A Mess

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I have been thinking about how I need to continue to let go of the desire for the appearance of perfection in my life. While I have no desire to spend the time (or money) it takes to put on a perfect image, when my house, or my face, or my body doesn't look the way I wish it would, it makes me a bit blue.

I want to honor people who come to my house by having it look lovely, the reality is, it's not always picked up.

(Hmmmm, nice, but sort of sad that it doesn't look, "lived in")

I want people to take me seriously and respect my thoughts, but I am also working on dealing with the fact that I don't always look put together or that my skin isn't always clear. For example, while watching the "What's New in 2012" videos, a blemish on my cheek jumps out at me, it's just laughing at me that I had a breakout the day I was going in for filming...keeps me humble I guess.*

Also on the topic of image, after this, my third pregnancy, the weight just isn't coming off, and searching for something to wear every day is a challenge. I can't wait for garage sale season to arrive so I can expand my wardrobe with clothes that fit me now.

I guess I could lock the door, hide my face, and never leave the house so no one sees my ill fitting clothes. Instead, I am working on welcoming people into my home, helping them feel at peace so they don't notice the items they have to step over. I'm working on smiling and asking about what others are going through so they see my heart instead of any mark on my face. And, I try to make a point to look at my children so people see the joy I wear in this season, instead of the clothes I have on.

So, if you see my blemish, or imagine tripping over my stuff, or wonder what I've got on... realize, I'm working on letting it all go.

(The normal state of Natalia's room)

Until next time,

*I have never felt comfortable in make-up so I don't wear it. I'm not opposed to it on others, I just personally feel like I'm wearing a mask and don't recognize myself when I look in the mirror. So, I deal with those blemishes and try to pretend that anyone looking at me is more interested in what I'm saying than what my face looks like.
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  1. I'm in the same process - learning to let go of the small things - and deal with my perfectionism. I much prefer the picture of the real state of things (and you and me both with no make-up) than the "appearance of perfection." Good post, from one homeschooling mom to another!
    Shannon in Indiana <

  2. Carrie

    You are not alone, Jonelle!

  3. Jessica

    I love this and struggle with the same feelings you describe. Thank you for posting the above picture to show that other people's homes get messy too :-)

  4. Melanie Carroll

    Thank you for sharing! I loved the picture of how your daughter's room normally looks - just like my daughter's. I got such a good laugh out of that. I get tired of living up to other peoples expectations. I feel I have to do a major clean up/straightening up when my mother-in-law visits. I don't know if it would be good to let go of that or not!

  5. Right there with you- on all counts. Thanks for having the courage to come out and say it:-).

  6. Under His Wing

    Thank you for being REAL. It is my daily struggle...to absorb the truth that Jesus is my source of worth. Thanks for reminding me.

  7. Mary Beasley

    Oh thank you!!! I so needed to read this right now. I have 2 boys ages 4 & 2, and a newborn baby girl, 7 weeks, and I am stressed to the MAX! My house is a total wreck, and it does bring me down. I have never been a "neat freak," but I don't like endless clutter either! I feel like my friends have perfect, magazine houses when I go over, and mine never comes close to that! Every day I feel like I'm struggling against an uphill battle that I never even come close to conquering. Then I collapse, and it still looks like nothing has been done all day! I am trying to take it one day at a time and just focus on enjoying the children (and the baby - our last one!). They will be growing up quickly, but the house will always sit here waiting to be cleaned, even if its after they leave home! LOL! Thank you again for the great reminder!

  8. katieb

    Awesome! I'm quite a bit older, with older kids (actually one graduated and one still in high school) but still struggle with the SAME issues, believe it or not! It's so refreshing to read a true-to-life homeschool/life story. In fact, I can relate 100% and love your candor, especially about the 'blemish' problem :)

  9. Tanya Dehmer

    Thank you for sharing!!! Ive always known I'm not the only mom with a 'lived in' home, but most people try to hide it. Always straining to keep up the facade of a perfect house, life and body? Nah! Not this family. Sure we clean, excersise and I'll have to admit, have an incredible family life...we are really interested in life. A butterfly may catch our eye, and we're off!!! A messy house is the last thing on our mind. Besides, who's going to remember the dirty dishes or toys everywhere in 20 years. Not me, not my kids....but boy oh boy, we will certainly remember our grand adventures or our rainy days spent making cookies and bread and cuddling up with a great book or movie....Those are real things, those are the things that define us as people. That's what I want people to see.

