Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Life In Progress

A place for everything and everything in its place. Our motto these days is more like "no place for anything and nothing in its place."

Thanks to Christmas, the addition of a new baby and traveling, our house is far from orderly. We still have suitcases (empty) in the bedroom, mounds of laundry that seem to multiply overnight, toys in every room of the house and piles of papers and other miscellaneous objects that seem to have no home.

This bugs me. I like order. I enjoy putting things where they go. I want to be able to walk through the house without worrying about tripping over a stray toy or cup.

I'm thinking that's not going to happen until Phil and I are empty-nesters. Realistically, it's probably possible sooner than that, but when I look around the house, I wonder if it's always going to be like this. When we lived in our first apartment, our stuff was packed into it in an out-of-control, embarrassing sort of way. Then, our daughter was born and the disorder was more like chaos. When we moved to the house we now live in, we couldn't believe all the room we had. We've learned, though, that when you upgrade, you find a way to fill the space you have. Add to that the birth of our son and we're back to feeling a little like sardines.

Maybe that means we have too much stuff. Thanks to ample storage space in the attic, we have a few boxes of things we haven't used since we've been married. They're mostly decorative things, I think, like picture frames and wall hangings, although there's also a box of music boxes I've collected since I was a girl that haven't seen the light of day in close to 10 years. I've never been much of a decorator, but I want to be able to display these things and create a homey atmosphere. Right now, the atmosphere is modern toddler, at best; messy family, at worst. I fear that our kids will be 16 before we're able to show off their baby pictures or that Phil and I will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary before I get around to putting up our wedding pictures.

We're definitely a work in progress when it comes to our home, and I know this happens to most families with young children. It's just hard for me to accept because I'm not a work-in-progress type of girl. I like to finish what I start. This was the hardest time management lesson to learn as a reporter. Most of the time, I had to have three or four stories "in progress" while I waited for phone calls to be returned or interviews to be scheduled. If I had waited until one story was finished before I started the next one, I would never have made deadline and probably would have been quickly out of a job.

Most of the time my life feels like a work in progress, too. Some days, I wish I was a lot closer to complete than I am. I'm often reminded of how much work is left to do, especially when I say something I don't really mean, become overwhelmed by the little things, or ignore a need when I could help meet it.

I'm grateful for other work-in-progress people in my life, who even if they're a little closer to complete than I am, remind me that nobody's perfect and nobody will be this side of Heaven. I'm drawn to those kind of people, who easily admit their faults and acknowledge they don't have it all together.

Maybe that's why I've always loved Philippians 1:6: "being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

Someday I'll be complete. Until then, I can rest in the truth that every day is bringing me a little closer to that end.

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