|By: Melissa Michaels
This was too good not to share!
Have you ever seen that mom? The mom who drops her kids off on the first day back after Christmas break, only to discover school doesn’t start until the next day? The mom who’s always late to the after-school pick-up line because she can’t find her car keys? The mom who must always return to school because she forgets to turn in the permission slips?
Flying by the seat of my pants became my accidental signature style. Even if I managed to pull myself together, I couldn’t get my house together. I couldn’t do both at the same time.
If I cooked dinner, I couldn’t get the dishes washed the same day. There’d be so many dishes piled up that we’d “have to” dine out the next night just so I could catch up. The beds were left unmade, and we’d pile the clean laundry on top. Bonus points for the clean laundry, but to sleep, we had to toss it on the floor. Mail from the last six months was still on the table, and shut-off notices from the electric company would get taped to our front door.
Y’all. I was really a hot mess.
It was hard for me to figure out why keeping up with simple things was such a challenge. It felt like all the other moms seemed to be managing their homes and families just fine. I was positive other students wore matching socks and that my children were the only ones suffering the embarrassment of being forgotten in the carpool line.
How could I be a capable person yet be so incapable at the same time?
Finally, I got tired of being so disorganized. I was over it. Done.
So I prayed for wisdom and strength to better manage my home. Then I worked on a plan of action.
First, I identified priorities for our family.
Creating a list of family values offered me an inspiring starting point. Praying over those values and reading Scripture brought me peace. I stopped feeling so alone and overwhelmed. I didn’t have to do it all; there was plenty of grace for what wasn’t a priority.
Second, I studied our home and habits.
Today’s key verse, Proverbs 24:3-4, reminds us: “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures.”
To come up with a workable plan, I first had to become a student of our home and habits to better understand the needs of my family.
The answers to these questions gave me clarity on where my systems (or lack thereof) were breaking down or causing me frustration and more work.
Finally, I became more disciplined.
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7, NIV).
The things I’d been doing on autopilot without thinking had multiplied the chaos in my life. Instead, I came up with more effective daily housekeeping habits. Making my bed, doing the dishes, putting away laundry and tidying up every day became my routine.
Each new habit impacted, motivated and inspired me to become more disciplined in other areas of my home and life too.
I don’t think I’ll ever stop being a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of gal. That’s just how I tend to roll. But practicing daily disciplines in homemaking changed how I feel about myself and our home. I no longer feel like everything is out of control.
Clutter and dirty dishes still sometimes pile up, and I’m still not a perfect housekeeper. But, more organization brings freedom and more time to my day to focus on who God has called me to be.
Dear Lord, thank You for the strength and joy You offer us through the hard work of self-discipline. Help me honor and glorify You in all that I do. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.