  10. Michelle Schwartz

    You are not alone. I love that you were honest enough to post before and after pictures of your daughter's room. I love when people are real like that. Don't be discouraged by other's perfection. It isn't real. I live in CA and see this all of the time. What really matters is your children and what you teach them. God looks at the heart not the clutter.

    On another note, you might want to try mineral makeup. It's more like powder. I wear it all of the time. I don't like wearing heavy foundation and have oily skin so this helps control the shine. My skin is blemish free most of the time, but a dot of concealer over any blemished area followed by a swirl of mineral powder will give you flawless skin. Try Physician's Formula available at Target and drugstores across the country. You won't look like you are wearing makeup and your skin will be able to breathe. It also has natural SPF.

  11. ~Julia~

    I love the photos! I think I have an easier time being okay with the house than with myself. Because if you think about it, you could probably tidy up that room in 15-20 if you needed to. Now, 20 pounds takes a bit longer! That is difficult to be okay with. I love your comment about looking at your kids. I hope my face lights up when I look at mine, because I'd love for that to be what others see in me. I have family coming to stay for two weeks and I am more self-conscious than I should be when I have company. I am going to take this topic to heart during our visit. Thank you!

  12. Christy

    Amen to what others have said!
    This is my first time reading these blogs, and I thoroughly enjoyed yours! I had no idea your parents are Sarita and John. As I was watching the video, I was thinking how cool, pretty and hip you look and how SWEET, articulate, and sincere you sound!
    We have the exact dresser in your dd's room, by the way! :)

  13. Jonelle Jonelle

    @Shannon, after I posted the pictures I realized that I really do like Natalia's room better with the "lived in" look. Not always crazy about it at 2am when I'm attempting to get her a glass of water...but, generally, it's fun to see what she's into and wearing.

    @Carrie, it is so good to know I'm not the only one...

    @Jessica, note that I showed you my daughter's room...not sure I want to "come clean" on the rest of my house. :)

    @Melanie, I was so relieved when I went to a girlfriends' house and her daughter's room looked just the same! As for the in-laws...I still clean up. :)

    @You Can, it is much easier to be courageous when people are standing with you!

    @Under, Amen. Such an important reminder, glad I could participate in that for you today, I'm hoping someone will remind ME tomorrow. :)

    @Mary, oh man, I am right there with you. I just have a 3.5year old and a 3 month old, but...wow. Whenever I'm cleaning, Natalia is just right behind me taking more stuff out. The past week I've just left the house behind and gone for walks when it's sunny. :)

    @katieb, well, I know it's not an easy battle. I just need to keep figuring out what needs fighting and what I need to get over.

    @Tanya, I tend to be in your camp. If it's sunny I'm out of the house. Yard work might get done, but house work gets put off for another week. :) I really hope that my girls also will remember our time together and that we welcomed people into our lives instead of mom being stressed about the house. What I really need is a fairy cleaner so they can remember both good times and clean house!

    @Michelle, just saw this. Thanks for the notes on the mineral angle. I tend to try to use only lotions and soaps with limited ingredients and names I can read, don't know if these will apply, but I'll check it out. Thanks! I'm also not sure if it would change my mind on wearing a mask. Seriously, I don't even wear nail polish 'cause I look at my fingers and go, who's fingers are those!?! :)

  14. Jonelle Jonelle

    I'm really hoping this works...my computer continues to be on the fritz...I finally had Luke post my replies yesterday afternoon...we will be working on that bug as the days go on. :)

    Thanks all for the replies, so fun to read!

    @Julia, I completely agree on your comment of house vs. self: so, so much harder! I really need to stay on top of those thoughts because they are easy to overwhelm...I really hope your visit goes well and that you will be able to relax and enjoy your visitors!

    @Christy, your comment just made my day! Thank you for your kind words! How encouraging. :)