Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Do you ever get intimidated?  If someone asked me that question, at first glance, I would say no.  I'm pretty secure in who I am.  I'm self-assured, self-confident.  But, if I'm honest, I would have to admit that I can become intimidated by others very easily.  Especially this time of year.  Christmastime -- the season of perfection.

The past few weeks I have been visiting blogs I follow regularly, and some new blogs I've discovered, and as I read posts about preparing for Christmas and celebrating Christmas, I am in awe of what some of these women can accomplish.  I scroll down through pictures of houses that look like they came from the pages of a magazine.  And that was BEFORE they put up their Christmas tree(s).  I see Christmas decorations that look absolutely stunning.  I look at pictures of tablescapes and I read menus that are incredible.  Christmas cookies that look like they were purchased in the finest bakery.  Presents that look like they were all wrapped at a department store.  And I think to myself, "wow, I wish my life was like that."

My house is not beautiful.  It is a very plain 1968 ranch style house that, if I'm honest with myself I have to admit that I put very little effort into when it comes to "decor."  Christmas decorations, I'm gonna go WAY out on a limb and admit to you that I didn't even put up a tree this year (GASP).  Are you still with me??  My old one was really old so I got rid of it last year thinking I would buy a new one before this Christmas . . . and never got around to it.  We left our outside Christmas lights up last year (all year long), so all we had to do was plug them in.  Does that count?

I didn't even bake Christmas cookies this year, and the only presents I wrapped were presents for family members who do NOT live in my house.  My kids wanted clothes for Christmas, and said it was ridiculous for me to wrap them up just so they could open them Christmas morning . . . especially since they were with me when I bought all the clothes.   No Christmas morning anticipation here.

But now that I've told you all that, I have to say that we had one of the BEST Christmases ever.  I had my family over for dinner Christmas Eve after candlelight communion at church.  It was beautiful.  And Christmas Day, BP and I and the kids, and both my sisters and their families were all together at my mom and dad's house.  We ate, we laughed, we watched some old VCR tapes of when our kids were small.  And we enjoyed being together.  It was wonderful.

Ladies if you have EVER read or seen anything on my blog that intimidated you, PLEASE shrug that emotion right off your back and accept my apologies.  I share my plain old ordinary wonderful life on this blog.  My house gets dirty.  My husband walks through the kitchen with mud/manure on his boots (now remember, I live on a real FARM).  Sometimes I don't cook, and we eat Casey's pizza for supper.  My laundry isn't always caught up.  My shower, well, let's not even DISCUSS the state of my shower.  Social Services might show up to take my children!  

And you know what?  I'm guessing that all of those blogs that I can be so intimidated by, well, I bet the house doesn't always look perfect either.  I'm guessing they eat frozen pizza for dinner on occasion.  I'm certain their laundry piles up.  And I don't say that sarcastically, or to be disrepectful to those bloggers.  I say that so that we can ALL just be real and know that none of us are perfect.  We're all just doing the best we can with what we have.  And if those blogging ladies were here guest posting on Down On The Farm I know they would say the exact same thing. Some of us are better at this or that, sometimes we can really outdo ourselves for a special occasion, but none of us, and I MEAN NONE OF US can do it all.   When we are working really hard on one thing, we are letting something else go.  And when you work outside the home, like I do, we have to let a LOT of "something else" go 'cause there are only so many hours in the day.

So ladies, while we're reading those blogs that show beautiful homes and amazing recipes, please keep it in perspective, and don't be intimidated.   Don't let your head be turned by a life that God did not call you to.  Looking at pretty houses is very enjoyable to me.  But coveting something I don't have is sin.  I love to eat, and I'm always looking for new recipes.  But being stressed out and snapping at my children while cooking a "gourmet meal" that is supposedly for them, well, I don't think that's God's definition of a Proverbs 31 mom.  Now don't get all legalistic and misunderstand me.  I believe that keeping our homes clean and neat and organized and looking pretty is a very good thing.  I believe that trying to prepare meals our family will enjoy is great.  But like almost everything else we spend time on, these activities must be kept in perspective.  Scrubbing your floor for the third time today does not earn you "heaven" points.  A meal of bologna sandwiches served with love is better than a four-course dinner your family can't even enjoy because all you do is remind them how hard you worked. 

I'm not big on New Year's resolutions, so I'm not making one.  But I do believe that every new year is a chance for us to step back and take a look into our hearts and make changes in our lives.  And one thing I'm going to work on for 2011 is focusing on making the absolute most of where God has put ME. To be the best wife and mom I can be.  To let things go that don't matter, so that I can spend more time on the things that do.  To enjoy every single SECOND with my husband and with my kids.  The years go by so quickly. 

So if you, like me, ever get intimidated by others, take a deep breath and SHAKE IT OFF.  Because no matter what your house looks like -- no matter what you're having for supper tonight, remember that "You are fearfully and wonderfully made."  Psalm 139:14.  And don't you forget it ladies, ya hear???!!!


