Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Sigh of Relief

Life can get very stressful.  That's a no brainer, huh?  It gets even more stressful when your house looks like a hurricane followed a tornado through the middle of the house, then a bulldozer and a herd of kids ran through.  The "stuff" piles up, adds up, gets in the way, demands either step over it, push it aside, or fall over it, collects dust, takes up space, and just brings anxiety. 

I'll admit it, my own house looked like that.  My dustbunnies had multiple generations of snarling, drooling, wild bunnies that threatened to attack at any moment.  Here I thought I'd tamed them and made pets of them.  Our "stuff" had taken over the house and our lives, with piles on everything, little space to walk, clutter everywhere, and the ravenous dustbunnies.  I had lost my home to stuff. 

It wasn't just the bedrooms, it was the kitchen, dining room, living room, you name it.  I'd not had motivation to deal with the "stuff" and seems it kept growing and growing and growing. 

The family here wasn't exactly helpful either.  The kids all had major hissy fits when asked to do something.  Daddy did too.  Daddy is also a hoarder in training, just little things in case we may need them 20 years from now.  I'd have a cow and demand help, hubby wouldn't enforce making the kids pitch in until I was in the middle of giving birth to a 3rd or 4th calf.  I wouldn't let people through the door voluntarily.  I was completely ashamed of how the house had gotten in the span of years.  This wasn't me, this wasn't how I was brought up, and this isn't how I'd kept house before moving to this one.  I'd kept a huge Victorian with 4 bedrooms and 2 baths and tons of space near immaculate with 3 much younger kids and the hoarder....but smaller space and more "stuff" won. 

Then....a hard hard life changing event rocked our world.  Lots of visitors started coming, and I was totally ashamed of our house, and had been for a long long long (did I mention long?) while.  I had to do it.  I had to get the clutter gone.  I had to crack the whip on the dust bunnies even if I lost an arm in the process.  There was a deadline to meet, and Lord bless me it was gonna get done.

In under 48 hours, I decluttered the entire house.  3 Bedrooms, a bath, dining room, living room, kitchen.  Things I'd held on to for a long while suddenly lost value and either went to the storage shed or the trash bag.  Things hubby had coveted, they went in the same locations.  The kids had fair warning, either pick it up or I would, and if Mom had to then it went to the trash bag.  One child figured I was full of hot air, and came home to find a totally decluttered room and much of her goodies and papers filed away in the stash for the landfill.  Broken toys, crayons, torn papers, you name it...  The older ones took me serious and their room was a breeze, even the black hole of the closet.  The bedroom, that was the hardest for hubby, to let go of things that he'd held on to, collected dust bunny families, etc.  But he let go.  My own stash of things had a quick sort, and many of my own things made it to the trash or shed.  And the back storage closet. 

We took out a truck load of junk in trashbags, as well as 3 barrels of 55 gallons each, 2x.  It was a smaller scale version of the "Hoarders" show on cable.  The storage shed gained a lot of things. 

And I got my house back.

Things are in order now.  I can see my floors.  I can even keep them clean!  Now each night I mop the floors with linoleum on them.  Each day or every other day the entire house is vaccuumed.  Dusting is very regular, and it's a game.  You can try this one too:  grab the kids, give them a dust rag with your favorite cleaner, and set them out on a journey to wipe out dust bunnies.  The boys are professional dust bunny killers.  For us, Old English is dust bunny kryptonite.  It totally works on our pocket doors and in the grooves that the little dusty families moved into.  They learned how to use the big duster, that looks like a fluffy Persian tail on a pole, and go to the ceiling with it.  They've started taking pride in a clean home, and are willing to help keep it up.  Hubby loves the cleanliness and helps as well. 

And it's much much more relaxed in the house.  The whole atmosphere changed.  I'm not depressed and ashamed of my house.  Wanna visit?  You don't have to schedule 3 months in advance, just stop on by. 

Why am I admitting to all this?  I know there's others out there like me, who have been overwhelmed by things in life and let the basics go.  Life gets overwhelming, and then add in clutter and the rabid dustbunnies, and it gets downright depressing.  You look around, wondering where to start, and give up. 

I'm finding that a loose schedule for cleaning is great.  I downloaded the one from Time Warp Wife, and it works well for our family.  It may be something you may be interested in too!

If you're in the cluttered house can come out of it.  Start somewhere and work through it.  Or do a major declutter/clean and make a very short deadline--that works unbelievably well.  You can do it! 

Call upon the Lord to help you--He is there, He knows how you feel.  You're called to be a homemaker and keeper of the home--be encouraged that there is help and others out there who have been there in the dust bunny depression!  You CAN do it!

