Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Trying to Figure This Out

If you have been reading my blog for any amount of time at all, then it is no secret that my house tends to be a big, giant mess all of the time.  All of the time.  Do I like the mess?  I hate it.  It drives me crazy.  It makes me want to crawl in the bed and not come out.  I hate it.  The thing is, in fourth grade, my desk was messy.  A disaster.  In highschool, my locker was a nightmare, and my notebook was crazy.  I just put whatever was due on top, and the rest was chaos.  College was the same way.  My point?  I am a messy person.  It's something in my personality, my make up, my brain.

I don't mean that I shouldn't change this (or pray that God would change me, I should say), I just mean, this isn't a new, I have two kids kind of thing.  It's a, I am a messy, chaotic person, but I want to create a peaceful environment for my family, and, even, myself.  And the thing is, when I am down or depressed or in a particularly melancholy state of mind, the mess gets much, much worse.  Crazy bad.  I'm just being honest here.  Which is a vicious cycle because the mess makes me feel more depressed.

Lately, I have been reading and thinking through and praying about the root of this issue.  God created beauty out of chaos, and I think that chaos and mess doesn't reflect Him.  Plus, I strongly believe, that as a woman I am called to create a home for my family, and I want it to be a peaceful home, not a chaotic one. Again, I am not talking about the natural chaos that comes from having two kids.  I am talking about something that begins in the core of who I am.  In my sin nature, I think.

But, I feel a bit defeated when it comes to this issue.  I just can't figure it out.  I don't know how to make sense of my mess.  I have read blogs and books and prayed and prayed and prayed some more.  Then decided it's just who I am, and thrown in the towel, and then felt convicted that God came to redeem things like this.  Even silly things like mess.  And chaos.

I want to begin to trust God in this.  I want to begin to trust that he can change me and redeem this thing in me.  I am sorting through some thoughts about how I always view my personality, my disposition as a bad thing.  A negative thing, and that is contrary to what the bible says.  God created me with this personality on purpose, and I have to trust that he is busy redeeming this personality.  This crazy, melancholy, up and down personality that includes the tendency to live in mess and chaos.

One aspect of me is that I reflect and learn and understand best by verbalizing my thought process--particularly in writing.  It's what makes me talk the ears off of my friends and family, and write way too many details on this blog.  It's the only way I know how to process.  So, this is how I am going to step out in faith with the cleaning thing.  I don't think that tomorrow I am going to wake up and have an organized home if I use the right check list or implement the right program.  I think it's going to be a ongoing redemption process.  But, I do think there is an element of faith where we just step out in obedience, trusting God to provide the grace necessary to obey.  I want to change.  I really, really, really want a peaceful home.  Especially if I am going to homeschool.  I know, instinctively, that I will not be successful with homeschooling if I can't get this under control.  Again, not the normal, stay-at-home mom chaos.  This is a different kind.

I believe because I am begging him and trusting him for this, that God is going to free me from this this year.  I just think that he is.  There have been other things in my life that I couldn't figure out--food and body image stuff, control issues--that I couldn't find a way out of.  And I look back now and God walked me through all of that to freedom.  He did.  And if someone asked me how He did it, I can honestly say, "I don't know.  It was just Him doing this thing in me."  I have a peace that He is doing that now with this.  The mess and chaos.  I think it will be a long, slow, stop and start process, but I want to reflect on it here because I want a record of it.

So...I am going to try, Lord willing;), to blog about this once a week.  Maybe on a Sunday?  As I reflect on what is working and on what is absolutely not working at all.

For example, today, when I was frustrated beyond frustrated with all of the toys that were covering my floor, and I wanted to throw every single one of them away, the idea came to me--if at the end of the day, Ada has toys that are still left on the floor (since I have patiently and not-so-patiently asked her multiple times to pick them up), they will be going in a box to be stored in the shed in the backyard.  She will only get the toys back when she is able to prove that she can clean up after herself.  Which might sound hypocritical, since I am struggling with cleaning up after my own self.  But I am honest with her, and I tell her that we are praying that God would help me with this, and we are learning this together.  Because one of my main convictions about my mess lately is that I am the one who has to teach Ada (and John) how to keep an orderly home.  They will be roommates and spouses one day, and on this day they are roommates to me and to Scott and to each other, and we are all responsible for this mess, and Scott and I are the ones who have to hold them responsible.  Anyway, my plan worked.  When she and John were finally tucked in for the night, the living area of our house was straight.  There weren't toys everywhere.  Things were peaceful, and I was able to just sit down on the couch instead of dragging my exhausted body around to clean up Ada's toys.  Even little John, with me holding his hand, had to pick up all of his "choo-choos," which he liked doing.  I am not naive enough to think that I will be consistent with this every night, but I would like to be.  I hope to be.  And on this night, it's a success.  And I am praising God for that!

So, as usual, I apologize for the wordiness.  I am forever too wordy, but there it is.  Some of what God is working on in me right now, and I want to step forward in faith that He is, in fact, working on me.


Margaret said...

We sound so much alike...I'm the queen of clutter, even with a husband who needs the house to be clutter free. Yet I can't tackle it..even when I'm trying so hard, it just seems that being home with two kids ALL day makes that impossible. I do try, but even with a playroom, toys cover OUR bedroom floor. I know its all temporary but its convicting when your four year old says the bathroom is dusty and needs cleaning (happened tonight) so I'm really looking forward to your topics on this very issue that I struggle with too!

Jessica said...

funny, the Lord is convicting me of the same thing! partially from The Excellent Wife and just realizing I need to stop making excuses and embrace the role the Lord has given me and be a good steward of that role and I'm realizing, a lot like you said before, it first stems from my walk with the Lord and realizing His love for me. Anyways, encouraged by your post. Looking forward to seeing the Lord's redemptive work in your life in this area!

Laura Forman said...

Don't ever apologize for being wordy! I am so encouraged by your transparency. I will begin praying for you as you seek to change this area of your life. I am so thankful for your blog, makes me feel like we are sitting at your mom's kitchen table, catching up on life. I love you friend! :)

Jane said...

Try not to feel defeated remember the longest journey begins with a single footstep... I am also working on having a cleaner home,and what works for me is small steps,one room at a time,so far it's working,as far as expecting the children to help,I think you are on the right track ! Never to early to develope good habits, Blessings Jane

rhodes1 said...

Laura Beth this post was so encouraging to me! I've been feeling so discouraged lately by certain things that are part of my personality but also become major sin habits. To hear you saying the same things I'm feeling and trusting that God will change you this year, well extremely encouraging!

Katherine said...

Thank you for sharing this. Like some of the others, I too am so blessed by your transparency because you echo the feelings so many of us have--especially including myself! It is just plain hard to keep an orderly, organized, and peaceful home for me because I'm never finished. Every single house keeping task is so repetitive (So I put up laundry this week...it will be piled to the sky in again in a couple of days!)I too am trying to develop a routine that keeps me on track...but its sooooo hard. And I'm not even raising children yet!