In Other Words: Brick Walls

Today’s quote:
“….the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They are there to stop the other people…..Brick walls are there for a reason. They give us a chance to show how badly we want something.”
~Dr. Randy Pausch

A clean house. Not perfect. Not immaculate. Just in a state of relatively consistent comfortable cleanliness.

That is my brick wall. It’s about 1,00o,000 feet high, and maybe 2,000 feet thick, with no decent chinks for shoving in my fingers and toes to climb it. Too bad I’m not a snail.

Honestly, I don’t even know how to write about this. On one hand, I understand that my having four kids under the age of five can really put a damper on my efforts. On the other hand, I wonder if I am using my kids as an excuse to be lazy.

“She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”
~Proverbs 31:27

This is a verse that almost haunts me. Is idleness the reason I can’t seem to climb my brick wall? So many women have told me over and over that I need to cut myself some slack. While that is encouraging, and probably true, I can’t help but wonder: Do I cut myself too much slack? Am I just lazy?

There is a war in my head over these questions, and I’m not quite sure who the combatants really are. I’m almost positive that the Enemy has control of at least one voice in there. I also know that my own flesh claims responsibility for the casualties. Where is the Voice of Reason in all this?

The desire to have a comfortable, clean, and welcoming home is so strong in my heart. I just honestly don’t know why this brick wall is so high and so wide for me. Yes, I have four kids. So what? Shouldn’t I be able to keep up with just the basics better than I do?

I have tried listing and prioritizing. I’ve tried flexible scheduling. I’ve tried just picking up as I go. I have tried getting rid of more and more and yet more stuff. I haven’t been able to make any of them work for me.

I am overwhelmed by this wall. It feels like I’m standing at its foot, looking up, and I can’t see the top because it’s so high. It feels impossible. It looks like it just might fall on me and crush me. My instinct is to turn my back on the wall and pretend it’s not there. But something even stronger inside me tells me to look for the ladder or door or gate or any breach of any kind. Something. Anything that will just give me a boost.

And I’ve found one small chink – that may turn out to be a nice, wide gate. I finally swallowed a lot of pride, and asked several of my girlfriends to come help me out. We are going to have ourselves a housecleaning party. I am going to do my best to get daily chores out of the way as best as I can before that day, then we are going to give my house a top-to-bottom spring cleaning. Complete with babysitter, potluck, and probably loud music! And I think we will end the day on a chocolate note.

I have been wanting to ask for help for a long time, but it just seems like so much! I keep telling myself I’d do one big job each week, so I could get it done. But I can barely keep clean dishes in the cupboard and clean underwear in our drawers. I give up. I surrender. I’m going to let other people make me the object of their charity.

So. Maybe my brick wall has nothing to do with my house. Maybe it has much more to do with my pride. Hm. Apparently, I have some serious praying to do. Pronto.

Thank you, Lori, for hosting today! .


6 thoughts on “In Other Words: Brick Walls

  1. I really enjoyed your take on this one…we ALL feel overwhelmed at some point and asking for help is sometimes the hardest thing! What a blessing to have friends who will come on over and share…many hands make light work, and I’ll bet soon enough you’ll be asked to “do the same…” and you will, because you understand!:)

    Oh, the images are ones I make…help yourself…I haven’t decided WHAT to do with them yet…I make them for Word Filled Wednesdays…it’s a creative outlet in a crazy house! I had 3 under 5, so I feel your craziness..

    I’m so happy you joined us today!
    I’ll be back!!

  2. I’m right there with you without the four kids under five. I have two teens and husband prone to leaving stuff all around the house. I pick it up and put it away and the next day here we go again! It is my responsibility and duty, but boy does it leave me undone. Crazy – but my wall at home would be made of CLOTHES… a MOUNTAIN of them that need to be gone!

    You know I am going to pray for God to bring a friend to you who will walk with you, help you and give you a leg up in climbing your wall.

    For now I have to go and pick up my daughter from work. I will be back.

    Try the laundry basket, 15 minute method. Gather up as much as will fit in a laundry basket and tackle small projects 15 minutes at a time. Maybe you could take your kids to Mother’s Day Out or something to give you time to work on the house. Could be a possible option… I don’t know.. I don’t have small children and never mastered it when I did. So, pray and ask God to provide the way! Glory is His, sweet friend. Just lay it at His feet and trust Him with your “mess.”

    Bless You.


  3. Having your girl friends over to help sounds like it will be fun – especially if you’re going to have loud music and chocolate. My kids are getting old enough to help out, but the clutter still gets to me. I don’t really enjoy scrubbing floors and toilets either. Usually, we start out fresh when we move, but we haven’t done that for 8 years. So things are starting to build up around here. It’s just amazing how stuff accumulates.

  4. I really don’t know what to say that is encouraging. I do believe that *sometimes* the cutting ourselves slack answer is an excuse. So I don’t know. I wish I was there to help you on your cleaning day! The only other suggestion I have is to use your kiddos as much as possible to help. My 5 and 3 year olds can be a big help when I assign them jobs.

  5. I hear ya – I struggle w/ this need to be ‘perfect’ – have a clean, tidy house AND cook wholesome from scratch meals daily AND be a great homeschooling mama AND a great supportive wife AND a loving daughter of Christ AND a good friend AND a busy volunteer AND …. man, it’s hard to just take a breath and ask for help. I did that last night w/ my hubby and it was both great and painful – but needed.

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