We got rid of the toys; not all of them, but most of them And I know that I won’t have a problem getting rid of the rest if they start to become an issue. These little pieces of plastic were stealing my joy, but worst of all, I had let them.
This has something that has been brewing for quite sometime now. We got rid of most of our toys last year, but we still had a lot. I wanted to get rid of more toys last year, but with the move and all of the other changes we were facing, I wasn’t quite ready to make that big of a change. I wish I would have though, because I have spent so much time since E was born making the kids clean messes, cleaning messes that were too big for them to clean, and feeling unbelievably irritated because the house was always messy. I try to have them clean up one mess before making another, but honestly, I have too much to do to be constantly monitoring that.
The worst part about it is that I let it happen. I knew better. I knew that the messes were really bothering me and yet I didn’t get rid of the toys sooner. We are still dealing with the move a year later for a myriad of reasons, but the biggest reason we have not been able to get as much done as we would have liked is because of the constant state of chaos. This is something I have been battling with daily. I want to do a, b, and c, but I can’t do any of it until the house is straightened up because it is too chaotic to function. The kid’s couldn’t keep up and neither could I.
As I packed things into trash bags, I could feel a huge burden being lifted from my shoulders. There will still be messes, but the scale will be so much smaller, and now I know that if I feel like it is all too much, that I am capable of letting go. No toy is worth the stress I was feeling at not being able to keep my house neat. I’m no clean freak, I don’t expect perfection, but this was just too much for me. And with the toys in the trash bags and the upstairs clean, I know that any mess that gets made will be easy to clean. It won’t take hours, but minutes. Instead of cleaning or fretting over the cleaning, I can spend more time doing things that are more important, like hugging the kids instead of scolding them for a mess they can’t handle. I went to bed last night with a smile on my face because even though the kids had played upstairs that day, it was still clean.
There is a long road of changes ahead, and we are taking it one step at a time. It is surprisingly freeing to me to make our food from scratch or to dry our laundry on the line, and cloth diapers are actually more convenient than disposables. Wool nursing pads are more comfortable than disposable ones. Chickens are really easy to raise. These things require a little time and effort, but it’s not hard. It is the change in attitude that is hard to make…being willing to try something “new.” The modern ways of doing things are not always more convenient, not always safer, and for a lot of us, it has taken away our feeling of purpose. We just “get by,” but we don’t understand why.
As God continues to pry my fingers off of the way the world lives, I know I will be better for letting go. My problems will not all magically disappear, there will still be stress and the work will be hard. But I can see that as I let go and my stress lessens, I will be happier and my relationships stronger. As we rid our lives of the clutter and the chaos, God’s voice can be heard more easily. Times of transition are difficult because even though we know we are better off, we are tested and tempted to go back to what is familiar, day in, day out. It takes time to get beyond the temptations. I seek God’s will for me in this life, knowing that He has plans for me, and whenever I accept that He wants me to change, I feel happier every time I listen. It is not always easy to make peace with God’s will, but when I embrace it, I find even more peace.
What changes have you been longing to make? Have you made any changes that have brought you more peace?