Friday, January 30, 2009

Living with Discipline

This word, discipline, has been on my heart quite a bit the past week. We arrived home, unloaded our car ~ and I felt completely overwhelmed at what lie ahead for me in terms of getting our home in order again.

As I sat on the couch that first night in tears, my "aunt" Julie was here with me having traveled all those miles from CO to SC to help me with my littles, she was such an encouragement and help to me to think through some of what I was struggling with.

I explained to her that what I was feeling was not new - but that I'd been struggling with feeling like I could not keep up even before we went on our trip. Then, it just was sort of forgotten while we were away, but hit me in the face when we got home.

She gently pointed out that she knows I have lots of ideas, enjoy doing creative things for my family and crafting ~ but that maybe I had been undisciplined in doing too many of those things and not putting my home ahead of all of that.

She was exactly right. Why else would I have time to complete a craft project yet have to stay up until 11:30 or 12 just to begin the ironing?! I admit this to you for not only being honest, but I am afraid that I have given some of you the idea that you can easily complete all of your chores and still have hours a day to craft or whatever. I want to be open about this for multiple reasons and I am hoping we can encourage each other to put God, our husbands, our families and our homes first.

The challenge she gave me was to commit to two weeks (or whatever I chose) to do no crafting until the littles were in bed and focus my entire days on getting our home in order again. And, I am doing this. I think it may take longer than two weeks! Every cabinet, drawer, closet or space I go to put something away - I see that each space needs reorganized and cleaned out, purged, straightened as well. So, the work begins. I have finished half of my kitchen, one drawer, one cabinet, and a few other small areas. But, it is a start.

That word "disciplined" though has really been filling my thoughts. How many other areas am I undisciplined in? Have I been faithful in my quiet time each day? How about in finances or taking care of myself in exercise or the way I eat? Am I truly living my life in moderation or more like extremes?

When I sent out my Christmas letter this year, I thought that my word(s) for this year were "pursuing righteousness" and that could certainly still apply. However, like last year where I focused on "clean heart" this year it will be "living with discipline".

I don't know if there will be one more post on this topic or ten more - but I will share what I am learning along the way as it comes.

Meanwhile, how are you doing at living with discipline?

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. I always reorganize in June at the end of our homeschool year. It gives our family a break to clean together that month. Here in the south we would rather avoid the 100 degree weather.

I have always been amazed at how you managed everything seemingly so easily. I give myself about an hour in the afternoons for sewing when it works in the schedule (maybe two or three days a week). This works pretty well for us.

I do not do morning quiet time, because mornings are too rushed, and I cannot afford to hurry through that time. I have been consist with evening quiet time. Unfortunately, I must admit to being a Martha and not enough like Mary! I do pray while cleaning a lot though!

Blessings,
Lisa

Jeremiah and Stephenie said...

Monica,
I am one of those who thought you were doing it all. I appreciate your honesty. I found an excellent resource at www.titus2.com (Managers of Their Home) that has really helped me to achieve more discipline in our home. It was also what helped me to realize that I do not have much, if any, "free time" in my day to do some of the things I would like to do. That's okay. This is what God has called me to and until my situation changes (i.e., my children are older, etc.) this is my main focus.
In Christ,
Stephenie

Andrea said...

Monica,

I really needed this post. I love all of the crafts you do and wish I had time to do them. But I really lean more toward creativity with music. I can spend hours working on a song, writing the music, but I can't seem to get the laundry put away or the kitchen clean. Usually I would chuckle after saying something like that, but not today. I have been feeling overwhelmed for a while now. And though I've been making progress, your post helped me face the reality of my being undisciplined. Thank you for your honesty and encouragement. With God's help I will be making lots of changes.
In Christ,
Andrea

Mary Ann said...

Thanks for your honesty. I certainly struggle with discipline as well. Currently, I am getting back on an early morning quiet time routine. This is taking a lot of discipline because honestly, most mornings I would prefer staying in bed or reading blogs instead. Once I start, though, I really love this time with God and am learning so much!

You are certainly not alone. I look forward to what you have to say on discipline.

Blessings, dear friend!

Katy said...

You are so not alone on this! I have to constantly remind myself that IT IS more important to look after the family first even if I want to finish a project or have a deadline of some sort. Crafting became sort of like an escape from the reality and something that I would rather do than cleaning and tidying the toys because they will be here tomorrow as well :)
So, I am limiting my 'email' checking to twice a day and crafting to only when the kids are not at home or asleep and there are no chores to do. Doesn't work all of the time but I am trying my best. Which I think is really important - to know that you are doing your best - then if you have a day off it doesn't matter as much.

