I live in the United States of America, leader of the free world, but I am not free. Are you?
What I see in my life that currently keeps me from being free:
1. Lack of planning.
2. Lack of discipline.
3. Too much stuff and too many distractions.
Now is the time for change!
Last year I started a Domestic 2011. It didn’t make it all the way through 2011, but I made some progress. I learned better ways to keep my house together. I started recycling again. I made meal plans. I increased my sewing knowledge and was able to make a few things for my family and for others. I like the progress. I dislike the inconsistency of it.
Prime example of success last year:
A friend from college, who was living on the West Coast at the time, was adopting a baby who was to be born half an hour away from me (on the East Coast). I offered to let her stay with me – not looking for any pats on the back here, I think we enjoyed her being here more than she appreciated having a place to stay! The success: when the birthmom went into labor prematurely, and my friend hopped on a plane from the West Coast to fly directly here, I was ready with less than 24 hour’s notice to host her. I didn’t even have to stay up late cleaning. The house wasn’t spotless, but it was picked up and the bathroom was clean and there were no dirty dishes on the counter. That IS the definition of clean for a stay-at-home-mom with young children, right?! I was proud of myself for having kept the habit of picking up, so that there was no crisis when unexpected company came.
Now, fast forward about six months…consistency in keeping the house picked up is GONE. Completely! To show you how serious I am, I took a picture of my living room/dining room/kitchen (all attached) this morning. And I think I’m going to be brave enough to post it. Only because it is amazingly embarrassing and I know I will be motivated to post a new picture of a much-improved living area tomorrow! And, you won’t feel like you’re the only one who might have a living area that has gotten out of control. You’ll probably even have a chance to feel quite superior to me. I’m willing to grant that. Enjoy 🙂
Thus, the need for some change in 2012. There are things I’d like to do. For example, I want to bake cookies for the neighbors today. No chance of that with the kitchen in its above state! [Thankfully, by the time I’m writing this post, the kitchen has been rescued. Countertops cleared, dishes washed. A mere 30 minutes of labor makes quite the difference.] I want to make my books available for others to check out. We are amassing quite the collection of children’s literature in Spanish, and I know many Spanish-speaking children here who have not a single book in their house. I’m not free to do that, however, when guests might trip over any number of toys in the living room. I want to finish a blanket I started for my daughter, and get busy on a quilt for my son. I’m not free to do that if my free time is all devoted to cleaning, or if there’s no space to spread out the fabric! See the pattern emerging?
Freedom is going to require a bit of work. Quite a lot, really. At least in the area of self motivation, where I am sorely lacking. I am 13 weeks pregnant, and I do have two young children, and I am also homeschooling…I have plenty of excuses, but I’m tired of excuses. Excuses don’t help. Discipline will help. Consistency will help. Planning (and sticking to said plan) will help. Getting rid of the distractions and the clutter will help. Last year, I identified things I wanted to do to make life better…more free, though I hadn’t thought of it as such then. This year, I want to learn to do those things consistently.
I’ll be motivated by that picture. I really can’t believe I’m posting it. As I finish typing the post, I’m still undecided if I’ll actually hit the “publish” button.
But my strength truly comes from the words of the prophet Isaiah [61:1], quoted by Jesus as He identified Himself as their fulfilment:
“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.”
He loves me despite the mess. The mess in my house, and the mess in my soul. And He’s the one who can clean it up. This year, I’m looking to Him, and by His grace, I’m going to learn to truly work for Him alone.
Beginning today, in the kitchen.