It's BEEW-TEE-FUL, Mommy!

Have you ever had those days when you "kinda" sensed you'll be short on patience?  Well, let me rephrase that...  Have you ever started your day already tired, lacking focus and just plain cranky?  And no... it's not that time of the month, yet!  
This morning had potential for disaster.  Baby is still NOT sleeping well at night.  Dishes piled up on my sink but... that's ok.  I could live with that.  The van had to be taken to the shop for a scheduled maintenance appointment (which I had completely forgotten about it... and yup... threw off my "plans" for the day!). 
BUT, I gotta tell you....  
I remember having "those" kinds of days so often after Elsie was born.  Juggling a very active toddler and a newborn was, in my own little world, so hard!  I remember refusing to see and feel the sunshine through my windows, or the colors in my garden, or even the soft grass in our backyard.  
I remember burying myself under the false pretense that "nobody understands", that "everyone gets to sleep but me", that "one more muffin won't hurt me"!  Ahhhhh, lies, lies and more lies!!!
Can I just fast forward to today and give a big shout out to Jesus?  Seriously!  Having 3 healthy (and active) children IS a blessing.  Sure, it's not easy... not gonna lie.  But it is SO good to know that they are healthy!

This picture of my daughter was taken this morning.  I was listening to James MacDonald daily podcast while reading through some Scripture, enjoying my coffee (with my favorite Amaretto creamer), and trying to maximize Noah's morning nap time.  Elsie enjoys "working" beside me and usually just goes to town on her crayons!  This morning, she was overly delighted with her art and said "Look!  It's BEEW-TEE-FUL, Mommy!   
I WANT that excitement about life, don't you?  
It must be exactly how God feels when He looks at us!  Isn't that amazing?

I love how God uses my own circumstances and surrounding people (big and small) to remind me of His goodness and faithfulness, and of my need for Him.  
So, here's a few things I've learned about "those" kinds of days:
1.  Get in the Word of God.  The Bible is a "lamp to our feet" (Ps 119:105).  
2.  Stay healthy and active.  I can't go without THIS!  
3.  PERSPECTIVE is key!
4.  I'm NOT alone.

"Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God."  Romans 5:1-2 (ESV)

Abundance Got Me In Trouble!

I have way too much stuff...

WE have way too much stuff!
And I have to admit, I'm in trouble, now!
Lately I've been finding myself juggling a few too many responsibilities, trying to accomplish way too many things, and getting behind on daily chores and tasks.
Being a stay-at-home mom, wife, home manager, crazy wrap girl, mentor, friend and daughter, ALL AT THE SAME TIME!  Now, I am not complaining a bit.  I actually find JOY in doing and being all of those things listed above.  
BUT, I find myself trying to "catch up" a lot.
...on top of constant feedings, phone calls/emails, and... *sigh* my daily time with the Lord.

I realized that the "too much" is getting me in trouble.
I live in a house where I'm tripping over toys, always picking up "stuff" off the floor, table, hallways, chairs, and never seem to create a free-flowing environment.  You know what I mean?  You know what I mean... when you walk up and down the stairs and always catch something out of place.  You, then, take your time to pick it up and find its determined place.  Ahhh...  I wish I could just stop picking things up!  FREE FLOWING spaces... where are you?

OR... pardon me for a moment.  Let me vent for a bit about my laundry dilemma.  
I'm sure I'm not the only one in the world with this issues...
So, we're a family of 5!  If I don't do a load of laundry EVERY.SINGLE.DAY, I fall behind. 

Seriously...  So, last week we had a really busy weekend, so on Monday I had 6 loads to do!  Yup, SIX!  So I went through SIX wash/dry cycles, and had a MOUNTAIN of clean laundry in our guest bedroom.  4 FULL laundry baskets!  My mom came over to watch the kids for a few hours and saw my laundry drama.  Bless her heart!  She insisted on folding ALL OF IT!  (Mom, if you're reading this, THANK YOU!).  Anyway, so now I have all this folded laundry, but on the corner of my eye, I see another basket full of dirty laundry already whispering "look at me!  I'm ready to be washed!  Look at me!  Don't neglect me or I'll start making a "mess" in your clean corner air over here..."  
Oh, good gracious!  Clean laundry, folded laundry, dirty laundry.  

So, on this Saturday morning, while I was washing the dishes, and as I was still hearing the laundry whispering to me from the guest bedroom down the hall, I realized something...  the abundance that lives in this house is getting me in trouble.  BIG trouble.  Too much.  Too much laundry.  Too many dishes.  Too many toys.

And hear me out... Have you said any of these statements before?
1.  I'll do the laundry tomorrow.  I still have clothes to wear.
2.  I'll do the dishes later.  I still have clean plates/cups/forks in the drawer.
3.  Should I fill up the tank now or after I get my groceries?
4.  2% or almond milk?
5.  Eggs & sausage or pancakes for breakfast?
6.  Pulled pork or bbq chicken for dinner?
7.  Non-fat or soy Chai?  Hmmm, maybe a Cinnamon Dolce today!
8.  Blackest black or dark black mascara?  Lipbalm or lipgloss?
9.  NIV or ESV?  
10.  Dark wash jeans, jeggings, or good ol' yoga pants?

Ahhhh!  I have SO much!  I could go on and on with this list.  Could you?  The options are endless!  The choices I have are endless!  And today I find myself overwhelmed with STUFF.  I need to create those FREE FLOWING spaces in my life.  Less options.  More room for thanksgiving.  More room for joy and contentment.  More room... period.  

So, are YOU in trouble by abundance, too?  Do you want to join me in attempting to clear out those cluttered spaces in our lives?  Let's GIVE more.  Let's purge more.  Let's clear the abundance of what we have and don't need, to make room for FREE FLOWING spaces in our lives.  And maybe in those spaces we'll find more peace.  And maybe, just maybe, less laundry to deal with.