Thursday, October 25, 2012

Building my house

The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish one tears it down with her own hands.
--Proverbs 14:1
2:54 p.m. Today's project was to begin The House that Cleans Itself by Mindy Starns Clark, and with the book, its methods. I like the premise of the need to focus not on changing behaviors (such as piling up clutter), but on changing one's house into one that's set up to be conducive to keeping things very--not perfectly--clean. I feel that the Lord is leading me to put our property in order after so much emotional chaos and physical neglect while I cared for Steve here. The offers of unsolicited help from my kids to do just that is a confirmation to me, and very welcome. But the responsibility is mine, as the homeowner, and God's, who owns everything!

My main indoor problem is piles of paper--household mail and bills, my Mary Kay customers' records, Bible teaching and writing ministry binders and notebooks. General mail is not a problem, because I walk from the mailbox to my paper recycling dumpster before taking it into the house. Unless it's personally addressed to a family member, it goes away. (That's about 90%). I began auto bill pay some months ago, but need the bills themselves to put in the correct amount for a given month, as utility bills vary. Additionally, I may want to pay a bit more on a particular bill if the Lord has blessed me with some extra funds.

Wait! Revise! The true indoor problem I have is being hyper, distracted, and going off on rabbit trails. For example, the first step the author suggests is drawing a floor plan of my home. No problem, right? I've lived here 24 years. There wouldn't have been a problem if semi-perfectionist me hadn't wasted 20 minutes searching for 8 1/2" by 11" graph paper. The map needs to look sharp and pretty, doesn't it? Even if I'm the only one who sees it. Came up empty after searching through my office. I, or a child I loaned it to, must have used it all up,. So, down in the mouth, I mentally settled for using a college-ruled spiral notebook. Spending money for graph paper would be off-budget, kind of silly.

By now, it was about 3 p.m., so I needed to go upstairs, taking my notebook with me,for a 20 minute nap before changing clothes and traveling to Redlands for our Mary Kay Success meeting. I'd been doing a lot of booking by phone before I took a break to start on the cleaning book. When I got back up,  I corrected myself thus: set up the dogs' dinner and water in their crates, bring them in, and THEN clean myself up and change for the meeting. The book could wait a few hours. I did feel convicted of my unintentional procrastination. Exodus 22:29 says of following God's command concerning offerings,

You shall not delay to offer the first of your ripe produce...

And in a more relatable and spiritual sense, we can look to Psalm 119:57, 59-60:

You are my portion, O LORD;
I have said that I would keep Your words...
I thought about my ways,
And turned my feet to Your
I made haste, and did not delay
To keep Your commandments.

In other words, get it done!

Now back at home after conducting the skincare class for the unit, I let the dogs out, refreshed their water, and crated them for the night--another 20 minute process that called for a change of shoes and donning my Freedom Alert alarm pendant before dealing with them. Bless their hearts, it's not that Jada or Jazzlyn would bite me, but with their twists and turns and getting underfoot (amazing for two such huge dogs) I could fall like I did a few inches on my tile when Jazzlyn slipped on her way to the garage. Did you know that dogs cause 1 million injuries to their owners in the US each year? I fully believe it! So I make meticulous preparations for every part of their day, much as I did as a mom, getting everything ready for my little ones before they woke up. The dogs are VERY time-consuming. But somehow, they are just so endearing, no matter how pesky some of their behaviors are!

Now, time to start my floor plan, which I did with the upstairs first. That diagram is fairly decent, although I do see why my dad says my handwriting is illegible. The next sketch, downstairs, is a complete mess. And tracing over my lines and labels with dark marker , as directed, did NOT help. Good thing I know where I am in my house and what the diagram actually means! An emphasis is to be put upon the most frequent places of ingress and egress, to determine traffic flow. For me, it's the door from the garage because I park the Jeep inside. But when family or friends are over, the front door obviously gets the most traffic.

The book is written with the idea that there are a number of people in the home, a family. A single house dweller like myself at this point, can probably make changes quickly, since there are no other opinions to consider. But on the other hand, there is no one to blame if things are out of order!

I'll report on my progress periodically as I learn the method, while keeping in mind that God is a God of order. As I Corinthians 14:40 says should be the conduct of a church service, so I want my home and activities to be!

Let all things be done decently and in order.


  1. This is great. Did you prioritize your areas yet? Yep, paper clutter has been a huge problem for me as well.

    On another note, I keep wanting to read about the pink car you win to replace that jeep.

    Hugs and prayers,

  2. The "Trophy on Wheels" (the Pink Cadillac)is a ways down the road, but there are less luxurious cars to earn along the way!

    Carol, thank you again, because I really like that book! So I'm going to follow the steps assiduously. I think the flow pattern is next, or is it the prioritizing? Both give me the willies, but I've said I would do it, so I will!

    Praying for you and DH,