the ministry of a messy house – a review and giveaway

One of my goals for 2015 is to read a book a month. I promised to review them all here, so here’s number one. And before you go patting me on the back for being ahead of schedule, this was actually a book I started in the tail-end of 2014. I have another book on the go for January – and, don’t worry, I’ll definitely be behind schedule in finishing it. Reassured that it’s still me? That I haven’t been taken over by a super-efficient ghost-blogger? Great.

The book I read was…

…”The ministry of a messy house” by Amanda Robbie. My wonderful cousin Naomi, general fountain of knowledge when it comes to books, especially Christian ones, sent me a copy after reading my hospitality blogs last year. Well, blow my socks off if it didn’t just put me out of a job. Mrs R has all the hospitality know-all I’d love to have, and has helpfully published it in one easy-to-read paperback.

The ministry of a messy house (in a messy house)

A bit more about the book

On closer inspection, however, I discovered it wasn’t just a book about hospitality, although that’s a recurrent theme from start to finish, and there are plenty of tips and suggestions and perceptive theological links. This is a book about ‘mess’ in all its forms: relationships, church, kids, food, homes. So, even if you have a spotless home, this book will teach, challenge and inspire. Its starting point is that we’re all ‘messy’, and what we have to offer is flawed and not always high-quality. But when we offer it to God through offering it to others, He does something special with it.

Now that is a very simplistic summary – but if I went into more detail, there’d be no point in buying it, right?

What I most appreciated was…

…the humour and reality of it all. Also the fact that the author is married to a vicar, like me. Her homelife bears so many similarities to ours, that I found this fascinating reading – especially given that they’re a few years ahead of us. It was encouraging to see how things had worked themselves out in their lives, and to be reminded of why we do what we do.

Here’s a proper pic of the book so you know what you’re looking for when you rush over to your favourite online bookseller directly after reading this review:


You’ll enjoy this book if…

…you want something comfortably easy-to-read, radically practical and Biblically truthful. There are pearls of wisdom scattered throughout, and whilst I wouldn’t say that the whole tome was full of outstandingly original thought, I was certainly kept interested from start to finish.

And the giveaway…

I enjoyed this book enough to want to keep it 🙂 But, since I didn’t have to pay for it in the first place, I’m willing to buy another copy for a giveaway! It’s that good. If you’d like to be in with a chance, please leave a comment here, telling me one of your messy secrets! (Oo-er! I’m talking, like, hiding dirty laundry under the bed or something. If you have something bigger to share, please do it in person with a close friend or psychiatrist. Ta.)

The deadline is Saturday 31st January, 7pm – at which point I’ll put all entrants’ names into a suitable receptacle, and pull out one lucky winner.

And, to kick off, my messy secret is that our bedroom is always messy. The other rooms get prioritised, and somehow the bedroom never makes it onto the cleaning rota before the lounge needs doing again…

11 Replies to “the ministry of a messy house – a review and giveaway”

  1. I need this book in my life!! Our secret is that I dread guests opening the cupboard in the spare room and being flattened by all the washing we’ve removed from the bed and stuffed in there.

  2. we use to put things in the spare room and shut the door when folk visited.
    Now it’s the nursery where folk want to look at we have a problem

  3. The beauty of a downstairs loo is that no one has an excuse to go upstairs!!! I keep downstairs reasonably tidy/clean but upstairs is a dive!!

  4. This book sounds great. I’m also a vicars wife whose house is messy! My messy secret is: the reason we open our house up so much to other people is to try to make ourselves keep it tidier. All that actually happens is we do massive panicked tidy ups more frequently!

  5. I’m definitely going to buy this book (if I don’t win it!) because I need some further reassurance on it being OK to let people into my less-than-spotless home.

    I am expecting double glazing companies to come and do quotes today and tomorrow so I’ve been trying to clear a path to the windows they will want to measure. I uncovered a really bad secret behind the blind which I permanently keep closed over a hard-to-reach tiny window. It’s thick with dust and disgusting yuck behind the blind!! I’m so glad I read this now to remind me to go back with a cloth and some powerful cleaning product before the salesman turns up 🙂

  6. Ooh me please! I have a purportedly very clever dishrack with a purportedly very clever drainage system. There is a removable spout that keeps water flowing into the sink, not onto the countertop. Now it does the job beautifully, but the channel that the water flows down to reach the spout is ALIVE with gunk and impossible to get into and clean. And I don’t care. X

  7. Hi Lucy,

    Well I guess I’m disqualified from entering the competition – cause I have no ‘messy secrets’? …..Everyone who has ever been to our house knows full well that we make absolutely no secret of our mess. It’s there in plain sight in every room for all to see!

    Oh well.

  8. Collapsable crates are great. Clutter from the living room is swept into them and the crates shoved into our bedroom until everyone’s gone.

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