letting go of your mental laundry pile

This month I'm really wanting to focus on giving these guys my attention first at home:


Lately I've been having these ongoing stressful thoughts in my head constantly reminding me of how much work I have to do, what's not being done, and how far behind I am. I'm getting so tired of them stealing my daily joy. I realized the other day that I'm stressing out because I'm deciding that things are a bigger deal than they really are.

Having stuff to do every day will not go away anytime soon, so I can with the Lord's help either choose to enjoy doing these tasks, stop doing them altogether, or find a way to make them work better for me.  

:: example of what goes on in my head: 
problem: This pile of dirty laundry is not going to go away. Ever.

:: usual {negative} thought pattern:
I have so much to do. It will never go away. I feel defeated and I haven't even started because it's never ending. Even with all my crazy laundry hacks, I can't stay on top of it with everything else going on. Ughh.

:: realization with the Lord's help of what needs to change: 
1. My perspective is skewed. I really don't have that much to do. I have maybe 2-3 loads to wash and put away.  I'm getting overwhelmed for nothing. AND... it is not a big deal to have laundry to do. We are blessed to have clothes and machines and electricity to wash them! :) There are much bigger problems to deal with in life than having lots of laundry to wash.

2. Maybe I also have too much laundry to do because we have too many clothes. A blessing has become a curse because it's not enjoyed in moderation. I need to stay on top of cleaning out excess {something that has improved significantly since I've realized this!!}, and be more careful of what I buy in the future.

3. I have lots of helpers who I haven't been training to help me with this increasing load of work. At 4, 6, 9, and 10, they are more than capable of not only folding and putting away like they already do, they are also more than capable of running a load all on their own. I need to assign chores more often than I do to help them take on responsibilities of their own.

q: if the laundry buzzes and no one hears it, does it actually make a noise?
:: result of replacing negative thoughts with reality:
I let go of the laundry anxiety I'm holding on to, and can implement solutions to actually help the situation instead of dwelling on what's not happening.

Maybe it's my personality, or maybe it's a woman thing{?}, but sometimes I let all these silly molehills become mountains in my head, and eventually they steal my joy because I'm giving them too much reign in my thoughts. Does that make sense? :) I really feel like it's an effective tool of the enemy to take what God has given me to do and make it overwhelming and difficult in my mind when in reality it's just not that big of a deal. :)

The same is true in relationships- so much more goes on in my head than is really there, and bearing all these mental burdens does not benefit me- it actually does the opposite. It's just so helpful to get a better perspective on a situation. If there are solutions, great, and if not, I'm thankful to let go of these mental burdens. :) God is so good to help us when we ask for it in prayer {and sometimes even when we don't ask for it! :P}, and to change our thoughts when we go the wrong way.

With the Lord's help, this week I'm working on getting the right outlook on my daily activities this month. I love my husband and children, and even when I'm tired, I want to serve them with joy. What needs to change should change {whether it's the task, the way I'm doing it, or just me!}, so that I can love my family before and in my other daily responsibilities. :)


To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power, so that the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Thessalonians 1:11-12



Do you ever feel like your mental laundry pile is overwhelming you?

How do you focus on the Lord when you are stressed?

20 comments

Leslie said...

This post couldn't have been written at a better time. I'm a mom of three kids, ages 4 and under and feel overwhelmed often, when like you said, it's really not that big of a deal. We're moving in a couple of weeks, so I need to keep this message
at the forefront of my mind. Thank you!

Tiffany Hileman said...

Oh sweet Momma. You and me both!! My kids are 4,3, almost 2, and 13 weeks pregnant. I have been so horrible in teaching them chores. The child im trying to teach gets easily distracted by the noise and needs of the other children and gets too frustrated. It's difficult to find quiet time to teach them tasks and for them to complete the tasks. Same for homeschooling. Especially since I've been pregnant and VERY sick...I've allowed a lot to slide and slack if. I really need to get on top of soooo much before #4 comes. How do you do an effective routine with so many littles? And stay on it regardless of if one child was up and down all night ect...

Megan M. said...

So good to hear today. I struggle with the EXACT same things. And I only have four kids! Also, my son is wearing the exact same green shirt from Target as your son has on in the pic. :) where is the red Africa shirt from? I grew up in Africa and would totally buy them for my kids.

