Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Purging Miracle

*I'm on a writing binge today, dear reader. Thanks for reading, anyway!

Imagine, if you will, a basement. In this basement (finished) there are two bedrooms (one guest, one office), a jack-and-jill bathroom, a playroom which is attached to a family room (only separate by a counter/bar/shelf thingy), a furnace room, and a small under-the-stairs storage room (unfinished, but with awesome shelving to the ceiling!). Now imagine, dear reader, that this basement had been ignored by the parental units of the household. The toys were strewn all over throughout every room (except the storage and furnace rooms); all bedding, electronics, books, papers, movies, etc. --everything was strewn all over the basement. Nothing had been filed in the office for 3 years. The parental units, especially the female part of the duo, had ignored this basement for five months (or so). The kids no longer played down there and were embarrassed for their friends to see it. The female parental unit had been exhausted --quite literally --because of her pregnancy. So, she ignored. And ignored. And it festered.

The emotional toll such chaos had on her mind and soul was unbelievable. She felt nothing but stress and exhaustion and more stress and more exhaustion. But she couldn't face it. It was too big of a job. She knew if she started to tackle it before she could REALLY tackle it, nothing would get done --it would go back to the way it was.

Some blamed her kids. "Just make them clean it up!" But it was too far past that. There was major purging that had to be done. It was organization overload (or lack-of-organization overload) and she simply could not force her children to figure out what should be donated or thrown out or fixed or put away. This was HER problem. SHE had to fix it. Because, dear reader, she was/is the CEO of the household. Her responsibility to the peace of the home is incredibly high --and expected by all who live inside the home (including herself!).

And there is more. Much more. Because of the impending birth of another child, this basement needed to be transformed. The office needed to be moved upstairs. The guest room eradicated. The four oldest children needed to move down there into the bedrooms before the baby would be born. The upstairs would include the office and a "baby" room for the toddler and new infant. In a smallish home (5 rooms total) with six children, this was the next step. This had to happen. But not before the basement was purged! Organized! Clean!

So, time went on. Frustration continued to build. And then one day, she noticed she had more energy for things. Could it be the glorious second trimester?! She set aside a day that would begin the "organize the basement" week. That Monday came! She would do it!

But exhaustion won out that Monday. Nothing got done.

Tuesday was the day. She felt it. She HAD to start. She had to! At 19 weeks pregnant, time was starting to slip. If she didn't get going, the 3rd trimester and all it's impossible-to-move stages would occur. She didn't know how she was going to do it, she just knew she had to try.

And that's when the Miracle happened.

Her wonderful friend texted her. "I'm coming over to help you organize your basement. How does 9AM sound?"
After a back and forth, the female parental unit finally conceded that her friend could come over and help her.

And then she cried a little bit.

They spent two hours cleaning and purging. Those two hours gave our female heroine the kick in the pants she needed. For the next four days, she cleaned, organized, purged. She was relentless. The kids were happy to see the five bags and bunch of furniture going to Deseret Industries. Everyone was happy to watch the male parental unit do his job and purge the electronics/gadgets. When 5 large garbage bags were taken out and huge piles of recycling were thrown in the blue bin, there was much rejoicing.

That sweet friend? She went over to the house to help our heroine again two days later for two more hours, this time bearing gifts of organizational bins.

The basement, dear reader, is still not finished. The playroom, family room, guest room, bathroom, and furnace room are purged and clean. Only the office and storage room are left. It's still a work in progress, but it is coming! It's coming along!

What I have learned from this story:

*Sometimes, it's okay to let things go for a while.
*The Holy Ghost prompted my friend to call me after I was prompted to get started. If you notice, she didn't text me out of the blue on a day when I wasn't ready. He waited until I was ready, and then sent me some help.
*True service isn't lip-service. True service is just DOING something. I've had dozens of people offer to come help me (which I still really appreciate), but only one just came instead.
*Purging a disorganized house is therapy for the soul. As I organized, I felt so many emotional burdens holding me down lift off of my shoulders. Cleanliness truly is next to Godliness!

Thank you, Christina. You have no idea what you did for me last week! Or maybe you did. :)


Handsfullmom said...

You did most of the work yourself -- seriously, I can't believe how much you got done! Great work!

Cheryl said...

That is an awesome example of service...just get in there and do it!