Sunday, January 01, 2006

New Year's Reflections

Happy New Year everyone!

I'm home from church this morning with sick little ones. This is a rare occurrence because my kids are almost never sick. They feel OK today, but they are still very congested and probably contageous.

I had a few hours last week just to reflect and plan for 2006. It was a great time just to be able to scratch notes and think through my life and the direction I want it to take this year. Not that my thoughts were that profound! They mostly centered around getting my home and family routines in order. These are things I have always struggled with, but since Billy was sick for most of this year, I lost most of the ground I had gained in regards to managing our home. We have all just been in survival mode, and God has provided so much grace. We're just thankful that Billy is well now and we are ready to move forward in every area.

I got Clutter's Last Stand by Don Aslett for Christmas (A rather ironic gift at this time of year, don't you think? But it wasn't a hint from someone, it was on my wish list!), and in the book he points out how much time and energy it takes to manage excessive amounts of stuff. Decluttering is the one aspect of home management that I've resisted, mostly because I didn't think I had time to declutter. However, I've noticed over the past few days how much unnecessary time I spend looking for things or just maintaining the excessive stuff in my house. So one of my biggest goals for this year is to declutter my home and get it in order. Don't worry, Billy, I won't be decluttering your stuff, just mine and the kids'! *G*

I also want our family to get into more of a routine. I'm not big on rigid schedules, especially with little babies in the house, but I do see that we need to have better guidelines to go by, especially now that Elizabeth is in kindergarten. I scratched out a daily routine as well as a weekly school routine, housecleaning routine, and menu plan. For right now, at Billy's suggestion, it's just 7 reasonably healthful meals that we'll repeat each week, and as I get things running more smoothly I'll introduce more variety. I want to incorporate a daily walk and weekly errand day back into my life.

I've tried Flylady before, and it worked great when I just had one little child and few demands on my time. I still appreciate a lot of what Flylady has to say and I'm incorporating many of her suggestions into my plans. However, our life is so nontypical that all her suggestions don't work for me. I'm getting other good ideas from Large Family Logistics, even though I don't really have a large family yet. LFL addresses the unique challenges that face a homeschool family, which is where a lot of my efforts have broken down.

In any case, I'm looking forward to this year. By 2007, I hope to have made great strides toward having a consistently orderly and peaceful home, which will result in greater peace for me and my whole family. I know that it will take discipline and determination, and those are things that I'm willing to invest. I think of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians, one of which is self-control. Discipline is mine if I am just willing to appropriate it! Onward!

4 comments:

Windy said...

Onward!!! I applaud you, encourage you and will pray for you.

I hope the little ones are feeling better... Hannah has had a cold for the last month or so. YUCK!

I have also been battling this thing you call self discipline. Todd and I over the last month have realized how much a schedule is needed in our home. Todd is gone 4 days a week at work, Hannah is in school 5 days a week, and I am in school 4 days a week (+ helping in Hannahs class twice a week, helping with PTO, and the list goes on.) , which has led to the state of chaos. The lack of self discipline has been something I have battled my entire life and is something I work at everyday. Although, I do have to say, going back to school has helped me in this area. (In order to survive I have had to implement more self control.)

I loved following some of the flylady’s advice and now I am the queen of “if it is not needed pass it along or get rid of it”. It just isn’t enough of where the actual clutter comes from… My brain! 

Thanks for sharing this with us… Not always are we willing to admit the areas we need help in.

Reece'sPieces said...

Good luck, Stephanie!

I know how hard it is to stay organized, especially with little ones. It sounds like you are on the right track! Good for you! :)But you know, that's why women were made to be flexible...so we could drop a schedule at the sound of a coughing child, or re-arrange our lives at the whim of a husband that changes jobs. Don't be too hard on yourself if you don't have it totally together yet. It takes years to learn, and homeschooling takes a HUGE chunk out of your day, as does nursing an infant. And your husband home sick? Forget about keeping order in your home with THAT going on!

I'm not saying you shouldn't be striving to make order out of chaos, I'm just saying that you shouldn't beat yourself up because the chaos is there. It's GOING to be there to some degree until your children are a lot older.

So, yes, keep trying, and ABSOLUTELY continue to de-clutter and make an effort to create a peaceful atmosphere, but don't let it drive you crazy either. You can waste a lot of precious time being frustrated with your beautiful family because they WILL, not on purpose, mind you, but they will ALWAYS screw up your schedule.

Boy, that felt like a lecture. :p

Really, Stephanie, I almost didn't post this, but I just sense that you are frustrated and feeling like you aren't doing a good job. I don't really know you that well, though, so maybe I read this completely wrong. If so, please disregard. :) Pax

Anyway, I'll post in my blog the way I'm trying to keep order in my house this year.

Charity Grace said...

Aw, y'all are so sweet. Thanks for the encourgement!

Windy said...

Stephanie,

I just spent the last 2 hours on the LFL... Maybe that is why nothing is getting done around here. ;) I wrote out our routine and schedule, made a menu plan, picked a laundry day (my worse enemy) and I see how having some sort of plan of attack is going to help! Thanks for turning me on to LFL.

Also, Gina is so right... We are Moms who need to be oh so flexible. Thanks again for sharing!!!

Love,
Windy