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
-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. :)