Monday, February 4, 2008

Making Your Home a Haven Challenge

It's Monday, so that means it's once again Crytstal's Making Your Home a Haven day. Today is especially for beginners too. I'm certainly feeling like a beginner today.

1) Refresh Your Spirit
Take five minutes, brew a cup of tea or coffee, and sit down and be still before the Lord. Pray, read a Psalm, thank the Lord for His goodness and blessing in your life.

Having a home that is a haven starts with an inner peace in our own hearts, a quiet resting in the Lord. You can have a beautifully decorated home with everything neat and orderly, but if you are frazzled and frustrated, your home will not be a peaceful place. After all, the saying is so true, "If momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."

Done. This really helped today - it's been a stressful week with the houseguests and some additional issues with them I don't feel comfortable blogging about. Some hot chocolate and reading 1 Peter helped calm me.  If anyone is reading this, I could really use some prayers that they will finish soon and, most importantly, that they can all go home once they do.  

2) Take Time To Plan
Today's planning project is centered on a morning routine. Write down five things you want to do in the same order every morning. Keep it simple and only stick to five things. If five things seem overwhelming, start with three. Starting somewhere is better than not starting at all!

My morning routine was done before leaving for work, except for the bathroom. And once again, it's due to the remodeling work/houseguests - the master bath is still ripped out, and so there is nothing to clean. The guest bath is full of the guys' stuff and I'm near to deciding to quit trying to clean it until they leave. Finally, our downstairs half bath is also ripped out, and so once again there is nothing to clean. That's the positive way of looking at it anyway. ;) I *think* the half bath should be back tomorrow so I can clean it. It'll have a brand new toilet sink and mirror so that should be easier to keep clean than it was.

To review, my morning routine:
  • Dressed & ready for the day
  • Tidy a bathroom
  • Pray
  • Go over memory verse
  • 5 minute room rescue
  • Empty the dishwasher
  • Eat breakfast & take pills
  • Read daily devotionals
  • Read Bible passage(s)
I've been surprised in a way to see how routine my morning routine has become - I don't even have to look at the list anymore because I just go about what I've trained myself to do and it all gets done or else I very clearly notice that I'm missing something (typically the bathroom or room rescue is what gets cut). Following a routine like this is not something that comes naturally to me, and I think in a way it helps that it's morning and I don't even think about it being an option or not; it's just what I do to get out the door. I'm much better about my morning routine than my afternoon/evening routines; those seem to easily get ignored or shifted when things come up.

3) Do Something!
For those of you who have been following along with this series a bit longer: Today I encourage you to focus on cleaning your bathrooms. We'll be using baking soda and Basic H to scrub them from top to bottom. We'll also be washing the rugs, changing the towels, refilling the hand soap dispensers, and making sure there is plenty of toilet paper and other supplies.

Ok, ok, I can take a hint. I'll work on my guest bath & move their stuff in order to clean it well. In addition to that, I'll continue to follow my afternoon and evening routines. My afternoon routine is slightly different depending on the day of the week. Maybe that makes it harder for me to follow it so diligently like my morning routine? I'll have to think about this.

My routines seem especially out-of-kilter with the houseguests. I know, it seems like I'm blaming them for everything and I don't mean to, but they are changing things quite a bit compared to how I usually work. I'm having to go to the grocery store more often (multiple times a week) because I can't fit enough in the fridge to carry over. I usually shop only once a week and I NEVER make quick runs to the store to pick up something for dinner; I'll refigure what we have if I'm out. Because I'm having to cook so much more and I'm trying to make sure that I don't look stressed about it (otherwise L will just say to get takeout/pizza/etc and I know what that will do to our budget) it is changing how I usually shop and cook.  I had to go to the store again today to get some bread to go along with dinner. I don't have a reliable quick-bread recipe to fix to go along with the spaghetti, and if I don't serve bread with it they'll eat it all and then I'll be out of luck for lunch tomorrow and would have to scramble to figure something out for that.

And then just when I think I've got it planned and organized, something else comes up. When I got home today, wanting to get the baked spaghetti started etc., they've got the water shut off as they do some plumbing work. It's awfully hard to cook pasta with no water. And if they don't get the water back on reasonably soon then we may end up having pizza for dinner because it's getting later and later and we're running out of time for me to cook much of anything.

So anyway, I'm not feeling like my home is very haven-like.  I don't want to clean the bathrooms since I don't have any water and wouldn't be able to wash my hands after finishing.  I can't start dinner without water (again, no hand-washing is a problem even beyond the no water for boiling pasta).  I've tried to do some Bible study/coursework but the noise they're making is keeping me from concentrating (as is another pressing need that means I'm REALLY hoping they get the water back on soon if you know what I mean).  

I'm a little discouraged today.  My house is a disaster area and I don't feel like I can do anything about it until they finish their project.  And even once they do, we may have a very long-term houseguest as the one guy may not be able to return home for a few months.  I'm praying about it but I am struggling.


Southerner said...

We are in the middle of remodeling so I know how it is. Give yourself more slack, this is not the time to beat yourself up when the house isn't perfect. I know I can't clean, cook, work on projects and live life- you have to do a little of this at this time and work on another area later. When you are overwhelmed step back and breathe and pray. I am lifting up prayers for you and just want to encourage you.

Renee said...

Thanks for your comment, and especially thank you for your prayers! I do appreciate them.

Di said...

Hi Renee - once again, I know how you feel - we have started working on our house now, currently one room has no floor and the room below has no ceiling, a chimney breast in the kitchen is coming down on Friday (when I am at home all day!). Dust and tools are everywhere, and we are looking at having to move out entirely of one side of the house so that work can continue. We had water coming through the ceiling a week ago...

But I have just said 'I don't care'. It is not worth the stress worrying about keeping it clean, and orderly because as soon as I do, hubby comes home and makes more mess. As long as my mother-in-law doesn't come round any time soon, I'll be alright!

But your houseguest who may be a long term one - is there anyway that you can share the hosting burden with another household? I will pray for your peace in this area.

Let us know how things go!

Renee said...

Thanks Di -

If the houseguest does end up staying for as long as he might, we will definitely have to see if he can stay with some other relatives as well. Unfortunately no one is that close, and he wouldn't be able to drive himself, so that would also involve us ferrying him somewhere. But it would probably be worth it.