What a perfect topic in honor of my long hiatus from this series. I had hoped to finish this series by the end of the year, but I know that just isn’t going to happen. Because there is far too much that I need to do that doesn’t involve cleaning my home. However, the holidays are all about hospitality and togetherness. So I feel this series is still very valid, otherwise I’d be waiting until after the New Year when we all suddenly want to make our lives perfect by making totally unrealistic resolutions.

I once heard someone say that bloggers are part of the problem. We make life look so perfect. Well, I don’t think I’m often accused of that. But maybe it’s because I tend to lean in the other extreme. I can be brutally honest at times, so much so that we get phone calls at our house from concerned relatives. Really, I’m fine. I’m just trying to be real. Because anyone who is currently parenting children knows it can be rough. We all have our own strengths. For some ladies this is a clean home. Their houses always seem to look so put together. That’s not me. There are always toy trains on the floor. (These are more ubiquitous than Legos at our house), and typically plates in the sink and on the kitchen table. Baskets of laundry, sometimes both clean and dirty, can be found in the living room, kitchen and upstairs hallway. Even if I’ve just cleaned the bathroom, it won’t look or smell that way after no less than 15 minutes because that’s just how life with kids is. I honestly believe it takes me longer to clean the bathroom than it actually stays clean.

But I digress, this is a series to encourage us to clean. The point is, none of us is perfect and demanding perfect of ourselves is both unfair and unrealistic.

Mary Challenge

What are some areas of your life that you’ve been striving for perfection, perhaps due to comparison?  Pray about these areas and ask God to replace any lies with truth. The truth is, I am a homeschooling mom with two kids, ages 2 and 5. We live in a small, half a double. These are not excuses, they are facts. Because we are home a lot, my house gets messy. My children can pick up after themselves somewhat, but are too young to help share the full burden. This is my life right now. I am a good mom and a good wife, the condition of my kitchen floor is not a reflection of my worth as a human being. My house will never be clean and perfectly put together for as long as I have children living in my home. That’s OK. I’m trying to learn to embrace the imperfection and love the children anyway.

Martha Challenge

Clean and Organize electronics, shine the wood furniture.

This is a great challenge. But, if it causes you more stress than it produces peace, feel free not to do it. Because you need to do what gives you strength. If having that DVD shelf more organized makes you feel like your world is just a little more together, than more power to you. But if you really don’t care how it looks and it doesn’t bother you, then don’t invest energy in something that doesn’t provide you with any positive benefit.

As we approach a time of year when it’s really easy to become obsessed with glossy, magazine pictures of perfectly organized and decorated holiday homes, let’s remember that none of us really has that. But having people in your home, whether loving family or dear friends is worth any mess it produces. Experience matters more than image. Be hospitable, even if you don’t feel like your house is up to it, make sure your heart is.


31 Days to Clean: Having a Martha House the Mary Way

Why Clean?: 31 Days to Clean

Created to Give Life: 31 Days to Clean

10 Ways to Give Life to Your Home: 31 Days to Clean

A Place to Put Your Feet Up: 31 Days to Clean

Priorities: 30 Days to Clean

The 6 List: 31 Days to Clean

The Curse – What We’re Up Against: 31 Days to Clean

Overcoming the Curse: 31 Days to Clean

Confronting Laziness: 31 Days to Clean

Feeling Overwhelmed: 31 Days to Clean

Limitations: 31 Days to Clean