Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's a team effort!

I have a confession to make:  I intended to write a completely different post for this blog earlier in the week.  Sunday was a busy day for me (see my MOB blog!), and when I arrived home in the late afternoon, I was dismayed to find the sink and countered covered in dishes.  The kitchen was a mess.  The living room wasn't much better.

And when I opened the dishwasher, I didn't find clean dishes to unload; instead it was almost empty, with a few dirty dishes inside.  That's when I began writing (in my head) my original post, a tongue in cheek piece explaining that in fact it turns out that I have superhero powers, because clearly I am the only person in my house who is capable of opening the dishwasher to determine its state of cleanliness.  As I straightened different rooms,  the article wrote itself, each chore adding itself to the list of things that apparently only Mommy can accomplish.

But God is good and grace abounds.  I didn't actually sit down Sunday night to write that post, and I am very glad that I didn't--that in fact I didn't even say anything about how I felt.

On Monday morning, I was trying to sleep when I heard some unfamiliar sounds coming from the kitchen.  In my drowsy state it took more than a few moments for me to realize that I was hearing the dishwasher being unloaded by my wonderful husband who had gotten up, taken out the dog and the trash, made bacon and now was doing this chore.  Ahhhhh. . .

And then later in the day, the younger kids and I decided to make a quick trip down to a Disney water park today.  Without me even mentioning it, Catie offered to make sandwiches for us to eat there--and then she also made brownies from scratch for us to enjoy!  YUM!!  And this was after Haley and Catie both cleaned up from dinner so that their big sister could study for a test.

This afternoon, after the water park trip, I asked David to unload the dishwasher.  And truthfully, at first he was less than enthused.  But before long, I realized that he had not only emptied it, he had also reloaded it. . .and then he washed the counters, cleaned out the fridge and off the stove and set the table for dinner!  And he did it all with a smile on his face and a cheerful heart.

And not to be outdone, Devyn did the dinner dishes tonight, thanking her sisters for their help on Monday night.  She also helped her brother with some personal hygiene items, but we don't need to go into those details.

So I've been convicted.  Turns out that not only am I not a superhero, sometimes I don't even do a very good of realizing how blessed I am.  I'd forgotten how well my family works together as a team.  There are going to be times when no one can do the dishes or run a vacuum.  Everyone gets busy.  But when it's needed, we're also going to pull together and make it all happen.

Because I might not have superpowers, but I do in fact live in a family of amazing people.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Choosing Our Battlefronts

Are you ever overwhelmed by all the battles that we're supposed to be fighting?  I only have to look at my Facebook pages to see it.  I should be feeding my family only natural, whole foods.  I should be living completely green, recycling everything, using only non-harmful cleansers.  I should be cutting coupons and matching them to the weekly sale papers, and if I'm really good at it, pretty soon I won't be paying for any of our groceries-the coupons will!

I hate to break it to everyone, but it's impossible to live all these lifestyles at once, unless you have an extra twelve hours per day.

Unfortunately, many people who try to make improvements and find it too much give up completely.  They figure if they can't do it all one hundred percent, they might as well not do any of it.  And that's a shame, because there really are some ways to improve our lives, even if it only seems to be baby steps.

The key is to look at your life and figure out where you can take those baby steps.  For instance, taking reusable bags with you when you shop--not only at the grocery store, but also at your other stops--is easy to do and it really DOES make a big difference in keeping plastic bags out of the oceans and landfills.  And choosing to load your grocery cart with fewer processed foods and more natural, whole foods is a good first step in changing how you feed your family; it can also reduce your weekly food bill.

Rather than let all of the should-bes drag you down, take a look at some of the could-bes and decide which ones you can slowly implement in your day to day life.  It's amazing what taking even baby steps can do for your confidence, not to mention the improvements those steps make in your home front!