Raising a family can be one of the greatest challenges we will go through in our lives. There will be many days that the challenge seems to be greater than the energy that is left within our bodies. Many years ago, I discovered a website from a seasoned mom, who admitted from the start, that she didn’t have it all together.
At that season in my life, I had been married for about four years, had two small babies that were 17 months apart, and was suffocating in a life that was full of unbalance. After living in a small townhouse for a couple years, we had just moved into a new house with lots of space…or what should have been lots of space.
The problem was my stuff. My stuff was overwhelming. It was in every room, in every corner, everywhere. Looking back at it, it was very symbolic of where I was at emotionally, and what I had brought into my marriage just four short years before. I was depressed, overwhelmed, and not getting things done for my family to function at its best. But then I discovered a website, Flylady.net, and my life was forever changed. I did take her advice and began to follow her program, little by little.
Today I’ve still got progress to make, but I have learned to overcome the chaos (most of the time) and make time for my family who needs me. I created an acrostic to help keep myself in check and make sure that BALANCE is a part of my life everyday.
The process of organizing your life does not happen overnight. Don’t try to do it all in one day. You’ll become overwhelmed and just have to do it all again the next time. Start with one thing. Flylady suggests shining your sink each night before bed. Just start with working on a project 15 minutes at a time. Once that time is up, take a break or move on to something else. The Bible says that God reveals himself in pieces. We must trust Him to show us how to begin this process of wholeness.
Attitude is everything! As moms, we tend to get a martyr attitude about the things we have to do. We throw pity parties and then get stuck. The Word tells us to take captive every thought and put it under submission of God’s Word. The Word also says we are a new man, the old is gone, the new is come. We are to become more like Christ daily, going from Glory to Glory. The old saying, when momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy, is true. Your attitude permeates your house and your family and sets the tone for the way things are going to be. Choose to have an attitude that is pleasing to Christ.
L-Let go of the Clutter
I’ve always thought myself to be borderline hoarder. I watch that show about hoarders and think, I understand how that could happen to me so easily! In my marriage, this has always been an area that I have struggled with. My husband is very neat and organized. He has always struggled with my messes and lack of organization. But the day I moved into our new house and my craft room was literally floor to ceiling boxes of craft supplies, I had to apologize to my husband and God and learn to let things go. You can’t organize clutter. By letting go you begin the healing process. In The Word, Paul expressed, “forgetting what is behind, I press toward the mark of the high calling.” This is what we must do to move closer to Christ and our family.
A-Align Your Thinking With the Word
Not only your physical stuff needs to be cleaned out, but also our emotional and mental capacities need to be decluttered. When you begin the process of physically removing stuff from your life, you will begin to release those emotional things that are more than likely at the root of the problem. For me, I sought out good Christian counseling to help with those things that I didn’t even know were there. This has been a continual journey, but staying in the Word of God daily and seeking His will have changed my life, and consequentially, my family also. He provides us with strength and the Holy Spirit works through us by giving back to us peace, joy, and time.
N-No! Learn to say No!
Learning to say no is crucial to this process. We are only human. Sometimes we have things that are good, but not always the best. God wants us to prune those things that are not the best in our lives so He can grow the things that are best in us. This also goes for our physical bodies as well. We must discipline ourselves and be healthy about what goes in our bodies.
C- Create Routine
For me, this step has been vital. On my emotional days (and we know we all have them), I don’t even have to think anymore about what has to get done in order for our family to function properly. I have trained myself to automatically get those things done. For me, it looks like this: Get up, shower, get dressed DOWN TO MY LACE UP SHOES, brush teeth, deodorant, hair, make bed, switch laundry, eat something with protein, and head out the door. I also have a not so structured evening routine that includes switching laundry, brushing teeth, and most importantly, reading the Word. Whatever your routine is, be consistent with it! It will keep you from getting stuck and will motivate you to be productive in your day no matter what is going on.
E-Eliminate perfection and Enjoy the process
Psalms 119:96 says Even perfection has its limits, but your commands have no limits. A definition of perfection is “mature or complete”, not flawless. In Christ, there are several different maturity levels and there is always room to grow. God wants us to be mature right where we’re at. Your house may seem overwhelming, but that’s because we put up our own standards of perfectionism, then beat ourselves up because it’s not done perfectly, or better yet, never start at all! God tells us that we are good enough. He doesn’t expect you to be flawless, just mature where you are at. As we go from maturity level to maturity level, God will grow us where we are at.
When we follow these steps, balance is created in our homes. With balance comes peace. I pray peace over each of you today.