Ladies, I am going to very honest in the post. I am making myself vulnerable to my short comings because I have a heart for the Lord and that heart also aches to encourage you!
I recently talked to a friend and I made a comment that my upstairs looked like a clothing store explosion because I was *still* trying to get our winter things put away (I live in the wonderful South… and we have had B*E*A*U*T*I*F*U*L weather for TWO MONTHS now!!!!!). My friend expressed appreciation that I shared this with her because she was experiencing the same thing. She then shared with me some struggles that she had been facing and it was like she was describing me instead of herself!
I know that from the time we learned to walk and talk, we have been taught to “put our best foot forward” but I often think we are so busy trying look the right way and say the right things that we are not able to learn from each other. We don’t realize that our sister is having the same struggles that we are having and we all silently suffer.
Over the past few months I have felt as if I were in the dark. I don’t really know any other way to explain it. I had allowed my home to become a complete disaster and I wasn’t being consistent in disciplining my children as I should. I was simply overwhelmed, frustrated and felt completely depleted.
Ah, but THEN, I cried out to the Lord. I mean, I REALLY C*R*I*E*D out to Him. I didn’t like myself and I didn’t like where I was headed. My focus was off of Him and had turned completely to myself.
I now realize that I am not the only momma who has a messy house and disobedient children. I think that the Lord allowed me to “fall” into this pit so that I could learn from it and learn (again!) that I HAVE to lean on Him for ALL of my needs.
In seeking Him through His word, I am reminded that He is a God of order. That is why my house needs to be in order. But, in order to get my house in order, I must have order in my day (say that 10 times fast!).
I pulled up my old schedule (back from the Summer of 2006 when Josiah was a nursing baby) and I updated it for this Summer. I then looked over my cleaning schedule, made a few revisions and printed it. It didn’t have to be perfect, I didn’t have to follow it to the “t”, but it simply had to be a guide.
I made about 6 copies for the downstairs and posted them in several rooms. Yep, if you come to visit me, you will see our Our Daily Schedule posted in the Dining Room, the Kitchen, Laundry Room, Main Hallway, Family Room… and most importantly – the Family Bathroom. (I need to print more for the upstairs, but right now my focus is on the downstairs where we spend most of our time.)
Suddenly, I don’t have to think about what I need to do, I only have to look at the schedule and move on to the next thing. There is SO MUCH FREEDOM in having a schedule!
I was very encouraged this week when another friend of mine emailed me to share that she had come up with a workable schedule for the summer (and the upcoming school year) and was excited to start on it!
I have been trying to follow my schedule and cleaning plan for 2 weeks now. My home is FAR from magazine perfect… well, actually, I know that it will never be that perfect because we actually live here (lol) but I can say tonight that I am comfortable here. In that little bit of time, my home has started to have order again and so have the relationships here. I am no longer frustrated and yelling – I am calm and loving (just like Christ would be!). I am showing my family the love of Christ by the way I am caring for them (again).
God has reminded me that a spirit of compassion and love is so much more important than one that is selfish and haughty. He has also reminded me that as wives and mothers, we really need to come alongside of one another and encourage each other. We need to share not just our triumphs but also our struggles.
It is always so encouraging to feel that someone else understands where you are at. It is like having a strong hand outstretched to you when you feel like the waves of life are going to pull you under.