Spring Cleaning

Ahhhh, feel that breeze? Smell those flowers? Feel that sun? It’s Spring. It’s cleaning time.

Spring has always seemed to me to be a better time for resolutions than January. Maybe it is because I am emerging from my hibernation hole sometime in April and am ready for new beginnings. This year winter was especially long because it got a bit of a jump start when I broke my foot and was 8.5 months pregnant. There hasn’t been a ton of leaving the house (for exciting, fun things) in the past few months. So not only am I ready to welcome nicer weather and more outdoors time, but I am ready to clean house- with regards to me. I am ready for some positive changes. I tend to be a person who takes on too much at once, fails, and then gives up and buries my head in the sand, or the covers. But for the sake of setting a good example for my kids, especially my daughters, I want to make some changes and stick with them even through the inevitable fails. No more all or nothing. Lot’s more grace. Lot’s more circumspectness. Lot’s more appreciating who God made me to be. Lot’s more diligence and perseverance.

I have started by (re) committing to making spending time daily in God’s Word a priority for me. I was so convicted a month or so ago by the verse “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind.  Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation,  now that you have tasted that the Lord is good.” (1 Peter 2:1-3). I have prayed that God would give me a craving for Him that I would satisfy in Him. I think it really resonated with me because these days I spend so much time nursing a baby who needs my milk to survive. I want to rely so heavily on God and His truth that I need it for sustenance. I have vowed not to check my email until I have read the Bible, and I have found that feeding Royce in the morning is a great time to do it.

Along with the Bible I want to always be in the progress of another edifying book. This is so much easier that I am no longer taking classes and bogged down by required reading.

I am trying to be very purposeful with how I discipline and instruct my kids-always having it go back to a heart issue with a Biblical basis. No more empty corrections.

A good friend showed me the Orange Rhino Blog, where the woman challenges moms to not yell at their kids anymore for a year. I didn’t realize how often I resort to this as a tension release. Yikes. It’s so ugly. And my kids’ are way too emotional and quick to raise their voices…wonder why!  So for this challenge: I am in! I am so thankful to have friends along with me to hold me accountable and support me we strive together to be better mommies. Seriously, I would be a puddle without these girls!

I am trying to reach my kids with a much more grace based approach. I want their obedience but mostly I want their hearts. I am trying to look at it with a more long term perspective which is very challenging when you are in the thick of a standoff over something as stupid as picking up toys. God is using wise and wonderful woman to teach me how to maintain my standards without compromising my patience, love and grace towards my kids. I am learning to meet them more where they are instead of having them rise to meet me and my sometimes lofty expectations.

I am trying to eat healthier: less carbs and sugar and salads for lunch each day. I am so sick of being exhausted, bloated and not losing this weight. I know eating healthier will help me be a better wife and mom. I also need to be better about following through on my meal plans so we can have healthy dinners at home, together as a family. Sometimes with Peter’s work schedule this can’t happen but I need to just plan and execute better so we have less thrown together meals. I also need to perfect cooking with beggars on each leg!

I am making excersize more of a priority. I want to get to the gym three times a week. I am being realistic here within my constraints and recognizing that there are times I am going to have to make myself go…okay most times I am going to have to make myself go.

We are being more disciplined about tithing first. This is something I am ashamed to say we got away from a bit when Peter’s company was not paying him. We need to get back into the habit of giving to church before we pay any bills.

We also are being more diligent about saving our money and trying to live below our means. This is not easy because we are a one income family and don’t have much extra, but we are trying to make the effort so that hopefully someday we can purchase our own home.

Until then we are in a rental and that leads me to struggle with discontentment a lot. I am praying and praying about this all the time. I want to be thankful-as I teach my kids, rather than greedy or discontent. I am also trying in small ways to make the most of where God has us living now. I have done a few little decorative changes, made a number of organizational changes which helps a lot (we are still in the process of some major spring cleaning/throwing away), and am trying to keep up with the housework. Emphasis on trying. Each day the kids and I spend two different 15 minute stretches tidying up/doing chores-one in the afternoon right after lunch and once in the evening before or after dinner. My goal is to have our home kept up with enough that it is always within a 15-20 minute cleaning session of being welcoming to a surprise guest. Some days and weeks are better than others…

Anyway, this post is super rambly and uninteresting, but this is what I am up to now! I am trying to enjoy life where God has me. I am trying to find joy in the everyday. And I am trying to make small but significant improvements!

A few photos of my spring babies to leave you with (I know you were dying for them! ):

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