finding home in the middle of mess

If you are one who craves order and routine, you'll definitely feel me on this one. And if you are gifted with the type of personality that can have seventeen projects out on the floor at the same time while nailing espresso shots and feeling like a procrastination diva, all while maintaining sanity, I give you props, but I still think there's something here for you.

But if you are a neat freak, clean freak, borderline OCD, put-that-thing-back-where-it-came-from-or-so-help-me type of person, you'll feel my pain. 

Moving is an experience that brings out more of the worst in me than I'd like to admit. I like my spaces organized, tidied and completely under control (my control). Do I sound like a freak? Probably, but in case you still think I'm sane, I'll let you in on a little secret. At one point during this latest move, I locked myself in the bathroom for a minute and screamed into a towel. There, I said it. There's no going back now that I've let you in on my crazy.

And it's because of chaos. When I am surrounded by chaos, I am not in control. And while I don't mind not being in control of others' situations, when it comes to my own situations (and particularly spaces) I feel like I need to exercise a really insane amount of control sometimes. And as I type this while sitting on my bed (aka mattress on the floor of my room) and looking at my heinously disorganized closet and bare walls, I'm noticing that I've been holding myself tightly, waiting I guess for this space to be "put-together" in order to breathe that sigh of relief and feel at home.

So this is what I'm learning. And I'm careful to say learning, not learned, because for me this is a process that I know will take quite a while to wrap my brain around. 

Home is a state of mind.

When you come to think of it, home really is a state of mind--a feeling that you get in a particular space that makes you feel warmth, belonging and that "ahhh" feeling. Part of that comes naturally in spaces that are familiar to us. For me that's my mom's kitchen and my dad's back yard, and a lot of the time, my own bed (which especially feels quite home-y on days when I'd rather not trek to class in the rain). And if home for you represents order, clean spaces and organized closets, you know how hard it is to live during that transition time when everything feels out of place.

BUT, our Creator created us to create. And we have in us the ability to create home wherever we are and just as we are. Especially during times of difficult transition, I've learned that I must create home. I must let the Lord fill me with peace, breathe in fresh air, and learn to make myself feel at home when things are disorganized, messy, cold, strange, or lonely. 

But how do you go about creating that state of mind? For me, it's about a daily rhythm of sorts. It's not like I sit around meditating to try and channel my inner home-y-ness and then hope for the best. I need a little more sweet simplicity--I need to DO something that makes me feel home.

It's little things over big things. When I cook in a new space, I feel home. When I wake up wherever I am and read Scripture, I feel home. When I make a morning cup of coffee, I feel home. When I play really loud music while showering or baking or cleaning (sorry I'm actually seventy years old in my mind), I feel home. 

By creating my own sense of rhythm each day--finding little things that connect me to myself and God and the world around me--I am learning to create that sense of home, that "all is right" feeling in the middle of crazy, disorganized mess (both in spaces and in relationships), because life can sometimes be just that-- a little bit messy.