"My purpose in organizing my household is not to live up to some external value system but to make life easier and more peaceful for the whole family. I have learned that I can reduce the anxiety we feel by reducing the stressors, at the same time knowing that they will never totally go away - because, after all, stress is a part of life. Learning to live with the tension of never getting all of our work done and still being content is a worthwhile attitudinal goal as we serve our children. The three primary and constant sources of stress in my home life have always been "stuff," information, and time." -The Mission of Motherhood
As a mother, finding balance is crucial to healthy, sane living. God does not call the home to be perfect, but peaceful. While there will probably never come a day that is completely free from stress or have-to's, we can find ways to better live in the tension of work and rest, striving and contentment. Once, a friend of mine said that when dust was on top of every table top and her home looked messy, she dimmed the lights and lit candles and it made it all sparkly and acceptable. Maybe that is why I like candles--they give grace and beauty all at once.
Some of the elements that helped keep our home peaceful were: -Clear, communicated expectations -Designated quiet time -Lists/chore charts -Goals -Making tasks enjoyable (listening to music while cleaning, lighting candles or baking afterward as a reward)
Remember that God is a god of order, and also a god of peace. He should set the standards for our home, not our own worries and anxieties. Life is all about balance, and no matter how hard we try, we simply cannot do everything in every day. When it comes to "stuff", organize one thing at a time. Look at the task at hand, not the long-term, 1-year plan of organization. With information, the same rules apply: take in one moment at a time, not overwhelming your mind with 100 details all at once. Find peace in the chaos today by resting in God's grace, and knowing that even with the best of intentions, our anxious attitudes will not serve our children.
Take a moment today to complete the reflection and application below with scripture and questions to ponder.
"When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul." -Psalm 94:19
"My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places." -Isaiah 32:18
"For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you." -Isaiah 41:13
-What are the three primary and constant sources of stress in your home life? -How can you better manage your time and energy this week to refocus your priorities and eliminate stress? -Who is setting the standards for your home? (Pinterest? Better Homes Magazine? Comparing your home to a friend's?) Remember that God never called us to perfection.