Friday, 27 January 2012

Repentant Housewife

In our last move, when I cleaned our old house prior to handing back the keys to the real estate agent, I was shocked to see how much cat fur had gotten behind the blinds where our cat Snowy had slept in the sun from the window. It was a real eye opener.

There have been many times over the years where Chris would see something on the floor or hanging on a door and he would ask me if I had seen it. I have to be honest and say, no. It seems that I don't actually see a lot of things that need to be done or picked up.

I could make a thousand excuses and say with the amount of medication that I take, it is lucky that I can see at all... or that I am too tired with chronic fatigue and fibro brain fog to focus... or too busy or distracted. And to some degree, it would be the truth. But I feel it is for me a kind of blocking out of responsibilities that really only become realised on a need to attend to urgently basis.

In wanting our new home to be kept nice, I have pondered on my seeming spacing or *vegging* out on some tasks and I have come to the conclusion that it my attitude to my homemaking that creates a literal visual blindness to certain things. With practice over many years, I have become quite good at it.

Now I am not good at many things, but in being good at being blind to things that I should be doing is not a thing I am proud of. So as in all bad things, I have had to repent of my indifferent attitude to my home keeping. And with repentance comes effort to change. It has been hard.

No longer can I hide behind my illness constantly and do nothing but the bare minimum. I have had to pace myself and train myself to *see* things that require my attention. Then I have had to discipline myself to *do* whatever my eyes see needs to be done.

It sounds like a simple thing to do, but anyone who has denied their home keeping responsibilities and who has woken up as it were, needs to change- and that change is difficult. But it is a change that must be made because there is only me to keep our home nice. There is no Fairy Godmother.

I still use Sylvia's Lists on genuine bad days and I still have to count my spoons so I don't burn out, but I do see and *take note* of things that need to be attended to- and I *do* them. Not necessarily at once, but certainly as soon as I know within me that I have the strength and ability to do it. If I am feeling reasonably well, I use FlyLady.

The results have been interesting. There have been many changes which have all been positive. Chris is happier in our home, I am not afraid for people to call, I feel liberated from the anxiety of procrastinating, our home has become organised and stayed clean, and I feel closer to the LORD.

Which seems a funny thing to say, doesn't it? But becoming honest before Him and within yourself is always liberating and healthy and it fosters a closer relationship with Him. I am glad that He has opened my eyes wide.....

Blessings, Glenys

By much slothfulness the building decayeth; and through idleness of the hands the house droppeth through. Ecclesiastes 10:18

Friday, 13 January 2012

I Think I Can Spare It

I recently considered just how much time I actually spend on housework. The answer may surprise you!

Time Spent on FlyLady: Simple Bedtime/Morning routines (5min & 5min),
Decluttering (5min),
Laundry (10 min total),
Doing one of the 'home blessings' each day (5 min),
Hot Spot Fire Drills (5mins.),
Sink (5min).
Total time: 40 minutes.

A couple of times a week, I spend an extra 15min. on decluttering, zones, or something else.The biggest helps? My morning & evening routines.Doing something, no matter how little or seemingly insignificant (Death to perfectionism!) Not mentally beating myself up (thanks for the fly-washing!) Beginning again...and again...and again...and growing a little more each time (gradual, permanent change) 

Excuses don't HELP. Not when I am sick. Not when I have depression. Excuses say that there aren't any solutions and that there's no hope. I know I can manage tiny bites of time. And often it only is 5 mins that I need. It's that procrastination thing again! 

Even the smallest routine can help restore hope. It won't be perfect - It can't be perfect - but it WILL be better! I am a great believer in Flylady's quote: Housework done imperfectly still blesses your family!

Five minutes at a time is not too difficult for us: just remember what Flylady says and take baby steps! 40 minutes in the course of a day isn't much at all... I think I can spare it!

Blessings, Glenys

Teach [us] to number our days, that we may apply [our] hearts unto wisdom" Psalm 90:12

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Emulating The Proverbs 31 Woman

The Proverbs 31 woman is an example of a godly wife. It’s not something we are going to be able to do all at once and for some of us, we may never accomplish all she did. But I believe emulating her example is a good thing. We have to have a goal. If you aim for nothing, you are always going to hit it. I used to get up real early, about 4.30 to get my husband off to work. I would have my quiet time then before my 4 children would wake up.

