Now that Holy Week is upon us, and my family has returned from the depths of the ‘hack-pocalypse’ (the horrible virus which knocked every single one of us out for days, with congestion and coughing and coughing and congestion), and we’ve just gotten home from a road trip, I’m ready to spring-clean this place.
And being into my second trimester with kiddo #6 (now nicknamed “Bumble Bee” by my kids), I’m really feeling a desire to organize and create a greater sense of peace and order in our home.
What’s my plan? I’m definitely not naturally organized enough to tackle the house with a plan of my own. That would look like me scurrying around frantically, dusting and wiping and tidying random corners and areas of the house with no clear vision other than “declutter and clean up”. I’d be
yapping at nagging bribing encouraging the kids to help, by handing out dust rags and vinegar water spray and telling them to “PLEASE put away your shoes and toys!” None of that is productive in the long-term.
Thankfully, I know someone who really excels at organizing, and while I won’t have this complete by Easter (but I will have the floors clean, and we’re eating at my mom’s house, so I don’t have to scrub toilets!), I do hope to have made great progress by the end of the summer, before Baby #6 is due.
Several months ago, I started work on the Simplified Organization Course, then was side-tracked. I feel more motivated now, and the great part about it is that I can go back to any part of the course at any time. Even though I started Module One “Decide”, I am doing it again. Today I spent time writing down some easy-to-remember quotes to help inspire me and fight discouragement…so when I feel unmotivated and like the task is too big, I can go back to these quotes and find encouragement. Also part of this module is to keep a gratitude journal, and as Mystie says, to “Notice the small, momentary blessings and thank God for them.” I love this, because being thankful helps to combat grouchiness, restore appreciation for what we have, and for me, being thankful helps me stay focused. I am so thankful for the home we live in, and because of that, I want to keep it beautiful (albeit, not magazine-worthy!), and a welcome haven for my family–for whom I am also deeply thankful!
It’s about attitude, and making an intentional, positive decision to work towards change and organization in your life and home…lasting, beautiful change. And true change can only come from the heart.
This week, I’m working on that gratitude. And journaling it. I’m usually pretty decent about feeling appreciation for little things, but a gratitude journal is something I pretty much stink at. The journal, I think, will help keep me on task, and focused on the change I want to start and work towards accomplishing.
Feeling gratitude changes how I view the messes and clutter. I may still want to trash things and clear spaces (and I do; clutter drives me crazy), but instead of feeling annoyed with my messy purse and calendar and counters and lack of space (currently) for the coming baby, I am grateful for our gifts, our home, the time I have to beautify the space. Instead of grumbling through the chores, I can cheerfully work towards a more peaceful living space.
And when I feel really discouraged, like the task is too big, too cluttered, I’m too tired, whatever, I can remind myself of the quotes I chose to combat that discouragement. Right now, my favorite is, “It is our part to offer what we can. His to finish what we cannot,” St. Jerome. Now, I don’t expect God to wave a magic wand and finish my cleaning when I can’t, but I do find hope knowing that I offer what I can, and there will be grace from God to help me finish more later, or to realize that (duh) perfection isn’t the goal. And in raising my family (though not related to cleaning!), I do what I can, and the rest is up to God. It’s comforting, isn’t it, to realize that we aren’t in it alone?
Guess what? The timing is perfect. Many of us are spring cleaning. Many of us are focusing inward this week of Holy Week. Maybe you’re interested in this, but can’t start this week. It’s ok. You can start any time. Stop if you have to. Go back and start again if you want. But, if you want to make a change, start with your heart. This week, you can purchase Module One “Decide” and learn more of Mystie’s tips, hear an encouraging podcast, and access other helpful links for $5 off with code holyweek15. This is good through Saturday, April 4!
p.s.–In this module, you’ll also learn about the brain dump, and calendar tips to help keep all the appointments and birthdays and outings in one place. Boy, do I need help with *that*.