Saturday, November 19, 2011

I've got a plan - watch me go!

Do you ever feel like it takes awhile to get something done? Or maybe it takes a bunch of steps, over a span of time? That 'three steps forward, two steps back'?

I hope so, because I like company.

I've been trying, for time that spans several calendars, to get my act together around here. I could make excuses - moving across the country, buying a completely furnished house (we're talking fly swatter, toilet bowl brush... you get the picture), babies arriving in our family, other family members moving, etc. None of that matters - I just haven't felt like I've been getting much accomplished. Haven't been really doing a very good job of taking care of things around here.

When I'd see my husband out mowing and raking and mulching and whatever else you can do to a yard, all to the best of his ability, I'd get that nudge of conviction. He was honoring me with his best efforts; was I honoring him with mine? It's hard to swallow convictions when you know the truth.

Since this past March I've been on a journey of trying to clear out clutter in my life, house, calendar. I've been trying to be busy with what matters, and eliminate what does not. That's all fine and good, but it doesn't get the floors mopped, or shirts ironed, or supper cooked instead of going out.

Finally, I feel like I've arrived at where I was meandering to for quite awhile. Organized Simplicity.

I think the thing that continues to amaze me about God, over and over, is his sovereign timing. He always seems to hand me what I need right when I really do. Or show me something when he knows he's got my attention, finally. Or my heart, finally.

This little book had been sitting on my sunporch for a good six months, just waiting. I can't even remember where I bought it, but when I finally decided I needed a plan - for meals, for cleaning, for my days - there it sat waiting for me. Tsh has a houseful of kids and is a busy lady, so her little book and website are designed just for anyone in that stage of life. Or twenty  years later.

I want a joyful life. When you don't have done what really needs to be done, and you spend your time doing what you shouldn't because you didn't do the thing that did matter, it steals your joy. And your self-respect. And your pride. And your witness.

Anyone who knows me would probably describe me with several words: forthright, practical, energetic, quirky, and organized.

News flash! You can organize clutter. You can line it up, label it, stack it, store it in pretty plastic bins or wicker baskets, but it's still clutter. I thought I'd decluttered before we moved down here, but moving into a house that was completely furnished, and being overwhelmed with moving and a husband retiring, I easily got back into the 'organized clutter' mode again. It's likely in my nature to hold onto stuff, then line it all up, label it, and call it good.

So I've got a plan - thanks to Tsh and this little book of hers. And it's not complicated. It's easily maintainable. I've got a handful of meals we like to eat, out of three cookbooks or my head. Most men will be quite happy with grilled cheese and tomato soup once in awhile rather than going out to eat, again.  I've got a spot for morning devotions with no computer in sight. I've got our home divided into three zones, with a flexible schedule that will get them cleaned and leave time for flexibility if my retired husband wants to go play or kids need a hand or whatever. I've got time carved out for sewing and writing and reading and exercising.

Here's my hall chalkboard - repainted so the chalk will show up - and I used a liquid chalk marker for the main lines, so I can easily erase the entries every week, and put the next week's schedule on it, using our family calendar. It looks complicated but it's not. I don't want complicated!

This schedule is for the upcoming week. Next week's will look completely different. A plan has to be flexible for me to stick to it.

It would be so easy to let it wait til the New Year, but if I get busy now when January 1 rolls around I should feel like I have a handle on things, and hopefully it'll look like it around here too.

BTW: 'STDR' = Start the day right - devotions, prayer, and some reading
           'Zone 1,2,3' I divided my home into three zones - that's 2500 square feet and three bathrooms
           'FM' = Family Matters. 6 pm comes, no more cleaning, computer, etc.

Hopefully you'll know what I'm talking about, be encouraged, and join me in making a difference in your home and family. 

3 comments:

Sarah said...

It's funny how easy it is to let cleaning and laundry slide because it's the current cool thing--you know, the mantra to put people over things. Funny thing is, when I do that, those people don't have meals or clean underwear or fresh, uncluttered living space! There's a balance, and I'm working on finding it!! Kudos, Mom :)

Bev said...

I believe doing my jobs - cleaning, cooking, bills, keeping an uncluttered home - that in itself is choosing people over things. I'm choosing to honor those people in my life, rather than let 'things' take over our home, or my time and attention. Looking for balance and determined to find it this time. Dad's so tickled he's agreed to go through his umpteen ball caps, jackets, clothes and books!

FunMom said...

Sounds like a plan, Mama! You'll have to let me know how it's going in a few weeks. I'm feeling a bit convicted lately too!