We all toil with something. Completing tasks, only to repeat them once more.
I once bought into a lie: "housework makes me ugly"...
I'd been letting it overwhelm me, annoy me, and steal my sense of peace. It was when the kids were small. The diapers, the spit up, the multiple changes of clothing per day, the toy clutter, and mountains of laundry felt like mounting repeated waves ready to take me down. Maybe a little melodramatic? Perhaps. But my heart surged when I saw the above phrase, housework makes me ugly, hand-painted on a decorative board, and I knew someone somewhere understood!
I bought it, hung it over my kitchen sink, and tried to laugh off that lurking sense.
After all, why should a woman feel emotional about her house? Silly me. But I did.
Several years later, I ran across a book titled The Emotional House. Finally, someone gets it--my house was stressing me out! I had let my home merge with the parts of myself I didn't like. It was like taking time to be like Mary, who chose relational things over Martha's practicality and efficiency, yet still believing I was supposed to be fully perfect at all the gifts of Mary and Martha (from Luke 10:38). Silly me. But I did.
Finally one day, I looked at that dumb sign hanging over my kitchen sink and realized it was a lie.
Housework never made me ugly. My beliefs and attitude choices were the problem. I jolted off my chair, yanked the ridiculous dictate off the wall, threw it into the garbage can, and hauled it to the curb!
Sure, everyone has at one time felt like I'd felt. It's life.
But I'd let it rule and hang over me. No more. It was time to choose joy.
It was time to break the ties attached to my heart and soul.
~~Self care is good.
~~Creating places of peace in your home is good.
~~Keeping relationships primary over housekeeping is priority.
~~Dust doesn't equal disaster.
~~Clutter isn't a pronouncement of failure.
~~Hospitality is about relationships, not stress-induced perfection.
When I looked at what stressed me, I refused to listen to the lie. I began to choose joy, and turned on music while I tackled one small thing. Often it was just dinner. The house might be falling down, but I got some worship on, and served up supper with a smile. I started with celebrating one thing.
I learned to be content...in my home...in my skin...with myself.
Yes, I still get stressed. Yes, I still have clutter and dust.
Especially when I'm in the middle of writing a first draft.
Or busy with edits.
Or crazy long days at the office.
But, I choose joy.
Your turn, have you believed a lie?
Have you hauled your lies to the curb, or let them hang over you like a dictate?
What stresses you out?
What have you done to conquer it with truth?
Blog post by Anne Love-
Writer of Historical Romance inspired by her family roots.Nurse Practitioner by day.Wife, mother, writer by night.Coffee drinker--any time.