In Monday's post I promised to share some exciting news (at least, exciting to me!) "later in the week," so before this week officially slips away, I figure I'd better get it out there. But first, a warning: Some of you are going to read my "news" and think, That's it? Well, that's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Who needs that? With all due respect, ya'll aren't the sistas this news is for. This news is for our sistas whose heartbeats will quicken a little when they read my words and then gasp, That's for me! Woo-hoo! That's for me!
Let me begin by asking you to read my very first St. Michael's Wife posting because it will give you an idea of where I'm coming from.
FLASHBACK: Wednesday, April 8, 2009
I'm an enigma. A woman who loves beautifully decorated room of all sizes, shapes, and styles and who appreciates smoothly-running homes from which the scent of freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies wafts and yet, is, herself, a total slob. A downright disorganized mess. (And did I mention that I might eat half the cookie dough before it ever gets plopped onto the baking sheet? Alas, I am nothing if not self-aware.)
Being self-aware is great, but it's only half the real deal. The other half is deciding how to take what you know and do something constructive with it. Otherwise, it's like walking out of a one of those tiny airplane bathrooms with your skirt tucked up into the waist of your panty-slip thingie, having someone point it out to you, and then simply shrugging, giggling, and walking right on up the aisle of the plane without even so much as one correcting tug! (And for the record, I did NOT just shrug and giggle and walk on; I made some adjustments!) That's what this blog is about. I want desperately to make some adjustments in how I operate on the home front, and I've come to realize that I'm not alone. There are other enigmas out there! (Although, to take great poetic license with my brother, St. Paul's, words, I am sure I remain "chief among enigmas.")
Yup, I'm learning that there are other women who struggle with the exact things I do as far as this day-to-day-life-at-home stuff goes and that they, too, wish they knew how and where to even begin to make some adjustments. This blog is as much for them as it is for me. Maybe by following my journey, they'll begin their own journeys, and after a little pulling and tugging, we'll all sashay down the aisle together as the fine, well-adjusted women we long to be!
FLASHFORWARD to REAL TIME: Saturday, June 27, 2009
Somehow, in the midst of the Great Couch Caper (a.k.a "The Great Sofa Saga"), stalking bargains at Value Village, and easing back into the public classroom while still recovering from my Big Break (no, it wasn't on America's Got Talent; think bones, women), I kinda forgot why I started this blog to begin with. Yes, of course, I love sharing my Queen-of-Cheap decorating schemes (and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE reading about yours), but I really do feel a call to reach out to women who, like me, have trouble sharing their own beautiful projects with the real-live-in-the-flesh folks who live around them (as opposed to their Cyber Sistas) because once their projects are completed, there's often no clear path to safely get anyone in and out of the house to actually view the project. If we've finally found the perfect tablecloth at Marshall's for our breakfast room, it might be beautifully spread over the table and artfully enhanced with our fifty-cent candlesticks from a neighbor's yard sale and our $1.71 Value Village chargers (that were originally $12.99 at Pier One), but no one outside our immediate family can actually see this new slice of beauty for the dishes overflowing from the kitchen sink, the dust-bunnies chasing each other around our baseboards, and the sewing machine still sitting on the surrounded-by-fabric scraps TV tray in the den. (Did I tell you that the perfect tablecloth was initially too long but once cut down to size yielded enough extra material to make a pillow?)
It's at this point that some of you are thinking, Well, duh, just clean it up, silly. What's the big deal? I guess it were just the dishes, and just the dust-bunnies, and just our leftover sewing scraps, maybe we would. But there are our over-flowing closets, the drawers that sometimes can't open because of the junk crammed into them (and for too many of us, ALL of our drawers have somehow evolved into "junk drawers"), the laundry that multiplied in the dark (like those darn dust-bunnies), the mysterious unidentified gunk that got smushed into the dining room rug sometime last week but that we just rediscovered last night, the Bible study lesson that needs to be prepared and the handouts that need to be finished up and copied for Sunday morning, T-ball schedules, and . . . well, we are overwhelmed. (And that's not even considering the dreaded bathrooms. I, myself, used to joke that my favorite part about going to any women's retreat was having a clean bathroom for the weekend.)
