I tried. The sweet fall aroma permeated the kitchen, leading one to believe things were cooking properly. I turned the oven light on, not daring to open the door, lest I ruin it all. But it still sank in the middle and came out dense and undercooked.
Company was coming and my first attempt at chocolate zucchini bread was not to be shared. I cut off what parts seemed cooked through, and covered the rest up and hid it away in the pantry. I’ll decide later what to do with that. No one saw the mound of pathetically cut up chocolate loaf tossed aside like a forgotten favourite dress that got shrunk – unsuitable for public consumption. I got out the pretty napkins and cut a few pieces onto our robins egg blue plates. Perhaps the colour of spring will mask the mistake of fall.
I tried to show the perfect and hide away the mistake; the attempt that caved. Oh how many times does this happen in our homes? Where we clean up before people come over, only showing the good stuff. As though we live like that 24/7. We are all responsible for our perceptions of others, yes, but I believe vulnerability goes a long way in leading people down the right path.
So, if you, like me, have ran the domestic marathon over and over with failed attempts, take courage. We all fail. And this chocolate loaf to me now symbolizes a growing seed of unmasking for me. Admitting where I fail. Embracing my weaknesses so that Jesus can really shine through. Being okay with not being okay Every. Single. Day. I don’t know about you, but I could stand to release some control and let go a bit more. Control is exhausting.
And for the record? Marriage and motherhood is work, no matter what Instagram worthy picture you see on social media. I fight with Troy in my head way more than we fight in reality. (you know, to see if vocalizing something is worth it, I play it out in my own writers reel first). I told him this the other night as we went to bed at 9pm, chuckling, only to get up twice more before 11 to a crying baby. “Parenthood is not for the faint of heart,” he said. There were many midnight calls to Troy while he was working away where I was crying and Elizabeth was crying. Where I had no idea what to do but hold her and pray God would help us get some sleep. In the past I’ve put things on credit card I shouldn’t have. I’ve literally swept things under beds and carpets, temporarily, that are then forgotten. I buy pie, I don’t make it. And I let our dog Pippa clean up way too much spit up, and don’t wash the floors for days after.
It happens. We make allowances for things we can’t live up to when we think others believe we should be able to. It’s called pride, and Lord knows we all have it.
But in the middle of what often feels like our threads are unravelling in chaos or calamity, God is actually pulling at them, ever so gently with His Father touch, to weave something more beautiful on the other side. He is faithful, even when we are faithless, for He cannot deny Himself. (1 Timothy 2:13). The kind of grace that sustains my heart on days when I know I fall short is that God is always faithful, and His work in me is ongoing.
I love home. I love the responsibility God has given us as women to create beauty and peace for our families. Homemaking is an art – ever evolving and looks different for all of us. But, I think there needs to be an element of reality where we can admit what we’re not good at, and be okay with it.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I still need to look at myself in the mirror and see if I’m really ready to NOT tidy up before you come over 😉