Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

I’ve never liked cleaning. I probably should have let my husband know that before we got married. “Woman Seeking Position as Wife: Housekeeping Skills—Poor. Cooking Skills—Good. Snuggling Skills—Excellent. Wages—Negotiable.”

I may not like to clean, but I definitely don’t like to live in squalor, either. There’s a point where I look around and think, OK, time to put away this laundry before I get featured on an episode of “Hoarders: Buried Alive. But keeping a perfectly clean home is not number one on my list of priorities. After all, it isn’t just a house that we live in, it’s our home. We walk through it with wet shoes and muddy paws. We cook meals in it. We shower, brush our teeth, get dressed, and sleep in our home. Our house isn’t a pristine museum that you take tours through. Our house is a community, and communities tend to be a little messy.

I know my poor cleaning skills have driven people in my life crazy. There came a point during my childhood when my mom, tired of cleaning my room for me, finally said if she didn’t need to go in my bedroom then she didn’t care what it looked like. My husband and I have had more than one spat about the cleanliness of our home, and I have definitely made an effort to try to keep it more tidy and give it a good deep clean once a week.

I’m super thankful for the larger house that we recently moved into. Our last house was roughly the size of a Cracker Jack box, and even though it only took 30 minutes to clean, all of our belongings made it feel a bit crowded. Any time there were more than a few dishes on the counter or a few stray items that needed to be put away it looked like a disaster, and there’s only so many junk drawers that you can cram stuff into. Now, with a basement, three bedrooms, and a couple of closets, all of our belongings have a place to go and there are a multitude of places to put things when unexpected company comes over.

Needless to say, I’ve always been a bit envious of people whose houses are always squeaky clean. How do they have time to dust every day? Do they have helpful woodland critters that come when they whistle like Snow White? If so, I’d really like to know so I can put some of the local squirrels and raccoons to work.

In the end, I would so much rather invest my time in things that hold more value to me. I would rather cozy up on the couch than use those moments worrying about the fact that there’s a few muddy paw prints on the floor or a couple of dishes that need washing. My house isn’t immaculate, and I don’t care, because it’s our home.

Originally published on the author’s blog

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Brenna Brimer

Brenna Brimer is an artist, writer, and wife living in southeastern Nebraska with her husband, Dalton, and "fur child", Gypsy. Now 22, Brenna enjoys sharing her experiences of being married at 19 and moving 400 miles away from home and hopes to encourage other young wives through her writing. 

Do They Notice My Self-Doubt as a Working Mom?

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman taking a selfie in a bathroom mirror holding a coffee cup

At the office, I forget yet another small detail. Later, I am asked a simple question, something I should know the answer to, and I respond with “I don’t know” because it didn’t even occur to me to have that information on hand. I feel incapable of planning much ahead and insecure about my ability to read through the fine print. Another day of work is missed to be home with a sick baby, it’s been a difficult winter with illness striking our home, including a round of influenza for me. Meetings I was supposed to lead are covered by...

Keep Reading

Having Kids Shows Who Your Real Friends Are

In: Friendship, Motherhood
Mother and child walking through forest, color photo

Any mom, typical or special needs, will tell you having kids is the fastest way to tell who your real friends are. When your child is born with special needs this process becomes even more severe and obvious. At first, people visit and want to hold the baby, but once the delays kick in slowly people start to pull away. Disability makes them uncomfortable. That’s the truth. They hope you won’t notice, but you do. Honestly, most stop trying altogether. It’s not just friends who act this way either, sometimes it’s family too. That hurts the most. As a parent...

Keep Reading

Hello from the Other Side of 40

In: Living
Woman holding up 4 and 3 fingers on her hands

Facing 40 birthday candles? Let me tell you why your future is even brighter than those birthday cake flames, but first, I’ll also tell you—I get the big deal about turning 40. Facing that lofty milestone wasn’t fun for me. The dread started early when I was a young 37, and a sibling turned 40. I’m next! I realized, and I pouted and whined at the thought for the next three years. All of that bad behavior couldn’t keep me in my 30s though, and honestly, it left me a little embarrassed. Though this earthly tent is showing obvious signs...

