Unexpected change

For those of us who can't get it all together, or if we have, have forgotten where we put it

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Kara
Posts: 63
Joined: Tue Jan 30, 2007 7:56 am
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Unexpected change

Post by Kara » Tue Apr 03, 2007 7:59 am

"When we put God first, all other things fall into their proper place or drop out of our lives." -President Ezra T. Benson

I didn't come to h-t-h looking to organize my house. My house and the organization of it and keeping it clean have always been a struggle for me, but I have a "laundry list" of other compulsions and addictions that I think are much more pressing and serious, so I've been focusing more on those. Add to that the fact that my sweet husband and I are very right-brained, creative people that have no clue how to get or stay organized, and that my 6-year-old's bedroom is the cleanest room in the house, hands down. If we do attack the house, we usually clean the house in a mad-dash, energetic spurt and then a few days later it all falls apart. So it's been a constant struggle and there's lots of piles and clutter and all that sort of thing, and it can be quite overwhelming.

Interestingly enough, though, as I've tried to put God first, and even though getting a clean house hasn't been my focus, I'm seeing slow changes that are encouraging. For example, one day when I was really feeling close and connected with the Lord I looked at my cluttered bathroom counter and the thought occured to me that I could just put away a few things every time I was in there. It was a small change that was doable and there was no pressure on myself to do it, no guilting myself into it or anything. So I did and within a day or two I had found my bathroom counter. My husband saw that it was cleared off (For the first time in months) and he attacked it with some cleanser of his own initiative. Soon after that my daughter and I were looking through a seriously dangerous drawer for a hair clip and I just felt inclined to organize it with her. It was good. And the miracle here, friends, is that that drawer and that counter have stayed organized and cleared off for a whopping two weeks. For us that has to be a record. :)

Just writing about this I'm reminded of the scripture that "by small and simple things are great things brought to pass." (Alma 37:6). My husband and I were talking the other day and we both had the idea to make just small, doable goals where we could work on the house (and other important things that we have a hard time doing) together but in a way that wasn't overwhelming or something that we would get burned out on. We prayed about it and we came up with this list:

1. Do just 5 minutes of exercising every morning before the kids wake up. (We haven't been exercising at all, so we figuer the important thing is to get in the habit first)
2. Read our personal scriptures at night, before bed, for five minutes.
3. Read couple scriptures every night.
4. Clear and wipe the table after every meal. (We've tried cleaning the whole kitchen after every meal but we got burned out on it. Trying to keep it simple)
5. Work together for 15 minutes a day on a room.

We made those goals on Saturday and started working on them two days ago, and it's been really good. We're not perfect at anything but just having that cleared space when I go to cook has helped, and we've been making a dent in our kitchen, and we've organized a few kitchen cupboard shelves. And we're working together on the house. We've never really had a cohesive plan or if we had it's been panic-induced, or an all-out, once-and-for-all-we're-going-to-get-this-place cleaned-in-two-days effort. It's been really good to work towards goals as a couple and to help and encourage each other.

I don't know, maybe this is just way too long, but I'm encouraged by the progress and the changes. I love the gentle way that I've been inspired to go about it, the way I just say, "hey, while I"m putting away this can, let's just see what we can do about this shelf while we're in the neighborhood." And I've noticed that on the days that I am feeling connected to the Lord, when I'm not acting out in my compulsions, I am much more patient with myself and with the process and not frustrated or guilty that my house isn't clean RIGHT NOW. That isn't a constant thing but I'm grateful for it.

Something else that I'm grateful for is that I haven't had to have perfect abstinence first to have my home start to get more organized. My recovery is still imperfect and I still struggle, but I keep trying to get back up, and I keep reaching for Him, and He is helping me in wonderful and unexpected ways.

That's it, thanks for listening.

Kara

Tricia V
Posts: 366
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 6:20 am
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Post by Tricia V » Mon Apr 23, 2007 4:47 am

That's very inspiring Kara.

My method of getting my house presentable is one of my main sources of the really hard clutter: Boxes of stuff that I'm not really sure what is in it, so I'm afraid to throw it away, but most of it looks useless. I guess it's kind of like clutter bulemia.

For me, clutter has been my recovery nemesis for a long time now. 2 years, I'd say. Well, no. Maybe oblivious money behavior. Because I'm almost constantly aware of the clutter, while the money keeps cycling in and out of denial.

Maybe the answer is if I have to make these clutter boxes, when the guest have left I bring the box back into the room and dump it in the middle of the floor and deal with it. I don't know.

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