Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Somehow I seem to believe, deep down, that this is achievable. You would think with 6 kids, 3 dogs, a cat, a few other transient animal friends, and all the responsibilities of running a home, I'd be over this by now. But I'm not. My children's beds are made every morning with tight corners and centered pillows. Cars must go in the car basket, Barbie's in the Barbie basket, costumes in the costume box, books on the shelves, pencils in the pencil box. I could go on. And on. But I won't because I prefer you think I'm just tidy....not crazy...

I am ashamed to admit that on more than one occasion I have allowed myself to be so caught up in maintaining my "perfect", that I have hurt my children's feelings when things are not just as I expect them to be.

A sweet friend of mine posted a list on Facebook today. A list of "real helps for busy moms". It was rich in wisdom and beautifully thoughtful. It made me stop...think....understand...and refocus. Even if just for today. It made a difference for me, and for my children.

One message in particular wrapped its hands around my face and forced me to look right into its depths and really listen. This was the one...

6. Homemaking is about making a home, not about making perfection. A perfect home

is an authentic, creative, animated space where Peace and Christ and Beauty are embraced.

{Perfect does not equate to immaculate.}







I appreciate these things. I see the value in each of them. But there's more to it than that. Did you realize that? I'm not sure I did. They aren't just to be valued and appreciated, they are to be


Welcomed with arms wide open. Wrapped up, clung to, leaned on...embraced.

So I sat down at the schoolroom table with Juni in my arms and began to paint. Within seconds, Julia poked her head in and asked to join me. Then one by one each of the 5 remaining children found their place around the table and took a brush. I didn't ask anyone to change out of their nice clothes.

Didn't breathe a word about being careful with your paints.

Hardly flinched when the brushes missed their intended target and colored the table instead.

And instead of hurrying them to clean it all up and "put everything back in its place"...I took pictures...

By the time we were finished, I had rainbow colored children, a couple of ruined shirts, a paint encrusted school table, and black blobs of abandoned acrylic paint on my pretty Pottery Barn rug. But today I could see beyond that. Today I could see the beauty in all of this. The authenticity. The joy and freedom of "embracing". I am praying that I will be able to make this who I am, and not just something I occasionally make myself do.

I didn't end up with any masterpieces of fine art today. What I got was far more valuable. As I was cleaning up, my kids called me into my room because they wanted to tell me something....

And there it is. My "perfection".