“Following Google’s Footsteps”
by Hannah Keeley
What does a multinational corporation specializing in Internet-related services and products have to do with how you run your home? Everything! There’s a reason why Google receives over 1,300 job applications every single day (yes, every single day) from people who want desperately to be a part of the company. People want what they’ve got! (Okay, the free food helps a lot). This corporation is hugely successful and widely admired. So, let’s take what they’re doing and bring some of that “googliness” into our homes!
Lesson #1: Get your focus right, and everything else will follow.
Google focuses on the user. That’s it. It’s not spread out all over the place trying to do a little here and do a little there. Everything it does comes down to making the user experience as simple and gratifying as possible. Now, let’s go inside our homes. There are too many moms out there who are claiming “ADD” when it’s not that at all. Sure, there’s a lack of focus. But that’s because you can’t focus if you don’t have anything to focus on!
Mamas, we need to get our focus. Proverbs 29:18 tells us that “without vision, a people perish.” This would assume that when we have vision we prosper! Get your vision back. Why did you want to be a mom in the first place? What did you want to create with your life? No matter who you are or where you are, God wants to do something spectacular with your life, but you’ve got to get your focus back. When you have your focus, you wake up with purpose in mind. You have a direction to your course. And when you stay the course, everything else just seems to fall into place.
2. Fast is better than slow.
Unlike that timeless tale of the tortoise and the hare, the reality is that fast beats slow any old day. Google knows this. They understand how we live and want to make the internet as fast as possible to suit our busy lives. They’re good at this. Really good.
Now imagine if you take the speed of the hare and mix it with the focus of the tortoise. What do you get? Success! We all want success in our homes, but like the hare we get distracted (yes, thanks to Google, many of us get ridiculously distracted online), or like the tortoise we seem to move at a very. slow. pace.
Most moms today don’t get around to doing the simple tasks of creating a home because we grossly overestimate how much time it takes. It takes six minutes to fold a load of laundry. It takes five minutes to clean a bathroom. It takes four minutes to mop a floor. It takes three minutes to make a bed. You get what I’m saying? We can pick up the pace a little bit and get the work done more efficiently and effectively than we thought possible. All it takes is that little act called, “beginning.” Set your work in motion and let the momentum take over. Make it a race against time and see how much you can get done when you put a little pepper in your step. You may be surprised.
3. Build the right environment to get the best people.
Google has turned creating a workplace into an art form. With colorful design, slides stretching between floors, nap pods, delicious dining, tandem bikes, and much more, the Googleplex is THE place to hang out. They understand that when you create a place where people want to be, they don’t mind putting in the late hours or doing the extra work. You get the best out of people when you give them the best environment to be in.
Let’s bring some of that home, shall we? We all know those people who would rather hang out at the office than come home to face a nagging spouse and a cluttered home, or those kids who would rather hang out at their friend’s home because it’s way more fun. Isn’t it time we invest in our homes? You don’t need a big home or a fancy home to make it a place where people want to be. You just need to invest in it. You need to make it a priority. When you care for your home, it will care for you right back.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not about keeping it clean. It’s about keeping it. Period. Maintain it. Love it. Make it a home, not just a house. And give people freedom to be themselves, even if it means an extra stack of plates in the sink or a slew of crumbs under the sofa. No one wants to live in a pig pen. But no one wants to live in a sterile lab, either. It’s all a matter of balance. Invest in your home. Make it a priority and keep it with fellowship in mind.
4. Our differences should be celebrated.
Google attracts some brilliant people, but brilliance is a character trait that definitely stands out in a crowd. Step into the headquarters and you find all sorts of people hard at work–skateboarders in shorts and sandals alongside fashionistas in 6-inch heels. The dress code is “come as you are,” and it works–brilliantly. The leaders of Google know that to get the best people, you have to give them the freedom to be themselves, even if it does not suit your style.
As managers of our homes, it’s easy for us to step into the “my way or the highway” mentality. I understand. Totally. Because my way is always the best way, right? Wrong. God is the most creative Creator, and He designed us with uniqueness in mind. Matthew 18:19-20 tells us that “if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever [anything and [everything] they may ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in heaven. For wherever two or three are gathered (drawn together as My followers) in (into) My name, there I Am in the midst of them.”
Have you ever listened to a symphony? It’s all different instruments playing all different notes at all different times. But with the right direction, it makes music, sometimes music so beautiful that it moves you to tears. That’s what God does in our homes. With God’s presence, there is music. Without HIm, it’s all just noise. Bring God into your home, and remember to celebrate the differences that are required to create harmony. One note is boring. All different notes from all different instruments can be breathtaking.
The people in your home will challenge you. If you want to go for boring and flat, then demand they become like you. But if you want to create a symphony, then accept these challenges and learn to grow in grace. Some of my kids are night owls, some are morning birds. One is a nurturing soul that suits me perfectly. One is an artist with a beautifully defiant spirit that I have fallen in love with. One perches. Yeah, that’s right. He never sits on his bottom. Just perches. I’m pretty sure he’s part avarian. I don’t understand it. But I love it. All nine of us (seven kids and two parents) seem to be as different as different can be. But when grace comes in and the Spirit of God is in leadership, it’s the most amazing music I’ve ever heard.
5. Don’t be evil..
It was the first slogan that Google ever had, back when it was just a growing idea in the minds of two Stanford students–“don’t be evil.” Seems pretty simple, right? But it’s not really. Google understood back then how easy it was to fall into the way the world does things–the mechanical knee-jerk response we have as human beings. At all cost, look out for number one, even if it means stepping on some people on the way up. Evil isn’t some dark, menacing force on the horizon. For many corporations (and homes), it’s just a way of life.
And where does that knee-jerk response get us?
Nowhere good. We eat and stay hungry. We drink and are still thirsty. We make money and we always need just a little. bit. more. Evil keeps you yearning for something you can’t even place; and it’s alive and well in homes everywhere.
Homes are extensions of their owners. If there is evil in the heart, there is evil in the home; and it takes many forms–stress, anxiety, hopelessness, depression, anger, bitterness. But the good news is that God ended all that by sending His Son, Jesus Christ. He took all that evil to the cross and dealt with it once and for all. When we let Jesus Christ into our lives, the love follows. Evil doesn’t stand a chance against the overwhelming grace of God.
Google believes in not being evil. But God is saying you have no need to be evil. Relax. He’s got you. His love is enough to bless you. He is enough to take care you, no matter what may cross your path. And when you bring that peace into your life. It miraculously flows throughout your entire home. Today, the best home management tip you’ll ever get is to make Jesus the Lord of your life.
Google specializes in search. But maybe the search is finally over. Because when you find Jesus, you’ve found it all.
So, what about you? What are you going to do this week to make your home more “googley?” Share your comments and let’s get this party started.
Hannah Keeley was once in overwhelmed mom living in a cluttered house, deep in debt, out of shape, and barely hanging on. But one day, after finding herself sobbing uncontrollably into a pile of clean laundry, she realized God has bigger and better plans for her (just like He does for each one of His children). Beginning that day, she began making changes in her life that took her from overwhelmed to overjoyed. Today, she’s helping moms do the same. Hannah, her husband, Blair, and their seven children live in Richmond, Virginia, and are having the time of their lives!
Check out Hannah’s Website Here!