Contentment

Oh, how I long for contentment.  I am often reminded at how many things I am blessed with.  I am often able to see how my life is stitched together in a way more perfect than I could accomplish if at my own sewing machine.  Sadly, these glimpses of gratitude don’t keep me feeling content 100% of the time.

I am a beggar.  A wanter.  An envy-er.  If it’s cool and you have it (or it’s in stores), I wish I had it.  If your life has the things I want in it (or even appears to), I am jealous.  How?  Why?  Can’t I just grow up and realize that I have it GREAT in this life?

I fear that contentment will be something I will struggle with my entire life.  The opposite is taught in every facet of our culture.  You better “keep up with the Jones’.”  You need the newest, best, coolest things or you are behind.

What I am learning is that there is more knowledge available to mankind than could be grasped by one person in a million lifetimes.  There are way too many complexities of life, each having its own complexities.  And there is no guide.  No life map.  No instruction booklet.

We figure life out when it needs figuring out.  When we are pressed to accomplish something, it gets accomplished.  We worry ourselves too much with things that will never happen, or won’t happen for a very long time.

What do we want out of life?  What is important to us as individuals?  I know this is different for everyone.  I do think, though, that for most all people, if we do not have our goals in front of us, we will folly.  We will lose focus and look back thinking, “I should have worked towards getting this when forever ago.” (Yes, I know I exaggerate.)

Things I want:

1) To have a happy marriage

2) To have children (and soon!)

3) To have a relationship with my Creator and Sustainer.

Things I focus on wanting on an almost daily basis:

1) Establishing a chore schedule (including grocery shopping)

2) Actually getting my butt to the grocery store

3) Needing to do laundry (back to #1)

4) Figuring out when I’ll get to spend time with Corey

5) Finding a balance between productivity and rest

6-…) Learn Spanish, Scrapbook old photos, Decorate our house, Plan for a baby, Cook a good meal, Get rid of clutter

The lists could go on forever (again with the exaggerations :))

These lists are not without work.  This week I have been focusing on exercising and meditating on a regular basis.  I am happy to report that I have exercised thrice since Monday and have walked/elliptical-ed a total of 6.34 miles.  (This is quite the accomplishment for me since I had not done any exercises in over 3 weeks.  (Other than between the sheets that is ;))

What I am trying to do is worry less and be content more.  I am doing well with what I have in front of me.  I was selected as an employee of the month for October 2013, and I am growing a green pepper from seeds of a green pepper that I ate!  My husband and I are still madly in love and strive to live life with walls-down and playfulness up.  We are on track to having babies in the near future.  I am doing well at work and have school planned out too. Most times, I cannot figure out (for the life of me) why in the world I still feel discontent!  That’s when I pull out my recent glimpses of gratitude.  I remember that I am loved.  I remember that I am valued.  I remember that I am blessed.  And I keep chugging on, doing the best I can to be content.

Real Life Faith

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Faith is an interesting concept.  It is, literally, to believe.  Some people believe things like “you are what you eat” or “you oughta shake what your momma gave you.”  In my “Bible belt” world, much of what we believe is indoctrinated, and one is shamed if they chose a different path.  However, I am learning to appreciate acceptance.  We are all different people who have had different paths behind us and have different paths in front of us.

Easter is an extra special time for me personally, because Easter 2000 marked the beginning of my personal walk with Christ.  I was 10 years old and knew very little of what it meant to follow Christ – all I knew was that God was big and I wanted to know Him.  This passion for the Lord has followed me throughout the last 13 years.

Part of growing up, I believe, is learning, not only how to truly live, but how to think for oneself.  This is where the indoctrination part gets tricky.  Do I believe that Jesus Christ died for the sins of people and was raised from the dead, showing victory over the grave, and continues to live today?  Absolutely.  It’s the rest of it that gets shadowy.  What all else do I truly believe and what am I skeptical of because of how it was taught to me?  This uncertainty is unsettling because I, in all my C personality*, want to know.

