I’m so ashamed to say it, but it’s true. Those beautifully curated square pictures are killing the fire in my heart for homemaking.
My feed of late has been inundated with beautiful pictures of beautifully clean and organised homes – and I love looking at them. There is something inspiring about them that keeps calling me back to scroll through them. Our hearts are designed by the Great Designer to love beauty (for He is Beautiful). And these homemakers have done wonderful jobs of making beautiful homes.
Yet, at the same time, there is only so much a poor girl can take.
I will be straight up honest and say that jealousy does lurk in my heart. I feel jealous, not for the homes per se (I love our derelict-doer-up-villa) nor the things in their homes; rather, I am jealous of the ability of these incredible women.
And I mean that, to me, they are incredible.
They do what I do each day. We cook, clean, mother, homeschool, wife, garden, mother culture – and probably heaps more (especially if they farmstead or work outside the home). But, in all honesty, they do it better.
That can be hard to swallow.
I want to be like them. I want that ability or skill or energy that enables these incredible women home-make like they do each day. Yet, for some reason, I have only little amounts of these to be able to achieve what I do each day.
I think mostly, though, I don’t understand. I don’t understand me. These words in Psalm 40 resonate with me deeply in regards to my struggles with homemaking:
“But as for me, I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me” (vs 17).
As much as I believe and love and try to create a home that looks like these dream pictures on social media, I just cannot do it. I get overwhelmed, or I burnout, or I stress at the children when they ruin my hard work, or I just don’t know how to do it and maintain my work.
And in my weakness, I wonder – why bother? I’m not going to be able to do that, so I wonder why I keep killing myself over those pictures.
Upwards and Outwards.
Thankfully, Psalm 40 continues on for the poor and needy, like me:
“You are my help and my deliverer; You are my God, do not delay.”
When I am struggling and feeling like I cannot keep up, the Lord gently lifts my eyes upwards to Him, the very reason I do this anyway.
My flesh wants to serve myself in homemaking. I want to feel good about myself and the way I home-make. If I make it a day creating and working in our home that meets my standard, I feel good. But why? I have been serving myself. So, the next day when I can’t because the children are sick or I’ve used up all my energy the day before, then my self-worth plummets.
I need to check my heart about why I am trying to make our home a certain way. Who am I really working for? I know the answer by how the state of my home makes me feel about myself.
And this is why social media has such an effect on me: I make it all about me – what inspires me, what my things look like in a picture, and how my home compares.
But why am I a homemaker?
It is because God has made me one. I live in a house He has provided for me. I care for a husband whom He clefted me to. And I nurture two children who He brought to life through me.
Homemaking is about God and responding to what He has given me.
This post by Mystie was so encouraging to me today. And when I read the dictionary definition of homemaking, my heart smiled. The definition is this:
homemaking (v): the creation and management of a home, especially as a pleasant place to live in.
A pleasant place.
This was a word straight from the Lord to me, knowing how poor my heart has been feeling lately.
Am I the best homemaker in the world? No.
Is my home perfectly curated? No.
Do I have all the Waldorf toys and Charlotte Mason posters? No.
But – and this makes all the difference – is our home a pleasant place to live in?
Yes, yes it is.
That is the standard God wants me to live up to. And it is so easily attainable, even for a poor and needy homemaker like myself. And, for you too, dear friend.
Let us put social media where it needs to stay and just seek to make our homes a pleasant place. It won’t be hard nor a yoke to serve the Lord and our family in this way.