Lie — The Appearance of My Home is a Reflection of Who I Am

Honored. That’s how I felt when Ashley asked me to contribute to the Overcome the Lie blog tour this month. Mostly because it’s not something I truly feel worthy of, because it’s a daily battle to overcome these little lies. But that’s why I’m sharing, because overcoming lies is an ongoing journey and one that we ought to be transparent with so we can adequately support one another. 
What little lies am I writing about? They’re different for us all, well, sometimes they’re the same too which is why there is beauty in sharing. You learn that you’re not alone. And togetherness and camaraderie build hope, an alliance against the lies that are fighting for our spirits. For me, I’m overcoming the lies that creep in and burrow inside my heart, nesting where no one can see, but I can feel with every beat. The lies that take hold and stifle and sting. The ones that aim to brew self-pity and discontentment and frustration in my life. The lies that act like poison. 
At the kick off of the new year our church started a new teaching and small group series following the book, Freeway. It’s a not-so-perfect guide to freedom and happened to time perfectly with this post. Last week, Max had his first happy Sunday in the one year old class – God ordained I tell ya – which resulted in these little truth nuggets from the sermon,  bear with me because this is all building up to the lie that has been naggin’ at me most of all since becoming a mom.
  • In order to be free, we must face our fears, lies, and pain by trusting that God is with us and we are more than conquerors with Him.
  • There is a lot of deception that goes in in our souls, psychology can understand this, but God heals and brings true change.
  • God helps us separate lies from truth.
  • Your life is determined by where you go next.
You can watch/listen to the whole sermon here – it’s only 30 minutes long :) If you’re interested in the entire 6 week series it will be here as it comes available under “Freeway”.
So, the lie that nags at me the most, the one that I’m fighting and winning against bit by bit – is the lie that the appearance of my home is a reflection of who I am. Here’s a little of the back story …
Years ago when I set my heart on becoming a wife and mama I had dreams of pristine rooms, decorated beautifully and bursting with sunshine and happiness. Each and every cupboard was organized and my children played quietly while I whistled in the kitchen preparing a nutritious meal. My home resembled a blend of Anthropologie and Pottery Barn, but of course, one on a responsible budget. Shoot, most things were handmade by me and my expert crafting skills. I managed my domain a la Proverbs 31 and most assuredly claimed the title “homemaker of the year” annually. Each morning, birds flew in my open windows and helped fold laundry while tiny forest critters swept the floors … my children laughed and I fixed my hair before we sang our way out of the house on our day’s adventure. 
It was like a Disney movie and a magazine photo shoot collided and I was the star. Except, I wasn’t. My “dreams” broke me.
Reality hit hard and my aspirations of a picture perfect home crumbled. I found myself striving for exterior perfection and thus, abandoning my heart. I succumbed to finding my worth in the state of my home and it wasn’t a pretty sight. I yelled at my children to pick up and when a friend called, needing to stop by for encouragement, I put her off, not wanting her to see half-dressed children gallivanting around the clutter while crunching crackers into the carpet. And somewhere in there Pinterest was born and threw another dagger at what could be, but wasn’t. I was sad and broken. I felt like my calling as a homemaker was a sham, just something to get through rather than thrive in.
One day, a few months ago, my husband and I were talking and he nonchalantly asked if I was going to pick-up before a friend came over. My response surprised me, because it revealed the lie I’d be festering in. I told him that no, I wasn’t going to pick-up, the friend who was coming over is one of my dearest and she didn’t care what things looked like when she arrived. She was coming to see me. Just me. Messy bun, nursing tank, toys all about, sticky counters me. And it wouldn’t matter, because the appearance of my home bears no weight on our friendship.
And that made me feel loved. It made me feel full of worth. Knowing that me, aside from my home, was valued. 
And thus began the untangling of the lie I was living. I longed to be free of the connection between my home and my worth. Just as my friend didn’t bind the state of my home to our relationship, God didn’t either. He cares about my heart. He wants it to be the first thing I nurture – my heart and the hearts of those I love. Once those are flourishing, everything else will fall into place. It still won’t result in perfection, but it will result in peace.
My goal as a homemaker and friend isn’t to be perfect. My family deserve my attention and peaceful words even when there is vacuuming to be done. My friends deserve my time and listening ear even when there is clutter strewn about, my soul deserves rejuvenation and relaxation in the evenings even when there are dishes to be done. My Lord and Savior deserves my quiet, open heart so I can listen to the next lie he wants to help me overcome, the next mountain I need to move. As I learned in the sermon I referenced above, if my dreams don’t intimidate me, I’m not allowing God to fully move. And let me tell you, the dreams he has for me are far beyond that of a picturesque home. His dreams for me have eternal significance and it is those dreams that I want to grasp and carry forth.
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  1. Michelle Moyer says

    This is exactly what I needed to hear right now. I base so much of my worth on what other people think of me instead of relying on God's overwhelming love for me. It's so silly, but I fall into that trap so often it's almost embarrassing. Thank you for the reminder to keep my eyes fixed on Him always even if my flesh wants to play the comparison game.

  2. Melinda~Marshmallow says

    This is fantastic. I've been trying to focus on fellowship this year, something that I always seem to push to the back burner – having to "plan" when people come over so that everything is just right, or "plan" a meet up for a time when the kiddos will be most likely to deliver perfect behavior. I've realized I'm missing out. On so much, by waiting until everything is "just so." This post was a beautiful reminder of what's important.

  3. Scott and Jamie Durh says

    really good. thanks for sharing. you can come to my messy house any time you want! we're only a plane flight and an international border away.

  4. says

    I love everyword and I am really seeking this kind if direction. I have had a bad habit if judging my day on how much laundry I was able to do and how clean my house is… Not a good measuring stick. Putting it this way "the lie I tell myself". Wow!!! What an eye opener.

  5. says

    great post Gretchen! I feel convicted to spend more time on my heart rather than my home.

  6. says

    great post Gretchen! I feel convicted to spend more time on my heart rather than my home.

  7. ThatMamaGretchen says

    I can't even imagine with a renovation on top of "normal" stuff!When our kids are grown and gone will be wishing we could step on a toy, then we can spend time organizing the cupboards and cleaning the toaster :)