... and let it begin with me. I’m trying to start by creating peace within my home. But honestly I’m freaking out that all I see when I’m there is a big mess. Since we cleared out the storage room to make space for the bed, we now have that junk in the living room, creating a rather dangerous obstacle course. There are leftover cardboard boxes propped up by the fireplace, from when we needed an assortment to ship the Christmas gifts up north. We still have wrapping paper and bows out because there’s one last present to wrap yet. The laundry is in various stages of being done- there’s a load in the washing machine (wet), one in the dryer, and at least three that are getting wrinkled sitting in a pile on our bed. I just can’t relax when there’s crapola all over the place. And the house in general is in need of a serious cleaning.
This class on the Breaking Free series I’m taking is helping me realize that I do have a lot of strongholds, things that take me captive and prevent me from living the Spirit-filled life God has planned. My neurotic obsession with having everything neat and orderly is just one of them that appears to rear its ugly head nearly every day. I either need a maid or better time management skills. I feel like I get buried under the weight of trying to keep the house in order, and I never really get caught up.
It makes me anxious and frustrated, ultimately taking my focus off of God and putting it on my house. I sometimes just reel from the thought of there being so much freakin’ stuff to do every day. And I’ll work hard to get all my tasks accomplished, but at the end of the day there’s always things I forgot or didn’t have time to do. So I obsess about what didn’t get done instead of what did and drive myself crazy, which is completely counterproductive. I know a big part of this comes from my mother who, when I was growing up, was always freaking out about the house being neat & clean. She also tends to focus on the negative, instead of the positive.
Having a clean house just isn’t a big priority to my husband, unfortunately. Gregg will come home from work and turn on the t.v. or get on his laptop (which he’s already been on all day); meanwhile I’m making dinner and moving 50 loads of laundry around, and I just want to scream “Stop relaxing! We have stuff to do here!!” As this Christmas approaches, the peace of Christ does not reign in my heart.
Anticipating the arrival of my in-laws next week only increases my agita. While I am looking forward to it on one hand, I am stressing on the other. It’s a big deal for me to host my first Christmas, per say, in my first home. I have grand visions of the tree being all lit up with colorful presents underneath and a fire going in the fireplace while something yummy bakes in the oven and carols play softly in the background, all in a non-cluttered, dirt-free house. But I know I may have to settle for less than the Norman Rockwell painting, and I’m praying I can be okay with that.
I really want to put away my neurotic tendencies and focus on having a wonderful and memorable Christmas. None of the treasured memories I included in my past two T13’s are special because they happened in the perfect setting in a spotless house. They are looked back on fondly because they’re about spending time with loved ones and celebrating the birth of our Savior.