It’s a cold autumn morning here in South Dakota and my children are still asleep. That almost never happens. My house is quiet except for the dishwasher I forgot to turn on last night and the clacking of the keys as I type. As I sit here reading through blogs from others taking the 31 Day Challenge, I’ve got a nice warm cup of Irish tea (thank you Lori and Brent for introducing this to me years ago).
I could sit like this all morning. But then I remember my goals to try and get rid of more boxes this weekend, paint a bookshelf, and clean up the house with the kids. Oh and I have to sew for a craft show in four weeks. Sigh. It never seems to end, does it?
Since I’ve been sharing with you about the process of making this house a home after our move, I will share with you the insane amounts of stress the first few weeks. We moved in a week and a half before the first day of school. Boxes surrounded us and it was hard to navigate rooms. Important things were somewhere in the disorganized stacks of boxes in the garage and we needed to find them–NOW.
I found myself losing sleep and on the verge of tears often. Friends would try to be helpful with reminders that it all didn’t have to be done overnight. But I needed some of it done NOW and I felt incredibly overwhelmed as the only adult here.
Plus if one more friend posted “encouragement” on Facebook to relish the last days of summer and do amazing things with your kids out in the Black Hills, I was going to scream. I felt so guilty for not doing that and when I did plan something I felt the weight of what waited at home.
I realized one day the cause of my stress wasn’t a need for perfectionism. It was a need to nest. I felt a need to make my home a sanctuary for my children who had been through so much. We were approaching both the start of a new year that included new schools for three of my four kids and the one year anniversary of their father’s death.
I didn’t want my home unpacked for vanity. I needed it to be a place they felt safe and unstressed. I needed for them not to worry or feel lost amidst the clutter. If the start of this new year was rocky, I needed them to know home was a safe place to fall. Those are noble reasons to want to do this quickly. Those are the nesting instincts God wired into me.
I sit here over a month after our move-in and I’m still not done with boxes. However, thanks to lists and friends and Myquillyn Smith’s book The Nesting Place, I’m more settled. It is coming together. (I will share more on her fantastic book in a coming blog.) Today I will tackle painting a shelf that will let the girls find some semblance of order in their room and remove the boxes giving it a claustrophobic feeling.
But first, I have a cuppa tea to finish and a few more blogs to read. Sometimes finding balance in the boxes includes making time to nourish the soul, too.