. And not one person mentioned that I have no landscaping or my carpet is stained. I shudder now at the thought of my concerns on that day! In all actuality, we hugged, ate food together, laughed, told stories, let 20 kids run crazy and enjoyed our time together. I survived it, I’m happy to report.

Then as I thought about how I could thank these precious friends for all their thoughtfulness and hard work for our family on this special day, I asked my Mom.

How about if you fix them a meal at your house. Maybe a brunch.”

Oh great. Anxiety setting in again. This means they have to come back to my house. They will now really see the chipped paint, the scuffed floors, and the old cabinetry. This is more anxiety than one should have to handle.

Why am I telling you all this? Because God has BOMBARDED me about my sin.

Through various blogs, conversations with friends and even the sermon at church on Sunday, this message is in my face…and hair…and ears…and eyes (you get the picture). I am mortified at my heart attitude, my unconscious ingratitude, and my arrogance/pride at thinking people come to my house to critique it. Maybe, perhaps, they are here because they love me and my family. Maybe they truly don’t notice the lack of landscaping or the stains on the carpet until I point it out to them for the 100th time.

And I have to ask myself….do people feel loved and attended to by me while in my home? Or do I make them uncomfortable by apologizing the entire time for the state of my home? Do I love people enough to concentrate on THEM and make them feel special?

It’s sad for me to admit that NO is how I’d have to answer the above questions a lot of the time. But I think I’m beginning to understand now…God, do you hear that? You can now stop with the messages from heaven on this topic! Please.

So what am I learning?
  • It’s not all about me….or my house…it’s about people. It’s about relating. It’s about welcoming people in and loving them.

  • My attitude should be that of thanking God daily for what he has given me and my family. He has given us a place to call home.

  • I must stop comparing what God has given me to what God has given you. God has been more than generous with his blessings for our family.

  • Daily I need to thank my husband that he is a great provider and make sure he knows that I appreciate his desire to get our family out of debt.

  • Be content. And if I can’t muster it naturally, pray for strength.

  • Know that God’s mercies are new every morning and today is a new day!

Now that I've confessed, you can hold me to it when you come visit.

What is your big “God” lesson for the week? Do you have an area that he bombarding you with his Truth and his grace? You may want to listen.


Colleen said...

I love you, I love your house, I love your kids, I love your dog, I love your passion for your home!

Connie :) said...

Girl, remember that I used to be JUST LIKE THIS ... until I moved into our 1972 Victorian home that has been under renovation/ restoration for almost 3 years now. I totally "feel ya" on this one! The thing that broke me was that there was NO WAY I was going to be able to keep my new/old home clean, neat, and certainly not "perfect" ... not with tools, materials and mostly DUST being the constant. I would go crazy trying to keep it all together, so I just "let go."

Now, don't get me wrong ... I LONG for the day when I CAN be (more) proud of our (more) beautiful home because it is "done," but until then, I know that the house is pretty cool, unusual and special as it is, that people DO come to visit to see US and see the progress on the house and just to get away from the city!

YOU, my sweet sister, are SOOOO awesome and you DO "love on" people very well when they visit. While your home isn't yet how you DESIRE and envision it to be, it is SUCH a wonderfully warm and inviting home, where it's always delightful to see what you've done, enjoy some tasty treat, and just BE with you, your precious boys, and that awesome hubby of yours, and of course, the Princess - Lucy :)

I love your courage to confess, your transparency and vulnerability exposed, your heart for the Lord and His Truth, and most of all, how YOU always inspire and remind ME that my life needs to be "more about Him and less about me." (John 3:30)

Once again, I am blessed by you :)

Libby@TheOrganizedHomemaker said...

I totally know how you feel! We bought our house 7 years ago and every single room in it needs work. I am not It was built in 1975...with the most recent updates being in the early 80's. We're talking ugly, stain infested green carpet...a big crack in the middle of my kitchen floor from the laminate that probably has been there since 1980.Wallpaper in the kitchen and bathrooms that is tearing apart. It's horrible.

You add my 2 toddler children making a mess of things...and yes...I sooooo can relate.

I struggle with keeping things clean because I think the more I keep it clean, the less it will make the house look *outdated.* When people come over, I'm always apologizing for the nasty stains on the carpet. And am quick to remind them that we do steam clean once a month...just some of those stains are very, very, very old.

Someday we will rennovate...but not until the kids will be in school all

So aren't the only one going through this. :)

Every Day Blessings said...

I loved your honesty and sincerity in this post. I think every woman alive has felt this way at some time or another. You are ahead of the game when you can figure out that people don't really care about your house unless its filthy, stinks and has mice running around!:)( As a home care nurse I have seen plenty of that.)What people care about is the same things you care about and that is friends and having fun.
thank you for sharing the things that God is teaching you. I can't wait to hear more. this week I will try to link up , last week I was way too busy.