Today is Ash Wednesday. Every year I give up Diet Coke. But this year I gave that up for good, so I had to do some more soul searching for what my Lenten Resolution would be. I like to give something up that I love a lot so that I have to think about why I’m abstaining multiple times a day. This year, my give-up is Chocolate. I also like to take something up, and in thinking about my life right now and after talking with a friend, I’m going to wake up before the kids Monday – Friday to reflect on Lent (and workout) before my day of being a mom begins.
But I needed to do more. Here’s a short back story. In December, B and I were driving around looking at Christmas lights with the kids and found a house that was for sale by owner with a charming exterior. A quick Google search yielded pictures of the interior from when it had previously been on the market, and it needed work, but the kind of work I like to do. In a series of small world events, we knew someone who knew the owners, saw the house, and made an offer. It was rejected – but the circumstances of the rejection made it incredibly easy to walk away. Then the seller came back to us, but after our experience in December we weren’t willing to work with them without representation looking out for our interests, and the sellers were adamantly against that. Anyway, long story short: That door is officially closed – for the last two months I’d been thinking it might happen, and as of this week, B and I have decided that God has been trying to tell us in many ways that that particular house is not the house our family is meant to live in. And we’re listening.
All of that is to say, in December when I thought that we were going to be trying to sell our house quickly, I developed quite the laundry list of things that needed to be immediately handled before listing our home. And when the offer was rejected, I dropped the urgency and didn’t do them. We love our house, but we’ve been overwhelmed by feeling like we don’t have enough space. Which is silly because families of 10 have been raised in houses smaller than ours happily. We don’t know what the future holds for us and our home – we’re in a great situation where we can afford a little more space, but love our house and neighborhood and don’t have to move. If the right house comes along, we’ll probably move within the next year or two, but in the meantime, we need to love our house and make it perfect for us – not for a potential listing down the road. And we need to live well with less, and appreciate what we have – a house over our heads, heat, running water, and more love than we could ever have dreamed of in our sweet little family.
Inspired by Sarah at Clover Lane’s 40 bags in 40 days of the past few years, I started thinking about how de-cluttering might bring me closer to God. It’s something I love – getting rid of stuff – so how is it a sacrifice? But I’ve become obsessed with the question of when and where we will move to a point where it’s preventing me from loving where I am right now, and that’s not okay with me. Because I DO love this house, this neighborhood, and the family we’ve become here. So getting rid of unnecessary things and bringing order to the house will, I think me appreciate all of the gifts in my life and focus more on the here and now. So, this Lent, I’m tackling one room (or area) of the house a week that needs attention and deep cleaning, purging, touching up, and finishing unfinished projects in them. Our main floor’s in pretty good shape, so the last week I’m devoting to just getting a few things finished in each of the rooms on the first floor of our house.
Week 1: Thomas’s Room
Week 2: Nell’s Room
Week 3: Backyard
Week 4: Garage
Week 5: Basement
Week 6: Master Bedroom
Week 7: Main Floor
So that’s my plan for Lent. I’ll post progress on each area each week. Anyone else taking up a Lenten Resolution? Or anyone, Lent or not, want to join me on a 7 week love your house and live with less cleaning and purging challenge?