Good Days vs. Bad

So, we have been busy lately.  That’s just a given with Christmas fast approaching, a fairly last-minute move, two toddlers and a husband working three jobs.  Some days are great and some days…well, some days I am sitting at my sewing machine, crying and eating dark chocolate chips straight from the bag.  What makes the difference, though?  Lately, I have been pondering that question a lot, and trying to figure out what are the key ingredients to a good day.  Because, honestly, on the surface, the components of good days and bad days look the same to me.  And since I have a whole life to live, I might as well figure out how to live it successfully, right?

Here’s the thing.  Both kinds of days are busy.  The good days may even be busier than the bad.  Both days include toddler-dom (the only way I know to describe the random expression of excess energy that is produced by a less than mentally mature individual).  And chores.  And sometimes headaches.  So after a lot of thought and prayer, here are a few things that seem to determine what makes a good day for me.

1.  Bible time.  Sometimes I have a good day without a good Bible time, but I NEVER have a bad day that began in the Word.  Simple, but true.  In fact, it really amazes me how that works.  Typically, on a bad day, I got to bed late the night before and felt justified in sleeping in, only to wake up to the mental chaos of trying to run a household without first ordering my heart and mind.

2. Outlook.  The same pile of chores can look so different with a good attitude, you know?  There is no magic button that fixes my attitude, however, so this is a choice I need to make for myself, consciously and daily.

3. Plan.  When I have a bad attitude, I often fail to plan well because I feel like, “It’s not going to get done/work out anyway”.  Or, I get so focused on the chores that I only partially plan.  For instance, I know exactly how and when I will accomplish the cooking 3 meals, doing dishes, catching up on laundry, grocery shopping and wrapping Christmas presents, but I forget to factor in the toddlers.  I have no idea what I expect them to be doing while I’m busy being super-woman.  When I have a mental list of activities I can direct them toward, my own chores go so much more smoothly, and I quit freaking out because William is playing in the toilet and Lil J is sticking his toy into the light socket.

4.  Flexibility.  Because it’s life.  And stuff happens.  And sometimes that means that in spite of vacuuming three times already, my husband just tracked mud through the house and now the carpet looks gross, and I have to roll with it.

5.  Priorities.  I like perfection.  I like all the toys neatly arranged in their bins, all the books sorted by type, all the dishes clean at once and my children sitting next to me on the couch entertaining themselves while I enjoy a cup of freshly made coffee.  But reality is, toys are for playing, books are for reading, dishes are for using and children are for learning, and none of that happens when everything is kept in a state of constant perfection.  Full bellies, learning minds and happy hearts need to take priority over my OCD tendencies.  When I manage to remember that, we have an amazingly good day!

So, those are a few of the things that come to mind when I compare the good and the bad in my life.

And now, my William is telling me he is tired and needs his Mama to quit typing and focus on him, so…. here I go!

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Epiphany

Realization for the day:

It doesn’t matter how clean my house is, how organized my new cupboards.

It doesn’t matter how many jars of food I put up, or how much money I save my family through thrifty grocery and clothes shopping.

It doesn’t matter how many homemade Christmas presents I make.

It doesn’t matter if dinner is on time.  Or burnt.  Or even non-existent.

It doesn’t matter if I get an extra hour of sleep because I feel like I need it.

If I don’t spend time with God, if I don’t love Him, and live for Him, and make the time to read His Words and obey them, NOTHING ELSE REALLY MATTERS.  I struggle with the old “Martha” syndrom, ignoring that which is needful in place of that which seems (or is) urgent.  I obsess over getting and keeping things organized, accomplishing all my self-allotted homemaking tasks, and keeping up with the laundry and all of it is in vain because my heart and mind are a million miles away from the God who saved me, the God who loves me and who holds the reins of my life in His loving hands.

Christmas Season

It has been a busy few weeks. It is going to be an even busier few weeks ahead of us.  My husband is working two jobs, currently, and we are moving into a larger house this weekend.  The house is directly behind of us, so it seems like an easy move, but everyone is warning us otherwise.  We’ll see.  As a consequence of the coming move, I have been organizing/de-junking like a maniac (because when it comes to clutter, I really AM), and Jordan has been finishing some home-improvement projects on our current home, in preparation for renting it.  The mess is driving me CRAZY.  But anyway…

In between all of this, I have been working on homemade Christmas gifts for the last two months, and am trying to wrap those up before the move.  Christmas, to me, is such an exciting time of year, more because of the anticipation and preparation than anything else!  I enjoy having an extremely small gift fund, because it requires bargain hunting, creativity and homemade goodness.  However, such pleasures make messes, and I am pretty much ready to be moved in to a new house, with all projects finished and a beautiful Christmas tree to stare at while I sip hot chocolate and make Christmas cookies (not that our busyness has infringed on my usual burst of Holiday Season baking – it has not.  It has only made the baking a little more rushed and a little less relaxing.)

I am suspecting that Christmas with a two year old is going to be more fun than any other Christmas of my life, so far.  We shall see.  And I also suspect I will enjoy the greater space of a new house.  Again, we shall see.  Until the New Year, tho, this is probably the last update.  Merry Christmas!!!!