Reformed Grits

Doing something different
November 23, 2007, 6:54 pm
Filed under: Life

I find myself in a season where I am doing what I have not normally done.  For years, my house was orderly and clean, systematically.  Years ago, I had a friend tease me about the cleaning chart on the side of my refrigerator telling what household cleaning chores I did every day to keep my house spic and span.  I did my ceiling to floor windows 3 times a week and vacuumed daily.  My day was ordered so that while dinner was cooking, the last thing I did before Mr. Grits walked in the door was to vacuum so the house looked like a realtor could walk through it for inspection.  It was often so clean that I would finish early and actually do things like watch a tv show in the afternooon, or sew, or read to my children, or even make an outing just for fun.  In the first of those days we had an 1100 sq ft townhome, which we loved, and then later in those days we were in a 1200 sq ft house, which we also loved.   (We have never moved for the sake of simply upgrading… we have always been forced out of our houses by the fact that we exploded out of them.) 
Recent years have brought us to a home that is bigger than I can manage, likewise is my family.  In these days I have been extremely frustrated and aggravated that I am no longer "on top of things" aka "in control."  God has prepared me for this time, by incidents of two years ago when things were beyond my control as well.  I was frustrated and angry… and broken.  When things get broken, they can often be bound together again, but they are never the same.  One of the ways my sameness shows up as changed is in the fact that I have been able to let go in my house a bit lot.  If we had moved into this house that I am unable to manage before I was ready, I would have had a nervous breakdown over the fact that my house is ALWAYS a wreck and the laundry is never done, the kids rooms are always horrific, and the bathrooms would probably qualify most days to have my children removed by DHR.  Do I like it?  No, I really don’t.  Would I love to be in my old smaller house?  Well, now I would but I was discontent while I was there.  God moved us here and I didn’t have a say so– we needed more bedrooms than the 3 we had.  I love the idea of a bigger house, but in practicality I would have loved to be unconventional in terms of our management. 
Currently our kids, when given an option or not checked, will all sleep in one room all over each other in two twin beds or on the floor.  If we had been free enough in our insecurities to do so, the ideal situation for us would have been to stay in the old house, remove the beds from one of the bedrooms (leaving Bee and Sugie in their wee beds in the other bedroom) and having the other 4 sleep on pallets on the floor.  What would people say!  Imagining these things, is why we didn’t do this.  It was " socially unacceptable" but they would have loved it and we could have stayed in our small house.  For us, the ideal was unconventional so we refused it.   
Like I said, I believe we were placed in this house– I often saw the scenario in my mind of us on a raft at sea, being taken by the whims of the wind and ocean.  That is how we arrived at our current location.  Given the fact that it was not by our "motor boat" that we came here, I have to be content and know that our new "unconventionality" requires us to live in chaos and occasionally squalor.  I don’t love it, and I don’t choose it; it chose me. 
So I am attempting to be content with this different thing.  Living in a home that in many ways feels like it doesn’t fit us, yet is still so much smaller than homes of many of our friends.  Living in a way that feels out of control. 
Yet now because of the way God has brought me to this place, I still feel the freedom to read to my children, to sew, or to occasionally make fun outings– even though the house isn’t inside "my box" of how I’d like to leave it.  I’ve come to the place that I embrace the fact that holding on to my children’s time at home is like trying to grasp water.  It feels weird still, and wrong, but it’s my new normal of the thing God made when He broke me.    


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

You know, this change will make life easier for your future daughters-in-law! 🙂

And… there will come a day when you will once again be able to keep your house clean all the time. At least that’s what they keep telling me!

Comment by Meg

I feel as though I’m in the same boat as you. I was once very organised, clean house etc as you described.

I am at the point now where I am almost horrified if anyone rings my doorbell as a surprise visit. I need appointments to give me time to clear a path through my house!

I currently have the equivalent of 7 baskets of ironing, a mess in every room of the house including the toilet and there are days I just don’t know where to start.

I’m in my ‘broken’ phase at the moment but I have days of being really optimistic which seem to carry through the other days.

So don’t worry too much, you really aren’t on your own, you are just really brave to admit it.

If the children are happy, healthy and contented then does a bit (or a lot) of surface clutter really matter?

Oh yes and despite all the things I should be doing around the house, we put the Christmas tree up today 😉

Comment by Sue

Thank you. Really. This very post is exactly the encouragement I needed today.

Comment by friend of Mara's

Thank you. Really. This very post is exactly the encouragement I needed today.

Comment by friend of Mara's

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: