I was blessed to be able to attend the Ladies' Retreat our congregation had this past weekend. As you can see from this picture, I also got to speak on one of the sessions (I am such a hand talker!). It was all so good, from the fellowship with my Christian sisters to the food to the laughter to the reminders we all needed about how to better love each other and others. Except for the lack of sleep, it was just what I needed.
Saturday night, we played some "minute to win it" type games. Each team had to find the best person to send for every new activity. Who had the longest thumb? Who could do the best cartwheel? Not me! Who could blow the biggest bubble? Who could find a scripture the fastest? Who could balance a book on her head the longest? My team didn't win, but we had a great time trying each new challenge. As I've thought about it more since coming home, I think there was another lesson we could have emphasized, too. Every team had someone who was the best at that particular task. Not everyone could do a cartwheel or stand on one foot or throw a paper airplane, but there was usually someone who could. And if you think about it, isn't that the way we work as a church family, too? Not everyone can give a Bible lesson (I'm just now growing into it) or lead a song or say a prayer or prepare food for 25 women or organize a whole weekend of activities or ... well, you get the idea. But there's always someone who can. When Paul tells us to use our talents, it doesn't mean they have to be like everyone else's, but it does mean we have some. So, dig down and figure out what you're good at. Can you send a card of encouragement? Can you listen? Can you organize? Can you pray? Think and pray about it and then let God use you. It takes the whole team to be able to win.
Growing up, I remember (possibly wrong) having to do chores EVERY Saturday. Mom would hand us a dust rag or point out things to pick up or spray the windows and have us wipe them shiny. There was always something to clean. I like to blame that tradition on why I hate cleaning house now. It's probably not true, but it's easy.
I'm not a complete slob. I reach my breaking point just like everyone else. It used to really stress me out that I would let things get really dirty before cleaning them. The few years that my husband and I were both working at the same time, those were the worst. I always dreamed of the day when I would be able to quit working outside the home, stay home with babies, and keep house.
You know those moments when you realize your dreams were just that? A dream? Oh, don't get me wrong. I stay home with our children and keep house now. But I don't clean like I probably ought to. There are always so many other things that sound more fun: taking the kids to story time, reading, taking a nap, even grocery shopping. But I've also figured some things out.
If my kitchen is piled with dirty dishes, I get so stressed about it that I can't even handle taking care of the mess to de-stress myself. It drives me crazy when dust bunnies follow me down the hallway. Those moments have caused me to realize that I have certain things that have to stay cleaner than others for me to be able to function. Especially during this super busy time of year. So, I'm learning to stay on top of the dishes, and keep the sink mostly empty every night. I even sleep better with it that way. I sweep at least once a week to get up the crumbs and dust bunnies and pieces of grass and old stickers (What? Your kids don't leave them EVERYWHERE?). And before we have company or friends over, I clean the bathrooms and run a cloth over surfaces to get rid of dust. It works for me, and I find I can do so many other things with a more joyful attitude when I do.
So, the moral of the story is, I have to keep my kitchen sink clean to be able to write. I'm working on making it a habit now so that next month when I'm trying to hammer out 65,000 words, it will happen automatically.
What about you? Are there breaking points around your house that keep you from being productive in other areas? I'd love any tips you have for staying on top of things!
This is a place for me to share thoughts and ideas not just related to writing. Thoughts about what's going on in my life, about an idea I got that I thought shareworthy, or just a funny anecdote.