03 December 2009

Changing Seasons

Today's blog post is just my ramblings, so bear with me...

Some days I feel like a champion: everything works like clockwork, the kids behave and help out, the dinner meal turns out fantastic, and the house is clean by the time we sit down to eat. I could potentially impress people. Other days, I feel like the hamster on the endless wheel: no matter how hard I work at it, I can barely see any visible progress for all the effort I put forth, and the house is a mess and the kids look like they just rolled out of bed, and I even forgot to brush my teeth. It's on those days that I desperately hope that I don't have any unexpected visitors or even worse, the need to call the paramedics. One look around and the professionals might take away my "good mothering card," or worse.

So I walk the balancing act of finding what things I need to change and, by the work of the Holy Spirit, changing them or else going easy on myself because I am in a particular season of life that I know will change in time. It is times like these when I know I need the voice of experience and the encouraging words of moderation and diligence.

For instance, I can vaguely remember when I only had Julien at home, and it was sometimes difficult to get a dinner on the table and get the house clean (or at least presentable). I can remember how it seemed nearly impossible to go grocery shopping with two little ones . And now nearly eight years of experience and additional children have forced me to develop skills that I just didn't have back then. Shopping with two kids now is a breeze, and I find I'm better at it when I have a couple kids along than I am when I go by myself! Cooking has gotten easier as I have a better mind for keeping certain things on hand at all times and even sometimes making a plan and sticking to it. Housework has gotten a little easier as my kids have become more responsible and able to help.

So sometimes I look around and (depending on my energy level) I am tempted to be overwhelmed by the mess. Other times I look at the mess and think, "This is just a little mess that will clean up quickly." Still other times I don't even see the mess (until the doorbell rings unexpectedly or my husband walks through the door).

My hope is that I will continue to hone my skills and continue to improve my personal habits until I reach a point where I can feel content with myself and my home. I'm counting on the fact that one day there won't be crumbs everywhere and there will be fewer "surprise" clean up jobs and toys to trip over and have to pick up. But I also know people who miss this season of life, when the children are small, and they always say, "Enjoy it while you can because they grow up so fast." So I sometimes need to lighten up. While I don't enjoy being messy, it's sometimes a necessary part of enjoying life. And while I sometimes get tired of picking up toys, I don't want to imagine life without them around, either.

So that's the "season" I'm in right now. Christmas brings all kinds of "stuff" out of boxes and all over the counters and windows and doors. I sometimes look at the stuff and want to get rid of it because it feels like more work than seems worth investing. But at the same time, creating something beautiful and fulfilling out of a mess is one of the most rewarding feelings in life.

So now I'm going to roll up my sleeves and get to it.

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