Saturday, January 12, 2013


For the past 8 or so years, off and on, I've been on a search.  When I've had a moment to dedicate to the cause, I've been looking for family members that I've not seen or heard from in many years.  This week I found not 1 but 6.

My mother's side of the family is more aloof, or so I've always seen them that way.  I grew up far away from most of our family on both mom and dad's side, so it wasn't a natural thing to really get to know them.  Both parents weren't the most sociable as well, which cooled down family ties over the years. 

After becoming part of the Abella family, I wanted to find more of my own.  Sure, I've kept in contact with a couple of family members, including one I consider my "second mom", but that's nothing compared to the family ties that I saw and continue to see in my husband's family. 

Hubby has a family that is both local and scattered, if that makes sense.  He has local family via his mother's side, which are Kansas born and raised many generations back.  He has family within a block of his family home, and all over the little town he grew up in, and out in the county, mostly concentrated in a 2 to 3 county area.  He has family also scattered throughout the US and Cuba.  Despite the distance, they try to see each other or at the very least email or call or write one another.  They keep the family ties tied tight. 

I wanted that, and in a way still do.  So I started searching for family I hadn't seen since my mother's funeral in 2003.  It was a messy thing, with mom dying within 2 weeks of being diagnosed with lung cancer.  Family fought with family over meager belongings, which mom had tended to prior with a living will and a list of what she wanted to go to whom, and had put her care taker in charge of the legal stuff.  Unbeknownst to family, including sisters, that wasn't me. 

I lived 6 hours away from her and my sister, 3 hours from other family, and was a single mom freshly out on my own and tending my Kevin.  At the time he was medically fragile, and it was all it took for me to make it from one day to the next.  Family outside of where I lived was not exactly my highest priority.  I was not ready for the expedited loss of mom, especially after losing dad in 2000 to cancer with even less notice.  I kept in contact with mom when I could, and she helped me when she was able to maybe buy a few extra groceries or put a little gas in the car.  She helped fund my way away from my abusive ex (Kevin's dad), or I wouldn't have been able to leave and make it to a safe shelter and be able to start life over. 

Fast forward 3 months from the day she helped me leave, and she was dying.  I don't know if she knew before an "official" diagnosis, but the doctor told me and her caretaker and so on that she had 2 weeks.  Exactly 14 days from then, she was gone.  During that time, I made sure she got to see her youngest grandbaby (at the time), I tried to be there as much as I could and still keep my job.  I tried to be in both places as much as possible, and the night she died, I was at home 6 hours away, and a hospice nurse in the nursing home she'd went to just days before called to tell me she'd passed.  Her care taker gave me info on her funeral, I was told what I could take home from her apartment before the care taker cleared it within the time frame given, and we buried mom.  It seems like decades ago, and it almost is one. 

One of the things I was given was mom's address/contact book.  I kept it in my purse, along with a toy that she'd given to Kevin.  I never left my purse anywhere, never let it out of my sight.  Then one night at work my purse was stolen, with that contact book and all my ID's/checks/etc.  And the toy.  I lost all addresses, phone numbers, etc of a ton of family members.  I didn't have any of them memorized.  Within a day or so after the funeral the caretaker dropped all communication with me and any others in the family, and that was the last I ever heard from her.  The rest, I had no idea. 

Not too long after, I started searching names online, trying to find some info.  I didn't have lots of time to dedicate to the mission, so I fell flat each time.  My searches usually led to the places where you pay for subscriptions, and it seems I never had the extra to part with.  So my searches went on and on.  Then, this week I hit paydirt.

I found on Facebook 2 nephews!

Then things turned downward, the happy feeling to bittersweet.  I learned the sister, the next sister in age older than me, was dead.  She'd committed suicide.  No one told me.  I'd been looking since 2004 for her, no one in the family had bothered to tell me she'd died, let alone how.   I never got the chance to try to clear up misconceptions that went on between us.  I never got to show big sis that I wasn't what I was made out to be.  And I never got to share the gospel with her.  As far as I know, she didn't know Jesus. 

My sister was in her mid 40's when she took her life.  She had multiple medical issues, many related to uncontrolled diabetes, which runs rampant in our family.  She also had a long history of mental illness, with a psychiatrist who'd been put in prison for some unscrupulous actions.  So, her treatment wasn't optimal, and she suffered with depression for most of her life.  She was close to mom, and mom's passing combined with misconceptions she harbored pushed her beyond her abilities. 

