Saturday, October 22, 2011

What Matters Most?

This week I have been chewing over this little tidbit that was said to me at our Mops (Mothers of preschoolers) meeting.  We watched a video by Julie Barnhill.  She was speaking on her book One Tough Mother.  There were numerous points through out her talk that applied to me.  However, the one that stuck with me about mothering was this... In the light of eternity, what matter most?  I have been dwelling on that line ever since. 

In the light of eternity does how clean my house really matter?  In the light of eternity does having my children involved in lots of activities matter?  In the light of eternity does it matter if I serve frozen pizza twice in a week? (yes, that really happened this week)  Obviously, the answer is no.  No, those things do not matter in the light of eternity.  Why am I so hung up on such trivial stuff?  Why have I convinced myself that part of being a good mother is that I have a clean house, that my kids "should" be extra ordinary at everything that they do, that when people see me they see a perfect Suzy-homemaker?  These are all lies.  Lies that I have presented to others, convinced myself of and demanded my family to live up to. 

So here it is.  The real truth.  My house is never clean.  I try and try but it will never look clean.  It is one of those houses that always looks "lived" in.  Here is a small sampling of photo proof that I took on a regular Wednesday afternoon.

 The girl's bedroom.

 My bedroom - washed the linens but haven't had time to remake the bed

 Laundry - oh so much laundry that has piled up

Gobs of shoes by the front door and coats on the floor even though there is a hook near by.

One thing that I have felt convicted on this week is that I do not often enough delight in my ordinary children.  I feel this need that they "should" be special, outstanding, better then the rest...  You get the idea.  I think that outwardly I am pretty good at appearing not too competitive with other moms.  On the inside, however, I worry/obsess if someones child is doing something that mine is not yet or maybe will never do.  This needs to stop.  My children are a wonderful blessing from God.  I want to delight in the fact that they are regular kids and, really, we lead a very regular life.  Nothing glamorous or exciting and that is okay.  Actually it is perfect really.

Then there is finally the perfect Suzy-homemaker farce.  Oh man, as much as I have tried to be I am just not.  I will be real with you and tell you that today I was tired and not feeling well.  I was not nice to Dan pretty much all day.  We had leftovers for lunch (pizza) and I made the kids waffles for dinner.  To try and make myself feel better about it I made sure to serve strawberries with their lunch to offset the fact that they had pizza for Friday night dinner and Saturday lunch.  Strawberries are healthy.  It helps counter act too much pizza!  Right?!?

As I thought about all these things this week I decided to adopted a few REAL mothering goals for myself.  These are the things that really matter to me.  First, I want my children to grow up to be kind, loving individuals with a heart for the Lord.  The state of my house does not factor into that goal.  Second, I want my house to be something that my children want to come back to.  I don't want them to leave at 18 and never what to come back.  I want them to feel safe, loved and God's presence when the come back home.  In the light of eternity those are the things that truly matter to me.  The rest is just not worth the worry.

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