You Are Invited Over
In the past, I spent exorbitant amounts of time cleaning and decorating my home.
My first boyfriend even told me I was the one who taught him how to make lines in the carpet with the vacuum cleaner. Now, there is a lasting impression every girl wants to make on her first boyfriend! When he shared what he had learned from me, my obituary flashed in front of my eyes: Angela Craig, A women who could teach anyone the art of cleaning!
My obsession with wanting the perfection of a model home was masked to the world with a hospitality facade. A facade that told people the time I invested in creating a model home was for others. But underneath it all, when I examined the raw places of my heart, I was creating a model home for me.
In the past, I justified the time I spent cleaning, decorating and shopping to create a place my friends and family would feel welcome; an atmosphere that invited people to conversation; a space that touched each of their 5 senses. Today, I can tell you, I honestly want the same things for my home, BUT my motivation is much different. Underneath my past hospitality facade, was a need for control. Creating a model home was a way to make my world secure. Staying consumed with the four corners of my home gave me control over my fear of other people’s opinions and a control over my fear of stepping out into a truly purposeful life.
If I lived in a model home, people would think I was perfect. Taking care of a model home requires A LOT of time. There was no time to pursue anything meaningful or potentially risky.
Maybe you live in a model home. Maybe your reasons are the same or maybe they are different.
A model home is a place of perfection. A place where everyone likes you and no one judges you. Everything in life seems in order.
But if you have noticed, no one actually lives in model homes.
They are empty from anything but staged furniture, dishes, and magazines. There is no life.
The way to break free of model house living and begin to live a life of meaning and purpose is found by defining “should” and “must”. Should is filled with expectations and sometimes coupled with guilt. It feels endless and heavy. Must is filled with divine purpose. It is fueled with passion and fills you with energy. The difference behind the two actions of should and must are motivation.
You must ask yourself what motivates you to do what you are doing.
In the past, my model home mentality would shame me into taking down the Christmas decorations by New Year’s Day. After all, what would the neighbors think if my tree was up until Valentine’s Day, Easter, or even all year? I would have been motivated to act by perfectionism and other people’s opinions. But since I moved out of my model home, I pass by the Christmas decorations every time I make a choice for my must instead of my should. My must that shouts, play golf with your family; go out on a date with your husband. My must that tells me my body needs movement and my mind craves solitude. My must, which toted a suitcase past a dark tree, only stopping long enough to turn on the lights as I left to teach at a women’s leadership conference. My must that would invite you over for coffee, even if my Christmas decorations were still up on Valentine’s Day.
How are you living? Is your calendar controlled by what you should do or by what you must do? I encourage you to take some time this week and evaluate your to-do list. Divide a single piece of paper into two columns and write should on one side and must on the other. Start with small changes and REMEMBER: You were made to live an extraordinary life!
I am cheering for you!