Destiny In Bloom

The Domestic Diva’s Guide To … Aw, Never Mind

The Domestic Diva’s Guide To … Aw, Never Mind

posted on February 28th, 2011 / by Nancy Smith / 43 Comments

I recently took part in throwing a baby shower for a young friend. No, I take that back. I showed up, changed a light bulb, threw some frozen quiches in the oven, and washed dishes. Other people ‘threw a shower.’

It was like channeling Martha Stewart in there; monogrammed cupcakes, streamers made out of bibs, and water with orange slices neatly arranged. Orange slices.

My friend, at whose house all this took place, and I were standing in awe as the troops moved in, efficiently turning her kitchen and dining room into a virtual showplace, decorating tables with food ‘staged’ at various heights, and a large bouquet of flowers made out of crepe paper. Oh, yeah, and homemade donuts.

Homemade donuts. Who does that?!? I have three perfectly good donut shops within spitting distance of my house. Why improve on perfection?? Ok, yeah, they were slightly heavenly (took me 6 or 7 to be totally sure about that), but still. And the sweet little thing that brought these little devil treats – uh, donuts – commented that she’d been up till 1:30  the night before, finishing them. Three different varieties, one with a ‘glaze,’ and one with a ‘ganache.’

Ganache. Heck, I thought that meant shoes you wear in the rain.

Seriously, though, these were all young moms – some with toddlers in tow, others with rather pronounced baby bumps. My friend the hostess and I have teenagers – well past the cross-stitch and granola phase. We recognize that Velve-eta doesn’t kill anyone, and wearing dirty jeans is actually quite practical, as the mud puddle in the back yard will still be there tomorrow. And that teenagers can do their own dishes, thank you very much. Hallelujah.

As I puttered in the kitchen, pulling trays of frozen quiches out of the oven, I heard the Lord speak. Yeah, He does speak over frozen quiches. See, though, I wasn’t really listening; rather, I was a bit focused on the fact that covering a large foam letter with vintage paper would never in this lifetime have occurred to me, and feeling rather less than because of that.

So in the midst of a bacon and cheese mini-quiche, I heard God. It started with a chuckle (He often laughs in my general direction. He thinks I’m funny), which got my attention, as there was not a single guy in the house (no married ones, either. They’re smart enough to vacate the premises when the Estrogen Corps move in).

The chuckle was followed closely by, “Why does this bother you?”

Love those questions. Love.

Not.

“Well, you see, God, I read this thing – Proverbs 31. Yeah, you remember that one? Your dude Solomon wrote it, I think, and it lays out all these, well, this like checklist for what makes a good woman. And there’s something on there about handmade paper products, and I can’t stand the smell-”

“Why does this bother you?”

“Ok, so maybe you were busy with China – I know all that stuff over there, and the mess with the Nobel Prize and stuff, and so maybe you didn’t hear me. I was talking about the individual fruit skewers-”

“Why does this bother you?”

“Ok, ok. I get it now. This shouldn’t bother me.”

“But it does.”

He likes to change the subject on me; I start out on one topic, and He changes the subject. Huh. Like He knows better or something.

I sighed. “Ok, yeah, it does. I still burn dinner, and crocheting makes my eyes cross. I hate ironing, and the very thought of ‘craft time’ makes me question the efficacy of my deodorant. So yeah, it bothers me.”

“Why?”

More questions, dang it.

So I thought I would, you know, get really busy and not answer. I mean, those pigs in blankets weren’t gonna heat themselves.

“Why?”

Ignore.

“Why?”

*Double sigh* “Because that’s what I’m supposed to be!”

“What is?”

“All domestic and stuff. You know. Martha Stewart, all packed up in a diaper bag.”

“Really? That’s not how I made you.”

“Well, why not?!?”

“Because I didn’t want to. I wanted to make you – you.”

“Oh. And how, exactly, did you make me?” Notice the slight sarcasm.

“Fun. Smart. Creative.”

Snort. “Creative, yeah. Right. I can’t make art out of scrap wood.”

“No, you can’t. That’s true.”

“Great. Not helping here.”

“But you have words.”

I stopped loading pigs and blankets onto the tray.

“What?”

“You have words. I made you the way I made you, because I like you. I like that you love words. I like that you love books. I like that your focus and energy go to your husband and your children.”

“Yeah, but I don’t-”

“You are mine. I made you. I like you. Do I make mistakes?”

Shoot. “Uh, no.”

“Well, then, why does this bother you?”

When God talks, stuff happens. He doesn’t just speak some syllables – He creates stuff. That day in my friend’s kitchen, He talked to me. When He said, “You are mine. I made you”, something happened in my heart. Something important.