I’m not sure if this was made better or worse by the fact that I have an undergraduate education from a Christian college.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my college; I am just not sure how much of my personal beliefs were blindly followed from well-meaning and highly intelligent professors.  I have always been a follower in regards to thoughts.  I find it more comfortable to believe what one tells me than to investigate it on my own.  I have a belief about myself that I over complicate things.  Even simple concepts, such as resentments, simplicity, and fellowship are difficult for me to grasp.  I make things more complicated than they are then believe that I cannot understand them – all the while, their complication stemmed from me!

Much more so do I believe Christianity is complicated.  Everyone has their “break down” to simply beliefs.  These “core” beliefs do not appeal to me.  Whose core beliefs are true and whose are “made-up?”  Where did they make them up – what is the ultimate truth, the real truth, the only truth I am interested in?

The desire for this “true” knowledge leads me back to the one place I know I can find truth.  My Savior.  When all of life seems to fall down around me, only Him can I trust to hold me up.  When I am afraid and anxious about what the future holds for me and my family, He is the only one I can find comfort in.  This Jesus I want to know.  This Jesus is the one I seek.

Over the years, I have had many a Bible.  Big ones, little ones – hard-cover, soft-cover – NIV, NKJV – ones with my name inscribed on the front, and ones I personally covered in duct-tape.  I recently got another**.  I want to seek this Jesus, and the best way I know to do so is to search the Scriptures.

I would love to find a church that is more focused on the truth of Christ and showing His love to people than programs, services, messages, songs, graphics, and teams.  These churches outright make me angry.  [I believe…] once your mission is corrupted by earthly pursuits, you are of little value to the Kingdom.  So many churches turn people “off” and I hear it EVERY DAY!  I do not claim to have the answers of how to mesh a human pursuit of proclaiming Christ with a heavenly method.  And I have yet to find a “perfect church.”

What I desire is to find other people, like myself, who want a true knowledge of God and fellowship with one another that is not biased by “cultural acceptance” or “political correctness.”  (Whew, I am literally getting so frustrated I could say some words… so, moving on.)

Our perceptions are subjective.  Our perspectives are subjective.  I am not interested in subjective.  I am interested in ultimate truth (which I can only find through my perception – how frustrating).  I do have faith that God will allow me to experience a true perception of ultimate truth.  I am daily working on this because my “self” gets in the way of my spiritual desires.  Lord, thank you for being forgiving, blessing, and honoring even of my small efforts.  You always come through for me and I pray I can show others that your evident love for me is applicable to them as well.

Happy Easter Sunday, everyone.

*My “C” (compliance) personality is explained in the DISC personality assessment; SO helpful for understanding self and others. -https://www.discinsights.com/disc-theory#.UVhkWKV6MTM

**My new Bible is a NIV from Celebrate Recovery.  “Celebrate Recovery is a biblical and balanced program that helps us overcome our hurts, hang-ups, and habits.” -www.celebraterecovery.com; I encourage you to check it out.

New Life… Again

 

 

 

Note: This post was written 9/9/12 but was not posted.  Corey was going through a thing of wanting our life to be uber-private, so it never made its way to the web.  I got on that band-wagon for a little while, too, but now it’s back to normal.  Enjoy.God has once again set Corey and I on a different path.  I feel like the plant in the picture above – uprooted.  Corey and I left the Ranch the beginning of May and are finally settling into a routine back in Dothan, AL.  Not all aspects of this journey are complete, nor do I ever think they will be.  I am learning that life is a journey.  We cannot just set goals and attempt to reach them, for, what comes next?  More goals?