Keep Reading

Why Doesn’t Anyone Talk about How Hard Adult Friendships Are?

In: Friendship, Living
Woman sitting along on couch looking at smartphone

The scary thing about friendship is it’s completely disposable. You actively choose to remain friends. It can dissolve at any time. No one can force you into it. In marriage, you are bound to one another before God. As a parent, you have a familial obligation to your child. But friendship? That comes completely free and clear. You intentionally let them in, let them see your underbelly. Your messy house. Your imperfect marriage. Your rebellious children. Your weirdness, your quirks, your sin. And they can walk away at any moment. Oh, there are a few exceptions. Maybe you work together....

Keep Reading

The Last Text I Sent Said “I Love You”

In: Friendship, Grief, Living
Soldier in dress uniform, color photo

I’ve been saying “I love you” a lot recently. Not because I have been swept off my feet. Rather, out of a deep appreciation for the people in my life. My children, their significant others, and friends near and far. I have been blessed to keep many faithful friendships, despite the transitions we all experience throughout our lives.  Those from childhood, reunited high school classmates, children of my parent’s friends (who became like family), and those I met at college, through work and shared activities. While physical distance has challenged many of these relationships, cell phones, and Facebook have made...

Keep Reading

Being a Hands-on Dad Matters

In: Kids, Living
Dad playing with little girl on floor

I am a hands-on dad. I take pride in spending time with my kids. Last week I took my toddler to the park. He’s two and has recently outgrown peek-a-boo, but nothing gets him laughing like him seeing me pop into the slide to scare him as he goes down. He grew to like this so much that he actually would not go down the slide unless he saw me in his range of vision going down. When it’s time to walk in the parking lot he knows to hold my hand, and he grabs my hand instinctively when he needs help...

Keep Reading

Finding My Confidence in Learning to Enjoy Exercise

In: Living
Woman at exercise class, color photo

This picture is of me, noticeably overweight, attending a silks class. This is something I’ve always wanted to do, but I looked noticeably out of place in my XL frame, compared with the other women in their size two Lululemon leggings. At one point, before we began, I actually quietly asked the instructor if there was a weight limit. She reassured me that people a lot heavier than me had hung from their ceiling on those silks. Before we started hanging from the ceiling, the instructor had us all sit in a circle and introduce ourselves and our goal for...

Keep Reading

Dear Mom, Until We Meet Again

In: Grown Children, Living
Daughter hugs elderly mother from behind outside

Mom, I pray to the stars that someday, somewhere we pick up where we left off. Before the Alzheimer’s diagnosis. Before your life, my life, and our family’s life changed forever. If we meet again, will you appear just as I remember you before this awful disease took over? With ebony black hair, vibrant blue eyes, and a gracious smile. Will you look at me and know I am your daughter? Will you refer to me by my beloved childhood nickname? RELATED: The One Thing Alzheimer’s Cannot Take Away Will you embrace me in a warm hug and tell me...

Keep Reading

Somewhere Between Wife and Mom, There Is a Woman

In: Living, Motherhood
Woman standing alone in field smiling

Sometimes, it’s hard to remember there is a woman behind the mom. At home, you feel caught between two worlds. Mom world and wife world. Sometimes it’s hard to balance both. We don’t exactly feel sexy in our leggings and messy mom bun. We don’t feel sexy at the end of the day when we are mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted from being a mom all day. The truth is we want to feel like ourselves again. We just aren’t sure where we fit in anymore. RELATED: I Fear I’ve Lost Myself To Motherhood We know the kids only stay...

Keep Reading

Friendship Looks Different Now That Our Kids Are Older

In: Friendship, Living, Motherhood
Two women and their teen daughters, color photo

When my kids were young and still in diapers, my friends and I used to meet up at Chick-fil-A for play dates. Our main goal was to maintain our sanity while our kids played in the play area. We’d discuss life, marriage, challenges, sleep deprivation, mom guilt, and potty-training woes. We frequently scheduled outings to prevent ourselves from going insane while staying at home. We’d take a stroll around the mall together, pushing our bulky strollers and carrying diaper bags. Our first stop was always the coffee shop where we’d order a latte (extra espresso shot) and set it in...

Keep Reading