It's been many years, but it is fresh to me.  I just learned this week.  So I am grieving the loss of my sister.  I grieve that I never got to tell her all about how Jesus loves her and wants to be her Savior.  I'm saddened that she never knew the One who could have delivered her from her depression.  It didn't have to be. 

Something can be taken away from this....tell your family you love them.  Tell them about Jesus, if they don't know Him.  So what if they may not like to hear it..they need to know!

God is the Healer, He takes care of hurts and heals all wounds.  And someday very soon, there will be no more tears, no more sorrows, no more hurts and fears.  Only Him. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

This World Is Not My Home

This world is not my home, I'm just a passing thru
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue;
The angels beckon me from heaven's open door,
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.

Chorus:  O Lord, you know I have no friend like you,
If heaven's not my home then Lord what will I do?
The angels beckon me from heaven's open door,
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.

They're all expecting me, and that's one thing I know,
My Savior pardoned me and now I onward go;
I know He'll take me thru tho I am week and poor
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.

I have a loving mother up in the glory land
I don't expect to step until I shake her hand;
She's waiting now for me in heaven's open door
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.

Just up in glory land we'll live eternally,
The saints on ev'ry hand are shouting victory,
Their songs of sweetest praise
Drift back from heaven's shore
And I can't feel at home in this world anymore.

--Albert Brumley

Thursday, January 3, 2013

And The Wolf Shall Dwell With The Lamb

This year I've started a bible reading program, a very simple one, that includes reading 4 chapters a day.  With no particular place to start, I went to Isaiah and began the adventure there.  Immediately verses started popping out at me like they'd never done before, so I had to start making a daily list of the verses God showed me to take extra notice of. 

This evening's reading led me into Isaiah 11.   Oh how this spoke to my heart!

Isaiah 1:1--And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:

Isa 11:2And the spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD;
Isa 11:3And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears:

Isa 11:4But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.

Isa 11:5And righteousness shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.

Isa 11:6The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

Isa 11:7And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.

Isa 11:8And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice' den.

Isa 11:9They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

Isa 11:10And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

Isa 11:11And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.

Isa 11:12And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.

Isa 11:13The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.

Isa 11:14But they shall fly upon the shoulders of the Philistines toward the west; they shall spoil them of the east together: they shall lay their hand upon Edom and Moab; and the children of Ammon shall obey them.

Isa 11:15And the LORD shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make [men] go over dryshod.

Isa 11:16And there shall be an highway for the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria; like as it was to Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.

(verses from Blue Letter Bible)

Isn't this chapter so encouraging??  Read it again, and see how the Lord will bring peace.  His breath will slay wicked people.  No more sin!  No more anger, hurt, tears, fears, all the bad things we experience now.  He will be righteous and faithful!

See how the animals act in the time to come.  The wolf and the lamb lay by each other.  If you've ever seen wolves, they don't usually lay by a lamb.  I've raised wolves in my younger years prior to my son's birth, and lambs were something the pack would salivate over...lambs, deer, you name it.  A wolf in the wild absolutely would not be friendly to a lamb.  With Jesus ruling and all sin taken away, the lion will eat straw with the ox.  The cute little gray tabby cat will not look at the goldfish as a sushi dinner.  The dog will not chase the cat.  The parakeet will be safe from the four legged friends.  If you've ever seen National Geographic, you know this doesn't happen right now. There'll be no need for bloodshed and eating of other animals.  The calf and the young lion will not be enemies engaging in a predator/prey relationship, they'll be friendly to one another.  They'll be docile to where a child can be with them. 

Children will have no fear in playing.  There will be no fear of the asp and the cockatrice.  The asp is a very deadly.  The cockatrice, according to my study bible notations, is also a snake.  Neither is something we'd right now want our children around, let alone playing with or putting hands in their dens!  But with the Lord reigning and ruling, they will be docile.  It'll be safe to go fishing and not worry about the rattlesnake!  The chiggers will no longer look at us as lunch!  Can I hear an Amen???!!???

The Lord will rule and the world will be without sin and hurt, we will be able to worship Him and not have the persecutions and trials that come now, whether soft or severe.  He will be with us, we will be with Him, and nothing will take us away.  Israel (Ephraim) will be restored and they will know the Messiah. 

I found this such an encouragement....knowing that soon Jesus WILL rule and reign on His rightful throne.  It's been foretold back in Isaiah's days, and it's been a long while waiting, but only a few moments in God's eyes. 

Hallaluiah Christ WILL rule and reign and nothing the devil or any earthly rulers can stop Him!

Joyfully shared with:

Far Above Rubies

Growing Home

Time Warp Wife

The Modest Mom

A Mama's Story