Friday, July 6, 2012

Home Life

The first two of my goal categories that I talked about (Spiritual Life and Family Life) are always my top priorities.  The rest of the categories move around on my priority list depending on what is going on in my life at the time.  For example, when I'm planning the Harvest Fest at my church, Church Life moves up toward the top of my list.  Or, if I'm sick, Physical Life move up.

But, this category, Home Life, is one that I often let slide down to the bottom whenever anything else comes up.  And something is always coming up!  I know that it needs to be up in the top four, if not three, at all times.  But, because I dread this category so much, I don't make it a priority.  I know I should.  I could list a million reasons (it shows love to my family, it make my other categories easier, if I keep on top of things it won't be as big of a job, etc.)  I KNOW all this.  I even believe all this.  But, putting it into practice...that's a different story.

I'm a slob.  If my kids are an area I can point to and say, "I'm doing a good job," then housekeeping is an area where I can point and say, more often than not, "I'm failing."  Cleaning does not come naturally to me.  I detest doing it.  But, I love being in a clean house.  And, it is my job to make it that way.

Where I Was

Believe it or not, I've actually improved in this area over the last couple of years.  There was a time when you couldn't walk through my house without stepping on something.  I would do huge cleaning sprees, but I just couldn't KEEP it clean.   I've read other blogs, I followed Flylady for a long time, and I've tried several different systems.  They would all work great for a while.  But, my natural tenancies would start to creep back in ("The bathroom isn't really dirty.  It can wait until tomorrow.") and I'd be right back where I started.  I was overwhelmed by the task in front of me.  And, if I couldn't do it right, why bother doing it at all?  So, I just didn't do it.
Just in case you didn't believe me, here is a pic of my living room/dining room from a few years ago.  This was "normal."  Poor kids.  I'm so ashamed!

Where I am Now

When I started homeschooling I quickly realized that I had to do better just to function.  I took some of the good things I learned from Flylady and other things I'd read or heard and developed some good habits.  I started to do dishes every. single. day.  I started making my bed every day.  I started cleaning up more.  Little by little, "normal" started to look better and better.  Little by little, my standards are rising.  Right now, I am working on packing stuff up for a yard sale and my living room is full of boxes and junk.  It is driving me nuts!  There was a time it wouldn't have bothered me at all.

Things are still far from perfect.  My house is still pretty messy compared to most people's standards.  But, I am seeing an improvement.   In fact, my DH just thanked me last night for working hard and keeping the house cleaner (Poor guy.  He is so patient with me!).  It literally brought tears to my eyes.  If you have an area that you struggle with like I do housekeeping, you will understand the importance of encouragement when you actually do something right.

Where I Hope to Be

I would love to have a home that my family loves spending time in - a place where friends and family are always welcome and feel comfortable visiting.  For the first time in my life I see this as a very real possibility and not just a pipe dream.  My progress over the last year has given me hope that, with God's help, I CAN do it!

Hopefully, this blog will serve as some accountability.  If I imagine (and I have a vivid imagination) that somewhere out there, some other woman is sitting at her computer reading this while her kids play in the background and she is cheering me on and watching to see how I do,  I can use that to spur me on. 

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