It's been a long time since I last saw these counters. It's been a long time since my heart has felt any where near this kind of peace ~ the kind that comes when life is organized (and the sun is shining!).
I don't want to say that things haven't been going my way lately ~ because in the scheme of things and what can go wrong, I am beyond blessed.
But in the meantime, I am training for a marathon, going strong when suddenly my family of 6 comes down with the stomach flu. Yes. All 6. And as I tried to gain enough energy back to even get out of bed, let alone run miles in the double digits, our treadmills (new) broke (both of them). Since I refuse to run while pushing a 30 pound kid in a stroller when I have all my energy about me, doing so while recovering from 5 days of eating nothing...well, running took a back seat for too long. Now I'm making up for lost time!
In addition to that, I finally agreed we should move. For years, hubby's been pushing to do so (that one hour commute each way is starting to wear on both of us!). Now I am on board. But we search and search and search. And, really, the perfect house just isn't out there. Since I am of the nature to not really like change unless it's good change, I only want to go where things will be as we want them...not to where we can 'make do.' We've been making do with a small house, four kids, two dogs, and an aging cat for quite a while. I'm not asking for too, too much. But bedrooms that house bunk beds and still give you space to lay on the floor to read a book is a must. And maybe a spot for the shelves that can contain all those books...
In order to move, however, we need to sell this house. And perhaps, aside from the spirit of uncertainty that exists while we search for the place where we will spend the rest of our children's growing years that causes me anguish, the reality that we are (I am) suffocating in this house under the weight of all our stuff overwhelms me, as well. And there's a need to clean it and paint it and make it worthy of someone else to love and want to purchase it. And it has to be done. NOW.
Yesterday, after another little bout of anxiety, I thought about my sacrifice of cleaning. Yes, sacrifice. I made a promise for Lent that I would purge 40 bags of our stuff in 40 days. As usual, God's timing is so good - to set this concept into my lap at such a time as this. The timing was perfect. But accomplishing the task has been a bigger deal than I imagined. Not just the 'get off your booty and accomplish something!' that coincides with this arrangement. Or choosing which area to address today. It's not even 'emotional attachment' to stuff (I don't suffer from that most of the time...although my husband wouldn't agree with me!). It's the overwhelming number of areas that need to be organized. And the massive amount of time that is required to accomplish the task!
At the beginning of the 40 days, I chose drawers. Like my junk drawer that housed about 50 batteries, cookie cutters from all major holidays, and a box of chocolate candy shaped like rocks that had been spilled...plus a LOT of other stuff. It took about 15 minutes to clean the drawer. I organized my sock drawer. Another 15 minutes. Over the weekend, I went through my baking cabinet. About 15 minutes. But Saturday morning, I cleaned out Pookie's closet and under her bed ~ for five hours. And by Sunday night, I hyperventilated when I looked in her room. MESSY! Shoot, I hyperventilated when I walked from her room to the living room where, while she and I busied ourselves with the job of organizing just those two spaces, the other kids were just down the hall reorganizing the living room. And not in a way that brings peace to my heart!
So yesterday I thought about what Jesus did for 40 days as he prepared for this week. And I thought back to my panic and anxiety and worry and frustration of the past 6 weeks. And maybe giving up coffee for 40 days as I have for several years was easier to see as a sacrifice. Maybe it was harder to do on a minute - by - minute basis. But this Lent has been full of sacrifice, too. And not the way I imagined 40 days ago. It's almost been tougher. But, I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Are there spaces that remain to be cleaned? Would I love to go through those 7 storage boxes of size 4 girl's clothes (will Sashi even be able to wear half of those in one season, even changing clothes three times a day??) before a move...maybe even before I'm forced to tackle the biggest project ~~~ the toy room (*scream!* HORROR OF HORRORS!). Yes. Yes yes yes. There's so much to do. *wringing hands*
But this morning, I poured a glass of milk, reached up on tippy toes to pull a pouch of powdered coffee from my bare pantry cabinet (all expired cookies/crackers/boxes/sauces purged last night while the kids slept soundly in their beds), pulled a chair up to my sparkling countertop, and inhaled a deep cleansing breath. I have a treadmill that will work 'good enough' to run those 8 miles this afternoon while Sashi naps. I have a perfectly organized kitchen (well, except for those last two cabinets...which I'll get to soon enough). And I realize I'm getting there. And that, too, is good enough. For now.