Monday, October 24, 2011

Mother's Encouragement

Every so often my mom has read my blog or facebook posts

and does not comment online

but waits for a face-to-face word to share.

And so her words of wisdom came to me this weekend

at, of all places, Chuck E. Cheese.

"You're too hard on yourself," she told me.

"Grandma Edna always said about her house,

'Clean enough to be healthy.  Dirty enough to be happy.'

Some days when Marlene and I would come home from school,

she would be quilting or doing an upholstry project,

the lunch dishes would still be in the sink and on the counter,

and her project was all over the dining room.

We would look around the house at the mess,

and she'd say, 'Why don't you girls do those dishes?'"

My mom's story about my Grandma Edna

makes me laugh with relief.

I was glad to know she was that way.

Because that is exactly what happens to my house

when I am shoulder deep in a project with tunnel vision for it's completion.

My Grandma Edna and Grandpa Tommy

were two of the happiest people I have ever known.

And everywhere I went with them,

people greeted them with huge smiles.

We would walk in the Senior Center in Miller, SD,

and the men would say,

"Heyyy, Tommy!"

and Grandpa Tommy would have a teasing word for them

and then sit down to play cards.

"Clean enough to be healthy.  Dirty enough to be happy."

Ok, so maybe I don't feel quite as condemned about my housekeeping.

Although, I still get a little crazy about it,

I guess that is when it is not clean enough to be healthy

and it is way too dirty to be happy . . .

Thanks, Mom.

I post pretty pictures, and art, and celebrations,

but I am a real woman that gets overwhelmed and frustrated too

with big stuff, but often with the little day-to-day stuff.

So, I have to remind myself to find beauty in the mess.

And I have respect and grace for those

trying to do this life well,

but that fall down, get in a pit, get frustrated, break,

and do their best to get back up again,

get put together again

with God's help.

Gracing myself & gracing others
flows out of the well of grace
that I receive from Jesus.
Giving what I've been given.

I heard this song by Mandisa
while I was folding laundry today
 that said,
"Can't live my whole life wastin'
 all the grace that I know You've given..."
 That's what I'm talking about.
Beating myself up is wasting His grace.
Listen to "Waiting for Tomorrow" by Mandisa here:
Waiting for Tomorrow

Linking here . . . be encouraged . . .
Finding Heaven


  1. Love that -- clean enough to be healthy! I've been overwhelmed at my home lately too. Projects going on everywhere and knowing I need to stop and clean but just haven't done it. At least my kitchen is clean (oh, and other essential rooms in the house)!

  2. I am right there with you, Jodi! This is my biggest struggle...thanks for your beautiful words:)

  3. LOVE this, Jodi! You're right: Life (including houses and kids and work and pictures and blogs) don't have to be perfect to be wonderful! :-) I think folks like you and me will want to remind ourselves of that often!
    Your creativity and love travel through cyber-space, coming alive on your pages. Thank you, Jodi! And tell your mom "thank you" for the reminder today!

  4. I agree with Aunt Edna! I use to knock myself out to keep the house perfect. Now it is "clean enough" and I have time for the things I love!

  5. What a wonderful phrase - thanks for sharing it! It puts things in perspective, doesn't it? Great advice.


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