Sunday, January 15, 2012

One week down

Okay, it's Sunday night, and it has been one week of seeking to be obedient in my role as homemaker.  It's not easy, folks.  I don't like to clean ;)  On Wednesday night, I jotted down a few thoughts in an effort to reflect...

thoughts on Wednesday night--

I hate making Ada clean up.  It's so hard, and I have to remind myself that I have to do this.  That the hard work is so worth it.  If I love her, I will do this.

Keeping the house straight is hard work.  I am exhausted, and I don't want to go to bed b/c I want the down time.

I am seeing that what stops me is being overwhelmed by the mess.  I have to choose to obey and do the load of laundry even if it seems that one load of laundry is not even a drop in the bucket.  That is where the stepping out in faith comes, that eventually, if I am diligent, I will see a difference in the state of my home.

I am trying to reflect on victories b/c Scott says I don't celebrate small victories in life.  I was diligent today, and I do see a huge difference in the laundry.  After many threats and tears, Ada did clean up her toys.  And I see that a timer helps.  She needs the motivation (as do I when I am cleaning).  The house already looks less chaotic, and it's only been two days of this.  I find myself feeling scared that I am going to crash and burn again and wake up in a mess of a house. Which I probably will, so I think the main thing is to keep on keeping on even when I let the house get messy again.  It's part of the process.

So, that was halfway through the week.  Now it's Sunday night.  And here is what I am thinking at the end of this week...that it's never ending, and I hate that part.  I hate that there is never a real sense of accomplishment.  I guess the accomplishment comes in knowing that I sought to obey God in this role.  This is part of what he has called me to do, and when I respond in laziness or indifference it's disobedience.  (and when I say I sought to obey, please know that obedience comes from His working in me--it's not something I can do, except in faith that he will provide the grace to obey). 

I also realize that if I have a bad morning or afternoon or even entire day, I can't just give up.  I have to keep on keeping on.  Yuck.  It's not really that fun.  Especially the laundry.  Never ever ending.

A few notes--I always start with the kitchen.  If the kitchen is messy, life feels impossible.  If the kitchen is clean (I mean, really clean), anything else seems possible.  So, I always start and end there.  I also have started making the beds as soon as I wake up.  I mean, still sort of sleep walking and making the beds at the same time.  Before I even have time to think through much, I get the beds made, the laundry going, and the kitchen straight (assuming it was pretty much straight the night before).  If I can get those daily necessities out of the way without thinking through it, I can put my energy towards other stuff that needs to be done. 

I pile all clean and folded clothes on Ada's bed, and I wait until evening to put them away.  That way I am not walking to the same spots over and over.  It seems to be working, and the whole family participates in putting the clothes away.  John usually participates by unfolding already folded clothes--so frustrating. 

It is still a battle to get Ada to put her toys away, and I am struggling to enforce the rules.  Help me, Lord. 

Also, my worst moment is 4:00ish.  I am so tired that time of day, and if I look around the house and it is a mess, I feel so discouraged.  At that particular hour.  So, in retrospect, I should probably do a quick house "pick up," at 3ish.  I think it would help the evening hours.

Finally, two friends from church are also striving to keep their houses cleaner, so we are holding each other accountable.  Each morning we email with a couple of tasks for the day, and we report back at the end of the day.  That has been the most helpful of all.  I am not the type to have a set chore for everyday (who knows, maybe I will get so good at this, I will become that person), but it helps to start the day by thinking through the day's most important tasks--is the bathroom overdue for a cleaning?  when was the last time I vacuumed?  Is the kids' room out of control?  I try to make the number of tasks doable, and then I have a tangible goal (these tasks are beyond the daily kitchen, laundry, beds, clutter). 

I think the biggest victory at the end of this week is that the laundry is in much better shape.  For weeks now, Scott complained about never having undershirts clean, and I think I have remedied that.  So, that's a start. 

Let week two begin.


Ashley Turnbull said...

LB, I totally agree. I make beds first thing. Sometimes before I even go in to start the kids' breakfast. Something about having my room clean and orderly makes me feel better. And the kitchen...yes, at the end of the day, I take just a few extra minutes to get it REALLY clean. Wiped down. Dishes up. Clutter put away. You will feel SO much better w/ those things done! You are doing so well!!! It's true that it's a never-ending process. You can't get lost in that aspect of take it ONE day at a time. Don't look any further!

Margaret said...

Thanks for the update..that is so awesome that you and friends have an email system going! And I feel like you took the words from my mouth about the 4 oclock hour. Oh my. Glad I'm not alone, that always helps! And I've really loved your perspective on Ada and picking up as its certainly made me think about the importance of this with Simms, so thank you!!

Mary Ann said...

Please don't be so hard on yourself. If nothing else, life is just daily. Sounds to me like your plans of keeping your house cleaner and more clutter-free are really good.

Beth said...

I am in this same place right now and it is so encouraging to see someone else walking through it. I tend to be an "all or nothing" person--I feel like if I can't do it all right all at once, then I shouldn't even try. With God's help, I am fighting this attitude and celebrating the small victories. Right now, I'm shooting to have five things done in the morning by 9:00 or 10:00: beds made, kids dressed, one load of laundry started, dishwasher or drainboard emptied, and dinner planned. What a difference these relatively simple things have made in my mornings (and the rest of my day)! There are many other things to be worked on, but I am trying to make these things a habit first before I focus on the others. Just be encouraged that there are other people in the same boat with you and we are cheering you on!

rhodes1 said...

I love that email idea. I might have to start that with my artist friend. Also, just thought you might find it interesting that we have two rushes at Starbucks. One is between 7 and 9 am, and the other is around 3 or 4 in the afternoon.

Katherine said...

I know what you mean about the kitchen. I feel strange even commenting because I don't have a toddler and preschooler to make a mess, but I feel like I just have to put one foot in front of the other to organize this house to get ready for Baby. Right now living room is full of stuff for the yard sale I blogged about a few weeks ago (praise the Lord). I'm pricing and praying that God provides a place and a time to have the sale. Thanks for the update...very encouraging!