Saturday, July 23, 2005

"But I might need it!"

I have to write about what has happened to me over the last few months.

First a bit of background.

I grew up in a very disfunctional family. Even though I was homeschooled, my family was not what you would call organized. We were not a good example of a homeschool family. Although the way our house was kept, or not kept, was just one of the problems, it made it very hard for me after I got married. I had to learn from the ground up how to keep a house clean. I could plow through a big nasty mess, (and I will spare you all any further details), but as for knowing how to maintain a clean house I was clueless. It was hard, let me tell you! I would go in to make a meal and if the kitchen was clean I would have it totally wrecked in no time. My husband called in the "Shipwreck Mentality." Get the meal fixed and on the table at all costs and don't worry about the mess, we will never need this kitchen again. When we go to bed, it will all disinagrate anyway and be gone by morning. Only, it wasn't. I would wake up to a huge mess in the morning. Oh well, now we have to get breakfast done at all costs. So I would make another meal on top of that one and wreck the kitchen further, if that was possible. And of course when you are living that way, you don't wash the dishes after a meal. My normal routine was as follows.

  1. Fix a meal and wreck the kitchen.
  2. Eat and leave the mess.
  3. Fix the next meal as best as can be done in a wrecked kitchen.
  4. Eat and leave the mess.
  5. When it is time to fix the next meal, start trying to plow out from under the mess and hurriedly clean up the kitchen a bit. Fix the meal and wreck it all again.
  6. Eat and leave the mess 'cause it is time to go to bed.
  7. Repeat steps 1-6.

Needless to say this was a hopeless way to live. My poor husband suffered through all this, trying to help me.

Slowly I learned new habits. I started looking for help anywhere. I listened to people that had functional homes and lives. I asked my mother-in-law for advise and help. (I will write more about all the things I learned later.) Changes were made slowly but I did change.

However, even with all the changes, I was still struggling to maintain my house. I have a small house and didn't think that I had that much stuff in it, certianly not as much as some people. But my attic space was a disaster that I thought needed to just be organized, my laundry was impossible and I was constantly picking up clutter. I thought that I needed to just work harder.

I did a lot of praying about it. And crying. I felt like God kept saying to focus on Him and not worry about the mess. So I did as best as I could.

Then one day I just realized what I was doing. God just opened my eyes. It all basically boiled down to a trust issue. I was holding onto stuff that I didn't need because I was afraid that I wouldn't have what I needed if I didn't. I might not be happy. So I had saved stuff that I didn't like or want, stuff that was junk or that I just didn't need. Once I realized what I was doing, I saw how silly it was. So I got busy and pulled junk from every corner of my house. I threw away a bunch of it and hauled the rest to the Goodwill and a yard sale the youth in our church were having. Now here is the funny/pitiful part. Less than a week after I got done getting rid of it all, someone came to my house. I told them what had happened, (my house looked great), and they asked me, "So, what was in here making the mess?" I couldn't answer them. I couldn't remember! Some attatchment I had to all that stuff!

Realizing that I can let go of stuff and I will be okay has changed my life. My house stays much cleaner now. I just had a baby almost 8 weeks ago. My house didn't fall apart and turn into a landfill like with my other babies. Oh, it gets cluttered and looks lived in, but it so easy to manage now. I am so excited about my new way of life. And I know it sounds funny that a housework problem could be caused by a heart issue with God. I am so glad that He showed me this, and I am looking forward to learning more.

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