Chip away

I can not tell you how many years my husband's loving advice to me has been "Chip away."

Me: Honey, I am so overwhelmed with school.
Bo: Do a little at a time. Chip away at it.

Me: Sweetheart, this house is such a mess. I don't even know where to start.
Bo: Start in one room and do a little at a time. Just chip away at it.

You get the message. We have had so many of these conversations over the past 11 years that I find myself saying those words not only to myself but to close friends who call me up overwhelmed with their life. I smile to myself as I say "Bo always says to chip away at it."

I have learned to chip away at things. However it seems like I could never get small pieces out of the chunk. So even though I started off well and good, I soon became overwhelmed again. Some times I wouldn't finish the job at all.

This week though something happened. Between much prayer, over many years, Bo's gentle advice to "chip away" and God's Divine Grace, I figured out something!

Monday I just couldn't take it any more. You know, our unorganized, clutter, broken toy infested house anymore! Of course, with tears in my eyes, I went to Bo.

"Chip away Sweetheart. Baby steps."

With a fresh cup of coffee in my hand I sat down with pen and paper. A master list. That's what I needed. So I wrote out all the things I would like to accomplish before school started. Then I prioritized the list. I thought that it was silly to have the boys take their placement tests if the table was completely covered in stuff. So I decided that de-cluttering, re-organizing, and taking care of little messes was the best place to start.

Next I made a smaller list for each day. I took one to three things from the master list and put them on each day. Depending on how large the job was. I also put on my every day list my every day stuff.

So here is what my week has looked like ...

Tuesday - Ryan's closet, keep up on house, laundry, straighten up my room, football at 6p.
Wednesday - Ryan's room, keep up on house, laundry, football at 6p.
Thursday - Matthew and David's room, keep up on house, football at 6p.
Friday - Toy closet, clean house, put pads in practice pants, football at 6p.

The items in bold I was not able to do. Oh well. On Thursday I simply ran out of time. Friday my plans were changed. My girlfriend from co-op emailed me saying that she had some flowers from her garden for me. She had yellow cannas and liriops. So after the toy closet I ran to her house. While on my way my best friend called. I sat at my co-op friend, Kim's driveway for 30 minutes talking with Tina. Then I sat for another 20 minutes at Kim's table chatting with her. By the time I got back home it was after 2 and the boys were home from Grandma's house. So all I did was clean up my kitchen and get their pads together.

I am not upset. I simply put the unfinished items from Friday onto Saturday's list. I had planned on helping Bo clean out our garage. However, I need to get our house in order. He agreed.

Here is my list for today ...
Clean the house
-Kitchen - just straighten up from breakfast.
-Dinning room - straighten and de-clutter
-Living room - straighten up, put stuff away
-Scrub all the bathrooms
-Straighten up my room
-Straighten up hallway - get all the toys in their proper homes in the toy closet
-Get trash taken out from my cleaning up
Help Bo with garage - if needed
Clean up our garden
-Weed it
-Plant my new perennials. I now have yellow cannas, liriops, and orange lilies. I will have to post a picture of our garden. :P God has blessed me with so much. If the plants I have weren't free then they were only $0.99! Like my purple (favorite color!) bush. It was only $0.99! Last year we bought flowers and bulbs from Home Depot. Even though we only spent about 20 bucks it was still a lot of money to me. So I prayed that God would send me deals. I asked Him to help me to realize I can do a little at a time. I didn't need an award winning garden right out the gate. Boy did He ever! I am so blessed by Him in so many different ways. I found out a few months back that bulbs can take up to 3 years to bloom. So I'm curious as to what my garden will look in the next few summers! I honestly can't remember what we planted. My desire is in the next few years to be able to bless other gardeners with my overflow. God is good!

I'm excited. I have more time today because there is no practice. Next week I will worry about next week. :)


bree said...

Excuse me, were you just listening to my conversation with my hubby?! ha-ha. It was about me being overwhelmed with school and well, chip away at it is exactly what I needed to hear. You said the thing about the bulbs and what your garden might look like in a few years-hmmm, what a nice reminder about school and life...those seeds we sow, it will be amazing to see, if planted and tended to with love, commitment, and dedication what kind of wonderous garden with strong glorious plants the Lord is going to bloom before our eyes...hoping with trust and faith of what is to be...

Terri said...

LOL I was! I was! Didn't you see me hiding in your laundry room?!

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