Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What my messy house means to me

Dirty laundry. Clean laundry waiting to be folded. Clean laundry waiting to be put in the dryer.

Dirty dishes. Clean dishes waiting to be put away. Broken dishes.

Floors with toys scattered abroad. Floors with food scattered and/or stuck abroad. Floors that make you slip and fall due to a water spill. At least you hope it's water... it might be pee.

Bedrooms where nothing is in its place. Bedrooms where you discover food that's who-knows-how-old.

Bathrooms where you find a whole roll of toilet paper covering the entire floor and draped ever-so-perfectly into the toilet full of you-know-what. Bathrooms that you still can't figure out what that smell is and how to get rid of it.

One stair topped with stuff that needs to go up next trip. Two stairs. Three stairs, four. Can't reach any higher, time to put it all in a basket.

"Where's my brush?" Three days later, oh it's in that basket of stuff that's still sitting in the hallway from all the stuff that was brought up from the stairs.

These things can add up to quite a bit of frustration, overwhelmedness and depression, among other sentiments.

These things are also a sign to me of so much to be grateful for--

1. We are blessed to have plenty of clothes for our family to wear.

2. We have a washing machine and dryer that work.

3. We have plenty of dishes to eat off of, and plenty of food to eat on them.

4. Our kids are learning what happens when "fragile" meets "gravity" before being exposed to crystal or other more expensive things.

5. Our kids are playing, as they should. Our kids are well-nourished.

6. Our kids are learning what slippery means... on a tile floor, instead of a steep cliff.

7. Our kids' urinary systems are functioning properly.

8. We get to use toilet paper instead of leaves.

I could go on, but you get the picture. Do I love having a messy house? Absolutely not. Is it always messy? No-- I do what I can, when I can, when I'm not exhausted, to keep it clean and orderly. But you all know the drill-- you're cleaning one thing and the kids are playing and another mess is made. You go clean that up, and something gets broken. Somebody needs a diaper change/trip-to-the-potty. A few activities later and you just want 5 minutes alone on the couch. It never seems to end. Alas, you continue to work diligently as Proverbs 31 would have you!

Will it ever be as clean as my mother-in-law/stepmom/etc's house? Maybe in 25 more years, when all I really care about is holding my grandbabies!

Am I trying to form good housekeeping habits? Of course. Does life take over sometimes? You bet. Does it pile up so high that I just avoid it altogether and then get depressed about it and then avoid it some more until my husband has to intervene? Not as much as it used to, thankfully.

Many of you have seen our house. Now, picture it in your mind. That's not what it usually looks like. We all know how easy it becomes to get that cleaning-motivation when we have people coming over. Don't get me wrong, I want my family to enjoy that same order and peace and cleanliness. So I'm working on it. And I'm sure you are too.

I may never have a spotless house, but to me that just means that life is happening here. I have wonderful kids and an awesome husband, all of which I love dearly. And I want to provide them with a nice home. I'm learning. And in the moments where it's just more than I can handle, I will remember to be thankful for all that we've been blessed with. Even if it's stuck on the sliding glass door.


*Props to my good friend Caelene for inspiring this post!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

It is not good for man to be alone

This post is not about sex.

We all know the verse that references what God says when he decides to create Eve for Adam. He knew that we needed relationships.

You know who else knows that? satan. So what does he try to do to take away one of the very first things God created to meet our needs? He makes us feel alone, even when we're surrounded by hundreds of friends and relatives.

Think about it. Technology has advanced so much in the last few years that we don't even really feel the need anymore for face-to-face contact. I mean, we have facebook, twitter, texting, skype... even talking on the phone is practically obsolete, even though it seems we can't go anywhere without it anymore.

The illusion of community is so prevalent. It takes a lot of work to really maintain true, deep friendships these days. I've found myself feeling a mile wide and an inch deep lately. Nothing wrong with making new friends, but even with 350 on my list, how often do I really connect with any of them on an intimate level? Not enough, that's for sure.

