First let me give you some background. When I was growing up, even into my late teens, I was a 'neat freak'. My sister & I shared a room and I can remember drawing an imaginary line down the center of the room so her 'stuff' was on her side & mine could be nice and clean. At some point after that things changed for me and it became more of a struggle. Maybe because I always wanted to keep things for that 'just in case' time/moment when I might need them. But, as you know, the older you get...the more you accumulate. But it wasn't always about the stuff. It just wasn't coming natural to me anymore.
So.....I'll jump forward to married life. Now you add 30 years of 'stuff' for both of us and what do you get? Double stuff :). We weaned out tons and gave away what we could. We actually did really well. We also had a homegroup that met every Friday at our home, so I had a reason to have the house spotless by Friday afternoon, every single week.
Then our 4th child was born. It all fell apart from that point on. Whatever glue that was left holding my organization together disintigrated. For those that don't know our story....let's just say she was a difficult baby (that's an understatement). She would cry 12-18 hours a day. Every night she would scream from 10:30pm-3:30am. The doctors couldn't find anything wrong with her. Just about every night when my husband would come home I would be in tears (I could still cry, the memories are that strong). I would wake up every morning and tell God...."I know you won't give me more than I can handle, but I don't think you're paying attention. I can't handle this!!!" I couldn't just take a nap during the day because I also had a 1 year old daughter & a 2 year old daughter. Friends and family became reluctant to call my house because they would have to compete with her screaming. Because this went on for 15 months, I had nothing left to give my house. I don't mean my family, I mean my physical dwelling. I was lucky to be able to keep up with the laundry and have a meal on the table at dinnertime. I resorted to casseroles because I could throw all the ingredients into one dish and bake it. I had no energy for anything else. Nothing left to give.
Around the time she turned 2 1/2 or so I remember thinking..."Ok, things are semi back to normal around here. I need to get my house back in order now." It was a long process. After all, I now had almost 3 years of habits that had formed (if you want to call them that). So, I began the process. Slowly. It seemed like I just couldn't get caught up. But, to cut myself a little bit of slack, I did have 4 children (3 of them under the age of 4), plus 3 years worth of catching up to do.
And then...I found out I was pregnant again. I was determined that things weren't going to happen the same way with this one. But, as it turns out, she was another difficult baby. At 15 months old we found out she had food allergies, which were causing her issues. Once we pulled her off of the foods she was allergic to & things settled with her I started getting things back in order...again.
Now here I am again. 8 months pregnant and wondering how I'm ever going to get back to where I was 5 years ago. I want my house back! I know it will never be perfect, but I want to be able to have someone knock on the door and not have to look around to see if I can let them it :). I'm determined to make it work. That was one of my new year's resolutions (that I wasn't going to make - for fear of breaking it).
Today will be Day 1. I'm going to pick myself up and try again. I have the knowledge, now I just need to apply it. I have to realize this isn't going to be an overnight miracle, but a slow process. Hopefully, by blogging about the tips I've learned over the years, it will be that constant reminder to hold myself accountable to what I have learned and what I want to accomplish.