There was an error in this gadget

Friday, May 14, 2010

Laissez les bons temps rouler!!!

Many people dread turning 30.  Today I am doing just that, and I am excited!  I am welcoming and embracing my 30's!  My last 10 years have been amazing.  A roller coaster of ups and downs.  Probably most of the great momentous events of my life have happened in the last 10 years....
I was married in 2000 and had my first child.  By 2003 I was divorced with two children, a bankruptcy, broke and barely a leg to stand on!  I worked myself up to a vocational certification in Child Care, to a good job with benefits, to a supervisory position in that job, to owning my own business, and in 7 months I will have obtained my Bachelors degree, all the while raising a family, being a wife and keeping up with a household.  I sent my little brother off to boot camp, then to war, and feel the pangs of grief that he is so far away from us, and the swelling of pride for how far he has come and the great sacrifices he makes for our nation.  I married my husband in 2007, blended our family (not always easy!) and had my precious red head in 2008.  I've been a single mom and I've swallowed pride and fear to hand over half the reins of child rearing to someone else.  I broke down thick walls of protection over my heart to love another man and share my life with him.  I watched by baby sister get married and held my mother's hand as she dealt with the pain of her last child leaving her home.  (And, that has made me appreciate this time in my life all the more!)  We buried 3 of my grandparents - my two grandmothers within 3 months of each other and had a baby in between them.  (When was there time to grieve??)   I've watched my two oldest children's hearts break, often over my own shortcomings, and had no way to "make it better."  I've watched their resilient little hearts recover and seen the amazing affects of our new found stability.  I was right there as each of them gave their hearts to Jesus and felt the all consuming comfort of knowing we'll all be together in the great beyond!!
There are moments in my 20's that I will NEVER forget!  How do you erase the first flutter of a child growing in your womb?  How do you ever forget looking in to the love of your life's eyes, and promising yourself to them?  The sorrows, pain and hardships are all just part of life.  I look back to 10 years ago.  I see a scared, pregnant 20 year old, growing up too soon.  Mothers Day was on my birthday that year.  The person I am now has been shaped by all the things that have happened between then and now.  God has put me through the fire, he has shaped me and molded me and sometimes it has hurt!!!  He has taught me things I will never forget, the most important of which is that the only way is His way and I have learned to rely on Him for my every need.  This is not to say that my trials are over!  No, I am not that naive!
We bought a house last year.  That was my 9 time to move in 10 years.  I sit back now, and look at my life and it feels so stable.  It feels so good to know that, more than likely, where I am at is where I'll be for some time.  I feel like for the first time in so long, I can sit back, take a deep breath, and truly enjoy my life!  And, when the curve balls come - as they are sure to from time to time - I am so much more ready than I used to be...  So, as I consider the next 10 years, I say to life:

Laissez les bons temps rouler!!! (Let the good times roll!!!)

"Nehemiah said, 'Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.'" -Nehemiah 8:10

"He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation."  -Psalm 91:15-16

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

My "Incompetent Housekeeper" Binder!

So... here in the land of Southern Hospitality, Sweet Iced Tea and good old fashioned values... housekeeping is everything!  A woman will forever be judged, at least in these parts, based upon the way she keeps house.  And, yes, I said SHE.  Because no matter how far we've "progressed" and despite the fact that women are in the work force, working every bit as much as their husbands, no one around here walks in a messy house and thinks, "THEY are bad housekeepers."  It is "SHE is a bad housekeeper."  I have been married twice now, and both times I married men who's mothers have immaculate houses.  My ex mother-in-law's house looks like something right out of a Southern Living Magazine - all the time - no matter when you walk in it.  And, she decorates it all herself.  No one does hospitality like her.  You walk in, feel right at home and she always has something to eat and drink and time to sit and chat.  My husbands mother is right there with her.  I open her freezer and feel immediate shame!  If any part of my life was as organized as just her freezer is, I'd be doing good!!  So, how on earth did these men end up with me???

My house is always a mess.  If it happens to not be a mess for 5 minutes, no one will see it. The odds are against me that anyone will stop by and see it spotless. Contrary to what many people might think, I am not lazy!  I am merely distracted.  I come from a long line of distraction.  It's all I know.  Distraction mixed with procrastination.  My mom has been known (on most Saturdays, actually) to spend an entire day "in the kitchen" cleaning.  You can talk to her in the evening and she'll say, "I've been in this kitchen cleaning ALL DAY LONG."  Now, I know my mom.  She has not been in the kitchen all day long.  She probably started in the kitchen, then somewhere along the way decided to water all her plants which led her to prune them as well and probably feed them.  There may have been one that needed to be repotted.  She probably ended up reorganizing a few drawers when she went to put something away... and countless other things that really needed to be done - not in the kitchen, but all the while, still cleaning the kitchen, too. I am not the perfectionist that my mom is.  I don't care if my cabinets are organized, as long as I can shut the doors and not see the disarray!  (She tends to organize them for me when she's here because it drives her nuts!!)
I am definitely not lazy.  The truth is, I try to do too much.  Instead of doing one load of laundry a day, I try to do as much as I can, end up not having time to finish it, and voila: laundry baskets with unfolded clothes all over the house.  Instead of focusing on one room, I decide to clean ALL the windows in the house or wash ALL the curtains or clean ALL the baseboards... and these things are usually started in the middle of another project.  So... I end up with several different parts of my house in the process of being cleaned.  Meanwhile, other things go by the wayside with the promise to myself of: "I'll do that in a minute."  Before I know it, I have piles of "Do it in a minutes" sitting on my kitchen counter, dresser, vanity, etc...
The only thing that has ever worked for me is a program I found on a website.  I have a binder full of schedules and do lists with regards to the running of my home.  I have been pretty reluctant to use it, though, even though it works for me, because I want to be the type of person who is naturally organized and neat and tidy.  But... bottom line: I'm not that type of person..  I thrive on lists & calendars!!  So, why is it crazy that I would use them for the running of my home??  It's really not a crazy notion!
So, if any of you find yourself in my predicament... try this out:  Fly Lady