How Social Media is Killing my Homemaking.

I’m so ashamed to say it, but it’s true. Those beautifully curated square pictures are killing the fire in my heart for homemaking.

My feed of late has been inundated with beautiful pictures of beautifully clean and organised homes – and I love looking at them. There is something inspiring about them that keeps calling me back to scroll through them. Our hearts are designed by the Great Designer to love beauty (for He is Beautiful). And these homemakers have done wonderful jobs of making beautiful homes.

Yet, at the same time, there is only so much a poor girl can take.

IGKillingHomemaking

Honesty.

 

I will be straight up honest and say that jealousy does lurk in my heart. I feel jealous, not for the homes per se (I love our derelict-doer-up-villa) nor the things in their homes; rather, I am jealous of the ability of these incredible women.

And I mean that, to me, they are incredible.

They do what I do each day. We cook, clean, mother, homeschool, wife, garden, mother culture – and probably heaps more (especially if they farmstead or work outside the home). But, in all honesty, they do it better.

That can be hard to swallow.

I want to be like them. I want that ability or skill or energy that enables these incredible women home-make like they do each day. Yet, for some reason, I have only little amounts of these to be able to achieve what I do each day.

 

How.

 

I think mostly, though, I don’t understand. I don’t understand me. These words in Psalm 40 resonate with me deeply in regards to my struggles with homemaking:

“But as for me, I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me” (vs 17).

As much as I believe and love and try to create a home that looks like these dream pictures on social media, I just cannot do it. I get overwhelmed, or I burnout, or I stress at the children when they ruin my hard work, or I just don’t know how to do it and maintain my work.

And in my weakness, I wonder – why bother? I’m not going to be able to do that, so I wonder why I keep killing myself over those pictures.

uliana-kopanytsia-Exf1N6_UTZM-unsplash
This is not my kitchen.

 

Upwards and Outwards.

 

Thankfully, Psalm 40 continues on for the poor and needy, like me:

“You are my help and my deliverer; You are my God, do not delay.”

When I am struggling and feeling like I cannot keep up, the Lord gently lifts my eyes upwards to Him, the very reason I do this anyway.

My flesh wants to serve myself in homemaking. I want to feel good about myself and the way I home-make. If I make it a day creating and working in our home that meets my standard, I feel good. But why? I have been serving myself. So, the next day when I can’t because the children are sick or I’ve used up all my energy the day before, then my self-worth plummets.

I need to check my heart about why I am trying to make our home a certain way. Who am I really working for? I know the answer by how the state of my home makes me feel about myself.

And this is why social media has such an effect on me: I make it all about me – what inspires me, what my things look like in a picture, and how my home compares.

 

True Homemaking.

But why am I a homemaker?

It is because God has made me one. I live in a house He has provided for me. I care for a husband whom He clefted me to. And I nurture two children who He brought to life through me.

Homemaking is about God and responding to what He has given me.

This post by Mystie was so encouraging to me today. And when I read the dictionary definition of homemaking, my heart smiled. The definition is this:

homemaking (v): the creation and management of a home, especially as a pleasant place to live in.

A pleasant place.

This was a word straight from the Lord to me, knowing how poor my heart has been feeling lately.

Homemakingposter-page-001

Am I the best homemaker in the world? No.

Is my home perfectly curated? No.

Do I have all the Waldorf toys and Charlotte Mason posters? No.

But – and this makes all the difference – is our home a pleasant place to live in?

Yes, yes it is.

That is the standard God wants me to live up to. And it is so easily attainable, even for a poor and needy homemaker like myself. And, for you too, dear friend.

Let us put social media where it needs to stay and just seek to make our homes a pleasant place. It won’t be hard nor a yoke to serve the Lord and our family in this way.

Quieting My Spirit in Jesus (So I Can Love My Husband)

Here is a story about God leading me to trust Him so I can love my husband.

There has been a possibility of us going to England for a number of years now. Tim, my husband, has a passion and gifting for apologetics, and there is an excellent school there. When we first applied in 2017 (for the 2018 year), everything was so hopeful – people were encouraging, provisions came from left-field, and we were easily accepted into one of the college’s required. But then, the other university (Oxford, to be truthful) couldn’t accept us for that year, but would hold a place for us for 2019.
Fast forward to this year, we reapplied for both schools. After months waiting, we found out that we were declined at the main apologetics school because of things out of our hands. So we had to turn away Oxford’s place for Tim and, after two years of many up-and-down’s, we were back to square one. It was so confusing and disheartening…What seemed clearly something the Lord wanted us to do for ministry, apparently was not.
And then, things got more confusing.

A friend, with connection within the apologetics school, communicated to us that there had been a mistake and we were actually supposed to be accepted. We just needed to reapply again (for the third time). This, we found out in early March.
By this time, everything seemed so unclear that we had decided not to pursue this door, even with this new encouragement. There seemed to be no strong direction from the Lord. Furthermore, in the up-and-down’s of the previous year, both of us felt drained and thankful for a home to be rooted in.
I have an anxiety disorder and, for me, with all the uncertainties, my anxiety had flared up and I was struggling to even be open to going. Even though I had been the one to encourage Tim to do this, anything to do with leaving home (safe) and pursuing England (bad) caused me to shut down.
Overtime, I had built up in my mind all the negatives and, because stability enables me to function well, I began to see all the things that could cause me to find England very difficult. There was a source of tension between us as I could not even have a discussion with my lovely husband, who was so disappointed, because – in all truthfulness – all I could think about was me.

Turning to the Lord the other night as I went to bed early in a low mood, I opened my Valley of Vision, hoping for a prayer that would turn my heart toward Him and give me wisdom. I sensed that my resistance to England was only partly rooted in my genuine anxiety, there was sin lurking in my heart, and I didn’t know how to find it out. It can get dark in there.
Turning to the page ‘Shortcomings’, the following lines lit up the lurking darkness,

“My sin is to fear what never will be; I forget to submit to Thy will, and fail to be quiet there. But Scripture teaches me that Thy active will reveals a steadfast purpose on my behalf, and this quietens my soul, and makes me love Thee.”

My sin was not being anxious, but to fear what may never be. There are things that my brain does that I cannot control. But when I actively fear and train my thoughts upon what could happen, I sin. I forget to be quiet in the safety of God’s will where there is peace, even with chaos without.
I forgot that God’s will for my life as my husband’s wife is to be his helper. In so many ways, I seek to be a pillar of strength for him, even in my weakness. Going to England causes parts of my brain to trigger off my anxiety, but my will shut down my heart to the possibility. God’s steadfast purpose for me is to love my husband and “do nothing out of selfish ambition or empty pride, but in humility consider others more important than yourself” (Philippians 2:3).
Source
So, we have reapplied. A few weeks ago, neither of us would have believed we would. But our friend asked us again…and again…So, we are listening. It all may turn out, again, that this isn’t God’s will for us as a family. And that would be perfectly good (we are homebodies, after all). But, if it is His will, I don’t ever want to not listen and follow it, despite my anxieties and fears. 
And that is what drives me, even with an anxiety disorder. I love my God, and I want to follow Him, wherever He may lead – even if it is a quiet life at home or flying to the other side of the world with challenges unknown. Sitting and submitting and trusting Him will always keep us quiet under the rest of His care, in those pleasant places.

friend, have you experienced something similar?