Saturday, October 11, 2008

messy house, full heart.

I was walking around my house tonight, totally mortified of how messy it was. Jayson and I kept wishing it was as immaculate as it was last week. It felt so clean and beautiful last week, and this week it's a disaster area.

Tonight we had a lot of friends at our house that we were not necessarily expecting. I really like to have a clean house when friends are coming over for the first time. It was so great to see them all; to eat, chat, and spend time with them. I loved it, but I can't deny that I was so embarrassed at the state of my house

After they left I started to pick up, and I had a really important moment. I realized that 95% of the mess/disaster/clutter was caused by service opportunities we had had this week. Jayson's scout bag. Our 72 hour kits (we needed some things for the last minute inactive scout who joined the camp out). My bag from staying over and taking care of my sister in law. Toys from adorable kids that we got to watch. Snow gear so our friends from out of town wouldn't freeze at the football game. Dishes from having dear friends over. You get the picture.

I would so much rather have the full heart and messy house I have now, than a pristine house and none of these experiences. It's been an unusual week for us with how much we've been able to give to friends, family, neighbors, and strangers. I wouldn't change any of it. If my house ever looks like this again for the reason it does tonight, perhaps I won't even apologize for how messy it is. Because my heart will be singing like it is right now.

I hope to have more weeks like this one.


sarah said...

I think about this issue a lot. I'm coming to terms with the fact that, though I really love the feel of a super-clean house, it is something that is just not realistic to expect on a minute-to-minute basis. With little kids underfoot and toys and projects and cooking and serving 3 meals a day plus snacks and just LIVING WELL we will have messes. And if we devote all our energies and time each day to just cleaning up constantly, well....we'll miss a whole lot of that living well.
I personally think this is a Utah culture thing, this high expectation that women feel to have clean houses to show---even when good friends show up. I don't mean to disparage Utah...I am coming to truly love it here. But this expectation that we have that our "friends" and neighbors will judge us based on how well our living room is tidied....I've never experienced it elsewhere. And I'm trying to overcome this by not getting so upset with myself because my house isn't perfect most of the time. I know that I don't think twice when I go to someone's house that isn't spotless. I don't care if their house isn't clean....I want to learn to be less hard on myself for the same.

sarah said...

This reminds me of a plaque I've always wanted to make for my front door:
If you've come to see my house, call and make an appointment. If you've come to see me, come on in!

janae said...

You always were such an optimist! :) That's a nice way to look at it. Personally, I think its just woman thing. You feel like your house reflects who you are (I think it does, actually) and that if it is dirty, then obviously you are a bad person/mother/wife (this is the part I disagree with - as you showed so beautifully in your post). In every country I've lived in women were like this. In fact, I think those Portuguese were worse than any one else. :) Dang those people kept spotless houses ... but then again, their ironed underwear and rags. Gosh, I love them!

Joy said...

I felt badly leaving you last night. Sorry that I didnt stay and help. I had to do my lesson. Thanks for all your help this week. You are awesome and I love you!

That Girl in Brazil said...

Your post coincided perfectly with my feelings this week. I should get my front door replaced with a revolving one for how many people are always here. And - almost without fail - unexpectedly. Unfortunately, Brazilians DO judge you by your house. I have worked for four years not to care, but still haven't quite found success. I will say, though, that I'm always more comfortable in homes that are a little messy. People who have 100% clean homes 100% of the time aren't human.

P.S. I love the plaque Sarah quoted! I might calligraphy it!

Joshua and Jolie said...

Beautifully said. I couldn't agree with you more!!

Connie. Widdison said...

this is one of the most beautiful posts i've ever read.
you and jayson have been the biggest example of service in my college life. you two are the best duo when it comes to lending a hand or being self sacrificial. thank you for being who are in my life.

Heather Walker said...

I really like this post, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Very well written.

Kris and Kally said...

I'd like to say that I contributed to that mess...and we're sorry...but I wouldn't trade the experience and the good times for anything! Thanks again for making our trip incredible! Kris kept saying how "cool" my friends were! You're the best!