When I was in school, goals were easy.  Take this class, that class, work, repeat until graduation.  Now I’m back in classes and was asked where I want to complete an assignment on where I want to be in 5 and 10 years.  Truth is – I have no idea.  I want babies.  That’s pretty much the goal that’s left to work towards.  I’m in grad school, working on my Masters [of Science in Clinical Mental Health from Troy University’s Dothan campus, to be exact]; working as a Substance Abuse counselor at a local residential treatment program [which is a challenging but extremely fulfilling position]; and working on my marriage and home life.  Life is in a tizzy right now and all I can do is take it day by day.  Where do I want to be in 5 years?  With a Masters and a baby.  In 10 years?  Add babies.

Do I sound like a crazy?  Sometimes I think I do.  I am so thankful that I don’t have children while I’m full-time working and doing grad school.  But I miss parenting.  I miss children.  I miss family.  I miss life.

But God is still here.  He is still guiding me day by day.  Still leading me in the ways which I do not understand and don’t even seek to.  My life is a story of God’s grace, faithfulness, love, and provision.  From the moment I was created, He and He alone has sustained my every breath.  He is leading me in a path of non-understanding but trust.  When Corey and I were asked to leave the Ranch, it was extremely sudden.  Earlier that day, I had unpacked our last few boxes.  It was a Thursday that we were asked to leave.  We found boxes that night and boxed our apartment on Friday.  We loaded a U-Haul on Saturday.  We drove to Dothan on Sunday.  We spent the night with wonderful friends and went house-hunting early Monday.  We found a rental owned by people who are also servants of God and who, despite not knowing anything about us, and knowing that we only had possibilities at jobs, decided to rent us the house and trust that God would provide for us.  We moved in Tuesday.  Corey started working at a friend’s business on Wednesday.  The Wednesday before we were planning on being in Tennessee, at the Ranch, for the next 4-6 years.  God’s plans aren’t our plans.  My sweetest moments when we were leaving the Ranch were when the other housemothers hugged me, cried with me, and prayed with me.  My life had been dug up.  I had no clue what being re-planted would look like.  Much more hurtful, I didn’t want to leave.  Not one ounce of my being wanted to be away from the family I poured my heart into every single day.  Not one ounce of me wanted to leave the people who surrounded me daily in a Christian community like I had never seen before.  Not one ounce of me wanted to step off the cliff of certainty and “see where I landed.”  There were many tears.  Everything happened so quickly that we didn’t have time to grieve.

I remember being in church the next Sunday and bawling my eyes out.  An old friend had come to sit with us and, when I returned from the bathroom, having collapsed on the floor in tears, I still couldn’t regain my composure.  How nice it is to have friends who will deal with you crying like the world is over and love you like you’re totally normal.  Many more tears have been cried since that day.  A few are falling right now.  I will forever miss my boys and guiding them daily to be men of God.

Now I am guiding different people.  People who rotate out from my care every 3 weeks.  People whose lives have been devastated by their drug and/or alcohol addictions.  People who need love, care, comfort, guidance, hope, strength, and more.  People who I end up loving by the time they’re gone.  My clients are the reason I’m where I am at now.  I truly believe that.  Yes, I am back in the area so I can go to grad school before having children.  I am thankful for that.  But other than that, my life is very different from when we lived here before.  We are no longer going to our old church.  To be quite honest, we are finding it hard to go to any church.  The level of authenticity and God-seeking that was in our last home church has been unmatchable.  Finding a place where people gather to worship our God with all they have, join together as a community of believers (not a cliché here, but a true community), and hear teaching that stirs one heart and rejuvenates one’s soul has been unattainable thus far.  We are discouraged, disheartened, and just plain sad.  We know God will lead us to the right church family, and we are seeking out His will daily.

Our life is no longer in a tail spin.  Nor a seeming downward spiral.  It is on a steady path.  A path that leads to the only place worth going – the cross.

5 Years

*Once again, this post was written previously but not published.  The first half is from 12/17/12.

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This Saturday marked five years that Corey and I have been wed. We took a cruise to the Bahamas (our first cruise/trip the Bahamas) and it was AMAZING! What we enjoyed the most was spending so much “non-productive” time together to rekindle some depth that our relationship had been missing. The busy-ness of life tends to distract people from true connection- I know it did for us.

