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The Burden of Facades

By June 17, 2008 culture, faith No Comments

This week, I’ve tackled some overdue house cleaning and clutter purging. I love the purging, hate the cleaning. But both are necessary, so I’m trying to alternate between the two to keep up my motivation level. In addition to the need for both in the general sense, these tasks are necessary in a specific sense too: We have an upcoming family gathering. (Serving as host is the greatest motivator!)

Some of this exertion flows from my wish for the guests to be at ease in my home. (How awful it is to be grossed out in someone else’s home!) The rest of the motivation flows from my desire to avoid embarrassment—I’d hate for the guests to encounter some of the build-up I’ve been too lazy to do anything about. Duplicity such as this is not all bad. Guests will likely be more comfortable when I am also comfortable, so the frenzy serves us both.

To be comfortable with who I am (and what my home is like) at any moment in time, though . . . that would be even better. That sort of comfort is steady and unchanging, unaffected by the external state of affairs. That’s a peace-giving comfort. And I want to be that sort of comfortable to people around me.

In The Pursuit of God, A. W. Tozer said the cure for deliverance from the burden of pretense is found in the words of the Lord Jesus, “Become like children” (Matt. 18:3). Children are free from the burden of facades and shows, free to be comfortable to be with people no matter the external state of affairs.

I’d like to add that to my prep list.

“The most fatiguing activity in the world is the drive to seem other than you are; it is less exhausting to become what you want to be than to maintain a facade.” —Sydney J. Harris

  • insertgracehere

    Hi Erin! I read your Blog Spotlight Interview at CWO and thought I’d visit your blog.
    I’m extremely grateful for the head’s up on the language and grammar blog.
    I read through some of the posts. To my dismay, I realized that I recently used the word affects instead of effects in a writing contest for CWO.
    AGGGHHHH!
    I’m thankful to have this blog to keep me on my toes.
    Meanwhile, I’ll be giving yours a look as well.
    Loved your story!

    Rena—so glad you stopped in! That affect/effect choice is one I always have to stop to ponder. A sympathetic “arg!” to you on that writing contest! Wasn’t aware they had those, by the way, so I’ll be hunting for the next one. How fun! Looking forward to knowing you. —es

  • heatherblankenship

    I totally relate to this blog! I am thrown into a complete frenzy at times when I know I have to be a hostess. I will clean things that my husband swears no one will ever see! 🙂
    Oh, how I hate to have a facade! I want to come to the place that I can be me, without pretense!

  • http://www.christianwomenonline.net Darlene (CWO)

    I enjoyed your interview so much, I had to come by for a visit. I’ve got my Idiots book and Dummies book out here, and everytime I think of your interview, I want to crack one open again. It was a busy day, so I didn’t get time. Argh!

    But I do have “Elements of Style” by Strunk & White which is small enough to put in my purse, so I have been stealing a few paragraphs here and there.

    Speaking of your post… someone was grossed out in my home today. 🙁 My teenaged son’s friend walked through my nasty kitchen where empty tuna cans and juice boxes littered the space. Yuck. We ordered pizza. 🙂

  • erinstraza

    Heather—Do you mean it isn’t likely that my guests will socialize in my basement storage closet?!! 🙂 But what if they do? I would hate for them to see what’s been shoved in there in the past few months. Thanks for sharing; I feel not so alone in my frenzy. —es

    Darlene—I’m so glad you stopped by! If you read S&W for “fun,” then I have several entertaining wordy books that may interest you (you may have already read them though). I’ll pull the list together and write a post about it! How fun. Hope you’ll come again for a visit. —es

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