Tell me something. When a neighbor rings the doorbell in the middle of a day to ask for a cup of sugar, do you gracefully open the door, warmly smiling because you feel totally poised, pulled together, fully dressed (yes, pants on) and teeth brushed? Or is it your first instinct to slip quietly around the corner and hide, hoping they will give up and go away? Wouldn’t it be lovely to run into a friend outside when you are getting your mail and welcome her inside for a chat without a moment of fear that she will trip or injure herself simply making her way to the living room?
We all have different comfort levels with inviting others into our home when we are not fully prepared for or expecting their arrival. Our home is our sanctuary, after all, and not a public place, but even more important than fearing how others might perceive us or function in our home when they visit is the thought-provoking question of how we feel in our very own space.
How effortlessly are we able to move about our home, tidying up and completing daily tasks? We might try to convince ourselves that piles of clutter are the evidence that we are relaxed and comfortable with our surroundings, but how can we feel fully at ease if we are constantly missing crucial deadlines due to lost papers, if we are late to appointments because we could not find our keys, if we have to leave the house looking frazzled because we have to put on our shoes and coat as we are making our way out the door because they are not where they belonged?
We cannot help but feel clumsy when our floors are covered with clutter and our tables are piled high with delayed decisions still waiting to be handled. If we are annoyed with everyone around us as we go about cleaning the house, it’s likely because tasks have been procrastinated until each one now feels unbearable.
How we feel in our own space IS connected to how we feel when we get outside of it. Interestingly, as we remove the obstacles in our home that make us feel clumsy and put in their place simple systems to help us to feel more graceful, it’s quite likely we will become more gracious to others as well.
Perhaps you wonder how you can be so desirous of a beautiful, orderly home, and yet have at times such disastrous results? I’m shaking my head laughing, not at you, but because I also wonder that about myself. To be honest, I want to be a person who can live gracefully with imperfection, but I don’t always like it when the opportunity arises.
In our heart of hearts we don’t want to drain our precious energy by beating ourselves up, experiencing frustration over what we can’t do, or spinning our wheels on all the wrong things. There will always be unwelcome things trying to take control of our heart, mind, soul, and physical surroundings, but we can more easily maintain our composure if our perspective is not on temporal things.
How do we go from focusing on all the stuff that weighs us down to inviting more grace into our rooms? I looked up some definitions of grace, and each one swept me off my feet.
- a simple elegance or refinement of movement.
- a controlled, polite, and pleasant way of behaving.
- thoughtfulness toward others.
- behaving in a polite way in social situations.
- the free and unmerited favor of God and the bestowal of blessings.
- an act or instance of kindness, courtesy, or clemency.
- a charming or attractive train or characteristic.
- a pleasing appearance or effect.
I may not always have the most organized home around, but when I focus on creating a home filled with grace, my home is transformed and I can find everything I need.
What might our home feel like if we made more room for grace?
Head over to Melissa’s site today to enter a fabulous DaySpring giveaway! Find an abundance of grace with simple strategies for simplifying, decluttering, organizing, and making more room and time for what you really love in the new book, Make Room for What You Love, by NY Times Bestselling Author Melissa Michaels.