If you come to my house….

If you come to my house for dinner…

You can expect to be given a home cooked meal made of real food…but, it’s very likely that there will be dirty dishes in the sink.
Expect to be eating largely organic, free-range, and grass fed as the case may be…but my toddler may sing ABCs during dinner, or reach clear across the table for bread, or roll his toy car on your back.
Expect that I will have good beer (usually local) that you can enjoy…but, you may be dragged to the playroom to play cars or asked to hold the baby for a bit.
Expect to be heartily welcomed…but, you may be asked to leave early because we aren’t afraid to kick people out because we’re tired.
Expect casual, comfortable and usually messy.
Expect laughter and conversation…but expect it to be interrupted by kids and seasoned with awkwardness now and then.

If I invite you to my home for dinner…

I expect you to play with my kids at least a little.
I expect you to make yourself at home – take your shoes off, help yourself to water, beer, raw milk or whatever other drinks are around, change the music if you want.
Excuse the mess and pardon the kids chaos.

I love having people over, i would usually much rather have people in my home than go to someone else’s, but I’m not a Martha Stewart type of host. When I invite someone over I invite them into a little bit of myself – I am messy, and unfinished and so is my home. I am not interested in facades or perfection, I can’t maintain them. I am interested in friendship, I am interested in building authentic community.

I will welcome you into my home on the day when my kids took extra long naps, and I am refreshed and prepared, and on the day when I only got two hours of sleep and didn’t have time to clean. I will welcome you in on the days when I’m energized and creative and the days when I just can’t snap out of my negative funk. Sometimes I might ask all the right questions and we’ll have a great conversation. Other times I might be tired and awkward and we may end up just watching an episode of Friends or Modern Family together.

So, come on over. Come in and take a seat. Breathe. Relax. I won’t pretend if you won’t. Welcome to the mess, the chaos, the unfinished work in progress. Welcome to my home.

Rejoicing in the journey,
Bethany Stedman

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My Kitchen’s a Mess But My Bread Basket is Full

“I can’t do it all.” The words sound like a broken record rolling off my tongue – I’ve heard them so often – I’ve said them so often.

IMG_5116I am fully aware of the fact that I can’t do it all. I have heard it time and time again. I know that we are finite and our time is finite. But, why do I still feel guilty when I can’t get it all done? Why do I still feel guilty when my kitchen is a mess and there are toys all over my living room, even when I baked all morning and my bread basket is full?

Even though I know that I can’t do it all, I still WANT to do it all. I still hate that I can’t do it all and every day I fight against my own limitations. I fight to try. I know that I can’t do it all but I still try to do it all – some days I even plan to do it all. I plan on doing the dishes, picking up the house, getting all the laundry done, making three healthy homemade meals, taking care of my son, spending time with my husband, reading and commenting on blogs, writing blogs, responding to emails, working on the book I’m writing, watering the plants, and on and on and on. Instead of accepting my limitations, embracing them and striving for the attainable, I put everything imaginable on my to-do list and strive for the unachievable. I sabotage myself.

And then when the dishes don’t get done, I haven’t showered in three days, and the laundry isn’t finished I get depressed. I feel like a failure. I am flooded with guilt. And with the guilt comes hopelessness. When I begin to focus on all that I have NOT accomplished I become overwhelmed and paralyzed, and I forget to focus on all that I HAVE accomplished.IMG_5114

What if instead of focusing on my failures I began to focus on my successes? If focusing on the fact that I didn’t do the dishes today (or most of this week) brings guilt, would focusing on my successes (however small they may be) bring encouragement and motivation? If focusing on my failures makes me feel hopeless, would focusing on my little triumphs make me feel hopeful? That’s what I need today and good dose of HOPE. Do you?

So here’s my little list of successes for today:

  • I made sourdough zucchini and apple muffins
  • I made meatball subs for dinner completely from scratch (I made the bread, sauce and meatballs)
  • I went to the post office
  • I went to the BIO store (Czech version of a health food store)
  • I made the bed
  • I spent yet another day nursing my baby on demand and playing, reading and singing with him
  • I spent time with my husband and had some really nice talks with him about life and work
  • I read a few blog posts
  • I talked with my mom for a bit and made some plans for our trip back to the states this summer
  • I wrote this blog and took these pictures

IMG_5113Ok, maybe it’s not that much, but it’s something. I can’t do it all, but I can do some things. I choose today to focus on the things I have accomplished instead of focusing on my failures. I’m not a bad homemaker, just an imperfect one – but aren’t we all?

What were your little triumphs and successes today?

Rejoicing in the journey –
Bethany Stedman

This post has been entered in the Mom’s 30 Minute Blog Challenge carnival at Steady Mom. Check out the link for lots of other great posts.

If you like this post please consider buying me a cup of tea (Suggested: $3 a cup)