Friday, November 30, 2007

Some reflecting...

I am stopping for a few moments from a morning of just putting things away. I am amazed at how quickly things pile up, build up, and grow if they are not dealt with immediately.

Here are a few examples:
  • The toy cars lined up all along the kitchen floor where my two year old son has been playing all week while I am in the kitchen. We've just left them parked there.
  • The enormous amount of school papers piled 6 inches higher than the basket they sit in.
  • Shoes...I think my children have a secret game they are playing on me and trying to leave as many pair of shoes piled just inside the door of the mudroom as they possibly can. (and why when it is something like 26 degrees outside right now are there still flip-flops sitting there when I know I had put those away?)
  • And I won't even begin to go into the gloves, mittens, and hat dilemma. I am determined this year to come up with a better system for locating these items upon arriving and leaving the house.
  • Hooks...are the answer to all the coats, hoodies, backpacks, and multitude of other things that come into this home. I need to go here again soon!

I know I spend half my time keeping everyone and everything organized and the other half actually cleaning something.

I can remember back to my very idealistic views when I first became a mother. I remember having high hopes of always having the laundry folded and put away or never leaving dishes in the sink once I had a dishwasher and always having dinner ready when my husband walked in the door. Who was that girl?

These were not bad goals or even totally unrealistic, the problem was with my heart. I wanted to look good in the eyes of others more than I wanted to please the Lord and my husband. And I haven't even mentioned the new mommy ideals that I held. But the Lord in His most gracious and loving way humbled me. First, after the birth of my first child it was necessary for me to continue to work full-time. This was very hard on me and my husband. So, right from the beginning many of my idealism went right out the window. Next, when I stopped working outside the home full-time and became a full-time homemaker, I was waist deep into laundry, dishes, and the early phases of home schooling, in addition to whatever ways I was serving in the church at the time. I knew how to run an accounting office, but manage two little ones, while expecting my third and taking care of a home sent me crying out for help. (another deeply humbling experience) I could write a book about the difficulties of those early days. The Lord has taught me so much. But mostly that over the last ten years of working at home full-time has by far been the most challenging and rewarding work even when my days are full of picking up and putting away.


Lisa Spence said...

Waist deep over here too...and also very thankful for the joys and challenges of being a mom.

Great post!

Susanne said...

Chris what a lovely post! The sentence that really stuck out to me was "I wanted to look good in the eyes of others more than I wanted to please the Lord and my husband." That is a very deep sentence in and of itself.

Heth said...

I just finally took all of the flip flops and hid them away. A couple of my kids were still trying to wear them out of the house in this weather!

I agree with Susanne. That sentence has been true for me.

Tina said...

I really ought to make a list of the things out of place's amazing how stuff accumulates. But, you're right, we really need to pay attention to the important and eternal things.

Deidre said...

Oh, the school papers alone are enough to drive me crazy. They pile up so quickly!!

Cyndi said...

Yes, things do pile up quickly! I remember as a "new mommy" I had decided that I would not let a big bunch of toys be the first thing people saw when they first came in the house... I tried to keep it all "localized" in the family room and not visible from the entry. What a joke! Now, I love it because it reflects a home with children in it. I bought into so many "supermom" myths years ago. By God's grace, He has shown me how to strive to please Him ("Seek first His Kingdom and righteousness") and not place too much emphasis on the externals for the wrong reasons. When I stay focused on Him and let Him guide me in my tasks, order eventually happens, because that is His character.

:::sigh::: And I do think the flip flops multiply! ;)

2nd Cup of Coffee said...

I can so relate. I used to say that my teenagers were like runway models. They went down the hall in one outfit and came back in another. This seemed to happen a couple of times a day! I have to give you props for the age range of kids.