Katie said...

Monica,

Thank you so much for your honesty, and sharing your heart with all of us. I can't tell you how often I feel that I need discipline in so many areas of life. So many times I find myself scrambling to complete things, and I'm always asking for forgiveness for not having things in better order. I will definitely tune into this series and share my shortcomings. I thank you for opening this discussion for all of us to encourage each other.

One quick piece of insight ~ we just had a similar discussion at a homeschool moms' meeting recently. The coordinator of the group gave us a challenge: Make 2 lists. On the 1st one, write down your top five most urgent tasks that on your own 'to-do' list. On the 2nd one, write down your top five priorities in life. See if they match up. If they don't, then it's time to reevaluate priorities/discipline. Wow...is that eye-opening. Anyway, just wanted to share. :-)

I definitely need lots of work in this regard. How can I expect discipline in my children if I am undisciplined myself? Looking forward to growing together...

Blessings Monica,
Katie

Kisha said...

I to have been amazed with your accomplishments as well as your being a mother to three littles. It does seem like a grand idea to be able to do it all, but I think if we could then there would be no fulfillment in it. Your struggles to keep your home in order will only make you appreciate your home more, and you will more than likely cherish the crafty things that you complete all the more. Hey, on a side note, atleast you got those Easter dresses complete ;)

Anonymous said...

Thank you Monica for your honesty. I am sorry for your feeling overwhelmed. Please KNOW you are not alone. I believe if we do focus on disiplined living, we (I) will do better. It is so very easy to let things start slipping, but with a vision ,focus and much discipline I hope to do better myself. I SO LOOK FORWARD to your post about this. I am thankful the Lord let me find you :-)!tammyp

stephanie@{Olive Tree} said...

I have recently been very convicted in a few areas as well regarding discipline - computer time, prioritizing what needs to be done ... things are getting done, but not in a way that helps my family live simply or show that they are first. *sigh* I'm right along here with you!

Amanda Roby said...

Monica,

What a blessing this post was! It's always humbling to know that I am not alone in my struggles. This week was a perfect opportunity for me to get caught up on my housework. I'm pretty much snowed in here in Louisville, KY.

I came down with the stomach flu, and used that as a pretty good excuse to waste two days. Then I just found excuses for the other two days this week has given me. Sigh. Today I hope to catch up on dishes, laundry, and housework.

Thank you for confessing, sister, because you have given me the confidence to know I can keep stepping forward.

Blessings,
Amanda
amanda.roby (at) gmail.com

Tracy said...

Oh, I am glad you posted this, Monica! I have been so inspired by your creativity, and will continue to be inspired as you create this new home for your family. Home Comforts, a book that I love about homemaking, says that in the old days, women used to use their homes as an exttension of themselves (their comfort in good food, their love in clean, crisp sheets, etc). I think you will find that you will not be dissappointed in creating this intentional home for your kids. And I am SO right there with you. Your words echo my heart headed into January.

Mom said...

Dearest Monica -- thank you for sharing. I'm glad Julie was with you -- she not only helped you during the trip, but once you returned home as well! I wish getting and keeping our homes in order was something we could get done and then move on to other things -- but nothing ever stays done, especially with small children around! Love and prayers as you work through this process, Mom

prayingmom6 said...

Monica,
Thank you for sharing what is on your heart. I also lack discipline in my life. I know that if I just discipline myself in doing the things I need to do for my home and family first I will have that time I need to do the extra things. I spend so much time trying to play catch up because of my lack of discipline. This also affects my mood. I do not want my children to remember me as a grouchy mom always busy, but never productive. I look forward to your posts as encouragement as I strive to live a more disciplined life.

Homeschool Dawn said...

I have recently come to terms with the fact that I have been trying to do too. I had a similar moment of exasperation that hit after we returned home from Christmas visits with colds.

I too can get side-tracked by projects. I have started guarding my routine. I have a few things that must be done each day- school, one load of laundry, cooking. We also use a "job jar". My boys and I each pull 3-4 chores from it and do them each day. Then, I use a sticky note for listing my extra things to-do list. Because of its size, I am limited in how much I can include. After the routine things are done, I start on the sticky note list.

