A few months ago I read Love the Home You Have by Melissa Michaels and adored it. It is one of those books everyone should read, especially if you are:
- Stressing over keeping up with the Joneses
- Struggling with discontentment over your home or your possessions
- Feeling inadequate in a society that values material goods and wealth
Shortly after I read the book I received an e-mail from Melissa’s publicist asking if I wanted to work with her to promote it to my readers. I replied telling her I’d already read and enjoyed the book but I’d love to interview Melissa so you could all be introduced to her. I wrote up the questions and everything seemed on track; unfortunately, Melissa is swamped right now with preparing to launch another book, her blog, and other daily life and career demands so the interview was tossed. I was disappointed but suggested a compromise…
I asked for permission to share an excerpt of Love the Home You Have (reprinted with permission) so that you could see for yourselves what a great book Melissa has written. If you’ve ever found yourself feeling like your home (apartment, condo, townhome, mobile home, etc) isn’t good enough, you need Melissa’s words in your heart.
Now, a brief excerpt from Chapter 8:
We can easily feel paralyzed when the house is out of control, can’t we? I remember many times wanting to toss my entire house into a giant dumpster and start over. But now that I have determined the purpose for my home, set some realistic goals, and eased into my four easy daily routines, I have discovered some gentle ways to find my way through the chaos. These guidelines help me stay on the right track to do exactly what I need to be doing at this time and in this place. My daily routines have transformed my life, bolstering my confidence to chase my dreams and helping me find time to embrace my purpose.
But there are still those days when I look around and have a sinking feeling that I haven’t done enough. Does a stern voice in your head ever say you couldn’t possibly do enough to keep up? When this happens (and chances are, it will), take a deep breath and tell yourself…
“My house is clean enough.”
I have often needed to repeat those words over the years. With a husband, babies, and small children to love, a super-clean house was not my top priority. Even with Cheerios and toys everywhere, my house was clean enough in those days because my babies needed my attention and my husband wanted a date night now and then in front of the TV. I don’t regret the hours I set the housekeeping aside so I could embrace my family.
Even now, when my office is currently surrounded by more clutter and disarray than I want to see, my house is clean enough for this moment. We’ve been painting inside, so our furniture pieces are scattered in rooms where they don’t belong. And to top it off, our water heater is broken. The plumbers are running around our house, trying not to trip on our stuff. I’m cringing at the chaos the plumbers have witnessed. Am I happy with this level of disarray? No. But it is what it is.
In our defense, my family hasn’t been able to do dishes, wash clothes, or take showers for days. It’s hot outside. Our house stinks. We stink. Our routines are off. Dishes are on the counter. Laundry is piling up on the floor. We are trying to do many things and dropping the ball on most of them. Pretty soon this plumber will hand us a $3000 bill for a new water heater and repairs. As I write a check for that painful amount, I will be reminded why we work and don’t have time to clean house all day.
So here I am thinking it again: Our house is clean enough. I can restart the routines tomorrow. All things considered, life is good. We are grateful we will soon have a water heater. We’ll have water! That’s a gift. I don’t need to carry the burden that I haven’t done enough yet—today is a day for grace. And maybe a cookie. Definitely a cookie.
Friend, when your day sounds like mine, when you’re running around doing your best while everything seems to be falling apart around you, go put your feet up and remind yourself that tomorrow is a new day. Tomorrow you can get back to your routines and maybe do an extra cleaning frenzy to make up for everything that fell apart today. Today your house is clean enough.
Love the Home You Have shares a perspective on home and contentment that you need to read. At the end of the book, Melissa challenges readers to a 31-day challenge which I think you’ll love especially if you’re struggling to find contentment at home.
Are you up for it? If you are, pick up a copy of Love the Home You Have today and get started!