The last two weeks have been filled with both the exciting and the mundane. While exciting is wonderful, I really enjoy boring days, too. Those tend to be some of our most productive.
Welcome to the latest edition of Five Things Thankful. Because good news is good for all of us…
1. Rediscovering FlyLady.
Way back in 2009, I discovered FlyLady. Marla Cilley, aka FlyLady, calls herself “your personal online coach to help you gain control of your house and home.” She believes firmly in the need for families to declutter their homes because many of us have way too much stuff.
She also advocates that women are too hard on themselves in the areas of housekeeping and home maintenance. Instead of feeling bad or inadequate, we should start where we are and make changes a little at a time. When I started following FlyLady seven years ago, I managed to get rid of several carloads of stuff. I am happy to say that aside from one or two very insignificant items, none of it has been missed.
FlyLady also inspired me to create a manageable cleaning schedule, finally tame the laundry beast that often overran our lives, and keep up with the dishes. Thanks to her help, our sink has looked this shiny just about every night for many, many years.
Every so often, though, I feel confident enough to go my own way. The house looks good, I get busy, and I put less effort into keeping home according to a routine. And then I lose touch with FlyLady. For several months, things go well. Then stuff accumulates. Dirt piles up. I struggle to find the floor in our storage room.
Last week, I turned back to FlyLady. The storage room is now clean. My bedroom is decluttered. I am about halfway through a six-month stack of paperwork filing/shredding and I finally mailed off a package to Arizona that I have been too lazy to deal with for about five months. Life is good.
2. The girls are discovering new ways to serve others.
Our family feels strongly about serving others. Todd and I seek opportunities for our kids to help out and pitch in whenever possible. Around the house, that is pretty easy. Outside our home, things can get a bit more challenging.
Two weekends ago, both girls were able to help out at a men’s breakfast our church hosted. The youth group did everything food related. They cooked, served, and cleaned up. Abbie has served with other members of our church youth group many times before. This was Natalie’s first opportunity. They had fun and did a good job. Abbie even found out she can crack eggs faster than our Director of Youth Ministry.
Abbie also found out recently that she has the privilege of serving students younger than herself at the dance studio we attend. She is excited to assist in the education of the younger dancers while also learning more about the behind-the-scenes process of dance instruction. It is an excellent opportunity and I am proud of her for taking the initiative to try something new.
3. Teaching Sunday School.
I have taught Sunday School off and on for a little over twenty years. For a long time, I really enjoyed it. And then I started to suffer from burnout. The timing was perfect four years ago when I became the Sunday School superintendent at our church because it pretty much necessitated my removal from the classroom.
This weekend I had an impromptu opportunity to teach sixth grade at our church. I was able to cover the lesson on Samson–one of my favorites. I really enjoyed interacting with the students in that class. We had excellent conversations.
Even though I am removing myself from a leadership role in our church’s Sunday School program at the end of this academic year, I still believe wholeheartedly in the purpose and mission of our children’s ministry. And who knows, maybe someday I will find myself in the Sunday School classrooms of our church once again.
4. Another child’s birthday.
This week marks the last of our children’s fall birthdays. It has been a busy six weeks. Once the last “friend” party is over, we will have hosted four parties in barely more than a month’s time. That is in addition to our little family cake and gift parties that take place on all of the actual birthdays.
While I can say in all honesty I am grateful the birthday season is just about over, I am a little sad, too. My children’s milestones remind me that the time they have at home with us is limited.
Just twelve years ago, this young woman surprised us by making an early arrival into the world. That night was filled with not only her birth, but the death of my grandfather. It was definitely one of those happy-sad moments in life. I think that of all my children, Natalie would have enjoyed my grandfather the most. I wish she could have met and interacted with him. He was an extremely creative, stubborn, and unique individual. She is too.
5. Figuring out the basement.
Our house has a sag in it. A disconcerting sag between our kitchen and dining room. With a great big load bearing wall right above it. Todd and I have discussed the sag for a few weeks now, knowing we were going to have to unearth the problem and address it.
Sometimes the unknown can be worse than the truth. We were both a little afraid that Todd would tear out our basement ceiling, only to discover an extensive (and expensive) solution was our only hope. While we found a few surprises when the ceiling came down, we were happy to discover that the solution is not frightening.
We installed a new post in the basement. Another one or two more may follow. By Christmas, our floor sag should be gone. And Todd, being the individual he is, drew up plans for an entire basement remodel. Better space configuration. Smart storage solutions. Better aesthetics. And a very reasonable price tag.
I am thankful for all the gifts and good things that have come our way. Our family spent time together enjoying our blessings, having fun, and living life.