Let me take this time to express how truly grateful I am for my husband. He puts up with a lot. As I was reflecting on how I would tend to communicate with him/think about him, I realized just how skewed and selfish I had become. I certainly was not being the wife he deserves and I was causing myself to miss out on truly appreciating the joys he brings to my life. Being a help-mate can be tough for us A-type, almost OCPD people. My desire to improve and be productive was drawing me away from the blessings that I have in the here and now – and I have many of them!

As I type, Corey and I are driving to a wonderful Japanese Steakhouse in Gainesville for dinner with his mom and his sister’s family. This is a wonderful blessing. We have actually been driving around Gainesville for the last 3.5 or so hours waiting for family to be available. It has been an excellent way to end our vacation. Corey and I were married near Gainesville and lived here for about a year. It has been great to drive by so many places that we have memories of, taking the time to reminisce of days gone by.

*Now to the present time…

That little visit to Gainesville caused us to really think  about the direction of our lives.  We had planned to move to Orlando in May 2013 for Corey to either go to FullSail University or work at Disney.  Audio positions are pretty non-existant in the Dothan area, apart from church-life, and he is really feeling called to live his passion of working with audio.  We drove through Orlando earlier that morning and found that we really weren’t impressed.  We visited the college and really weren’t impressed.  But, enter Gainesville and time with family, and we felt so at home.  Changing the “next-big-city” to Gainesville instead of Orlando means more than just a change of place, though; it also means a change in timing.  Orlando has a Troy campus but Gainesville does not – so we would need to stay in Dothan for me to finish up school.  Wouldn’t be too bad if this past semester was not my first.  I am not planning on finishing school until around December 2014, maybe even May 2015 if I take it slow.

This does not mean that there will not be a move, because we will be moving from our current location (as of right now) but probably to another house or apartment in Dothan.  Orlando is still on the table – Corey will be checking with them in January to see if he can get on doing audio there, but a job would have to precede a move.  As far as my opinion, I would like for there to be a Troy campus in Gainesville.  And while we’re talking genie-wishes here: I would like all this life planning stuff (like cash for the week, shopping for groceries, cleaning, laundry, dishes, cooking, etc.) to be taken care of for me so I can do what I want.  Work + School + Home = A LOT.  Sometimes I have free time and all I want to do is sleep.  And often, I do.  But one day, I really will get to a menu plan.  One day, I really will get to cleaning out our 3rd bedroom. One day, I really will find a friend to spend time with.  One day, my desires will come.  And I can find comfort that I’m right where I’m supposed to be until they come.

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Waterproof Mascara for Church

I wear waterproof mascara to church.

I meet God at church – every week. Before I go, I pray that He will humble me and draw me close to Him. Each week, I am refreshed. I am cleansed. I am reminded that I am loved.

Church for me isn’t about music, or lights, or even teaching. It’s about meeting God and praising His name with my community.

I remember the days that church felt like a worthwhile venture if I got a good “quote-to-live-by” for the week. If it was tweetable, even better. People, if that’s what church is to you, you’re missing out. You’re missing out on time and fellowship with the Being who created you and Who loves you so much that His Son died for you.

At my church, we take communion every week. This is a beautiful thing. Every week, our Pastor says, “Lauren, Christ died for you.” Every week, my only response is “Praise God!”

My Savior loves me. My Savior cares for me. When the world and its powers have me down, God lifts me up.

Church refreshes my spirit. Church renews my mind.

I certainly gain great teaching from Church. Words and music are used to touch my soul – and they do. My life would not be the same without such truthful teaching.

Every week, I am glad that I wore waterproof mascara. Especially during communion. As I hear our pastor remind each person who comes forward that Christ died for them, I am awed. Every time I reflect on how truly unworthy I am to receive His grace and love, I am brought to tears. Every time I see my loved ones take communion, I praise God for saving their lives.

