If you’ve ever let the clothes “stink” in the washer. And tried to get away with it by tossing extra dryer sheets in to cover up the smell (so that all your clothes end up smelling like perfumed farts)…
If you’ve ever opened up Tupperware from your fridge and almost been knocked over by the smell of “something” from another era, that appears to have changed molecular structure multiple times…
If you’ve ever completely forgotten to make dinner for your family…
If your dinner-bell and smoke detector sound strangely alike…
Or, if you’re grocery shopping trips look like a leisurely walk in the park, because you take time to smell the flowers (or every single one of the Glade plug-ins)…
You might be a free-spirit.
I know this, because I am one.
And free-spirits are strong in many areas. They are instinctly creative, expressive, and relationally intimate with people. They are lovers of beauty, seekers of meaning, and they always follow their hearts.
Often, they are artistic, or at least appreciate art deeply, whether it’s the art of writing, reading, creating, or simply being in the moment. And when they are doing something they are very passionate about, it’s as if time stands still.
(Except, it doesn’t. And that’s why the grilled-cheese burns. Or the laundry never gets switched. Or the grocery shopping trip gets pushed back three days.)
Read my last post to understand why free-spirits are “naturally” terrible homemakers.
I don’t think most free-spirits know they can improve at homemaking. Or if they do, they think it will cost them everything they love and enjoy. I understand this because as I have struggled with homemaking and realize, “I need to get better at this,” it has in time’s past flung me into one of two directions.
All, or nothing.
I’ve either A.) All. Pulled up my boot-straps and gone into “Cleaning Dragon” mode, printing off rigorous “chore charts” from Pinterest, and threatening to bite the head off of anyone who dares leave their socks on the floor. I got dinner on the table in time, but I nearly singed my husband’s eyebrows off with my dragon fire when he walked on my freshly mopped floor with his grassy just-mowed-the-lawn shoes. Typically, my “beast-mode” form of homemaking doesn’t work well for me, or my family.
Or more commonly, B.) Nothing. This is where I happily let my house look like a tornado went through it. I let the laundry pile up all week, and I order pizza for dinner, and I really don’t care what the kitchen looks like, or if my closets could eat you. I just want to do what I love to do (which is often writing) and so what if my daughter eats popsicles for breakfast, and my husband eats cereal for supper? I just want to enjoy life. (Except, no one enjoys it. Because there’s nothing to eat, there’s no clean sippie cups, and no clean clothes to wear.)
The problem with both A and B is the same: I am not walking in love. My desires are at the top of the list (whether it’s perfection, or pursuing my passions). Not my husband’s. Not my daughter’s. I’m not considering their desires as more important than my own.
So, what’s a girl to do? Especially, when she is a free-spirit and has dreams and passions of her own?
Well, I hope to answer that question in the following weeks. I’m starting a new series here at Barren to Beautiful. It’s called, “The Free-Spirit Homemaker: How To Maintain Your Home, Without Losing Your Soul.”
There is going to be practical advice for “how” to manage your home, and also some bigger questions to address the “heart” behind the homemaker.
Because I don’t think it has to be all, or nothing. Homemaking doesn’t have to be a choice between Dragon Wife and Hippie Slob.
I am convinced there is another way.
It can simply be walking by the Spirit. Even in the area of homemaking. Because where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
And there is rest. And joy. And love, so much love.
I have some dear friends (Rachel and Polly from Thriving Home, and Jeanne Harrison from Loving My Lot) who will be sharing some practical advice and wisdom when it comes to thinking through a better approach to our houses, and the people in our houses. (And these ladies have helped me, big time. I can’t wait for you to meet them!) Some topics that we’ll be covering are:
• How To Create A Schedule (Or Rhythm) For Your Day or Week
• How To Meal Plan and Make A Grocery List (Not scribbled on a napkin)
• How To Make (Healthy and Easy) Freezer Meals (And Save LOTS of Time)
• How To Manage Your Time For The Glory of God (And Keep Your Goals And Dreams Alive!)
• How To Find Out What Blesses Your Husband Most (It may not be what you think!)
I believe there has to be a way to maintain the homes and nuture the people God has given us, without losing our souls in the process.
God made us for His glory, and when He is on the throne, we can start aligning everything else accordingly. That’s why we won’t just be discussing the “how” of homemaking, but the “heart” behind the homemaker, and where our thoughts, attitudes, and ambitions are in the process. God doesn’t just care about “your house.” He cares about you. ALL of you. Your whole being. Along with each person in your family.
And when we start seeing them, our husbands, our sons, our daughters as precious as they really are–we won’t be able to help but want to love and nurture them well.
There is much more to come. You won’t find any rigid rules here. Just lots of grace, practical wisdom, ideas, and new approaches to making your house “home”, and nurturing the ones who live there. (Including you, because you still need time to let your soul breathe.)
I hope you join along for this series! You can follow Barren to Beautiful by entering your email address in the top right section of my blog. Or, simply go to my Facebook page and “like” it. This way, you will recieve new posts right in your newsfeed. Also, I will be posting questions on Facebook, that I would love to have you answer so I can hear YOUR thoughts and perspectives.
See you next time, as we’ll be discussing, “What Is the Point Of Homemaking Anyway?”
(What do you think it is? Share in the comment section.)