I also have most of my prayer and Bible times with my boys. There are times to pull away, but it is more likely to happen if done with them and it is better for them if they are included. Passionate Housewives Desperate for God is a good book which has a lot to say about this topic. It's written by 2 moms, one has 8 kids the other 10. They are very wise ladies. I been encouraged and convicted through their book.

Bevy said...

I'll be praying for you Monica...
I can really relate to this post and already this morning (actually it started before going to be last evening) I've been feeling the "overwhelm" creep in where instead my focus needs to stay on Christ rather then the "crumbling ground" around me. I look at the "must do" list and cringe and it's a struggle because I want to work on the "fun list" instead. I daily need HIS help. Thanks for your honesty. I'll be honest with you too, there were many times I've wondered HOW you seem to do it all. You certainly do inspire me. Just keep looking up!! I like what you said; "at least it's a start"... and you are right it is only one moment at a time. God bless your day.

Michelle said...

Thank you so much for this post!

I too need to work on discipline... I tend to get sucked into reading blogs (wholesome and inspiring blogs, but still not where my focus needs to be!) and also reading books. I'm finding that a timer works well... I might say "I'll drink my coffee and take a half hour to read online" and then really shut off the computer when the timer dings. Actually, I set two timers: one for 25 minutes and one for 30, so that I have a five minute warning.

I look forward to reading more in your series!

Wendi said...

Thanks for being honest. I too struggle in this area. I am trying hard to get things in order, but also not to be so hard on myself.

I have been cleaning out the hidden areas in my house since the first of the year. I still have a ways to go, but am starting to feel more on top of things. When I enter into the room that has been organized and the clutter removed I actually feel free in that area. The burden of what was hidden is no longer there.

Sending you best wishes as you get things in order.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for the encouragement. I felt as though you were ministering to me. I write a daily devotional and for two weeks I could not write and I couldn't understand why. The reason why is because of discipline. It seems I have time for other projects, but never time to write for God. Thanks again for ministering to me. I will keep you in prayers. God bless you. Lona

Tracey said...

I tagged you...stop by http://gracecomesbyhearing.blogspot.com/2009/01/tagged.html and see!

eyeofthestorm said...

I find myself in the same place as you. For me, the issue isn't crafts. While I do enjoy yarnwork, I find it easy to fit that in between my family's activities. No, for me the issue is "projects." Projects such as gardening, hydroponics, growing sprouts, planning a set of new homeschooling activities, sewing clothing for my boys...You see, on the surface, it is easy to justify each of these as meeting my family's needs. However, after waiting 8 weeks for one meal's worth of hydroponically grown kohlrabi, I had to ask myself if that was time (and money) well spent.

Then, I recently read [b]Passionate Housewives, Desperate for God.[/b] I cannot say enough good about this book. This book confirmed what I read in my Bible, observed in my life and felt in my heart. It led me to face that by putting the "mundane" issues of household first, our lives will be richer and calmer. And - I bet what extra "projects" I do pursue, I will enjoy all the more.

So, I am embarking on a new project today, actually. I have been thinking through the reorganization of our home, did a bit of planning on paper, and today I move to room #1. With some patience and [i]discipline[/i], our home should be in better shape in a few months (yes, it's that disorganized).

Anonymous said...

Monica,
I really appreciate the honesty of your post. I am like you in that I want to do everything well and not cut back or compromise on anything. First off, you are a devoted wife and mom to three young children. That in itself is a full time commitment. I think your aunt had a great idea; revisit crafting when you feel that you are "caught up"
I work outside our home 50 hours a week and my husband and I have a 2 year old son. I am a perfectionist by nature, so I want every meal to be home cooked, the house immaculate, all while spending quality time with my family. Often I can't do it all the way I want and I find that a big challenge for me. I've had to let some things go and prioritize.
Just wanted you to know you aren't alone, and this is a topic very much on my mind, too.
I really enjoy your blog!

Kim from Philadelphia

dawn said...

I've read here a long time and enjoyed your posts. For years, I've been concerned about my own lack of discipline. For *me* it came down to a slothful, procrastinating, selfish attitude. When I was reading Prov 31 recently one verse stopped me dead in my tracks: "and works with willing hands." Prov 31:13b ... this year I am working on working with willing hands ... and it has made all the difference.