The world will try to tell us who we are. Every day, in so many ways, we are asked the question, “Who are you?” Society, television, family, friends, church – all these things can try to give us our identity, tell us who we are. The danger in that is that it can change, depending on our environment.

When we depend on others or the world as the source of our identity, we become like a chameleon – changeable and suggestible, depending on who or what we are looking to.

I might go a bit further. The dictionary defines idolatry as ‘excessive or blind adoration, reverence, devotion, etc.’ An idol is ‘a mere image or semblance of something, visible but without substance, as a phantom; a false conception or notion; fallacy.’

When we look to anything other than God as our source of identity, we are in severe danger of committing idolatry. That includes when we look to the Bible as a checklist, rather than an arrow pointing to the author. Proverbs 31 wasn’t meant as a to-do list; it was meant as a celebration of a wife, and all the things she is to her family.

If P31 had been written about me, it might include ‘she laughs loudly, that her children might not take the scraped knee so seriously.’ Or, ‘she buys milk without RSBT to keep the hormone levels at bay (and has been known to snort it out her nose).’ Even – ‘she wields her words thoughtfully, weighing their impact upon her audience.’

That day, standing in my friend’s kitchen, God spoke to me about my identity. Not what I do or don’t do, not whether or not I fulfill some random imagined checklist. Sure, He’s got stuff He wants me to do; things He’d like me to learn, all that. But what my heart heard that day was that if I never ever DO any of that stuff, He still likes me, just the way I am.

Got that? Not ‘loves.’ Likes!! He LIKES me. I’m His kid, his daughter, the one He LIKES.  He made me the way He did on purpose, because He knows better than I do.

Who is dictating your identity? Are you finding yourself, like I did, in not measuring up to some standard? Are you looking to worldly principles? Maybe, like me, you’re looking to a Biblical mode of determining who you are. Sounds good, right? But unless He speaks it, it becomes just one more ‘voice’ clamoring to tell you who you ‘ought’ to be.

Ask HIM what He thinks of you. Ask your creator to tell you about you. He’s a whole lot smarter anyway, right?

43 Responses to “The Domestic Diva’s Guide To … Aw, Never Mind”

  1. Great post! I'm so guilty at times of wanting someone else's identity. I may be crafty and creative, but sometimes I feel like a total moron who loses the ability to speak in front of people. (oi vey!)
    Thanks for encouraging me to find my identity in Him! I've heard it a hundred times before, but it's something that I never tire of hearing and something I need to be frequently reminded of.

  2. oh this was soooooo good!! (I'm also slightly relieved that I am not the only one that God laughs at/with regularly ;) )

  3. This was awesome! I almost thought you were talking about the baby shower Friday night, and as wonderful as it was – thank goodness it wasn't overly Martha Stewart or I would have felt entirely inadequate with my store bought fruit tray! .

    I sometime forget God made me the way He wanted me to be, and I overextend myself trying to fit the Pr 31 bill, I always fall short. Thank you for the reminder.

    Amy Whiteley

  4. "Proverbs 31 wasn’t meant as a to-do list; it was meant as a celebration of a wife, and all the things she is to her family."
    God spoke to me through your words just as He did to you at the shower that day. No more to-do lists for me. Your words pierced right through my heart–in a good way. God has very much so gifted you with words. Thank you for recognizing that and using it for His glory. Because of it, my knowing how much God loves me and likes me grew deeper.

  5. Oh, Nancy……..I LOVE how you write! You ARE amazing with words!! God definitely created you that way, and we are so blessed you are using them. :) ! You speak to my soul and spirit. Some of your posts have been like icing to the cake God has been baking in me. (ok, that was corny, I'm not the writer!) I want to meet you woman! You sound like fun!

  6. Oh Nancy! I confess to being one of those "Martha Stewart Troops" but I on the other hand also work while 95% of my girlfriends stay home with their kiddos. So there is also that same sense of questioning my "differences" when I compare myself to OTHER moms. I work not because I have to necessarily but because I want to, actually I love what I do. So does that make me less of a mother, less of a PRV31 wife? "When we depend on others or the world as the source of our identity, we become like a chameleon – changeable and suggestible, depending on who or what we are looking to." Well I can say that is not me. I want to live my life REAL, the way God made me…not being who I think others think I should be. I love this article today. It just confirms for me that when we listen, even when it's thru DIB, God is reminding us He made us just the way we are…now hold please while I google a donut recipe, as I am very intriged by that!

  7. Love love loved this post!!! I love the way that your writing is truth-wrapped comedy!
    God really shows off how much He likes words with you! You rock my friend!!!!

