You know those pictures I post of food and of when the house feels warm and cozy and clean? Those pictures of when I’ve been cooking our favorite meals?
Pictures like this
Pictures of when things fall into place and there is a peace that settles on the home. When the home feels more like a sanctuary…when it feels like I hope for it to feel and like I desire. A home that is inspired by articles like I find at Art House America.
I have to admit, though. There are times when things simply do not mesh.
There are times when I feel like I am running to stay ahead of the day, and I am just barely keeping up pace. I don’t have the lessons planned far enough ahead. I don’t have the groceries bought. I don’t have the meals planned. I don’t have on hand what I need. The kids are just enough more energetic than I am and it is keeping me on edge because it is highlighting the fact that I am falling short.
That is when the house looks more like this:
Yep. Not a lot of healthy, home cooked, green wonderful veggie-type food there. Meds. Flung to and fro, mixed in with all kinds of snacky type food.
Oh, and the sink…well…we’re really keeping up on the dishes today as well:
It actually looks much worse in person.
I would have taken a picture of the laundry room, but I had to stop and clean up the cat vomit and got distracted.
Here’s the thing. In the middle of this we have accomplished math lessons and reading, we have learned about Hittites and Canaanites, about the battle of Troy and about the Judges of Israel.
We have laughed heartily.
We’ve been to the grocery and the orthodontist and on the way sang loudly to TobyMac and Taylor Swift.
I rocked Maddie, after stepping over her toys that were scattered on the floor, and I sat for a few minutes holding her and just breathing her in. Just being with her…even though I didn’t have a few minutes. Because, even though I am far behind on duties; on lesson plans and menus and laundry, I am still in the middle of a life full of promise and hope and love.
We’ve been doing life and sometimes the chores get a bit sloppy because life gets backed up. I have the tendency to get edgy and grouchy when I know I am behind on the duties that I am responsible for, and I can take that out on the kids…because I know I am falling short. I desperately need a pause button so I can get caught up.
Those pause buttons are hard to find and the duties and the stress can continue to pile up. But we have to find those pauses…when we are rocking the babies, or listening to the laughter of the older kids…or looking at our kids sleep.
And then everyone else is still posting pictures of great meals and clean houses and clean smiling kids on Pinterest and Instagram and FaceBook. We’ve all seen the posts, and we’ve all read the blog articles telling us not to stress over them…but sometimes we need another reminder.
So here is another reminder.
Everyone has the back-up of dishes in their sink sometimes. Everyone’s cat, or dog, or kid, pukes on the floor at some point 😉
Everyone feels the need to hit the pause button…we just don’t always post that on Pinterest or FaceBook or Instagram all the time. We like to post the good side of us. And sometimes that makes it really tough for all the rest of us to say that we struggling and that we are hurting and that we are lonely…or disappointed…or …. whatever.
But we need to say it and we need to not swallow it down and try to just ignore it and shoulder on, because it just becomes bigger and harder to swallow down.
So…go ahead…post pictures of your dirty sink on Instagram and tell the world you need a day to pause! Recognize your limits!! Before they become something larger than they need to be.
Because we have an enemy that will take something small and twist it and turn it and poke at it and fester it until it becomes something it never needed to be. He will take a silly picture of someone enjoying life, posted on a social media, and make you feel less about yourself.
Listen…the successes and the joys of our friends do not diminish who we are…they simply are the joys of our friends. Let them be that, and rejoice with them. That’s all.
I promise to post some unflattering pictures of our life in the coming months 😉
For now…remember that the One who cares for us cares for us in the midst of the life we are in, right now. Not the life we hope for, or the life we wish we had. Not the life we hope to create.
Right now…with the promise that He is the One who is Faithful to bring about the life we hope to create. He is the One who can bring us to the place where we are loved and whole and well…and where we have peace even with dirty dishes and cats who vomit.
AWESOME and so real to life!!!! Precious moments….thanks.
[…] essay was first published on Sarah’s blog, The Small Rain, and is used with her […]