I want to emphasize, that this is where I've been led this year and is the diagnosis to *my* lack of discipline, but I find this verse to be incredibly encouraging to me ... to will my hands to work in hopes of them becoming willing and even delighting in my work!

RT said...

Hey Monica!
I too struggle with finding self-discipline (for those things that really do need to get done) and balance (to create a life that my entire family actually enjoys). I think that life gets to be too burdensome when I only focus on my to-do list, but if I have some free time during the week (as in coffee by myself Tuesday afternoon), then I can be more disciplined before then. Seek the Lord first and He'll show you what to do. In Him, Rebecca

angie said...

Even though we've never met, you give me the impression (through your posts) that you are terribly hard on yourself. I don't doubt that you/I need to focus on discipline. As children of God, we all strive to be more like him, which requires discipline. However, I bet you are doing so much better in prioritizing your days than you think right now. You are very intentional in your roles as wife, mother, and child of God. Perhaps you need to restructure your day so that certain things get done. But I can't imagine how discouraged you would feel if you drastically curtailed your crafting and creating. It is in your personality to create, usually with the purpose of blessing someone. I'm sure your littles will recall all of the family fun you created for them and forget (or not even realize) that the pantry was out of order.
I will pray for God to give you a plan and peace in your heart.
Angie

Anonymous said...

Dearest Monica,

Thank you, thank you for your honesty. I am one of those moms who thought you were doing it all. I would often wonder " how" and then felt bad that I couldn’t match that standard. Yes, wrong of myself to not just look to God, but “us women” tend to compare ourselves :-). When I read your post, I thought, “Oh, she’s real!” and felt myself breathe a sigh of relief. Thank you! Many blessings as your re-order your house and priorities!

With love,
Holly
Kyiv, Ukraine

LWL said...

Thank you for sharing so honestly. It has been an encouragement to me.
My "littles" are teens, but I still struggle with wanting to do creative things. There is something so satisfying about having completed a craft project and enjoying the beauty of it. BUT, that is so temporary. The satisfaction that comes from loving our families through living a disciplined life and keeping an orderly home has eternal rewards. (Just keep in mind that disciplined does not mean inflexible.)
I would like to point out that your "words" for this year are still "pursuing righteousness"... as you strive to obtain/maintain discipline and desire to honor the Lord in caring for your family and home, you are indeed pursing righteousness. (-:
THANK YOU, again, for sharing so openly! God bless you and your family!

Melissa said...

Monica,
Like others said, you are not alone! I often times feel like I am overwhelmed and that my priorities (with my responsibilities) are all out of whack. I encourage you during this time and I am going to try to be more disciplined too. One thing I would like to add is God has blessed you with creativity and I think it's important for you to have an outlet. So maybe discipline with balance. Leave some time for youself to do the things you love to do. I like to scrapbook, and I haven't made time for it for two years, now it seems so overwhelming to get caught up that I don't even want to start. Thank you so much for sharing I enjoy and am inspired by your blog.
Melissa

Andrea said...

The Lord has convicted me on this for the last few months. This site was such a help for me--http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/2005/05/how-to-become-an-early-riser/. Proceed with caution because I don't think he is a Christian, but I am now able to wake up earlier and it has been a tremendous help (I think I originally found this link from Ann Voskamp). Also, I have been reading some of the classic sermons like "On Redeeming the Time" in the evenings before bed. Pray for your day, ask God to set your priorities. I am purging a lot of things from our home that are stealing my time right now--I sometimes feel like I will never be done! One thing that helps me is thinking--if I can't read to my kids because I have to do yet another load of laundry, then maybe we have too many clothes. And we do! If I can't set aside time for God in the morning, then I am putting something else before God. It really helps me to break down what is important. Blessings to you, sweet sister in Christ.

Andrea said...

Coincidentally, another tip from Ann this morning when asked how she "does it all". (No one does, by the way!)
http://www.toggl.com/en_US/public/

Debbie J. said...

If I were more disciplined, I would have lots more time to get the things I need to get done, done! I have listed lots of things "to do" on the sidebar of my blog and am trying to be disciplined enough to do them. It will take WAY longer than 2 weeks!

Jessica said...

I was beginning to wonder how you got all that stuff done! ;) Thank you so much for blessing me with your honesty. I can say that I've been striving to "be it all" (and not because of you) because it's in my nature - my sin nature. I've struggled with trying to be perfect and doing everything for everyone. But I realize that that's not what the Bible requires of me. He requires me to take care of my children, to honor and respect my husband, and to care for my home. Those things must come first before other crafts, blogging, leisure reading.

