Today, a shift when I was getting all too caught up in my self and my efforts as I am wont to do.
I am perpetually behind when it comes to housework. I know that most people are like me – young moms especially. Who has time to dust when your kid doesn’t have any more clean sleepers and they’ve been sleeping in pjs 2 sizes too big, and you even pulled out the Christmas ones last night? Anyways, I digress. I was emptying the dishwasher when I noticed the smell of earl grey tea and remarked aloud, “I smell it again! Do you smell earl grey?” Matteo was standing right nearby. I scanned the room and my eyes fell on a few-days-old strainer, filled with Read My Lips tea. “That’s it!” I grabbed the old tea leaves and took a big sniff. “Ha! I’ve been wondering where that smell was coming from…” M laughed and walked outside and all of the sudden my heart sank.
He thinks that I don’t clean the house! He thinks that I am perpetually behind. He thinks that it’s a joke how long I leave things like teabags around!
But all of the sudden amidst this reel of accusations, something jolted.
Bethany, it doesn’t matter if Matteo thinks these things – which, you know, he absolutely does not. You are enough.
Only, it wasn’t quite like this – it was so much more profound.
Because yes, of course I’ve heard that “You are enough” over and over and OVER again throughout my Christian upbringing and even from cultural sources in general. You’re enough. You’re doing great. Don’t listen to what anyone says – you are amazing. Be kind to yourself. And I knew (though not instinctively, because I am always on the defensive) that I needed to slow down and maybe consider the fact that Matteo’s laughter and quick exit was prompted by the comical nature of the scenario itself and the fact that he was going outside to finish building our Tempo before the snow set in (bless you, sweet Matteo) and not by judgement.
Suddenly, I heard it as Christ’s voice: You are enough. Meaning, Bethany, before the beginning of time I made you and I loved you, and the only reason that you might feel like you’re a failure or a joke as a wife or behind in your cleaning habits… is you.
It really made me take pause. I saw for the first time how much I tend to listen to my OWN voice of condemnation. Matteo is constantly grateful for our home and for what I do. He has never said anything about my lack of cleaning skill.
That, and our house is for the most part clean – or at least, clean enough. And while Baby A may sometimes wear a size too big of pyjamas – they’re clean pyjamas and by that time, I do have a load going in the laundry.
The condemning voice was me, setting my standards high, making poor assumptions, angling into defence and I’m-better-than-you-think-I-am mode.