Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Fruit and Anxiety

This weekend, I was able to sneak away for an entire day to attend the Hearts at Home Conference. Now, before my men readers roll their eyes and click “close,” bear with me…allow me to be a little self-reflective today.

Anyway, it was kind of a game changing experience for me. You see, I went into the conference already planning my escape from the last few sessions to scope out the racks at Von Maur. I went to it waiting to roll my eyes at the “mom-ness” of it. I had been there a few years before, and while it was good, it wasn’t something that made me stop in my tracks and reevaluate who I was, how I was responding to the world around me, and those in it.

And then the first session happened. It was about perfection…which is what I’m all about. Although I feel like I’m somewhat realistic, deep down, I’m a perfectionist. I detest clutter, dirt, dust, disorganized stacks of papers, somewhat full trash cans and laundry baskets, unmade beds. I hate dusty cars and their cluttered insides, full of half drunk juice boxes and books read en route to Grandma’s. I despise our back porch where Joe’s cattle world meets our laundry and the girls’ school bags and coats. It makes me anxious, angry, upset, and basically irritated with the world. How in the world can I have a Better Homes and Gardens house on a farmer’s budget with people who actually work in the dirt and play in it living in the house? Don’t these people understand what I’m working towards.

Answer: no.

So my attitude has not been a very contented one as of late.

Then, the lightbulb when on and basically smacked me in the face.


Well, I do, but really in the grand scheme of life, who really cares? While I don’t want to have my kids grow up in a house of squalor and clutter, I do want them to grow up with a mom who is less anxious, and, instead, will strive to exemplify the Fruits of the Spirit. You know, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control?

I had forgotten most of those.

I had let hay strewn through the house let my not-so-kind thoughts rear their ugly heads. I had let things like muddy boots, weird schedules and late night cattle checks instead of date nights test the real joy in my life that was staring me in the face.

But these are things that memories are made of. The hay is used to give life to our cattle and food to your table. The muddy boots are in sizes from big to small, evidence of time spent together on a cold morning, checking over calves and learning to care for someone other than him- or herself.

My kids are happy. My husband is happy (tired and overworked, but happy). So why am I grouchy?

So, I choose joy. I choose peace. I will still choose to be armed with a Swiffer, but I will sweep up the hay with a loving and patient heart.

Keep my accountable, will you? I know I’ll be tested…spring is near.


  1. Love it sister! I just wish the conference would have ended on Jill's speach take too. I needed to hear her message one more time....

  2. Wasn't it awesome? Jill Savage is one of the most "real" women I know! She is so open and honest and doesn't try to hide behind a mask. This is the third year I have gone and I absolutely love Hearts at Home!

  3. So glad you shared this, what a great reminder. And thanks for the "preview." I attend the North Central Hearts at Home conferences (I live closer to Rochester than to Normal/Bloomington), and will attend in November -- I can't wait!! I need some help with letting go of my idea of perfection as well!

  4. I am the opposite as far as keeping clutter at bay. I mother's work is never done, right?

    I was raised on a farm in south Alabama but now live near a metro area. I just started a blog, thewritesteph.com, and at first had a hard time figuring out what to write about. Finally, I decided to do what you're doing and write about life on the farm. Here's wishing you happy writing! -Stephanie