Saturday, January 22, 2011

Life's Clutter

I dislike clutter.  Physically, the clutter around my home makes me anxious.  I can't think properly.  I can't focus. I can't relax.  I want to see those clean lines and open spaces.  I'm not obsessive about it (well, only occasionally), but overall, I am anti-clutter.

Ok, yes, I can be neurotic....

I think this is also true in my daily life.  Beyond paper clutter, toy clutter, top-of-the-counter clutter makes me uncomfortable after a time as well.

Like now.  Maybe it's the new year, yet everything I do, every activity I'm involved in, every event we attend, the choices we make....I keep asking myself "Why?".  Why have I chosen to be involved here?  Why do my husband and I allow this in our home?  Why are my children involved there?  How does this all fit into our life?

Without this active "filtering", I can easily find myself wandering through life, no real focus, no real basis for decisions - big or small.  I find myself making decisions based on things like feelings, emotions, money, boredom, just-cause-everyone-else-is-doing-it.  Ugh.

So there comes this time - like now - when I just want to sweep all the "clutter" away and start anew.  Why do I attend church?  (*gasp*...I know)  Why do we homeschool?  Why do we get all excited about God blessing us with another sweet child?  Does this group meet a need in my life right now?  What about the modesty and clothing choices for our children?  Influences on our children (media, friends)?  If I'm going to leave my husband and children for yet another evening, is it worth it?  What am I gaining?  What am I sacrificing?  How am I making conscience efforts to strengthen my marriage and disciple my children??

I'm not saying I should sequester myself at home with my husband and children and avoid all society.....not at all.  I love going out with my hubby and getting a break from 24/7 direct-line parenting.  I enjoy outings with girl-friends.  I like women's activities at church.  I like movies.  I like dangly earrings, lipstick and pretty outfits as much as the next gal.  Yet, if I'm not careful.....I'm just doing whatever makes me happy at the moment.  I'm just living in the here & now, not really giving much thought to the why.  Why I'm married to Dean.  Why I'm the mother to five lil' blessings.

So as I go to add an activity to my calendar, I just want to take a moment and really think:  WHY am I making this decision?  WHY am I giving my time to this?  If God is my focus, how does this fit into my life?  Have I even asked God about this?  How long has it been since I've prayed about what God wants me to be doing?  I have 24 hours a day.....I can honestly only fit in so much.  What does GOD want me to be doing?  In our home, our marriage, our children's lives, our homeschool, our social life, our community.

Am I filling my days with "fluff" and missing the opportunities God has placed before me?

~Needing prayer more every day~


LLJ said...

What a lovely post, Lori!
: )

Jeni said...

I agree with Leanne, it is lovely! and you're so right, we do need to evaluate when and why we do "stuff". That old saying that my own mama will sometimes remind me of "You can do alot of good things...but it can be alot of too many good things!" Love your new blog look too!

Brooke said...

I agree it is hard to figure out what to do, what not to do in our schedules. With all we have going on over here with Jeff's schedule and me juggling everything else I am often at the end of my rope. How on earth do you school and do the everyday of the kids and keep the house so clean? I find by the time I get done teaching school, doing meals, going to the activities we want to go to each day, it is all I can do to keep up with the basics. I'm looking forward to school being out so I can clean some things!

Tina said...

Lori, well said. This whole concept was brought home to me big time when I lost my "wonderful" job. I was devastated. It had given me such satisfaction, and made me feel so important. As I struggled with my feelings after all that was over, I realized that I'd really let my boys down. They kept telling me how much they missed me, and I kept telling them how much I wanted to work. It's taken some time, I won't lie, but I now understand that God didn't want me to have satisfaction from that, but from being a mom and wife. Hard journey. Glad you understand.

*Michigan Momma* said...

Tina, thanks for sharing ~ I bet your boys are simply *thrilled* to have you at home with them (even when they grumble at the hs'ing ;)

It can be, has been and IS a hard journey. Especially in our society today ~ in times past, a woman was really valued for what she did in the home and people knew how important that job really was! Unfortunately, sahm's aren't really that appreciated by society as a whole today. You aren't really *working* unless you are bringing home a paycheck.

Yet I KNOW what I'm doing is valuable, important and significant. To me, my children, my marriage. If God, my husband & I know I'm supposed to be at home, hs'ing these blessings, then I don't really care what other people think about that decision!

Again, thanks for sharing ~ I'm so happy for you!!

Kenni B said...

This is a beautiful post Sis. I respect you even more after reading it.

The Pauls' Family said...

So true! It is so important to re-evaluate the "Things" in our life often! Because even though it was the right thing for us when we started doing it, doesn't mean it's the right thing now. So we need to be continually tuned in to God's will for our lives.

Thanks for sharing this!