  1. Amen, Sister!! Thanks for posting this! Great reality check for myself too :) -Tammy

  2. You are so right dear friend.

    Feeling a bit like you described one day it came to light~ that as you read all these blogs your head swims with all the the beautiful things at once. We sure can't do it all at once. Sometimes we have it together and sometimes we don't!

    I wrote a post on this last year~

    I am so glad you had a wonderful Christmas.
    I pray you have a blessed New Year!

  3. I LOVE this post!! I so identify with everything you've said. It is my intention to be hospitable....not some grand entertainer. Not perfect and not even trying to be, lol. Oh, and the state of my laundry...I think I've posted before that my hubby calls the laundry room Mt. Washmore, lol.

    Sounds like you had a very blessed Christmas.


  4. Oh my goodness, I love this so much. So much depth, so much truth in this post. I'll be linking to it later this week. Thanks for being real.

  5. Well, I don't have one of those blogs that would intimidate folks... but I know exactly the kind you mean!
    I do enjoy going to many blogs, and I love seeing other people's decor and schedules, and styles and planning and, and, and.... but I am who I am (I'm not saying I don't try and improve: I do - daily. But that's because there's *so* much need for it here!). I really don't stress over what I see and how far short I come compared with some other people. My husband loves coming home at night; my kids (mostly!) are happy, love to be at home; my home is (I hope!) welcoming to friends and extended family. It's not tidy; it's not immaculately clean; but .... one day, I keep promising myself, I'm going to have it REALLY clean (cough... probably when all the kids leave home, if I'm still around, and even then, I reckon they wont get done!)
    What a blether I am. Didn't mean to go on so much! x

  6. I love this post! First, I have to say that I do get doctors! I hate going and they always look too serious and scare the daylights out of me most times!

    My house is older than yours and it's nothing to brag about, but it is home. I decorate in the style that suits me, not what the current trends are. My style is homey and cozy and comfortable! I, too, love to look at blogs and see how others decorate, but I'll never feel like I have to emulate any of them or run out and buy a truckload of stuff to set my table in dozens of different ways. If others enjoy that, that's fine by me...just not my thing. Not that I don't like a pretty table.

    I was once, when I was younger, intimidated by a friend who has to be Martha Stewart's twin sister. She does every thing perfectly and has a beautiful home. But, she also has a daughter who hasn't spoken to her in years and is not allowed to see her grandchildren. Would I trade places with her? No way would I trade my loving family for all her talents if I had to live with the heartache she does. We never know what others are having to deal with behind closed doors.

    Sorry this turned out to be so long, I really like your thoughts on this subject and hope that no one out here in blogland is living in the unhealthy state of intimidation by those we might perceive as having and doing more or better than us. Whew, what a long sentence! I'll shut up now and call it a night!

    Happy New Year,

  7. Oh how I like what you've true!! I went all out on the decor, but because I love it!!! Nobody helps me and could really care less!!! But, I didn't bake, didn't do all the traditional Christmas dinner stuff, kept gifts to a minimum (and practical) and just enjoyed the season, especially listening to Christmas music and watching Christmas movies....I love that!!!!! And believe me, I only put the pretty pictures on my blog!!!! (sometimes they are hard to find!)
    I my shower, so I don't very often!!!! You could never come to my house when I would show you my bathroom. It's always ugly!!! I don't like that it is, but I hate cleaning it more!!! And obviously no one else is very inspired to clean it either, if you know what I mean!!!!
    I think I would love visiting you on your farm...just because I'd love to visit you!!!

    Thanks for the great post and Happy New Year!!

  8. Hi Robbin,
    Well, I feel like a million bucks! You spoke words that my heart feels (99% of the time!). I am so happy you could put into words what so many of us feel and think. There are so many times I mentally "beat myself" up for not getting this done, or not doing something a certain way, or comparing ourselves to others. The week before Christmas, I stood in my bedroom and shouted for all my family to hear (and they did!)..."When am I going to have time to buy toilet paper???????" I had a mini breakdown! HA!
    I will reread and reread this post of yours many times! Thank you now and every time I read it! :0)
    Blessings and hugs,

  9. Thank you for this post. I think we are so busy trying to be "perfect" we miss so much joy. Have a blessed year.

  10. I love this post! Needed it, too. In fact, I probably ought to just copy it off, post it on my wall, and read it daily. That's how badly I struggle with comparisons and intimidation. Thank you for being real...for all of us. And I can beat your pizza; we have cereal a lot for dinner! Shameful, I know, but that's the truth of it. And fortunately for me, I have a husband who fends for himself if he needs to and a picky son who's moved off to college and a daughter who loves cereal!

  11. I love imperfections! Because if God wanted me to be perfect and everything around me to be, he would have made it so. So, I like to see other people's imperfections that way I feel like I have a place that's familiar to me. I love to hear how women solve some of the problems most of us women face by sharing their stories.

  12. Thanks for this... i needed it today!

  13. I really enjoyed reading this, it was great!!