I've gone through a flurry of tidying and organizing at our house. It stems from a few different things. First, I'm beginning to think about the next year of homeschooling, this time with two, and I wanted to get a little more organized and deliberate about what I have in the house. We've hired someone to clean our house, and after looking at all the clutter they have to clean around, I was a little motivated to shed some of the extra stuff.
I was talking to a friend about it, though, and realized there was another motivation underlying all this. We've spent the last three years of our family life getting our kids home. A lot of money, time, and space on my thought plate went into that, but I think we're done. (Don't pay attention to that virtual asterisk) So I'm ready to make some space in my life to think about our family as a complete unit--what does that look like? Where are we going now? I have so, so not figured that out yet, but I want it to involve less junk in our house, so that seemed like a good place to start.
Because our house is cluttered, and disordered, and really, my whole life feels like a four-ring circus right now. I'm not a ring master. I'm an analytical chemist! I like order, structure, perfect endpoints in my titrations, and using volumetric glassware to make solutions. In my dreams, my household runs like a well-tuned instrument (analytical, not musical). I hold out hope that order will make it easier to
parent my children...that I will be a better parent if I
can just get my house is in order.
As I was coming to this realization, a friend posted this link on her Facebook page, and one line spoke to the very heart of the problem with my pursuit of an ordered household:
"I've said it before and I'll keep saying it again and again and again -
your "success" as a foster or adoptive parent is not measured by your
capacity to keep everything in order; it's determined by your ability to
trust that even in the chaos Jesus is beautiful - and even in the mess,
so is what you are doing for these kids."
The ringmaster needs a plan if the circus is gonna run at all--but that can't be my end goal. And it's certainly not how God measures success. I wish changing my environment would fix all my parenting problems. It's so much harder to accept that I will become a better parent by worrying less about the order in my house and more about the order of my heart.