Mulch matters, and other thoughts on tidiness.


We’ve been a little bit outdoors-focused since the weather turned warm, and it’s been fun to watch the progress. Each week, we high-five each other at the realization that nothing has died yet. I recently hauled home nearly twenty bags of mulch to spread around our front porch.

As I prefer most things, I like to keep the area nice and tidy. It’s dark, eye-catching, and fluffy. And of course, I want it to stay that way. After a good summer rain does its best to carry my mulch to the neighbors, my husband faithfully treks outside to rake the runaway stuff back into place. Every single time, without me asking. And I have to admit sometimes I wonder, what’s the point?

Does it really matter, for things to look a certain way all of the time? Does my desire for order and tidiness suggest that I am petty, or prideful? I know I’ve touched on this before. Why does the “messy house, happy home” thing bother me so much?

In the book of Hebrews, the author writes of a heavenly kingdom that we Christians are always building. As followers of Jesus, we believe that the projects we attempt in this world, large or small, are just flecks. They’re tiny dots on the architectural plans that we’re building in eternity.

This message is a huge one, full of hope and inspiration. Set your eyes heavenward, and don’t be distracted by what you see around you. Don’t compare yourself to all of the women online, and the women with whom you do life on a regular basis. Don’t feel discouraged by the women who seem to be doing it better, with more tidiness and prettier photos and fancier jobs and better-behaved kids. You’re doing kingdom work. Eternal, heavenly work.

But. Y’all? The mulch matters, too. What I want, for my home and my family and my life’s future, it matters. I’m not saying all of these dreams and goals will come to fruition, but God made me this way and He loves to see his kids happy. Mulch in my yard, in just the right way? It makes me happy. I know I must be careful on such a road, one that could quickly turn to pride. But at the same time, I just can’t believe that there is something wrong with wanting a tidy life. My mulch might might just a fleck, but it matters. I’m not afraid to fight to maintain a sense of self, but I’m not afraid to get messy while I figure it out, either. Because He’s in the tidiness, and He’s in the messes too.

2 thoughts on “Mulch matters, and other thoughts on tidiness.”

  1. I LOVE this. I’m with you on the messy house, happy home. My house is never perfect by any means, but when certain things are in order I feel like I’m not as distracted and can focus on things that matter. Thank you for these wise words! :)

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