Many years ago I was a Rockstar with a capital R! At least that’s what I thought. When it came to a clean home, busting out homemade meals, signing school work and permission slips, making sure everyone made it to practice, games and tournaments seven days a week in crisp, immaculately clean uniforms with rarely forgetting any of the needed equipment, drinks and snacks I killed it! I was organized, on time and we were always on a schedule. I really never felt tired, not exhausted to the bone tired any way. I stayed up late washing & folding laundry, editing term papers, homework and essays and woke up way before the sun was shining to revise power point presentations and projects before shuffling everyone out the door. Days were spent mowing the yard, cleaning the house, and all those general things domestic Rockstars do on a daily basis. I spent countless hours in bleachers and my car at practices and games cheering the kids on. Life was grand, filled to the brim with children and antics, with summers spent camping, fishing, swimming and gardening. Evenings were tossing various athletic balls around the yard and late nights were bonfires, fireworks and porch sitting. Good ol fashioned fun. I thrived on being a stay-at-home mom, working along side my husband and best friend everyday and spending countless hours tackling jobs around the homestead. I loved every single minute of it!
But then a few years ago circumstances changed and reality with a capital R set in. I quickly found the Rockstar sash I once wore so proudly became tattered and torn and I probably couldn’t even find the imaginary thing if I looked for it now. I found myself back in the work force outside of the home and away from the farm for endless hours during the week which meant weekends were/are spent frantically trying to squeeze 2.2 million tasks and adult responsibilities into 48 hours before the wash, rinse, repeat cycle of my new found adventure in Babylon starts all over every Monday morning.
Three years later the struggle to get everything done around the house/yard/barn is Real with a capital R. There are no longer kids around to help take out the garbage, clean out the dishwasher, put clothes away or whatever other little chores that need done constantly either. All of it has fallen back onto my shoulders and trust me I am no longer a domestic Rockstar goddess during the hours I am actually home now. I’m more like a hotmess express instead. My job is taxing on my mind, my emotions, my mental state and my level of energy which means when I arrive home at the end of a long day I’m a zombie, going through the motions while trying to make sure every animal is accounted for, fed and watered before I do the same for us. Most days I’m exhausted and just hanging on by the skin of my teeth when it comes to domestic duties.
I don’t lead a glamorous life by any means but most of us ladies (including me) would prefer that it seems like we do. I see it every day on the internet with the perfectly edited snapshots of lives that come across as I’m scrolling along. I’m not judging, I’m guilty as well. I don’t just take a picture and post it. To be honest it probably took 8-20 pictures and then drastic editing before that picture was even made for the public to see.
A few nights ago I was thinking about how real life isn’t like that. It started by a message from my cousin inquiring about possibly bringing her kids out to the farm for a visit while they were going to be in the area. As soon as I read the message my heart rate skyrocketed and I looked at everything around me. My carpeted floors are a disaster of chewed up dog bones, ropes and whatever else they have found and destroyed. My furniture has huge holes in it thanks to the latest puppy we kept. The amount of dog hair circling across the tile in the kitchen is the size of a cat….probably bigger. At any given moment the weather will change and it will look like I let a stampede of cows run through the house. And the dust! Oh the dust….if you have every lived on a farm, around gravel and dirt fields, in the middle of nowhere and kept your windows open you know about the dust. It reappears as soon as you walk away from whatever you have just wiped cleaned.
How could I possibly say yes to her visit I wondered over and over for days. Because let’s be honest….the reality of living on a farm and constantly being busy and working means things are always a semi disastrous mess because the work goes on every day, all day long. (Unless you have money for a hired hand….I instead spend all mine on chickens and ducks…ok all animals)! Plus there’s the added fact that I work outside of the home in Babylon during the week and volunteer as the secretary of the church on the weekends so actually working seven days a week is more my reality and that does not include taking time to clean and be domestic in the house.
What does my house look like more often than not on any given day? Well here’s just a small unedited peek because I think as women (as humans) we need to be more real with each other instead of putting so much pressure on ourselves to make things look picture perfect. Real life is nine times out of ten not like that for most of us. Most times you really can’t edit every dang part of your daily life.
I hate laundry…hate it….I have no problem washing everyone’s stuff and drying it but having the time to fold it, hang it, iron it, put it all away. Nope…Never really happens but every so many months in our house. And we have a ton of laundry and multiple sets of clothes on a daily basis depending on which job we are working at and how many irons we have in the fire. My family has been digging through their laundry for a long time. Eternity! I think it’s great for them…like a scavenger hunt only the prize is the article of clothing you so desperately were searching for for an agonizing several minutes. No one has yet to step up and volunteer to take over the God-forsaken task of laundry so it is what it is when you live with me. I’m pretty good at finding things in the heap for them though like matching socks for the weird boys that think they need to match in this house.
Ok…who am I kidding….that picture above is pretty organized for me. This is more realistic and the reason why my laundry room door is always shut when people come over.
Our front door isn’t used as the main entrance of our house, the kitchen is because it’s right off the drive where everyone parks. Some people have those gorgeous mud rooms where you can come in and hang your coats, kick off your dirty shoes and wash up before entering the house. I’m sure you’ve seen pictures, heck maybe you even have one. Bless your heart if so. We don’t….we have one side of the kitchen which currently contains my kitchen table made into a makeshift greenhouse with sacks and sacks of dog food underneath. Right next to it is the place everyone treats as a mud room. This is the area that will make you think the cows have gotten inside if it’s remotely wet or muddy in the slightest. There’s usually rubber boots and cowboy boots stacked by the door covered in things we won’t discuss here. It’s where I usually stop people and say “Don’t worry about taking your shoes off”, because let’s be serious….it really isn’t going to matter. My towels come to this area to die a slow death.
