yep, you read that right. i always wonder every year what to do for lent. take something away? add something new and better? and every year i don't feel like i quite hit the nail on the head or really accomplish anything. sure, i've given up drinking soda and eating dessert more times than i can count. i've added a rosary or scripture reading every day. but afterwards, i always seem to be back where i started. so, this year for lent...i'm clean house. literally and figuratively. let's go with the literal first because it's easier to nail down and not quite so exposing to talk about. my house is a shambles, to put it bluntly. our smallest little guy was born six weeks early, smack dab in the middle of me changing the other kids clothing from winter to spring/summer. i had started it all and thought i had some time. but then he came and everything halted. he had multiple health issues and it made taking care of him a twenty four hour a day job, for quite a long time. please overlook the fact that he will be two in about six weeks. raising him so far has been a bit more of a handful than we had anticipated, what with the trips to other states, surgeries, marathon feedings, therapists, etc, etc and etc. but now that he is almost two, we are settling in to a norm and i'm sick of the crap. yep, there is stuff seething out of every pore of my home, or so it seems. ok, not really everywhere and it really can be narrowed down to three really bothersome things.
it seems as if i throw away papers upon papers every day and yet, as if they are happy little rabbits, they multiply while i sleep. i shred and throw away junk mail the minute it comes in the door. much to the chagrin of my family, the sunday newspaper is usually in the garbage by monday morning. but yet, the papers are here...they are everywhere. the kids clothing, well, i guess with four kids you've got to expect that there is going to be some amount of kid's clothes around but really. i have to get rid of alot of them. they are making me bonkers. and books, frankly, they are a weakness of mine. it's sort of like fabric to me. i like to look at them, feel them, smell them...and dream of the day i will read them. :) actually, many of them are our school books which obviously can't be tossed, but do need to be in better order so we can actually find them when they are needed.
at first i felt a bit foolish for putting a sort of material spin on my lenten promises but then i realized how much of a mental and spiritual hold it also has on me. clutter really sucks it all out of me. as much as i live with it, i can't stand clutter. i function so much better with minimal things in the house and those things in their rightful place...or at least having that place to go to when they are picked up (remember, there are four kids here under twelve, it ain't going to be something out of better homes and gardens). i need to clean up the physical before i can feel free to tend to the spiritual. call me crazy, but that's just the way i am. when there is a project staring me in the face, i can't break my mind away to focus on the higher things. i wish i could, but i have never been able to. just call me martha i guess.
so, i have begun the grand purge. it's going to make for one heck of a garage sale i have a feeling. i recently became a pampered chef consultant so the kitchen is where i have started. i need some space to store some new kitchen stuff. so, since adding on to the house for storage isn't in the cards (nor do i think it should be) i'm tossing some of the old and unused to make space for the new stuff i am using regularly. next will be the second floor. kid's rooms, the master bedroom...the walk in closet (aaaaaaaaaah! run!). then i will move to the basement, aka the land of no return. because really, isn't that where everything else in the house goes to die? and maybe, just maybe i'll find my oldest daughter's math book in the process. :)
but really, in the process, i hope to find myself (ooh, that sounded really butterflies and burlap). what i mean is to find some clarity in myself. to clean out the stuff in order to grow. and hopefully by the end of lent, my heart will mirror my home.