Contentment

I have been listening to Daring Greatly by Brene Brown on Audible on my morning runs this week, and boy is she reading my mail. I just finished the part on scarcity, which is basically the feeling of “I’m not _____ enough”, and I feel like the timing is perfect with my series because if there is one area that women often feel “not ______ enough”, it is with our homes and our homemaking abilities (or perceived lack of abilities).

I don’t know about you, but my home is very much an expression of who I am. From the way I decorate to the atmosphere I try to create, you will find little pieces of my identity sprinkled throughout my home. As a rather quiet person in personality, I often feel that if I could just invite a person over to my house, they would really be able to get to know me because my home captures the essence of who I am.

I don’t think that this is a bad thing at all, but I do have to carefully guard myself from falling into the comparison trap with my house and style of homemaking, because those feelings of “not ______ enough” tend to have a deeper effect on me because my identity is so wrapped up in my home.

I have shared before about my former dreams of the Pottery Barn life, and our less than ideal housing situations throughout the years of our marriage and ministry. A few years ago, God provided us with a home to rent that was old and cute, tiny but adequate. I was perfectly fine living there because I knew that it was God’s provision for us. Then one day, we were invited to the home of some friends of ours who are the same age as us. We pulled up to their amazing, huge, and gorgeous home and I was consumed with envy and instant feelings of “not ______ enough” in my own life. Suddenly, I felt that what God had provided for us was no longer sufficient and I began to feel sorry for myself and ashamed of my home. It was an ugly feeling and something that I am not proud of.

As women and as homemakers, we have to be so careful to not compare our homes and our homemaking abilities to others. There is always going to be someone with a larger, nicer, newer, cleaner, more organized home than yours. There are always going to be tons of gorgeous pictures on Pinterest and even more great homemaking and organizational tips that are going to make you feel like you are “not ______ enough”.

Over the past couple of years, I have finally grown comfortable and content with my home and my homemaking abilities. I have learned to stop comparing and start focusing on my strengths and showing myself grace in my weaknesses. I have applied my “know yourself, accept yourself” formula to myself as a homemaker and it has helped tremendously.

My home is…

Thrift store finds and yard sale makeovers.

Clean countertops.

Toys everywhere.

Colorful.

A place for everything, and everything in its place meets 4 young children.

My home is not…

Beds made.

Spot free carpet.

Frequently mopped floors.

Nicely arranged throw pillows.

Stain free, scratch free furniture.

Several times in my homemaking “career” I have attempted to make Homemaking/Family Binders, but I never ended up using them. I once printed the Flylady’s cleaning schedule, but found it a little too obsessive for me. I have created minute-by-minute schedules for my daily and weekly routines, and gave up the first day. I used to have high hopes and higher expectations of myself as a homemaker back when I still believed the Supermom Myth, but I have learned that no matter how perfect the room on Pinterest looks, there is probably a basket of toys or pile of laundry on the other side of the camera. I have found what works for me and my home and I have grown comfortable with who I am as a homemaker.

Have you ever seen the 2005 version of the movie “Yours, Mine, and Ours”? There is this line that I love that the mom says…

“Homes are for free expression, not good impressions!”

It is something that I remind myself of regularly. My purpose of my home is to care for and nurture my family, not to impress friends or people that I don’t even know with Pinterest-worthy photographs.

Cultivating Intention:

  • If you are struggling with discontentment when it comes to your home or your homemaking abilities, you might need to take a close look at your circle of influence. There are some magazines that I had to stop looking at, stores I had to stop window shopping, and blogs I had to stop following because they always made me unhappy with what I had.
  • Grab a piece of paper, and apply the “know yourself, accept yourself” formula to your house and your homemaking style. Perhaps add a third category of things that you would like to work on, just make sure to check your motives for the improvements you want to make. Stay away from anything that stems from a need to impress or feelings of “not ______ enough”.

Cultivating Grace:

Pray that the Father will help you join Paul in being able to truly say…

“I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”  Philippians 4:12

Whenever feelings of inadequacy or discontentment creep up inside of you in regards to your home or your homemaking abilities, pray…

“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing.” Psalm 23:1

Please do not compare your home or your homemaking abilities to others. It is a poor use of your time and energy. Time and energy that could be invested into creating the atmosphere and home experience that you desire for your loved ones. Remember, you are unique and your home should be too.

Always,

Amanda

This post is Day 15 of the 31 day series I am writing on cultivating a life of intention and grace. For a complete index of posts in this series, click here. To read more 31 Days series, please visit The Nester.

To receive my daily blog updates in your email inbox, please click here to subscribe.

 



Enter your email address to receive blog updates via email

Comments

  1. I am loving the Brene Brown podcast too. I had journaled about A pervasive feeling of poverty, but then when I read her book iPod realized it was really scarcity. I love how she helps give a name to things. Every now and then I get the not — enough bug too. That’s when I start listing out my blessings.

  2. latoya @ a peaceful crib says:

    Amen! And its funny because I too have tried the homemaking binders, cleaning schedules, and elaborate plans to decorate my house to look pin worthy. I quickly got over it. I’m much happier and grateful too!

  3. love your know yourself/accept yourself formula … so FREEING!

  4. Thank you for this. I found your blog through the 31 days link-up and it has quickly become one of my faves to read daily. Just when I think surely I am the only Christian who struggles with these ugly feelings, God gives me grace by showing I have some mightly Godly women in the same boat. God bless you!

  5. I love the bit about examining the circle of influence. I just simply don’t go into some stores anymore because I know that my brain quickly goes to “I want that!” and then “I want that!” becomes “I need that!” Sometimes avoiding the temptation is easier for me.

  6. I went through the whole “my house is not good enough” stage and I was jealous of everyone around me who had the bigger and better. It was not a good place to be in. Now I am content where I am, I actually love my house, because I have started adding my personality into it like you said. It works for us the way it is and I can come up with ways to make it more organized. The whole cleaning schedule never works for me unfortunately, I do need to come up with a better way so I’m not doing it all on a Saturday!!

    • Amanda Medlin says:

      I hear you! I need to just get back to cleaning period. Our October schedule was so crazy, I have just been doing the absolute necessary.

  7. I loved this post. I live in an 1100 square foot home and often get invited to other people’s homes where things are not only huge and beautiful but organized and roomy and pottery-barnish. One such friend even has a two-year-old living there and I just don’t know how she keeps it that way! My house is like yours…minus the clean countertops because mine are usually messy. Things are just always messy even though I clean every day. I feel like I can never keep up, but well…oh well. We live here.

    One thing that has helped me was this post on steadymom.com that captures the essence of things when it comes to pinterest and flylady and household binders and stuff: tell yourself “That’s just not for me.”

    It really is freeing.

    http://www.steadymom.com/2012/12/a-phrase-you-should-learn.html

Join the Conversation

*