We moved our office into the spare bedroom on New Year’s Day…..January 1st. That’s like 4.5 months ago. Other then when I’m on the computer I haven’t touched a single thing yet in that room. And at one point there were 6 baby chicks also living in there. This door also always remains shut when people stop by.
My sink is also always full of dirty dishes. Mostly because the dishwasher is usually full as well but with clean dishes. I swear I run that thing every.single.day. I’m going to be honest and admit I love going to other people’s houses and seeing their countertops covered in a wide variety of their lives and their sink full of dishes! I also love toys scattered all over the floors, dogs laying around, couches covered in dog hair and laundry in heaps and piles on top of couches. I may do a little happy dance and feel the urge to want to sporadically hug them for just being another REAL person!
In my last post I talked about how I’m trying to stop being the automatic no girl. When people ask me for things or inquire about stopping by for a visit I’m just trying to say yes and let God handle the rest knowing in my heart the details will all fall into place and it will be a memory making moment. I hardly doubt when I’m standing at the pearly gates God is going to stop and say “Um, wait a minute….it appears your house was NOT entirely clean on April 15, 2017 when you had relatives over.” I don’t believe that’s gonna be the thing that keeps me from making it or breaking it when it comes to eternal life. I kid…but you get the point. It’s such a trivial thing, yet all of us trying to be domestic goddesses are sweating profusely over this exact thing all the dang time.
We don’t live in the Taj Mahal and you definitely can’t eat off our floors but that never seems to persuade people from stopping by again and again and again. It’s not always family either. It’s usually the broken, the lost, those looking for a safe, secure place where they can get a good meal, have a few deep conversations, many laughs and even a place to lay their weary head for a night or two or maybe more depending on the situation. Those who so desperately need Jesus in their lives even if they don’t realize it yet or maybe aren’t willing to accept that Truth at this point either.
So today when my cousin let me know they were on their way (and that she was bringing her sister and kids also….I started to sweat and panic at this point) I just threw all my trust into God that no one would care about the strong stench of cow manure thanks to the gale force winds. And I hoped no one would mind I didn’t have a stitch of makeup on, had all my hair piled high on my head in a hotmess of a bun, and was wearing nothing fancy because that’s the reality of what I look like working around the farm. Or the fact that the landscaping is under construction, there are piles of chicken & dog poop all over the place, or I’m not going to offer a complete tour of the house. (Let’s not open doors kids lol!!)
And low and behold everyone, including me, survived the adventure. The kids all ran around, chasing each other through the yard, following the turkeys in the barn and even naming one of them Jeff. They were able to hold baby ducks and chicks and the boys were thrilled that our yard was littered with walnuts of all things. They even found a secret nest in the barn with eleven eggs in it that I had been trying to find this week. I was so thankful I said yes and not just because the kids were there either. It was great to interact with the cousins I grew up with, to see them with their kids and the pure joy beaming on their faces watching their children explore and laugh and be amazed at all the animals. It beats any family dinner where we are just stuffing our faces while trying to act dignified in our best Sunday clothes. If was a day of real life and precious memories.
Amy asked me today if this was the life I always envisioned of having. I just laugh when people ask me that question because of the irony. This is not the life I ever wanted. Never, ever, ever. Never! I never wanted to live in the country, never wanted to be on a farm again and definitely had no intention of ever being married to a farmer and having THAT life that comes with in. And to be honest I used to be terrified of cows. But as I’ve said before I think God had a good chuckle when the lost girl in the world was saying and thinking these things and he knew exactly what would complete me and bring me happiness. I love our small farmhouse, located out in the sticks, where apparently GPS will tell you to park your car and walk in order to meet your final destination. (What in tarnation GPS, really?) It’s a place full of Jesus and love, of laughter and lots of entertainment with all the animals and shenanigans going on and the people coming and going.
I’m lucky enough to live in a place that suits my soul so perfectly. A place I don’t need a vacation from. Where it is well with my soul every single time I am home. I’m very humbled by having it all and try not to take it for granted.
I hope you will be able to show and share with people the REAL you with a capital R and invite them in, even when life is crazy and your house isn’t sparkling clean!
Thank you Lord for loving me just as I am!
The complete unedited version of the hotmess express and her cousins!
2 thoughts on “uNeDitEd LifE ~ Reality”
I love this so much! ❤
I always tell people when they visit "Excuse the mess. We live here."
I used to worry about it, but I finally realized, my life is just plain messy. Wild and crazy and messy and dirty all at the same time…but we wouldn't have it any other way.
I mean, 3 people in a 700 sq foot house, 4 cats, a dog, plus horses, pigs, and chickens outside…if there isn't mud, there's poop.
Ahh, but to go with the mess, there's always coffee, conversation and a whole lotta love to go around. Of course, we may enlist visitors to help pull wire for the next section of fencing too. 😉
Mandi, I have not seen your blog before but Amy sent this to me. I was moved to tears as I read your story. You have a real talent and beautiful way of expressing your thoughts. So happy my daughters and grandkids were able to visit your farm. It was the highlight of their weekend.