Merciful Mornings
July 16, 2015

Kids baking

You might’ve noticed from the “don’t judge my dirty house” post that I struggle a bit with being super productive every day. I know we’re allowed to take breaks and rest and find peace and all of that stuff, but I just really want to do that every. blessed. day. Here’s the thing, though–if I can manage to pull up my big girl panties and get started on all the things, I can dominate this whole life thing. It’s taking some time, but I’m slowly finding things that give me a push in that direction. In an effort to help you get over the slothfulness of your morning/afternoon/evening, I’d like to share some of those things with you. Because I’m just giving like that. And I love your face. And I wish someone would come kick me in the rear sometimes.

So here’s your kick.

– When you wake up in the morning, MAKE THE BED. I’m really sorry, Mom, but this is one chore that I just didn’t keep up with over the years. I have discovered, however, the purpose for pulling up those covers and piling on the pillows every morning. That bed has magical powers. It’s like a friggin black hole, and every time I walk past it, it tries to suck me back in. And if the covers are still turned down in the afternoon, I feel that I must take a nap. I mean, the bed is already prepped for it. It would be rude not to, right? NO. Suck it up. Get stuff done.

– Put on an apron. Ok, this might not be the most manly suggestion for those who aren’t of the female persuasion. (Are you out there, men? Is anyone reading this?) If there are dishes to be washed or food to be prepped, I am much more likely to stick with it all until it’s done if I just put on that apron. What is it about that little piece of fabric? It’s like a backwards superhero cape that turns me into Suzy Homemaker, and I feel like I can conquer the world! Or at least my kitchen. I did it this morning (after making my bed, of course), and I finally dealt with all of those “hand wash only” dishes that have been staring at me for days. I even baked banana muffins with the kids! What?! Not a common occurrence in this house (don’t judge me, Martha Stewart-type people), but it was fun and we had breakfast when it was all said and done. WIN.

– Coffee. This needs no explanation. Just do it.

– Make a reasonable list. This is not a list of all the blessed things that need to be accomplished in your house to thoroughly cleanse it. This is a small list of things that you know you can actually accomplish before going to bed at night. If you need to get the stress of ALL THE THINGS off of your mind, make that huge list and tuck it away somewhere. Each day, pick a couple of those things to add to your “get it done today” list. Just a couple. Don’t be an overachiever, friend. We’re taking baby steps here.

There are a lot of other things I could add here, but that might be another post for another day. If you have suggestions for more ways I can suck it up and get it done, please leave them in the comments. I can use all the help I can get! Blessings on your day.

July 9, 2015

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Something weird has happened within me over the past few years. I don’t know what prompted it, but I’ve about decided that I like it. It seems to have been a gradual development as my priorities shifted. Ready for the big reveal? Ok, here goes…

I no longer feel a crazed/frantic need to make my house spotless before anyone else can step foot into it.

Now, let’s take a moment to make something very clear. I try really hard not to live in filth. I think “Don’t be gross” is generally a good rule of thumb, don’t you? That being said, there was a time in my life when every room in the house had to be spotless and correctly arranged if I knew someone was coming over. Having someone over for dinner? The floors will be clean, the toilets will be spotless, the laundry will be put away, and the whole place will knock you over with the heavenly aroma of pot roast because THAT’S HOW I ROLL.  But it was even more than that. Coming over for coffee in the morning? There won’t be any dirty dishes in this girl’s sink! Need to stop by for 30 seconds to pick up a book you forgot? “QUICK–clean up ALL THE THINGS before they get here and see this trash hole!!! Who even lives like this?!” So. Much. Stress. And for what?

So now I have two kids. Ha! Yes, I’ll admit it–the kids changed things. Ok, let’s try that again. The kids changed ME. When Monkey #1 was little, I would make sure the house was in excellent shape before having anyone over for a playdate. There would be coffee for the mommies, and certain toys would be set out for the children. Because children always play with the toys we select for them and never get into anything else, right? Somewhere along the way, another child entered the picture, there was a bone tumor that had to be dealt with (more on that later), and LIFE happened. Who has time to constantly be cleaning with all of this LIFE happening all the time??

So here’s where I’ve landed: I love having people in my house. I was raised in a family that thrived on hospitality, good conversation, and excellent food. It just feels right. If there’s a big shindig going down at my house with all manner of people, I promise to clean up for you guys. But for those of you who are just stopping by to grab that book or those who are bringing extra monkeys to tear up the house just a little more, please don’t judge too harshly. I will try to clean up the spilled apple juice and sweep up the breakfast crumbs before you get here, but please ignore the dirty dishes in my sink. I’ll get to them eventually, but I would much rather catch up with you over a cup of coffee while our monkeys play princesses and superheroes. And if I happen to land an invite to your place, I promise not to care about the pile of laundry that has been growing on your living room couch over the past 3 days. Heck, I might even help you fold it! Because love. And grace. And mercy.

Photo: Clutter by Alex (CC BY 2.0)

*Shared at Fellowship Fridays