  8. Way to go, Nancy! Delivering the Freedom message in a venue that is so palatable and easy! You are a GEM!!

  9. Nancy, I'm with you in that I am not a domestic diva.

    I am co-hosting my son's graduation reception in June (in my domestically challenged home) along with my ex-husband (former chef at The Mansion on Turtle Creek) and his new (skinnier-than-me) wife, and was doing some months-in-advance gynmastics in my head about these things. It wasn't a pretty sight, needless to say.

    Thanks for a moment of clarity about the things that really matter. (Wiping tears…)

  10. yeaaaaaah NANCY!!!!! :-) great job!

  11. Nancy, great article! We all need to be reminded that we don't have to compare ourselves to any other woman out there … not even the P31 woman. You're right, well God's right! He made us. He LIKES us. I particularly like, "Sure, He’s got stuff He wants me to do; things He’d like me to learn, all that. But what my heart heard that day was that if I never ever DO any of that stuff, He still likes me, just the way I am." May we all be set free from comparison, performance, envy and insecurity, so we can be free to be who He created us to be! Amen!

  12. "When we look to anything other than God as our source of identity, we are in severe danger of committing idolatry. That includes when we look to the Bible as a checklist, rather than an arrow pointing to the author. " Ouch. Guilty as charged! That Pr 31 girl has ticked me off more than once – doesn't she know when to quit?! Thank you for speaking out what we all have been tempted by – another performance oriented evaluation of our worth.

  13. All I can say is AMEN!!!! i wish there was some way i could get a copy of this!! It so breaks my heart when I hear women deride themselves and since I AM NOT a woman of eloquent words, I stumble around saying what you just so perfectly wrote!!! Thank you for letting God use you just as you are and I too, thank Him, the awesome Creator, for making me the me that i am!!!

  14. Okay, I know this is a woman's magazine and stuff, but this is one of the best blogs I have ever read. Ever. I shall reserve the remainder of my gushing for your facebook page.

  15. Love you and love your heart and I can personally attest that your gift of making women feel safe and nurtured and HEARD is, in the long run, much more valuable than crafty vintage paper, although you know me, and I value that (or things like that, maybe vintage fabric and a wall of aprons!, ) too :)
    My deepest desire in mothering and being a wife, is that my family feel fully and completely valued and heard by my heart, that they get a bit of Jesus in the way I try to live out the Word and God's call on my life.
    These are very insightful epiphanies you were having, love the frank convo between you and your Father. I love how He just gets us as women and encourages us in the voice we can hear.
    And I am learning that it takes all of us, to fully make things like a baby shower happen well. The crafty, the slow nurturers, the doers, the listeners, it is living your wild precious life passionately that makes an amazing woman.
    Well done.

  16. Love me some Nancy Smith! you make me and God laugh all the time. I love that about you. I also love what you wrote — your transparency is a gift. Never forget that.

  17. Thank you! Loved this!

  18. LOVE!!! And I love how when I sit down to read these articles it is always at the exact right time, God is so good

  19. This is so fantastic! Thanks for using your words to release all of us uniquely-special-not-so-cookie-cutter-Prov31 women from the idea that we're not enough. Great reminder today :)

  20. Thanks for this! Especially the part about the Prov. 31 woman – such a relief we can be ourselves and not try so hard to be someone else! I love that God likes us :)

  21. This is so delighful to read and a great punch in the ribs reminder…it is not our performance that catches God's attention. He made us the way we are for His specific purpose and He is "head over heels" in love with us…..just because!

  22. So so good. I like you too, though I'm sure my opinion isn't the important one.

  23. Preach it, Nancy! About time someone told young and not-so-young moms this Truth! It has taken me way too many years to find it out. The freedom is WONDERFUL!

  24. Loved this post. Laughed all the way through it. I can so relate. I find these kinds of situations so intimidating and hard to remember what it is that I am good at! Grateful that He does make us each unique and that He knows that I'm not much of a household diva. That must be why He gave me a husband who is an awesome cook. I am an awesome dish washer! Love your style Nancy. Your honesty. Your sense of humor. Keep writing please.

  25. Loved this post. Thank you Nancy for being so transparent. As a mom to a toddler, I feel like I am in the midst of "Martha Stewarts" and I never measure up. Thank you for sharing great wisdom that comes from your experience and the freedom that it, along with the revelation of God's truth, brings. This was really timely for me.

  26. Love your writing style and hilarious sense of humor!! Great word! So glad He loves me AND likes me, and so glad He made you with your gift of words! Keep it up!!

  27. But it helps. :D

  28. As always, I LOVE the way the Lord talks to you:) Keep telling your stories!! I happen to like this particular story as a matter of fact;)

  29. I love this!!!! It is me!!

  30. Thank you so much for this post. As a non-crafty, non-baking mother of 2 small boys, I often feel the way you do/did. I frequently feel like a domestic failure, and it has left me comparing myself to others, trying to ignore Proverbs 31, and depressed that I could never measure up. God has equipped me with a smart mind, an analytical brain, and a compassionate heart. I may not be Martha Stewart, but your post reminded me that God created me the way HE wanted, for a purpose HE knows of.
    Thank you!

