Category Archives: Our Story

I wasn’t born with it

The first 4 years my hubby and I were married we were in college full-time and it led to bad housekeeping habits. (Not that I was great at keeping up with housekeeping before) Piles of dishes, clothes and stuff everywhere and then we tackled multiple home construction projects during various breaks from school. I’m sure some of my christmas village decorations still have sheetrock and plaster dust on them from that season in our lives.

Then we graduated, moved and had jobs with normal hours. Unfortunately, rather than taking advantage of those extra hours to start some good habits in regards to our housekeeping, we just sat around and watched shows on hulu.com. Truthfully, we did more than that but we took full advantage of not having any homework to do!

A year later our first baby arrived, Abigail. We now had sleepless nights, work, daycare, diapers and spending quality time with our daughter. No good housekeeping habits started during that season either.

Then, our second baby arrived, Elsie, and I quit my job to stay home with both girls. Suddenly, I was faced with dirty dishes, diapers, clothes and dog hair everywhere. I wanted to get and keep things clean but I really struggled as I nursed Elsie 24 hours a day (it seemed like) and was potty training Abigail. Our baby would sleep for maybe 30 minutes at a time and our toddler stopped taking naps. When I would try to clean up their room Abigail would cry and say she liked everything out. Oh boy, I knew then that I was in trouble. I needed to get this house under control so our kids understand how nice it is to have a clean place to play and be able to find their toys easily.

Funny how housekeeping habits didn’t materialize when it was just my hubby and I. 🙂 It was easy to just put it off until later. Now that we have little ones in the house and the chaos is in my face everyday I see the importance of a clean house. The importance of teaching them very young to help clean up because hopefully I will foster better habits in them than I possessed for most of my life.

I was not born with the innate ability to keep a perfectly clean house. Or even a mostly clean house. I have to work hard at it. I am comfortable with just a little bit too much mess around. Unfortunately for me once it gets too messy I have a hard time figuring out where to start and how best to get it all done. As I get in the habit of keeping one area of the house pretty picked up I hope it will allow me to get to some of the other areas too. And at some point I will be able to say the whole house is clean.  Even on a day when the only people who will see it are Terry and the girls.

This week I am doing a trial run of some weekly goals. I am starting out pretty small because I want to be able to accomplish them and add some more. If I feel defeated the first week then I won’t stick with it.

Goals for this week:
Run dishwasher and put away dishes twice (unless there aren’t that many dishes to wash)
Wash two loads of cloth diapers
Wash two loads of other laundry
Tidy living room before hubby gets home three times. (Bonus for vacuuming too)
Feed the girls fruit with lunch at least four times

Today I got the living room cleaned up and vacuumed before Terry got home, cleaned up the floor of our coat closet (which was a mess of shoes and bags) and i picked over 2 gallon bags (approx 6-7lbs) of green beans from the garden. Also, both girls ate protein and fruit for lunch.  It was a good day! 🙂

To Give

After reading this post I was inspired to write a little of our story regarding giving and taking.  I am refering to the giving of time and talents, of volunteering.

Most of my years in church have been as a taker. There were seasons of giving back but we are currently in our most consistent and longest running period of volunteering. And as I type that I am keenly aware that these last 4 years have also been the most consistent in our giving of tithes to the church also.

Within the first 6 months of being at our current church we were recruited by some friends to serve on the greeting team, then a few months later we had our first child and became part of the nursery team as well. Not too long after, I saw a volunteer opening at the church office and felt I could put my accounting background to good use there.

We have been very involved for the last 4 years and some months I just wish we could quit volunteering because I feel so stretched. Then I think of how much I enjoy smiling and saying “Good Morning” to everyone arriving at church and being that welcoming face to a brand new attendee that doesn’t know what it’s like to do church in a movie theater. I think of how cute those new little babies are (we don’t get the brand new ones, but the older ones are really cute too) and how fun it is to cuddle them and show them that Jesus loves them. Then I think of the work I do at the church office; how what I do helps the pastors to focus on teaching and loving people instead of stressing over finances.

It would be easy to go back to being a taker, but then again, it wouldn’t. I am showing people the love of Jesus one smile at a time.

I think people don’t realize that giving of yourself reaps it’s own rewards. It always feels like work to me before I start. Then the smiles, the handshakes, the cuddles (in the nursery) remind me that people matter more than a few extra minutes of sleep. More than getting a good seat in the service, getting my favorite kind of donut or getting enough cream in my coffee.