Joel, my song boy. Let the music and laughter flow.
A few years ago, we were visiting a family and everything in the home--I should say, estate, was perfect. A garden without weeds, a home in perfect order, a meal with no mess as all pots and pans had been washed and all put away. Yet, something about the environment seemed sterile and stiff to Clay and me and to our children. We did feel that the children were quite stiff and formal, and seemed afraid to move out of the context of "reserved politeness." The atmosphere seemed sterile, and there was something uncomfortable to all of us--like a mysterious air of performance and judgment. The mom repeated three times, "I am so exhausted, all the time."
We all felt the strange atmosphere of stress and strain, even in the midst of perfect order, and we talked about it as we left in the car because it was all so right and yet felt so wrong--the atmosphere of strain almost palpable.
There seemed to be form without art or life.
I am not condemning order, how i love it! Or high ideals! I am guilty of high ideals. But if the ideals consist of performance and not heart, all will be lost.And that is what it felt like to all of us while we were there. And frankly, we all felt a subtle pressure to perform and not say the wrong thing!
What an attitude we sometimes carry about God in our hearts, as though he is some kind of cross, angry man, terminally disappointed in us for not being more perfect. He is not crossing his arms, looking scornfully down His face at us saying, "Well, I was going to encourage you today and tell you how much I love you. But I can't--look at that pile on your desk, shocked at that pile laundry, I am suspicious because you are laughing too much today!"
Instead He is saying, "Woohoo! You sat with your child and watched me paint a sunset! You were patient with that spilled milk and fuss one more time--you listened to that weepy teen and didn't even get correct him, even though you were exhausted! You are my precious one and I love that you are doing your best. I love you. I am with you, I am proud of you for keeping going!"
A home is a place of life filled by a mother whose life is contagious because of her sparkle in the midst of messes, her laughter in the midst of duty, her song pervading the whole place--the music, feasts, art, joy of life--flowing out of a heart that has found this joy in her God.
"To build a home of ideals means a life of sacrifice. It means a lot of work, and it's never going to be over. These ideals don't come easily to anyone; they come through battle. It's an illusion to think that building a place of beauty ever happens naturally to anyone; it happens little by little ... through hard work ... when we cultivate our souls, our kids will have something to draw from .. the house with the life of God isn't a perfect house, it's a redeemed house! It's not a home without sin, or without messes or without spilled milk, but we redeem one more moment, in the joy of living with Him, and that moment becomes a memory, an unspoken message that lasts for life... " Mission of Motherhood
So, today, it is not about perfection, but about peace, hope, life, vision and love. Today, in the midst of all the messes, smile, laugh, sing and dance to the rhythms of God's singing.
We are living in ponderous times and sometimes it is overwhelming. Monday night, I will be talking about some of the things that make us feel so desperate and the ways we can keep going and move to hopefulness. There is hope ---and hope keeps us moving ahead, one day at a time. Mentoring Monday night--also, developing habits of excellence in your children's lives. http://www.hangoutwithsally.com/?whw_hangout=6®ister
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