This worked for me when they were quite tiny too and I just carried it through. Until about 3 years ago when illness came in. I don’t sleep well and wake up in lots of pain and I find if I try to get into the Word the fibromyalgia brain fog makes it impossible to focus. I don’t glean much from the Word and my prayers are disjointed. I put on some praise and worship music and just thank the LORD for giving some sleep and so on. After a hot shower and breakfast, I can study the Word and pray better. I think anyone with an illness or pregnant, or who has had a sleepless night with a sick child etc, has to be realistic and in tune with their body. She has to know what her own limitations are and modify what is an excellent goal to achieve it.

My modified morning routine now works better for me. And let’s face it, any time is a good time to be in the Word! We all have to work out when it is best for us….then do it. My time of choice would be early mornings though. But I have had to learn to modify things in order to achieve them. And later is better than never! I believe that for all of us women trying to live a godly life, the Proverbs 31 woman is a guide of what to strive for. Even if we can’t achieve all she has done (and you will notice that she achieved this over seasons of her life- not all at once!), still our hearts will be in the right place.

If women look at the whole picture with the view of doing it all NOW or not modifying it for themselves, they will most likely give up and not even try to emulate her example. Sometimes there are unresolved heart issues that the LORD has to work through with some women who won’t even try to emulate the Proverbs 31 woman. Not even with modifications. It may take some time until they are convinced that this holy calling in their lives is truly for their own good and contentment. Sometimes it takes a lot of washing with the Word before the soil of the world is cleared out of some women’s eyes. They just need some encouragement as God works in their life.

Blessings, Glenys

‘She girdeth herself with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.’ Proverbs 31:17

Friday, 6 January 2012

A Day In The Life Of A Chronically Ill Wife

I have been pretty much bedridden this last week. For the first time I feel a little life in me so I am going to try to catch up on a bit of housework.I am really concerned about doing too much and burning out again, inducing another fibromyalgia flare. So I have to consider that as I plan my return to domesticity. I don't want another setback that puts me to bed again. It's all about spoons!

The journey back to domesticity is not without peril. There is a fine line between adequate expenditure of energy and exhaustion. Exhaustion can sneak up on you and bite you on the heel when you least expect it. Each day is a challenge as you will see in reading this post.... this is a typical day in the life of a chronically ill wife.

You can be managing quite nicely, up to your chin in folding clean clothes on your bed, when suddenly you wake with a start to find that you have fallen asleep and dribbled all over your husbands' underpants and shirts.Or you can plunge your hand into a sink of the cold and slimy water for soaking dishes left over from yesterdays' dinner that were supposed to be done as soon as you got your second wind after cooking last night. Only the second wind didn't come: not even a breeze!

Vacuuming can take forever as you find that the bag needs emptying and you can't find a new one and as you search, you smell a rancid odour from the washer, where you find yesterdays' wash finished and patiently waiting to be hung out. The washer is reset to rinse the smelly load but you forget to look for the vacuum bag as you fret about how many spoons it will cost to hang the clothes out.

Starting to feel anxious and overwhelmed, you decide to have a cup of tea. A donut in the pantry calls your name and as you open the microwave to heat it, you are surprised by your bowl of porridge left there at 6 am when you got your husband's breakfast. Pulling a tissue out of the box, you have a little cry into your cup of tea as you munch your donut. You are hungry because you didn't actually eat breakfast after all.

Sick at heart and already feeling tired, you decide to just chuck the clothes in the dryer, soak the dishes in fresh hot soapy water for washing later on in the afternoon and you have a nap... after all, a nana nap will help your brain fog clear and you can catch up then.But the afternoon brings it own set of woes as you wake feeling worse. 

You consult your menu list only to find that even though you intended to get the meat out to defrost this morning, you had suddenly felt compelled to double check that you had taken your meds and then you forgot about the meat. With your confidence rattled, you wash the pans that are needed for tonight's cooking and resolve for the hundredth time today to do better.

Eventually the day draws to a close with the evenings' dishes soaking in the sink ready for that elusive second wind. And as you feed the cat and take your evening meds, you wonder if tomorrow will be any better...Lying in bed and in a funk bordering on depression, you start to pray for strength for the morrow and a restful nights' sleep. Only no thoughts come to pray with sense and you are swept into a fitful sleep on a long sighhhhh. 

So ends another day and domesticity is still far far away.

Blessings, Glenys

"For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. " Isaiah 41:13
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