Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Fancy I am not.

Fancy, I am not. I always want to be that woman who has it all together, bakes creative and beautiful, yet healthy food. I want to be the woman whose house is immaculate and well put-together. In the back of my mind I desire for my house to look like it came out of a Pottery Barn catalog, my food to look like the pictures in the cookbooks, and my family to be dressed well, and act like the perfect Christian family. I try to reach for these dreams and I often find that I fall short. Because, Fancy, I am not.

My house is often a mess. Toys (as in baby toys, dog bones, computers, etc.), shoes and old mail are often scattered about the downstairs living area. My dogs shed a lot, so there is often three or four more dog’s worth on the couches and floors as well. The kitchen sometimes has remnants of whatever the last meal (or five) was on the counter, dirty dishes aren’t in the dishwasher because it hasn’t been emptied of the clean dishes. Our furniture is mismatched and well-loved. In some cases, it barely qualifies as furniture. Fancy, I am not.

The food we eat is just that: Food. If we are lucky, we’re eating at home. If we are even luckier, I’ve had a wonderful day and have been able to prepare a great meal for all of us to enjoy together. On not-so-good days, we eat out. But we have food. We don’t always eat the healthiest, but when we do eat at home, we generally try to have a protein and vegetables in each meal. The other day I tried to prepare a spritz-type peanut butter cookie, and instead of ending up with about 3 dozen cookies the size of my palm, I ended up with about 120 cookies the size of jellybeans. I guess that chocolate drizzle won’t look so appetizing on those. Fancy, I am not.

If you were to visit our house at 10:00 in the morning, most days you would find me, my hair still a mess, in my pajamas. The little Monster would be in his pajamas too, hopefully with a clean diaper, running around in his room playing noisily, reading, or watching some PBS show. On a better day, I might be wearing jeans and a T-shirt, and Little Monster might be dressed. Fancy, I am not.

I have to remind myself that Fancy is out of reach for me. Not because, I’m not good enough, but because in my mind, to be fancy is to be ‘perfect.’ So, Fancy, I am not, because perfect I am not. And that is okay.

I often remind myself that it’s okay for my house to be a mess – because the mess means that we are living in here. The mess means, no I didn’t vacuum today. But I sat down with my child and read EVERY. SINGLE. BOOK. on his bookshelf. It means that we spent some quality time together. I am not always dressed to impress because I have an 18 month old. Who likes to wipe his snot on my shirt. And my pants. And, I don’t like to do laundry. More nice clothing means more laundry. The messy kitchen means that we are rich enough to have food on our plates, and it means that Not the Momma has distracted me from the dishes. Which is fine. It’s FINE that the dishes didn’t get done. Not the Momma is HOME. So, spend some time with him today. Let the dishes wait for tomorrow when he is deployed, or busy at work.

Even after all of those reminders, I still, in the back of my mind strive for that perfection. Most of the things I desire to be ‘perfect’ are not important. I am not going to think back when I’m 80 and wonder why in the world I didn’t vacuum or dust that one week. I am going to wonder why in the world I didn’t spend more time with my friends and family, making memories. I don’t want people to think of me when I’m gone and think “Wow! She had such furniture.” Or “She was always well dressed.” I want them to remember me for being a good person – a good friend, a good Mother and a good Wife.

I also strive to be someone who others see and recognize as a (but more importantly BE a better) Christian. Someone who is so filled with the Spirit that you can see It in me. That is not an easy walk, though. The things of this world call often and they easily distract me. I am not perfect, I am not the perfect Christian. In fact, I am FAR from it. I need to remind myself that this home is temporary – and I’m not talking about my street address. I want to be the kind of person who will be welcomed into Heaven and remembered for the good things I’ve done. I’m not where I’d like to be, and the going is slower than it should be, but I’m working on it. Why? *Because He’s gone ahead of us to prepare us a place in His Father’s house, where there are mansions everywhere. Fancy, I am not. But Our Lord is, and so is His House. And the furniture, Pottery Barn has nothing on it.

*John 14:2-6, summarized just a bit.


Vanessa said...

I am in the same boat Mary! I chalk the mess in my kitchen, cat hair on the floor and toys everywhere, up to one of the joys of being a Mom and even a little bit to being a Wife. (Although the state of the mess tends to be a lot more advanced now that there are three of us)
I know for one that I will remember you as a good friend!

As for being a perfect Christian, just remember that even the perfect Christian has their flaws. You are a lot further down that path than some, simply because you ARE working on it, and strive to be a better Christian. Everyone stumbles. Not everyone picks themselves up, dusts themselves off and keeps working. You do.

Ashlee said...

Such a good, warm and fuzzy post. I needed that today. I feel I lack in so many areas ,too. I'm always striving for perfection, and then get frustrated when I fall short. Realistically I know that perfection is something I can never reach, but it's hard to ingrain that into my head.


Samantha said...

Mary, you hit the nail right on the head!! I feel the same way you do all the time! If we were already perfect, then Christ wouldn't have had to suffer for our weaknesses.

You are great!

Don Mills Diva said...

I think you sound waaay more fun than "that woman" you talk about at the beginning of your post!

Knick Knack Paddy Whack, Throw This Mom a Bone said...

I love your un-fancy-ness. It's what makes you 'real'.

Great post.