Thank you for being honest. I have also set the goal of being more disciplined with my time at home. Thanks again for the reminder.

Blue Castle said...

I struggle in this same area. It's helpful to see that I'm not the only one. I get sidetracked easily by craft projects, sewing, etc and neglect my home and family. You are blessed to have such a wise woman in your life. I am going to take her advice too and do the same thing - clean house first, then crafting. :)

Tami said...

Monica,
This is a subject that has been at the forefront of my thoughts lately. Thank you so much for sharing your heart. I constantly struggle with crafting and/or computer while other things within my home could and really should be done.

We are beginning a more regimented time of homeschooling (preschool) next month and the idea of this along with what I feel I should be doing for my family (the house), my love of crafting and creativity and what I should be doing spiritually leaves me feeling overwhelmed and like a failure at times.

Jenny said...

Monica,

Remember the pictures of my closets that I posted on my blog? I'm with 'ya on this one!!!

Jenny

kellydee said...

Hi Monica. Wow, you hit the nail on the head with this post. It's like I wrote it myself. I struggle w/ these same things. Sometimes, I think of myself as a craft-aholic. :) I am always thinking of or doing projects or searching for projects on craft blogs, when I have so many other things that need to be done, cleaning, preparing for meals, playing w/ my daughter....I am working on trying to be more disciplined also. Especially w/ my time w/ God. Many times he gets put on the 'back-burner' and I hate that and that needs to change more than anything. Thank you so much for your honesty. It helps knowing I'm not alone in this area and your words are very much an encouragement to me! Oh,and I just love your blog....I read it often and I apologize that i have never commented before...I am always rushing to get all my blogs that I keep up with read , ANOTHER thing I need to work on - not so much time on the computer. Thanks Monica!

Phebe said...

Hi Monica--One thing I always appreciate about your blog is your honesty!! It's very discouraging to read someone's blog if it makes you feel like you're the ONLY mom out there that struggles with "life with littles".

I have been praying about what 2009 should be for me--now that we're 1/12th of the way through it. :) I'm thinking perhaps my "motto" for this year should be something along the lines of self-discipline too. I too have been cringing every time I open a drawer or cupboard. My house is usually decently clean, but not organized.

I also feel cluttered in my mind and life in general--like I'm running in too many directions, like I need to simplify. First things first--I'm going to bed too late and waking up too late. There will be a time for late-night movies, but when I have three little girls is NOT the time!! When I wake up I"m already behind the power curve...aaauuugghh!!

Also, we've recently started homeschooling and I feel very disorganized on that front. I need to SIMPLIFY and stick to a ROUTINE or...or something... It's been fun, but I feel I have almost NO TIME for anything else!!

I need to set up some priorities, then structure a routine around those and STICK TO IT, no matter what for at least a few weeks, until it becomes habit. Then we can add some variation here and there. I also need to set aside some time to organize a little each day...

That's my long and rambling ideas on your post. :)

Phebe

Ashley said...

I have been struggling with this myself; my never-ending "to do" list doesn't seem to be getting any shorter. At times it can be overwhelming. I need to work on this. I appreciate this post (as always!) and your honesty too.

The Ramblin' Rat said...

This couldn't have been more perfect for me. I have been struggling with discipline for quite some time. Even though I don't have little's yet, I need to work on prioritizing my time a lot better than I have.

I tend to put things in front of time with my husband and God is usually the last thing I think about.

Thank you for writing this post. It really got me thinking about how I spend my time.

Jordan said...

Thank you for posting this. I love your blog and all your creativity. It has inspired me many times in the past. But it has also made me feel overwhelmed too. Thanks for being honest!

Monica said...

This post really speaks to me today as I've been purging our home this week of the unnecessaries. My day starts often before I even get my glasses on with the needs of my family and then a day of homeschooling. I've found myself recently overwhelmed with the demands of "stuff" that needs to be tended and cleaned and organized. Nine people in a house can attract a lot of stuff:) In reality it is these small things that are getting out of place and taking all of my extra time and energy. But more than that it's causing me to be a grump. I would much rather spend my time well and full of the really good things in life- the Lord, marriage, children, church, others.... The discipline for me is saying "no" to lots of good things and "yes" to what is best, that is simplicity. I want there to be room in our lives to be overwhelmed with God's provisions and goodness, with His word and with our love for eachother. Not overwhelmed by things that don't really hold value.