My God loves me. He is sovereign over all, and I find great comfort in that. It’s a blessed thing to know that God already knows (and has orchestrated) how it will all play out. My life is not up in the air. My life is for Him. Because I don’t deserve it, I wear waterproof mascara to church.

Life on the Ranch

I have thought many times of blogging about my life at the Ranch. Of the funny things and teachable things. I will not pretend that my perfectionism hasn’t gotten the best of me in this. I haven’t wanted to post unless I’ve had the time to do it thoroughly.

I’ve now come to the realization that that won’t be happening for me any time soon. And I’m okay with that. I’m okay with the fact that I have two days off each week that I mainly want to fill with sleep. I’m okay with the fact that my mind rarely stops thinking. I’m more than okay with these things – I’m happy about them. They are because God has entrusted my husband and I to parent 7 wonderful boys. We are in charge of their well-being and day to day growth.

So, when someone gets sick, I go to the store and pray that the medicine I pick for them will help. When someone’s pet frog dies, I comfort him when he can’t sleep at 5 am. When someone misses his mom, I rub his back until he falls asleep.

These are the things I was created to do. Yes, God is growing me into a great and godly mom. I know that I will be more prepared to parent my biological children from lessons I’m learning on the Ranch. But, even more than that, God is using things He instilled in me at birth.

I have an inherent nature to mother. My schoolmates picked up on this and called me the “mom of ’08.” I was not in the least ashamed. I was never embarrassed when I corrected their cursing, straightened their collar, or walked them through hard times. Those moments were blessings – I knew they knew someone cared.

I love being the someone who cares. The harder part of parenting is caring enough to teach them lessons they don’t want to learn. It’s in those moments that you know you’re truly parenting. I’m thankful for those moments.

For those of you who don’t know about the Ranch – you’re missing out. It’s an organization dedicated to showing the love of Christ to children from crisis families by providing loving homes and individualized education.

Corey and I are continually reflective on how blessed we are to be at the Ranch. Moving a few states away was scary, but now I can’t imagined life anywhere else. Anywhere else would be empty – devoid of eternal meaning. God has us here and we are thankful for His mercy. We pray constantly for His guidance and appreciate your prayers too.

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Wears Valley Ranch

Corey and I have been married for four glorious years. We have seen a lot, been through a lot, and have grown a lot. We spent our fourth anniversary in Wears Valley, TN. There, we were able to intimately visit an organization that is doing AMAZING work for our Lord. This organization is a children’s home (named Wears Valley Ranch) that has four homes that children who don’t have proper homes with their guardians can live in and be a part of. Corey and I will be moving to this wonderful place in January. We will be houseparents for eight boys.

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My and Corey’s desire to be houseparents is deeply planted. We learned of children’s homes’ existence from a speaker at an American Association of Christian Counselor’s meeting at the Baptist College of Florida when we were Sophomores. We both thought that being houseparents would be an amazing way to live a part of our lives. We looked up many many homes (and, me being such a nerd, made a spreadsheet of their features). We planned to move to the mountains (where we’ve always wanted to live) and be houseparents when we graduated.

When graduation rolled around, though, we were content to stay where we were. I was offered a position at the school I graduated from, Corey was working wonders with his studio and teaching 46 music students either drums/guitar/piano/voice, and I couldn’t have imagined leaving my small group girls. In fact, we’re still quite satisfied with all these things. But, God has other plans for us. The desire to be houseparents that He orchestrated in our hearts years ago has become reality.

Corey got connected with a children’s home in Tennessee through a mutual friend. We didn’t speak with them for a few months, but finally were able to. The Spirit of God poured from our contact’s voice and we were hooked – for a while. Spiritual warfare is a real thing and began in this situation even before we put in out applications. Corey and I had been praying about the opportunity, but didn’t feel led to fill out the application. So we put the opportunity on the back burner and, ultimately, decided that we would call and tell them that we weren’t interested. God overcame all of that and didn’t let us give up. Before we were able to contact them, we were contacted by them and immediately felt led to submit our applications. Things moved swiftly from there. We scheduled our visit for this past weekend.