Some of this house-stuff is normal life for most people -- they do clean up as they go, and it doesn't slow them down for a minute. (Oh, they might be overwhelmed once in a while, but those times are the exceptions, not the norm.) But there is an entire segment of the population whose bookshelves are filled with titles like The Side-Tracked Home Executive, The Messies Manual, Disciplines of the Beautiful Woman, and Sink Reflections . . . we've bought index cards and file folders and printed out pages of systems from our computers, and yet, WE STILL DON'T GET IT! We still suffer from what The FlyLady calls CHAOS ("Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome" I call it "Oh, #@%$! Syndrome" because that's what I say when I see someone unexpectedly approaching my front door. Jaja words, I know. Sorry.).
The worst part of our condition is the constant feeling of defeat, guilt, and shame. Why can't we keep our houses like everyone else seems to? Our other sistas make it look so easy, so natural, that we can't help but wonder What's wrong with us?
It would be one thing if we didn't care, but we really do care; we want to be better at keeping our houses -- because whether we want to admit it or not, how we keep our houses has a definite effect on the spirit of our homes -- we just don't seem to be able to, or at least we haven't managed to do so successfully on a regular basis yet.
Now this is the cool part. God has graciously been placing other women like me in my life, which is wonderful all by itself, but the exciting part for me is that one of those women -- someone who loves the Lord and overflows with spiritual gifts and insight -- recently asked me what I would think of starting a kind of support group as a ministry to women like us. I explained that it was an idea that had already been bouncing around in my brain for a while, and I told her about my blog and how I had gotten somewhat side-tracked from its original intent (many of us "enigma women" are borderline -- if not full-blown -- ADD and are easily drawn off-task). We talked for quite a while, and at church the next morning picked up right where we'd left off. We both admitted that after our initial gab-fest the night before, we'd each gone home and lain in bed thinking of how God might orchestrate such a ministry. We're still planning, but I'd like to share a few ideas with you.
As God would have it, Lora and I were both drawn to the book of Nehemiah for inspiration, but I'll save those specifics for another post. Meanwhile, what I can say is that this would be a group of women of all ages and stages that comes together not to marinate in our misery but to encourage and challenge one another and to share ideas that can help us better manage our homes -- as our brother Paul would say, to "spur one another on toward love and good deeds" (Hebrews 10:24).
We're thinking about calling our group The Texas Two-Step. I know -- that's pretty off the wall, huh? But, most of us who need this group know what it means to spend so much of our time "dancing as fast as [we] can," always trying to catch up but never quite managing it. Well, think about this, to Texas two-step, one slows down, focuses on her partner's lead, avoids looking down (choosing, instead, to look up), and aims for smooth forward motion. (Sounds good, so far!) And greenhorns -- those new to the dance -- are encouraged to aim for simplicity, focusing on easy, basic steps, all the while, again, looking up and moving forward.
How does St. Michael's Wife figure into this? St. Michael's Wife will become St. Michael's Wife and the Texas Two-Step and will serve as a resource for the group -- a clearinghouse of sorts for ideas and encouragement, as well as a place where fellow Two-Steppers can leave their own comments, encouragement, and ideas. (I promise to have the blog re-vamped and gussied up a bit before we officially start toward the end of the summer/beginning of fall! The comment thingie will be working for sure! At all times!) Of course, cute decorating will still be here because, at least for us Emotional Cleaners (see the May 6, 2009 post, "If You're Not OCD, You just might be an EC!"), beautiful rooms fall under "encouragement" and "inspiration"! (So there'll still be something for you "normal" sistas, too! In fact, ya'll might be able to jump in and help the rest of us out!)
So, sistas, that's my news! A new ministry in the making! Stay tuned for more info as the summer months roll by . . . and feel free to let me know YOUR thoughts and ideas -- I always love to hear from you! (For the time being, my comments-thingie is at the beginning of each post. Weird, I know, but that's the only way I could get it to work right now.)
Until later, grins and clutches from St. Michael's Wife