Thanks for your post. I'll be praying for you while I continue loading up our van this afternoon:)

havingfunathome said...

This is not the first time your sharing how the Lord is working on you inside has convicted me or made me reflect more deeply. Thank you!

It is difficult for me sometimes to figure out how much perfectionism to demand of myself in the area of housework.

I'm finding help in this balance lately by asking my husband what things are really important to him. I have occasionally been surprised about the details that he does or does not notice or care about.

Heather said...

Thanks for sharing this with us, Monica. It gives me a lot to think about.

In some areas, I see the need for more discipline in my life. Ironically, in others, I see the need to relax a bit and just enjoy. I tend to be an over-achiever and take things too seriously, so lately I've been letting dishes go undone for an evening, etc. in exchange for spending time with my girls or crafting. But it's still difficult to not feel guilty for that. Yet the work can wait--I need to enjoy my kids while I can.

Isn't it odd how we go through different seasons, when we either need to get more disciplined, or relax more? Just like the other comments, I think balance is so important.

Mrs. Jo said...

Dear Monica,

THANK YOU! My girlfriend and I who read your blog are always saying we don't know how you do it and we are always baffled! I have 3 little ones 3 and under and am very crafty too, but not even as much as you are. It is so refreshing to know that we all struggle with the tasks of being a mom and the overwhelming demands. We all can grow in the area of discipline. I think we love crafts because they actually get done and stay done, and nothing else in our life does and sometimes being a mom is so overwhelming, a craft project is a nice escape!

My husband was recently injured and having him home to recover has been good for me as I tend to be more diligent when someone is watching! It's also good for me to be put in a position of financial scarcity so I can worry about doing the necessary things and remember what's really important. Crafts aren't bad, but right now I need to focus on doing the absolutely most frugal things and using my time to either save or earn us money instead of doing projects that aren't true necessities. I still plan to do frugal crafts where it can save us money during this tight time (making wedding gifts, making valentines for my daughter's preschool, etc.)

One way I've recently made life a lot easier and simpler is living off of the basics. The kids got so many toys for Christmas and I was sick of the endless stacks of laundry to fold and the toys everwhere. So, I put everything in the shed except for 5 toys and 5 outfits per kid. It's been so nice to live on less! We can rotate toys every couple of days or once a week. I'll be blogging about my "Pioneer Living Experiment" in the coming week.
www.thekingsmissus.blogspot.com

Joy @ SAH Missionary said...

Monica,
I SO appreciate your transparency. You are not alone! There are many times that I find myself overwhelmed and the Lord gently reminds me that I have been undisciplined in caring for my home.
Thanks for sharing.
Blessings!
Joy

The Southern Housewife said...

Wonderful post. I think that this could also go for computer time, not just craft time. I struggle with this as well. And I know all to well the overwhelming feeling that overcomes me when I see a daunting task ahead. One thing that has helped me is reading, Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World. From one perfectionist to another, it will really help! :) Blessings!
jennifer

luvyrnaybor said...

Thank you for being so honest. I am right there with you. I have been feeling the exact same way and am slowly trying to get some more order in our house and our days. I've started at one end of the house, and am trying to organize and clean every area. It's a long hard process, especially with little ones making more messes in the process. Thanks for the encouragement to have more discipline!

Just Me said...

Hi Monica,
Obviously discipline, organisation, re-focusing, priorities, etc is on the hearts and minds of so many people - put there by Him. As many have said, and I repeat, you are NOT alone.

Until recently I was really struggling with the chaos in my house of having a 1-year-old and almost 3-year-old. They weren't eating well, sleeping terribly and just seemed bored. I had the revelation that I was, yes, being a lazy mom! I too would whittle away time on the computer (reading blogs?), neglect the house and feel like nothing was accomplished throughout the day.

Only 9 short days ago I said "enough is enough" and I worked out a very, very precise schedule to follow - with set meal and snack times, nap or quiet times, etc - and within 24 hours I had two children sleeping through the night, eating massive meals and amazingly the house was clean, tidy and organised - and probably most incredible of all - I was happy!

Thank you for your candid post and know that you are not alone and we can all accomplish more by relying on His Holy Grace.
Jennifer

Anonymous said...

