Thursday, February 23, 2012

For Lent...I'm Cleaning House

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.

1.papers clothing

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.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My Day Will Come

i spend alot of time on tuesdays in my van. i left at 8:30 this morning and just got home around 3:30. i drive places...drop people errands with smaller people in tow while those bigger people are at classes...then i pick up those bigger people...we eat lunch (usually in the car)...and then we go to more classes...and finally home. did i mention how much time i spend in my van on tuesdays? anyway, if said other people are occupied, that gives me alot of time to think. today i had much on my mind. why do i continue to do this? why do i keep it up? this particular "it" being homeschooling and the whole ball of wax that goes with it. over the years i've had plenty of homeschooling comrades who have chosen to go the school route instead yet why do i stay? first thought, because i'm as stubborn as the day is long, sometimes to a fault. yes, that is a reason i'm sure. but, then as if as a gift from came to me. because my day will come. i've been told this more times than i can count by friends and acquaintances who have children older than mine. and i must admit, every time in the past it has made me angry. while in the thick of it i don't want to hear, "your day will come, just wait." i'm not one for waiting. i never have been. i even read a book one time about the blessing of waiting. guess it didn't sink in. but today, in the surprising stillness of my van, i was at peace knowing my time will come.

despite the noise and activity constantly in my ear, my home and my day will come when it's all quiet and i can hear myself think.

despite all of the running i do hither and yon right day will come when i can choose to leisurely stay at home instead of rushing somebody off to an activity with everybody else packed in the car.

despite never having a minute totally to myself day will come when i can pray or read or nap or just sit as long as i want to.

despite now feeling like the house is never clean, the dishes are always dirty and the laundry pile is bigger than day will come when there will be nobody to mess the house up but me and my husband, where i'll be cooking just for two and it will take a week for the hamper to fill.

despite now feeling like my days are filled with first grade readers, third grade math, sixth grade history and a toddler undoing it day will come when i can spend a leisurely morning with my Bible and a cup of tea.

and despite all of this, my day will come when i cry because my house, the chairs at my kitchen table and my laundry hamper are empty. in fact, there's a tear in my eye (ok, and on my cheek too) right now as i write this. when your entrenched in the here and now, and sometimes it doesn't look to good, the tears come for different reasons. but right now, when the youngest is napping, the next one is at a friends and the oldest two are happily entranced in new books...i can get nostalgic. my oldest is just shy of twelve. seems just yesterday i was bringing her home from the hospital, not at all sure of what to with a kid. her brother, just shy of nine is not far behind. my tiny little girl is already six and my baby will be two in just a few short weeks. in this time i am reminded that i do this not simply because i am educating them, but because i am building a family. and my day will come when i can pray in silence, and read books upon books, and sleep all night long and eat without reprimanding and volunteer as much as i like. but right now they are the day God has given me. and i will be thankful. yes, even joyful. and not long for "my day" but rejoice in this one.