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???!!!