When we got to the ranch, we were able to go to a prayer meeting that involved many from the ranch family. There was a song and scripture. Then prayer time. The honesty of everyone who prayed was SO refreshing. To know that these people gathered not because they had to, or because they wanted to see a cool show, but because they wanted to experience God together and seek His Face as a community was amazing. We knew that this place was unlike anything we’d ever seen.

The visit to the ranch was amazing. We liked everyone that we met, and they seemed to like us too. To know that we’d be able to love some children the way that they need to be loved, showing them the true healing power of Christ’s love was amazing to us.

Our contact called us this week and let us know that they wanted us to serve with them. Oh, how excited we became. Corey and I both feel so honored to be given this opportunity. Of course, we are going to miss so much when we move. I will miss my girls insanely, and I know that I will pray for them even more often than I do now. I pray that a great small group leader will be incorporated into that group, who will be able to offer those wonderful ladies the truth and love that they need. I will miss my job. It has been so much fun to work with all the faculty and students. I will miss the many friends that I have made over the last few months. I will also miss my family in Graceville. It has been great to be close to all of them, thankfully, distance won’t change that. I know that Corey will miss the relationships that he has built with fellow writers and with some of his students. We will also miss our sweet little dog, Molly. She’ll have to have a different home while we’re houseparents.

Now for the things we are so excited about. I know that my list will naturally be somewhat the same and a little different than Corey’s, but here goes. I am excited to give God my life, my plans, and to follow Him in my life everyday. I am excited about hearing teaching from Pastor Wood frequently. I am excited about having eight boys to love and lead and comfort and just parent, in general. I am excited about family meals and family trips. I am excited about horses and living in the mountains. I am excited about living in an area that has every imaginable store or restaurant. I am excited about spending lots of time every day with my husband.

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Now, I do understand that there will be many struggles and trials. We will be working with students who have lived tough lives. We expect a LOT of spiritual warfare. But, we know that the Creator and Sustainer of the universe wants us at Wears Valley Ranch to pour His love into His children. And we know that He will sustain us. We are excited to work for Him and have Him work in us.

Short Update

So, it has been just over three months since I’ve last blogged. Life has been so busy, but God is doing wonderful things in both mine and Corey’s lives. We have gotten involved with a new small group of married couples, have settled in to a new (if taxing) work schedule, and are having a great time growing in our relationships with God.

Some of our dear friends had a baby girl this past weekend:

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Isn’t she PRECIOUS!

 

We enjoyed our Thanksgiving Holiday with that couple (only a day-and-a-half before their baby came!) and with my parents and sister and her boyfriend 😉  Here’s us with our little doggie.  Our big doggie stayed at home 😦

 

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I’ve also started couponing!  Not crazy like, but a little.  It’s fun to get the deals!  My sweet friend Shanna encouraged me to start by telling me about some of the awesome deals that she gets.  The only struggle that I have with it is finding a paper that has the inserts!

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Let’s see… other things, yes.  Lots.  Mainly that God is using in great ways – in each others lives, in our families lives, and in the lives of our friends and neighbors.  He is showing us new and exciting things constantly, and our prayer is to be able to see Him clearly in our daily lives and to always have the courage to follow His direction 🙂

Love you all!

AACC

What What! Guess what time it is!! Yes, you are correct, it is time for the semi-annual World Conference for the American Association of Christian Counselors (AACC).  Basically, the best of the best get together, worship the Creator and Savior of the universe, and learn much needed techniques for helping others live healthy, happy, productive, and Christ-centered lives. 

