This is a post I started writing two weeks ago, but lost track of, so please forgive my dating in the entry...
Yesterday at dinner, I told my mom that I felt like I hadn't gotten much done yesterday. She told me to make a list and see if I had or if I hadn't. She's right. Making lists is one of the things I've been doing to help me remember that I am getting things done. Sometimes it feels like I'm just treading water and it's quite frustrating.
Yesterday this is what I got done:
+ My mother in law came over to make a fax (after several attempts and reprinting the document darker), it got done.
+ Old fireplace insert and gas line were removed by HVAC man.
+ Homeschooled all 3 kids
+ Made pork tacos for dinner.
+ Got refund completed for gas insert we'd ordered.
+ Rescheduled dishwasher repairman when they cancelled on me.
+ Fixed church's website.
+ Painted remaining strip of paneling in den.
+ Followed up with homeschooling umbrella for my mother in law.
+ Followed up on the gym membership we've been trying for 3 months to cancel.
+ Changed all sheets and towels in the house.
+ Did 3 loads of laundry (but my mom folded them).
It also feels like there's always been someone at my house to come fix something. When we call someone it isn't because I don't think my husband can fix it. A few of them were projects we could do, but then we had to weigh the cost of the project and the amount of time we have to work with, schedules, and priorities (both of our regular days and how quickly the project needed to be taken care of). A few of them were projects we simply couldn't do (ie. tune the piano). I am always impressed by my husband all the things that he can fix. I am so thankful for him. I try to do my share to and help as much as I can.
It makes me feel good to realize what we've already tackled:
+ Fireplace insert removed; screens and grate purchased and fixed (one had to be split)
+ Leaves in yard cleared (done by a good friend's sons)
+ Several rooms painted
+ Den carpet cleaned
+ Extra water heater full of water (and being heated!) removed
+ Kitchen sewer pipe connected to main sewer pipe instead of french drain
+ Main water turn off valve replaced and pressure release valve put in
+ Hot Water baseboard leak fixed
+ Piano tuned
+ Stove backsplash replaced
+ Patio doors finished and caulked (batten strips still to be afixed)
+ Bathroom vanity mirrors: Trim fitted and caulked (quite a big project for me)
+ Baseboards fitted, finished, and afixed in dining room
+ Removed several trash cans full of trash, including a crib left in the backyard!
+ Replaced light fixtures in two bedrooms
+ Replaced outlets in den (done by good friends)
+ Waterproof windows that are cracked open and can't be closed
Amidst getting all of this and other things done, my mother in law moved into our other home. My husband helped his brothers move everything in. We've been helping her find her way around and find the things that she needs.
And then there was Christmas, New Year's, and a visit from my brother and his wife.
Putting it all down on paper (so to speak) by listing what we've done makes what we have left to do seem to be much less. The burden lightens and it helps me understand why I feel so tired and drained right now.
Here's our list for the spring and rest of this year...
+ Trim and remove trees
+ Rock in moat and regrade to help yard drainage
+ Paint hallway, living room, and bathrooms (including baseboard heaters and vanity)
+ Remodel master bathroom
+ Replace back door
The reality of owning a house is that there are always projects and things to do. Taking care of a house is ongoing. For people like me, who want to take of things and be done with them, this can be very hard.
I know a young couple who is considering purchasing a townhome rather than a single family home. There are definitely pros and cons to both--both in the short term and long term. There are so many things to consider. I hope that watching us and all of the things we've had to deal with haven't deterred them. I realize that these projects we have on our plates will eventually calm down. Really, they already are. Over the last month, I've felt stretched emotionally and physically. But, I hope I've grown too. I've grown in understanding for others who have a lot of home repair. I'm learning, hopefully, to live with things undone and yet to be done. This is a must in life. We try to control our lives and have everything done and put away, but the reality
is that life is messy. It may not look messy, but it isn't all neat and ordered. Life is unpredictable and we (I) have to cope with what comes each day--with the help of the Lord. It is the Lord that gives us hope and courage to put one foot in front of the other.
Last Sunday our pastor spoke about troubles and how David didn't respond to his troubles--he didn't respond by trying to fix it all himself out of pride. So often I do try to fix things on my own. This house has reminded me over and over that I can't do that. I have to wait on Him, rely on Him for strength, and wait for Him to put the pieces together. I do need to do my part and actively put one foot in front of the other, but there is a balance between working and waiting. I can only work because the Lord gives me strength.