Looking for Peace in all the wrong places….
I clean. I organize. I reorganize. I declutter. I have “me-time.” I invite others over for dinner. I plan. I prepare. I am in control of most of my day. I’m on a search for Peace… and I’ve been looking in all the wrong places.
It’s been said (by me) that if you were to walk into my house and it’s a crazy mess that would be a good indicator of the state of mind at any given point. When you walk in and see a crazy, messy, unorganized, chaos of a house… well- welcome to my crazy- messy- unorganized chaos of mind.
IT is true. When I’m feeling overwhelmed – I pull back. I can’t handle it all. My brain is on overload and I cannot even bear to think of straightening my house YET AGAIN… because then surely an emotional breakdown is next with the sniffles, anger and frustrations with the lingering questions of;
“Didn’t I JUST clean this room? Wasn’t this room JUST vacuumed? How can trash appear all over the house when it was JUST cleaned? Where did those toothpicks on the floor come from? Why are there toys on the floor directly in my walking path AGAIN? Why socks? Just why?! And yes… that is a fort under my never used desk complete with crayons, all the pillows from the couch, blanket from all corners of the house and… scissors too?”
But I don’t want to be that person anymore. I don’t want to co-relate the way my house looks with the lack of peace on the inside.
The PEACE I need can’t be found EVEN in a CLEAN HOUSE. The Peace I need starts with Jesus. Starts with doing NOTHING. Starts with being Mary. Starts with sitting and being in the presence of the one who sustains peace.
I have this backwards almost daily. I strive to find peace in the order of my day, things accomplished, the ability of MYSELF to keep my home maintained, my family fed and my girls educated. I am looking for peace in those things. From what I can do. Can you relate?
I had lunch with some sweet friends of mine a few weeks ago and they pinpointed on the head what I have been feeling. One friend had just returned from a missions trip to Venezuela. Describing to us a birthday party her Venezuelan friends threw for her she went on to say that these people brought her into their home, took her back to their bedroom and dressed her beautifully for her party- and that their bedroom was A MESS. Their house was a mess. What stuck out to my friend was that they didn’t care about their mess. They didn’t apologize for it. They didn’t try to hide it. They didn’t try to run around and exhaust themselves straightening everything up.
All they cared about was that their guest was honored, was comfortable, had food, was shown love and that she had fun. They didn’t find peace in their surroundings… peace and joy was found in showing HIS love to others by focusing all their attention on their guest.
How often have I sat in my own home and felt lonely? Ideally I would love to have friends that will just pop-in for coffee or tea. But nope- I have to have it planned- at least a week in advance. That way I can make sure I have treats to serve, my schedule is clear and most importantly so I can deep clean my house. By the time my guests arrive, I am exhausted and thinking “I’m not doing this again for a long time… it takes way too much effort to invite people into my home.”
When I walk into my friends’ homes and it is not organized, not 100% clean, when there are still dirty dishes on the table, laundry on the couch and crumbs on the floor… I think “Man, she is just like me! I feel so comfortable here, I feel like I can be myself. Why can’t I be more like her?”
This year… is the year of Simplifying. Of Margin. Of Rest. Of Relationships. Of being myself. Inviting others into my home to focus on making them feel comfortable, loved, appreciated and heard. This year I am letting go of trying to find PEACE in a clean, organized, simplified house- and will turn to Jesus for my Peace.
He would invite others into his messy home… will you be vulnerable enough to do the same? Will you be vulnerable enough to drop the facade that you have it all together? Will you be open to sharing your “mess” with others? We are all in need of a Savior, not one of us is perfect. Let’s stop trying to be women who’ve got a handle on everything and start being women who lean on their Savior for peace.Women who are vulnerable enough to keep the house “as is” when inviting others to our home without apologizing for the mess. Women who truly think about other’s needs instead of thinking “what do they think of me?”
We can show the love of Christ and it doesn’t have to be in a 100% spot free, freshly vacuumed, organized, magazine picture perfect of a home. It can be in our dust, dirty kitchens, laundry covered couches and at our sticky tables.
I will do it. Will you join me? Will you invite a friend over into your reality this week? Spontaneously call a friend who needs some encouragement- start the coffee or heat up some tea and just sit and listen. What a difference a mess can make. I think so!
And when you start to get frustrated, angry and overly dramatic about how messy your house is and how it makes you feel… take a look inside and see if peace from the source isn’t what you need instead!
I know I will!