This conference is only TWO weeks away and I’m super pumped.  To fill you in on why, here are the seven “tracks” (aka 1 hour and 15 minutes of the latest and greatest information available to counselors!) I will be taking:

(1) Counseling and Serving Today’s Adolescent: Six New Realities that Impact Our Work with Kids   -by Chap and Dee Clark

(2) Lust & Fantasies: Taking Every Thought Captive   -by Mark Laaser

(3) Exploring the Hidden Power of Shame   -by Richard Winter

(4) An Honest Conversation About Doubt, Hypocrisy, and Belief   -by Johnnie Moore

(5) Therapy with Remarried Couples and Stepfamilies: Helping without Hurting   -by Ron Deal

(6) Stabilizing Marriage in the First 90 Days After Disclosure of Adultery   -by David Carder

(7) Nutrition Coaching: Proven Methods to Help Clients Achieve their Goals   -by Judi Quilici-Timmcke

I know you’re amazed at the above greatness, and that doesn’t even cover the plenary speakers (who include: Lee Strobel, Mike Huckabee, Henry Cloud, John Townsend, Diane Langberg, Michael Lyles, Gary Smalley, John Ortberg, Larry Crabb, and tons of others!), or the tracks I’m wanting to get on CD.  Oh, and all the BOOTHS!  And FREE STUFF!  And discounted (and sometimes signed) BOOKS!

Can you feel the excitement!  Either you can, or you’re thinking that I’m a huge dork, right about now – and I’m okay with either one!

Even better than that, I get to ride and room with some GREAT friends! 

The only downside is that my WONDERFUL husband is not going with me.  But, that’s okay.  I’ll take this picture from when we were at the 2009 AACC conference with me to keep me company!

Organize/Clean me!!!

Oh how I desire to be organized.  Is it just me or do you guys notice that when things aren’t organized, they quickly become stressful.

I wish I could find a chart for everything in life so I could get everything organized.  Deep down I kind of feel like that is a fallacy.  I know I’d still have to take the time to update things.  I don’t think that’s as bad as I feel now though.  Now, I feel like there’s always something I’m forgetting.  And I hate forgetting things.

I do have a binder that I keep things in, but I need to get it more functional.  And find a chart to chart time on to update everything. 

Now, please don’t laugh at my organizing desires.  Maybe it’s an addiction, but I’ve always been this way.  I firmly believe, however, that when one is organized, they have more time for enjoying life.  That’s my problem now.  I enjoy life too much to take the time to get organized.

This will end soon.  (And then come again and me go through this again – ughh!  The never end cycle of disintegration!)  I have decided that when I go home tonight… I am cleaning!  I have made a list of everything that needs to be done (which is pretty much everything) and I am going to go home tonight, turn on some radio (NO TV!  Don’t even get me started on the distracting powers of the tv!) and CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN!  Notice – no commas!  There will be no pausing in this cleaning venture.  Pausing leads to tatting which leads to more tatting which leads to even more tatting.   Tatting (and crocheting… okay, and tv) until bedtime is what has let the house need this much cleaning.

So please, come by my house this weekend.  Marvel in the cleanness that it will have. 

Then, when I get the organizing urge (because I don’t have the fantasy that this cleaning urge will last until I’m clean enough to organize), come marvel at how organized my house is.  I will have closets that I will not be embarrassed to open!  Yay!

On another note:  I am declaring my decision to clean tonight (and not organize!). 

“What?” you say?  “How can one get things cleaned without them first being organized?”  I KNOW!  But… this has always been my problem.  When I was told to clean my room as a kid, I would spend all day organizing my dresser drawers.  This is usually my cleaning downfall.  Other than the unmentionables listed above.  I refuse to let my organizing addiction come before my cleaning urge.  At least tonight. 

 As an extra incentive for me… I will post pictures of a clean house tomorrow.  This will encourage (force) me to clean tonight.  Because I am so “responsible” that I cannot not do what I say.  How sad is that.  Very sad.  I’m working on it.

One last thing.  Don’t hate.  Because my house will be clean tonight and yours won’t.  And if yours will, don’t tell me.  Let me bask in the glory of my clean house and think that I’ve done a marvelous thing by cleaning it.