Saturday, August 20, 2011

Cleaning House

Do you ever notice a change of seasons in your life and you don't know how it started or why it's happening so suddenly? That's what this last week has seemed like to me. Someone must be praying for us. No, we haven't bought a house, I haven't changed jobs, and there have been no family emergencies. Shane and I are seeing chaos in our house slowly being turned to order. It's exactly something I asked God for not more than three weeks ago. Everything was (and still is, actually) really messy both physically and internally for our family. Shane and I both realized we needed to make some big changes about ourselves and trusted that those changes would carry over into our household. It's hard to change old habits. It's hard to face junk in yourself and admit that you're hurting more than yourself, but your spouse and children with those habits.

Shane lead the way and started training for a triathlon. He's been swimming across lakes and running miles on a foot that was broken in four places a year and a half ago. It hurts, but not enough to make him stop. I'm amazed at his sudden motivation and diligence. I need to get in shape too but am at a serious loss at how to start and when on Earth I'll possibly find time. So I signed up to get an online personal health coach through one of my work benefits (I am blessed to have such a great job!). Baby steps, right? She has some good suggestions and I'm excited to try them.

We've been slowly removing processed sugars from our diet. We're not Nazis about it yet, but it's making a difference. Now I just need to be better about avoiding them at work (people just love to donate pastries and chocolate to this place). I did stop buying coffee creamers and now just use palm sugar and cream. And fruit replaced sugar on our cereal. Baby steps.

Last Saturday morning Shane spotted a HUGE wolf spider in our living room. It ran away at lightning speed and as Shane was searching in corners he noticed another spider. And another. And another. In a state of school-girl frenzy we tore our living room apart and ended up killing about 12 spiders, big and small in our living room. Talk about a motivator for cleaning every corner of the house! We ended up clearing the entire living room of furniture, books and decorations, swept and mopped the floors, dusted and separated out every item we really didn't need to give to thrift stores. The biggest accomplishment of all was finally removing our television. Bad habit: GONE. Thank you, vampire spider, for being the catalyst to life change. Our entryway is still crowded with some random misplaced items, so the chaos isn't gone. But we are suddenly motivated to tackle every room in the house the same way. This Saturday: kitchen and bedrooms. This is what I prayed for! Order in our house!

There have been other beautiful examples of answers to this prayer. Shane is designing his own method of teaching Oliver to draw letters in Adobe Illustrator, and it's really clicking for Oliver (with a little help from Goldfish snacks). Shane and I have taken some big steps in our relationship as well. We've also added some weekly one-on-one time to our calendar.

Something is happening. It's difficult right now because we're impatient to be out of our mess and living in a clean home and healthy lifestyle. But some things don't happen fast, especially if you're going to be thorough and do the job well.

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