Dearest Monica,
The Lord has certainly blessed you with a desire to be completely used by him and made whole thru his divine power. Blessings to you as you pursue the things of God and live out this life fully in His love. Thank you for all you write in truth and love that inspires and encourages so many. Hugs, Angelia in TX

Zebu said...

Monica,

I think that you are a wonderful mother. I can tell just from your post, that you are faithful to Heavenly Father, your children, and your husband. You are doing everything you can with what you have at this point in life. We are not perfect, and He does not expect us to be. We do what we can, and Christ already made up the balance when he died for us.

Satan would have us believe that we aren't living up to our best. He loves to overwhelm us with thoughts of inadequacy. We are meant to create. We are women; the Lord created us this way. The things you do with your children and for your home and you’re your mission are absolutely amazing and absolutely ok and a benefit to your family.

I had been feeling without joy recently. The scriptures say that we are to have joy. I didn’t feel like I was experiencing much of this. I “happened” (don’t think it just happened) to read an article at that time on this subject. It said that we feel joy when we create. We create many things as women. I went back to the crafting that I had given up years before. It has really changed my outlook, and it has given me joy!

Don’t overwhelm yourself with cleaning every closet and corner of your house. Pick one thing a day that is above and beyond your normal tidying like a drawer or a closet. I have tried the get-it-all-done-in-a-time-frame thing. It makes you feel even worse when you fail, and then you become even more overwhelmed.

This is a really long post, and I didn’t want to go on for this long, but I can relate to you. I have been there, and I still go there. Believe me, you are doing better than you think. Take it easy on yourself, and don’t let Satan tell you that you’re less than God knows you really are. :)

*carrie* said...

Monica,

Appreciate your honesty in sharing this struggle, which I think we can all identify with. I look forward to reading more about how you process this stuff and apply what you're learning. Love you!

Beth said...

Monica you are continually an inspiration and a wonderful example of the kind of mom I strive to be. Including your "faults"!
Your blog never fails to bring me some much needed joy, or thoughtfulness or blessing.
I hold you up in prayer this moment that God will quiet your mind, renew your heart and give you peace and strength as you do the toughest and most wonderful job in the world!

Katy said...

Hi Monica! :) I haven't read through all the comments...but the one comment from Katy that isn't a link isn't from me. :)

I just wanted to say that I totally appreciate your honesty and I wish you the best in your efforts to be a pleasing wife and mother. :) I am sure you already are both of those...so not much effort is needed!
I want to encourage you to remember that God sees your heart....let Him lead you always and you will always have your priorities in order when he is guiding you! xoxo I hope you have a lovely weekend! xoxo

(oh...and yes...you are WAY toooo hard on yourself!)

Jenny said...

I look forward to joining you in this journey. I am struggling, but know in my heart that the Lord can guide us in these struggles. So we may be a benefit to our family. In the best way possible.

Like Jeremiah and Stephenie's comment I have used Managers of their home. When I home schooled for a few years this program was so very helpful. I also have taken Flyladies usefull tips and fit them to meet my needs.

Zach said...

Gee whiz Monica - I hadn't had a chance to catch up your blog this week... so it is funny to see this post after my own this morning.

I don't consider you undisciplined at all.

In my experience in order to get any kind of projecty thing done.. something has to slide.

And for me that projecty thing may be the bills or reorganizing something... not just working on a computer project.

At this point in your life .. you do not have enough hours in the day to have it all together.

You have enough hours in the day to do what God calls you to.

This may not always mean the house is clean.

But that doesn't always mean that a project can get done either.

Routines are great and needed... but just know they cannot provide you with a time slot for everything. :)

I think it so cool that you walk by faith Monica... that is why you are hard on yourself. You are always looking to submit yourself to the Holy Spirit... and that is why so much can be done through and by you.

Love you much... char

Paula said...

Better late than never right? :) Sorry I am so late on this post. There is a yahoo newsletter with reminders called Large Family Logistics. This works kinda like Flylady, but it is totally Christian/homeschooling/and family centered. You don't have to have a large family to make it work. I am slowly but surely getting my laundry mountain down to a hill. And I have been reading the Proverbs of the day to the children right before naps! It has been GREAT! A book she recommended (which I got for free off Paperback swap - you can visit my blog to sign up and I get a free book credit when you do) is called Discipline The Glad Surrender by Elisabeth Elliot. I have not read it yet, but plan to. You post has truly inspired me! I cannot wait to join you own your journey towards discipline! I need it myself!! :)