In a recent get-together of the girls of my Newly Nearly Married Class at Sugar Creek, I heard a presentation by another lady in the church. She was so inspiring that I wrote a summary of it for those who weren't there. I'm still so motivated by her ideas that I wanted to share it with you all too.
I'm brewing lots of ideas for future posts. My new part-time job as wedding planner is only making me see how marketing gets the best of us in this area too. We are trying to counter the "It's the most perfect day of your life" mentality with some common sense, but I'm not sure yet who is winning. I can't wait to tell you the story of my wedding dress.
Here is the message I sent to my friends in the class:
WOW!! What a FABULOSO* presentation Kim had for us Tuesday night. I was intrigued, inspired and impressed! She gave so many thought provoking ideas that I just had to take notes, and this morning I'm even taking more as I remember the pearls of wisdom she shared. I could write a book with all the insights I've gained. Thank you Kim!
First of all, I must say, that I felt a teensy bit intimidated at how Kim seems to have her life running so smoothly. As I looked at this Godly, confident, beautiful, impeccably groomed, vivacious woman, I just kept thinking that she seems so "together". Isn't that how I would like to present myself to the world? Yes!
Although my first intinct was to be inspired, the second was to feel overwhelmed with the thought that maybe I'm not that way. Maybe I can't do that. Hello, FEAR, INSECURITY, & LACK OF FAITH. Don't I know that with God all things are possible to those who love him and are called according to his purpose? With God and the role models in Kim, Kathy and each other, I can grow from where I am right now. There is no need to compare myself to her or anyone else.
Kim actually touched on this issue of comparison. She was talking about not comparing your possessions or yourself to others. Be content with what you have because it makes what you have special. Don't feel less because your house isn't as big as a friend or coworkers. Comparing ourselves to others is dangerous breeding ground for discontentment and disappointment. We must walk our own walk. We can't all have Susie's fabulous hair, play an instrument like Holly, have beautiful blue eyes like Sara, teach like Kathy, or any of the other special qualities that girls in the class possess. :) But we can be the very best of ourselves, the self that God made us to be.
Kim gave the example of her son. He loves everything cars, and wasn't interested in much else. Kim and her husband wondered what would become of him because of his single-minded focus on cars, his passion. What happened was that he decided to start a car washing business to earn money to buy himself a car. To this day, that business is thriving and successful. What a wonderful example of using your uniqueness to share with the world. Don't doubt that him taking great care and love to wash cars enhances others lives too.
Isn't this attitude much more satisfying than lamenting what we don't have! I know we've heard it a million times, but implant it in your heart girls-- embrace yourself, love who you are and what you have to offer. What is your passion? Nothing is silly. Kim also made her own business from her passion for cleaning. Her friend and partner from all those years ago (17 years?) is still operating the house cleaning business that they started in their spare time (Mother's morning out days) to earn some extra money. And now Kim is sharing her passion with us so that we may benefit from what she has learned. Not silly at all.
Kim kept repeating a certain phrase that I love. As she was telling us how to clean our homes more efficiently, she said "a little every day". First, get your house clean, then do it a little every day to keep it that way. She has a routine every morning. Two cups of coffee :), makes her bed, and a load of laundry. These things are on auto-pilot for her and keeps the chaos away in her home. Routines give you peace. We have to make our own schedules to fit our needs. Hers is to rest on the weekend and spend time with her family, pick up house on Sunday night, then Monday morning is cleaning day. She also makes it a priority to cook at least 4 meals per week. Her recipes take less than 30 minutes and they are healthy. Kim made the analogy that our home is like a little business. She treats it with respect and diligence to keep it running smoothly.
Her message throughout was that a clean house gives you freedom. When you have your work done, you are prepared. You have the freedom to spend time with your family, have personal devotion time, have people over, or just rest. Cleaning is not the priority, God and people are, but we must manage cleaning as one of our priorities so we can enjoy other aspects of our life. Nobody needs to live in chaos. I read in a book (Flylady's) that CHAOS means "Can't have anyone over syndrome." So true!
Kim brought her cleaning bucket with her. She had inside Windex, Comet, Fabuloso, a sponge in a plastic cup, toilet scrubber in a plastic cup, lambs wool duster, paper towels, dusting cloths (cloth diapers), and white cotton towels for glass, rubber gloves, a toothbrush and a trash bag. She explained how to be efficient while you are cleaning. The basics are: don't be distracted, clean one room at a time, carry your bucket with you, and clear all surfaces before cleaning. Products don't have to be expensive or complicated. Her recommendations for floors are old fashioned mops and a Hoover vacuum cleaner. She mops or vacuums herself out of the room to signal that she is finished with that space.
As Kim went through her presentation she managed to weave in all sorts of advice about relationships too. She expressed how having her house clean and in order (not perfect!) was nurturing and calming to her family. A clean bedroom and made bed shows her husband that romance is a priority and their space is a restful retreat. She taught her children from a very young age to pick up their toys to learn responsibility. Her opinion on friendships was very clear. We need to also make time for our friendships with other women. Kim makes time for God in the morning because she feels that she is giving him her best at that time. Her husband and her have a date night every Friday night and this is a weekly routine for them. She has been married 26 years!
Aren't we so lucky that Kim came to share her secrets with us? I am so inspired by Kim and Kathy too. These are women that make it look easy, but I know that there is discipline, hard work, and faithfulness that allow them to make time for us and accomplish so much.
The great news? We can do this too! My personal motto is "Progress not Perfection" and I'll add Kim's "A little every day". Now go spritz that final shot of Windex** on your life so it will SHINE!
*For those who don't already know. Fabuloso is a cleaning product. I straightaway went out and bought some. I'm not entirely sure it's not addictive because I've mopped three times since.
**You had to be there, but you weren't, so Kim said she always spritzes the counters, sinks, faucets with Windex at the end because it gives is a clean shine.