Thursday, August 26, 2010

Goodbye, Hello

Goodbye rest,
Goodbye routine,
Goodbye sense of control...

Hello awareness that I am weak,
Hello complete dependence on God's strength,
Hello choosing to roll with the punches!

Goodbye zillions of toys,
Goodbye perfectly chosen outfits,
Goodbye clean faces & clean house,

Hello simplicity,
Hello basics,
Hello grace!

I'm not sure how one little 8lb baby can bring such change into our little lives... But the past five weeks I've become a completely different person. Things that have seemed like the norm all this time have felt chaotic. My sense of control in and over my life has gone out the door. Routine is currently taking a break in our home. I know we will find him again in the near future... but not today.

So we've made some recent changes. I realize that they might seem extreme to some, but sometimes I guess you've gotta do what you've gotta do for the sanity of your own family.

Somehow, in the past five years toys have somehow taken over our house. By the end of the day our house looks like a tornado hit it. It not only overwhelms me, but it overwhelms the kids. When I tell them it's time to clean up, there is almost always someone in tears because the extent of the mess is so extreme that none of us even know where to start. SO... we did something about it... and even though it has only been a few days with our new plan in order, it has made all the difference in the world.
What did we do???
We packed up 3/4ths of the toys in the playroom and put them in boxes in the garage. I had the kids do it with me. I had them pick their most favorite things. Then we got a few bins from Walmart so that everything in the toy room now has it's own spot. We labeled EVERYTHING so that the kids know where everything goes. Then finally, we made a new rule... when you are done playing with one thing, you must put that thing away before you take out another thing. Like I said, it has only been two days and the new rule is not anywhere near perfection, but we have just been gently reminding the kids a few times each hour with a few questions,
"Are you playing with this anymore?
Ok then, what do we do if we are not playing with something anymore?"
It has been so nice for them to only have a few things to put away at clean-up time. More than once they have answered me with the biggest smile on their face when I've asked them to put stuff away,
"Ok Mommy, I'll clean up the playroom quickly and joyfully! There isn't that much to pick up!!"
I know that less stuff has made me feel like a better mom, less stressed, better organized, more kind with my words.

I also went through all their clothes. I kept out a few bottoms, a few tops, a jacket and a pair of pajamas for each of the older kids, (I left out a bit more for Jed because, he spits up a bit and has major blow-outs often). Then I put the things that don't fit any longer in bins in the garage.

As we were making these changes this week I just became so aware of how much we live in excess. I became aware of how much society has influenced me to believe and to live with so much more than I need. And the excess for me , has caused chaos, not happiness or contentment.

Goodbye chaos...
Hello simplicity,
Hello joy,
Hello glimpse of peace in our home!