**Disclaimer** All photos displayed in this post were taken when I was trying to get our day moving along, with chores, school work and general hygiene. Please note the messy hair, faces and pajama clad children making me feel a little out of control.
Reality lives here.
Most mornings, we are ragamuffins. We could easily lay about all day with our tousseled hair, sleepy eyes; still in jammies and rolling on the carpet. Running a tight ship, so to speak, is an absolute chore for me. I long to look in the eyes of my babes and cuddle and read and not rush all. day. long. Rushing to get things done overwhelms me, makes me feel like I have to catch up, that I am already behind, not cut out for this, not good enough to keep it all together. And when I stop to really love and listen and put aside the things that have to be done…then the four souls in my apartment spin messes in their separate corners that overwhelm me even more. Do you all ever feel this way?
I long for things to be in order, to get it all done well, and to love much all at once. And, I can even talk a good game. But, here’s the thing you need to know about me: I feel undone a lot of the time. I depend on heaps of grace to even make this life of home learning and loving and community function. I collapse into bed utterly exhausted a lot. I seek everyday to remember that my identity comes from being hidden with Christ, not in what I can control. The letting go of control is really hard for me. I dance to the same rhythm each day in my home, releasing my control, my comfort, my wanting to be perfect to be accepted. I must remember that the Lord longs to pick up my messy piles of brokenness so that I can be free to live with full force beauty and grace. Somedays I dance well and other days I fumble through the steps or forget them all together.
I know I need to grow in the area of how to balance stewarding the space I dwell in while loving my kids well. There is a fair ammount of training and working together in our home regarding household chores, but there are some things that ultimately fall to me alone.
I heard another writer once say, “Your life is pretty much over when your children stop napping” and at the time I thought it was a little sad. Now, I get it. I used to leave the housework for nap times…I made myself available to play and be silly and engage well until that magical time of quiet in the afternoon. I even had time to read and have some tea when the work was done. But no more. Quiet hour exists here, but I have learned it has to be quiet hour for me too. All I can squeeze in now is the reading and tea. I’m far too prone to crumple without it. So now there is a question of when to get it all done?
And there is a lot to be done around this place where all six of us need to wear clean clothes everyday, eat nourishing food on (preferably) clean dishes, take baths in shiny tubs and make paper and glue and yarn and glitter creations to nurture budding artistry. Have you seen what Elmer’s glue can do to a dining table?!
I’m asking myself a lot lately about how to remain intentional about loving and delighting in these people I am living life with, pouring my heart and soul into without becoming consumed with controlling their messes.
Which is why I am embarking on the 31 Day Homemaker’s Challenge, reading through and applying the lessons from an e-book written by Sarah Mae over at Like a Warm Cup of Coffee. She is a woman who gets grace. Who gets holding to ideals and the reality of living with small people and messes. Each day there are challenges for your heart as well as your home. I’m anticipating refreshment and spring cleaning like never before around here. Would you consider joining me? I’d love to hear your comments about how you keep things together around your house (or try to!) and what works and what doesn’t in your family. You can also click the button below to learn more about the challenge and to purchase the e-book. Here’s to hope for the reality we are all faced with!
31 Day Challenge