Friday, November 1, 2013

Messy life

The Ministry of a Messy House by Amanda Robbie is a deeply encouraging book.  No, not an encouragement to develop more mess.  And, no, not an encouragement to get super-organized and deal with all the mess.  It's rather a look at the reality of mess in our lives (both the physical and the immaterial) and a reminder to look to grace and not our own super-efforts when dealing with mess.

The Ministry of a Messy House: Grace in Place of Guilt
I really feel like I can't do the book justice other than saying I was so impressed that I bought three extra copies once I'd read it.  It's not earth-shattering or the exposition of some profound mystery.  It's just that it hits the nail on the head so well.  Robbie is a vicar's wife in the UK and I related to lots of the craziness that comes from living next door to a church (ah, memories!).  But it's not focused on ministers' families by any means.  If you are in charge of any combination of home, work, children, ministry or life in general, you will be faced with mess at some point and this book gives a very sane and helpful perspective on how to deal with it without getting overwhelmed with guilt or perfectionism.  It has a lot to say about hospitality and how we work to make our home a place of grace for those living in it and those being invited into it.

I felt...
* a renewed desire to get out there and share my life with others
* a lifting of the burden of guilt for letting the place get messy and failing to be the perfect housewife
* a helpful reorientation as to the purpose of the time I spend caring for my family and my house
* reminded that life - including relationships and church life - is always going to be messy this side of heaven and that God's purposes are not the least bit thwarted by that even if I sometimes feel the whole thing has gone terribly pear-shaped

Terribly, terribly encouraging.  Well, for me anyway.  Maybe it just hit my nail on the head.  But you might like it too!  There's even a couple of recipes in there to boot.  Borrow my copy if you like. 


Meredith said...

When you showed us the cover of this book recently it didn't register any interest for me. (Maybe I was still overwhelmed by those photos of Amazon!) But reading your review has sparked considerable interest. A great review. If I lived anywhere nearby I would pop over for a cup of tea and to borrow it. :-) Instead, I will put it on the list of books to source. In the meantime, I feel encouraged just reading the review. Thanks.

Catherine said...

Sounds fantastic, Deb!

Karen said...

Wish I lived closer so I could pop in to borrow it :) It sounds really good, thanks for the review.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm. I may have to check this out. It all sounds so very relevant... J

Wendy said...

I agree with Karen!

Deb said...

@Wendy: I know the commute is a bit far, but you are welcome any time!