Thursday, October 30, 2008

...It's Time to be Real!

This week my friends were talking about cleaning lists again. Isn't it amazing how often this topic comes up? But this time, Martha Stewart's name came up. I started thinking about how my feelings on Martha Stewart have changed over the years.

I used to love Martha Stewart when I was younger. Before I got married and had kids, I bought all her magazines. You know, before I had to pay for things myself. Isn't it amazing what a dose of reality will do?

How do I say this nicely? I am a Texan in spirit, but not in speech, so it never really sounds quite as nice when I say something. See Texans are fiercely independent and tough but then they say "Bless your heart." I've got the one, without the other. I'm a little more the bull in the china shop type. (I heard that Sharon!)

I am sure I could do all the things in the Martha Stewart magazine, if I had the money to employ the staff that she does. But even more than the staff, it is the money to purchase the materials . Early on in her career, her work really was simpler. But it's easy to pick on Martha Stewart, everyone does. It's a horse that has been beat to death. It's a problem that extends far beyond Martha Stewart.

Every time we go to the grocery store, we are bombarded with magazines. You attempt to avert your eyes from the tabloids and what do you see? You see the decorating magazines. Those seem harmless. After all, they are about your domestic art. In a way, it's about your family. It's like a trade magazine for housewives, right? Except for one thing, they are designed to make you spend money.

You know what it's like for women? It's like seeing all those airbrushed women on the covers of fashion magazines. You see enough of that and you think you have to look like that. Well, we see enough decorating magazines and we think our houses should look like that. Or that we have to serve food that looks like that. Or that when we throw a party, it had better look like that. It's unrealistic. It puts an undue burden on our husband's wallets. And we put undue pressure on ourselves. (If my husband is reading this, and wonders if I am feeling a prick of conscious about Christmas magazines, yes, yes, I am. I am working on it.)

Ladies, let's take those masks off. I believe God wants us to be good stewards rather than a good Stewart. He wants us to be who He created us to be. There is nothing wrong with decorating your house. Certainly you know, based on the lists that I have published here, that I believe there is nothing wrong with cleaning your house! And you know how much I love throwing parties, and theme cooking! Housekeeping is an art. But it doesn't have to be expensive. It only takes you.

If you really believe that He created you to be like Martha Stewart that is awesome! But if you don't, and you have been trying to reach that bar of perfection and it is doing nothing more than making you miserable, then may I suggest a more simple approach? I refuse to advertise any one show, especially one I rarely watch, but I know that those decorating on a budget shows seem to have inspired my sister Robin.

God gave you special gifts. Your creativity, your ingenuity and your family's personality should be the things that are reflected in your home. Above all else, when people come into your home, they should know who your family serves.

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