One thing I've been learning a lot recently is how deceived I've been. The enemy has kept me believing that I'm the only one with the feelings, problems, and struggles that I deal with. One good thing the internet's for is seeing how ALIKE everyone is. Yeah, there are differences out there because we're all unique (one thing we paradoxically have in common) but really... a lot of the things I've been reading recently have shown me that so much of what I've been going through lately is exactly what other people are going through. And realizing that they thought they were the only one too! So, hey, I'm not going to be afraid anymore to speak up about my issues, because chances are, there's a hundred of you out there that are dealing with the same exact thing. And we need each other to help us overcome! Jesus came so that we'd have abundant life-- He IS that life, and he has placed people around us to bless us, be blessed through us, and propel us to bless those outside our comfort zone.

This life is NOT going to be easy, and we're NOT meant to go through it all by ourselves. You're NOT alone-- I pray that God would show you the ones that share your worries, joys, and connect you in a real way so that you can experience the full life he has in store for you.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My 12-step program to cherish spit-up

Confession #1: I don't actually have 12 steps. You'll have to forgive me for not coming up with a more fitting title.

I got a really great encouraging word tonight from an awesome friend of mine. One of the things that she said was how she admired my devotion as a mother, mentioning the Facebook statuses I post having to do with things my kids do, meals I cook, etc.

Confession #2: Many days i feel like the least devoted mother ever to walk the face of the earth. I let other things that don't matter steal me away from my kids needs. I burst out in anger at my 3-year-old, I get impatient when my 1-year-old won't just let go of my boob and go to sleep on his own for crying out loud.

My friend saw some spit-up on my shoulder and complimented me on it. I didn't even know it was there, so it caught me off guard but it was so cool. Although Josiah's been pretty much out of the constant-spit-up, burpie-permanently-attached-to-my-shoulder stage, I rarely make it to the end of the day without some kind of bodily fluid or food or beverage ending up on my clothes. Some of my shirts are even stained because of it, which is really frustrating.

But you know what? Who cares! I've heard it a hundred times from mothers with older children that they miss this stage, that it goes by so fast and that you won't remember how hard it was, only the good parts, yada yada. Well I'm convinced they must be right, so I really need to muster up the appreciation for this time in our lives. After all, life isn't going to get easier, the challenges will simply be different. Instead of spit-up, I'll have to deal with bullies and soccer practice and puberty and homework and unreciprocated crushes and which-college-should-I-go-to.

So, all of you moms out there with spit-up on your shoulder/knee/ear/rump/floor, we're in this together! All of you who are in some other stage of parenthood, congratulations for making it that far and I'm right behind you! And those of you who wish you had a little one to spit-up on you, may the Lord give you the desire of your heart!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

URGENT request for children in need!

Friends and Family,

I am writing this to present to you an opportunity to help a dear family in need.

I went to college with Lance and Meghan before they were married. They now have two young sons. The Brodskys have just this week become legal guardians to their 5 nieces and nephews, ranging from 2 to 14 years old.

These kids are amazing. They all lived in a single wide mobile home. The dad injured one of the children (who has special needs) and the mother was drunk so the state intervened and Lance and Meghan gained legal custody at that moment. They have them for what looks like a year. So right now there are 9 people total living in a 2 bedroom apartment. The state is offering practically zero assistance since they are kin and not foster parents. If they didn't take them they would've been split up into different homes, which just isn't acceptable. They are trying to raise sponsors or support to help them for the next year as they just can't afford it with what they're making now. Currently the biggest needs are a second vehicle and a bigger place to live, along with the extra expense to feed these children.

Please put yourself in their shoes and give something, no matter how great or small. Anything you can offer will be gratefully accepted. His phone number is 806-206-7975, or you can reach him through my friends list on Facebook. I can testify that Lance and Meghan are wonderful people and I so admire them for taking these kids in... let's help them be a blessing to these kids!

Thanks everybody!