  31. you make me laugh–all the time!! so glad to know that it's all good when you are seeking His face-even over pigs in a blanket?!?! yea-I'll take it! xooxxo m

  32. Nancy you do have a gift with words…please keep listening to Him and sharing! …and I wouldn't be surprised if those sweet crafty gals left their kitchens or living rooms a huge dusty, dirty dishes mess and their toddlers went unbathed before that shower. No one is perfect, especially poor Martha, haha! I love how He gives us our own gifts with which to bless others and when we are moving in his gifts all these other things tend to fall into place. Mom-to-be is joyous, kids get a bath that night, and my day is starting out great being reminded that our amazing Lord likes me just the way I am! I love your interpretation of Proverbs 31. Thanks Nancy!

  33. I really really really LIKE this post!!!! Such a great reminder that our Creator created us to be unique on PURPOSE!!!! Thank you for your God given words!!!

  34. "An idol is ‘a mere image or semblance of something, visible but without substance, as a phantom; a false conception or notion; fallacy." OMG!!!! That seriously makes that commandment mean something to me today! Thanks Nancy. You are one of my favorite writers!
    Rebecca

  35. Nancy,

    I have fallen in love with your writing because I feel as if I'm sitting across from you on a comfy couch, listening to you talk. You have such a presence in your writing … a personal, I'm-almost-close-enough-for-you-to-reach-out-and-touch-me, kind of presence. It's infectious and relatable, all at the same time.

    Okay, now that I've gushed over your writing style, I have to say that reading this today–this afternoon–feels like a divine appointment; a moment where God wanted to remind me of something, and you stated it perfectly:

    "Maybe, like me, you’re looking to a Biblical mode of determining who you are. Sounds good, right? But unless He speaks it, it becomes just one more ‘voice’ clamoring to tell you who you ‘ought’ to be."

    While I do possess some minimal craft-like skills, I still so relate to this article. I find myself asking the same type of question when it comes to not only the uber-creative party throwers but also to those who just have a knack for something that I couldn't accomplish or even dream up on my best day.

    Your writing feels like a knock on the door of my heart from Jesus; here to remind me that I am who He made me to be. Stop looking to be what I am not and embrace the me He sees. Maybe this article was God's way of telling me that it's time to "Ask HIM what He thinks of me. Ask my creator to tell me about me."

    With admiration and thanks,
    Babs

  36. Wonderful! Great writing and fun to read! Xo

  37. Nancy, the more I read, the more I hear you talk, just makes me want to hang out with you more! I love the story, the take-away lesson, and the fact that everyone is echoing in their comments, that yes, you are funny, and yes, you do have words!! Love your words. Glad to know your house isn't perfect, like mine isn't perfect. :)

    Yes, yes, yes, keep writing!

  38. Wow! I really, really enjoy reading your wonderfully entertaining posts! I laughed reading this! And I can relate! Wonderful post! Thank you!!!

  39. I wonder if you read the comments:-) my hubby goes to GW, saw this article and fwd'd it to me. I quit going to church almost 5 years ago now, tired of feeling I had to fit a mold that ultimately put me in bondage. Heck if I'm gonna be in bondage, it's gonna be to something fun with others who are having fun! Religious expectations ( and they are higher for homeschool moms, I almost got myself lynched at one meeting) kill the spirit. Back to my point, he said I would probably like you, & although I wouldn't say I like you, no offense, I do appreciate what you've written. It grieves me that I fear going to a place I once loved, where I danced and sang. Now I beg God to never make me go back. I couldn't live up to the expectations and refused to be a lemming. Ok, probably TMI, but it was an opportunity to get on my soap box . Thanks

  40. Wow! Loved this. Who hasn't felt completely less than! I loved this, laughed and went, oh, hmm..good stuff! Thanks for being so candid! About 1/2 way thru I heard my son call, stopped and gave him a big hug.:0)

  41. Well, yes, as a matter of fact, I do read my comments. Somewhat obsessively, actually. :D

    I'm so, so sorry you had the experience you did. I know it's possible anywhere there are people, but it still hurts. I've felt the pressure to fit those molds – I'm learning that that comes from others', and my own, insecurities, not God. It grieves Him that we push each other out of fellowship out of our wounded places.

    I encourage you to allow Him to speak to those wounded places in you. He is a God of restoration and acceptance. He likes you.

  42. A friend told me to read this and I am so glad i did!! A true relationship with Jesus!! Awesome!! We all needed this!!

  43. Thanks, Carla!!! I'm glad you did, too!! ;-)