I’ve decided that I am a pretty terrible house wife. Eric is sweet and laughs when I say this, because he says it’s not true. He’s so sweet, bless his heart. There are some things I’m pretty decent at, but a few of the things that fall into this category are just not my strong suit. I should’ve seen the signs for this when I was growing up. The fact that I couldn’t keep a tidy room. Or that my dad did my laundry when I was in high school because he is just a sweet, sweet man. Or it should’ve been a red flag when growing up, my mom tried to get me to come cook dinner with her, and I hid out in my room.
When I was a child, I did get stuck with the worst chore after dinner though: The Dryer. This person is the last to leave the kitchen. The Table Cleaner was finished once there was no food left and the glass table was squeaky clean. The Sweeper, well, all she did was sweep. The Container girl put all the leftovers away in the fridge and then handed all of her empty pots and pans over to The Washer. The Washer, my dad, did just that, washed all the dishes. And then, me. I couldn’t leave until The Washer was finished and every dish was put away. I had good times by myself, alone, in the kitchen, while the rest of family was sitting in the other room, laughing and having a good time while eating bowls of ice cream. I’M KIDDING MOM, I know y’all really didn’t do that.
Now that I have a family of my own, I can’t WAIT to pass over some chores. At four years old, my daughter has been granted the task of setting the table AND SHE LOVES IT. In fact, it was her idea. Sometimes I thinks she’s more mature than I. But the chore I cannot wait to pass on is the laundry. I’ve decided the “age of understanding” for my children will be the magic age of 12. This is when they understand that the only clean laundry will come from the loads they do by themselves. Stockton’s wife will thank me one day.
In true confession, I exaggerate, mostly. I hope you can tell. From when I first got married, to now, I have come a long way. I remember the moment I realized I had to cook dinner every night for someone else…I was overwhelmed and had no idea where to start. You mean we can’t just eat a bowl of cereal? Eric actually enjoyed cooking, so he often took that responsibility, but since we’ve had children, I COVET dinner time. “You take the kids outside and let me cook dinner in here alone. K bye.” This time has become such enjoyable quiet time, that when Eric offers to cook, I guard the pots and pans with vigilance and box him out if he comes within a foot. But as much as I’ve grown, I have not arrived, I still struggle.
Why do I share this with you?
Maybe so you don’t feel alone.
Maybe so you feel free.
Maybe so you know that even though my house is spotless during community group and those baby showers I throw, the reality is I’m secretly hoping you don’t open a bedroom door, mistaking it for the bathroom.
I’ve realized that the most exposed I feel is when someone sees inside the bedroom, because it is there that I’ve hidden the truth of our consumption, lack of discipline, chaos, and oftentimes, laziness. I’ll let you in to the “entertaining rooms” of my house because they are just for that- entertaining; showing people the part of my house I want them to see. Fixing it up beautiful, tidying up, and being proud of my space. While the bedrooms reveal a different side, a side that exposes the deep down truth that maybe I don’t have it all together. Just maybe, if you opened those bedroom doors, you would think differently of me.
I told a friend the other day, how easy would it be to move from friend to friend, because people can only think you are awesome for so long, before they really learned the truth. Which begs the question, are we willing for people to learn the truth? To stick around long enough to let them in to the secret parts of our life that we wish would remain hidden. The parts that expose our faults, insecurities, failures, and deep longings?
Do we think they’ll run? Some might. But others won’t. And Jesus never will. He died for those hidden parts and came to give us rest from the exhaustion of constantly tidying up the outside in hopes that we can fool those looking in.
He wants to know us. It is when we allow him access to the parts that expose us raw, that then and only then, can we find healing and true joy.
It is then that we understand the depths of his love and grace and that he will never leave us. He died instead of us, and we can nail our most exposed self to the cross with him and live in the fullness of his grace. Wow. Let that sink in. And we can be sure of this, that he who began a good work in us will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Phil. 1:6)
It is then that he can do his most cleansing and sanctifying work. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. (Eph. 2:10). And in return, we can be a vessel of hope and truth to others who are afraid to acknowledge those hidden parts! We can be a firsthand witness to how the Gospel of Jesus heals and cleanses.
It is also then that we can extend that same love and grace that we have received, to those in our life who are willing to let us in before they tidy up. We can be thankful they have found us trustworthy and truth tellers who always point back to our Savior.
But what good does it do us? Y’all I want this for myself, to live open and free. It’s scary, and super vulnerable, and leaves us feeling exposed. How will our friends react when they see it all? I’ve realized for me, it brings me to the feet of Jesus. Because when I only let others see my “perfect outside,” I start to believe it too. And when I start to believe it, my need for Jesus dims. I start to think that I am pretty awesome. And it hits me, if I stick around long enough, then the people in my life will eventually see the truth. Is that what I want? To stick around and let them see the real me? But on the other side, when I expose my junk to others, it deeply reminds me that I am nowhere near perfect, and how much I need Jesus. Because it hurts to be exposed, and I have to run to the cross to heal, and when he heals (which he always does), is when I find deep soul rest, joy, and true acceptance.
Let’s run to the cross together and experience the grace, forgiveness, and hope that he offers. Because we really aren’t that awesome. But He is.