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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Shelving and Peace

At it again! Today, I put up a shelf in my daughter's room, a shelf in the hallway, a shelf in my closet (pictured here), and two shelving systems in my bathroom. Now, you may wonder what on earth putting up all these shelves has to do with being a mother after God's own heart. I would be if I were you. But they are connected. I realized about a year ago that my life was chaotic. I wanted to be a homeschooling, home-working, home most of the time mommy. But I was hardly ever here. Why?

Part of the reason was too many activities. And our kids are in things together, so there isn't even the running here and there for different sports or whatever. Everything we were involved in, we did together. But that was still too much. Remember that with our foster babies, we have appointments, visitation, evaluations, and training. That's enough running alone. The kids were all too often taking school work to do in the car, and even I hated that feeling. It was miserable. Then when we were home, I didn't want to be here. The house reminded me of my life-chaotic! We have a fairly small house (no basement or garage yet) and lots of people, plus the supplies for homeschool, the paperwork for the farm, the pet stuff, the camping gear, and it just goes on. Everything was squeezed into boxes that lined the hall and no one really had a closet. When someone would drop by unexpected, I would hurry out to meet them in the yard, not wanting them to come in and see the disorder. There was no way anyone could feel rested or relaxed here, and that bothered me a great deal because I have always loved being hospitable. I even have a tea set- I mean the whole shebang! Never use it. I don't want people to come over and climb around boxes.

So in my feeling of not wanting to be here, I wondered why I wanted to be a home-everything when I never want to be home. I started to try and get to the bottom of it. Should I send the kids to public school (collective gasp) or stop fostering, or what? And then I finally cleaned one room, top to bottom, everything in a place, and it was wonderful. I suddenly wanted to spend the whole day in there. And as I searched more, I found the evidence of God's warnings about things becoming in disarray. I heard Him in my heart saying "Get your house in order". So I started. Sometimes nothing happens for two weeks, because we still have so much going on, despite the fact that we dropped gymnastics, AWANA, and our homeschool co-op. Sometimes I run into bigger problems than I realized were there (can't complete the bathroom in back yet because we now need new sub-flooring, thanks to the hot water heater leak!!!). But little by little I have begun to put my house in order like God asked me to. So the shelves are part of that effort. We weeded out what we could, but the things that really need to stay needed a home.

I have also revived my monthly menu plan. I started doing it when I got married and found it helped with shopping, planning, and overall feeling like things were in order. The when I had a baby, I quit. That may be part of how everything started to creep up on me. I have also started making lists or charts to help me figure out what I am doing when I walk into a job and my mind goes blank. That is where the charts of a 'full cupboard' came from. So all these projects are an attempt to gain some peace. And I'm starting to find it!

PS- I was very blessed with a father who taught me basic carpentry and the use of power tools. We were discussing in our Bible Study on marriage whether women should do things like this, but when we looked at the woman in Proverbs 31, she did a LOT. She was certainly capable, as the verse claims. So I decided that as long as my husband doesn't feel like I am undermining his role, I should do all I can!

1 comment:

runningtothecross said...

Thanks for the motivation...things have been quite chaotic around here lately and schooling has been sooo difficult. But I realized something today, if my house is chaotic so it the schooling. But if my house is somewhat in order, the schoolday is too! Only thing is...I have no energy.

But with your encouragement today, and with the warm weather creeping in maybe, just maybe I will be able to get things clean around here again!