For my birthday, my awesome mother in law got me a book called “The Home Experience” by Devi Titus. I broke open this enormous hard-back coffee table book the other day and read through the contents:
Sanctuary of Love
The dignity and sanctity of the home
The also principle
The use what you have principle
The table principle
…Vital Relationship Skills
Reducing Family Conflicts
Honoring your husband
Haven of Peace
Cleaning – a value of gratitude
Hospitality – a value of serving
Etiquette – a value of kindness
Home Decor – a value of creativity
Cooking – a value of consideration
…and I thought a very precise, accurate thought: this book will kick my butt.
Most people would flip out in defense and/or anger if their mother in law gave them a book like this. But I love it. I know need it. And I know that the one who gave it to me gave it with the purest of intentions, which makes all the difference in the world. I already read the first chapter…and my butt already has a few bruises.
Today I decided to put a few things into practice after an afternoon spent out with the kids. I stopped by Ricky’s favorite bento place, Mashita’s, for sticky rice & came home to my chicken and simmering sauce I threw in the crock pot a few hours before. I finished the dishes to clear the sink, wiped down the counters, pulled the drapes shut, cleared the dining room table, got out the zucchini to saute’, plugged my iPod into the speakers so the house would have a soft, worshippy atmosphere thanks to Pandora’s Gateway Worship station. I ran upstairs, changed into a sexy top & did my make up all semi-Hollywood. Came back down and lit three candles, looked over the living room to make sure the kids’ things were not laying out…just in time to look out the window & see the Mini Cooper parked in front of the house. He was home. I smiled. I took two forks and shredded the now tender chicken chunks in the pot. Five minutes went by and he came in frustrated that the kids greeted him with a bunch of requests…but his face brightened when he saw me. He commented about how Angel forewarned him about my beauty when he arrived. I stood there in the kitchen and watched him open the drapes back up, open the back door, arrange the pillows on the couch more symmetrically, get out the Clorox Wipes and start scrubbing some dirt that was between a few tiles on the counter.
At dinner when I mentioned it, he laughed it off saying honestly to not take it personally – that it wasn’t “saying anything” about me…but it’s just how he is – totally his issue.
Even after the thanks, the 9.2?/10 rating he gave me for the dinner I made and the scrumptious kisses he gave me following as we stood by the kitchen sink together, I was still a little confused. I felt trumped…my efforts outranked. What if whatever I do, there will always be some little something left that could stand to be cleaned, straightened or disinfected? I have to be OK with that. Because at the end of the day, there’s no question: I have a patient, good looking, appreciative (and borderline-OCD) friend with whom I get to share my life and home. God was so good to bless me with that gift 15 years ago.
So I’ll keep reading my book, keep my focus on Gods will for my home, keep working on the many things I need to (every day), and will not let the tiny things take away from that gift.