How I went from a stressed-out, frazzled, disheveled wife, mother, homeschooling mom, pastor’s wife to a mostly disciplined, semi-orderly, and somewhat relaxed mom helping others online build a joyful home.
I first embarked on this journey shortly after becoming a new bride over 33 years ago. I desired to make a cozy, well-organized home life for my husband and me.
I remember being on a roll keeping the house clean, keeping the laundry caught up, and getting supper on the table each night while working full time. Then out of nowhere, the house would look like a tornado hit it, the laundry piled to the ceiling, and I didn’t know where to start. This was a rollercoaster I desired to exit.
I tried and failed so many times that ….
Colonel Sanders would have been proud. Three children later, I finally felt like I was gaining traction. I had a homeschooling routine, a homemaking routine, and could place a hot meal on the table around 6 PM (most) nights. Now remind you, I had a strict schedule. Everything was scheduled – it was meticulous. I was terrified to deviate one moment for fear of everything spiraling out of control again.
God called our family to the mission field, which involved a 2400 mile cross-country move and 2 ½ years of deputation. (Deputation is the process in which some missionaries go to like-faith churches and raise funds for the upcoming ministry.)
This was an experience that God showed me and taught me things that I have never forgotten.
The next few years…
Were eventful, to say the least. I went from a strict (probably too rigid) schedule to not knowing if I would be home next week or on the road.
I quickly learned that homeschooling couldn’t start every morning at the same time and rarely in our schoolroom. Instead, lessons were often taught in motel rooms, parks, rest stops, the van, anywhere possible.
Driving all night trying to get home before daylight.
When we arrived home, laundry heaped high, limited food in the refrigerator (didn’t always know how long we would be gone.)
This was when I had to learn the power of daily routines.
The nights we would drive all night, I couldn’t be up bright and early feeling alive, alert, and enthusiastic. So instead, it may be 11 AM before I could muster enough strength to get up.
What I did was figure out a routine. I didn’t have to be at a certain time; therefore, I just wrote what I needed to do and worked to get it done. It eventually grew into the morning, night, mid-day, etc., routines. Also, I started implementing a task-style cleaning system with a daily focus (deep cleaning) task.
This changed my life.
I could keep up with the household duties without feeling like they buried me under a boulder.
Twenty Years Later…
All three of my children are grown, graduated homeschooling, and now I have grandchildren in the mix.
As I have aged and midlife has set in, I started looking at life differently. I have spent many years secretly battling depression and anxiety. A thorn in my flesh that I have to ask God for grace to overcome each day of my life. Praise God; He said that His grace is sufficient.
The truth is, deep down—I’m a slob. I desire for my house to be pristine. Still, without consistently following routines, my home seems to fall apart. And when my home is in chaos, the depression and anxiety are much greater.
One Pen Club came about to help other wives and mothers, young and older, find a place to feel at home and find a place to connect. I intend to help others develop a positive mindset and take care of themselves as we age.
“That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children.” ~Titus 2:4
Let’s take this journey called life together in stride….