Amanda said...

So timely to hear this today. The mental list is long and huge in my head today, so I am taking a half a day vacation from work and going to hit up a thrift store for summer clothes for the kids and myself. Hopefully with some prayer and bible time in the car before heading into the store, I will get some mental clarity and refreshment that I so need today!

Sophie from France said...

I fully agree with your point of view, Mandy! Housework sometimes make me forget what's really important and overwhelming me...and when I step back, finally, it was not so bad! I join you: this month, I'm working on getting the right outlook on my daily activities too and ask the Lord's help. I think I must get up early to have a moment to read my Bible, and don't let me demoralize by my daily chores, and better serve my family. I'm feeling too selfish right now, and I need to reorganize my priorities: the Lord and my family. Thank you for the post, you're such a blessing for mamas and I'll pray for you tonight!

Hannah said...

I really needed this today!!!

Reminds me a little of reading this post!> http://www.maggiewhitley.com/2014/04/how-to-create-imperfection/

Your blog has been such a blessing to me! Especially since I got married in January!!!

~Hannah

www.lovehannahb.com

Anonymous said...

Just what I needed today! I woke up this morning knowing that I needed to take captive my thoughts and I'm not doing it all the way... so thanks for being used by God to encourage me!

Jennifer W said...

Yes! What these ladies said! Very timely, as I literally have a pile of laundry to be done! I keep saying I'm going to make my girls help out more, but then tend to just do it myself! Need to actually practice patience and let them do it!

On the other side-I spent two days going through the girls (8 & 11) wardrobe-cutting back HARD...three days later and the girls are already telling me how much easier getting dressed is. Sometimes less is more...plus I had three very grateful workers at two thrift shops happily take our leftovers. Wonderful reminder!

Eline said...

I figured out a few years ago that if my kids could use their devices (iPds, computer, etc.) with such mastery they could certainly do their own laundry! Each one is responsible for their own.
Each kid has a receptacle of their choice. In their room where they put the dirty clothes, and after drying I don't care if they fold it or wad it or leave it in the bag, I figure that is up to them. The natural consequence of not having clean clothes is a great motivator, without me having to say a word. They hang their towels in their rooms to dry a few days in a row if they don't want to wash them everyday. They do have to fold clean towels as they go in a linen closet used by the whole family.
Hey, they're all ready for college down the road.....

Eline said...

Cringe. Typos galore. :-/

Marian said...

Thank you for this post! I needed to hear that I'm not the only one making mountains out of molehills. And you're right, being anxious about 'stuff' really steals the joy out of being a mother. This is something I'm really struggling with right now.

Alison said...

Eline,

I didn't even notice the typos as I was so impressed with your system. I have 8 kids and why wouldn't this work for me too (other than the fact that I can be a control freak and would have a hard time to let go?)? You are one smart lady!!

Bekb said...

This post reminded me of a status I wrote sometime ago:
Counting my blessings: piles of washing = a family well clothed, a full dishwasher and piles next to the the sink = a family well fed, toys scattered throughout the home = children happily playing, children interrupting me from getting things done = a good excuse for a break and shows I'm needed/loved. Loving the family that God has given me :D


P's love your posts as a mum of four children similar ages to your older ones it is so nice to gain encouragement from someone going through similar stages

Mandy said...

oh I'm so with you- it will all get done eventually, won't it? :) I hope your move goes well, Leslie!! :)

Mandy said...

Girl!! you are doing great! If you're sick and pregnant I would totally let regular chores go and not even worry about it! Take care of your new little one and stay on the sofa with your 3, reading and letting them play under your feet until you feel better. It will get back to normal, I promise. I'm just heading into the clear, 8+ months after #5! It takes a while to get your bearings after each new one, and it will be done before you know it! If you can worry about character training only for the next few months you'll be doing great! With that many littles {been there with you 7 years ago}, it was more about making sure they were fed and alive and getting what I could do when they were asleep! :) You're doing great!

Mandy said...

I feel ya!! :) it's from Parental Care Ministries, a ministry that cares for orphans and needy children in Uganda. I'm not sure they have them online but you could call them! :) www.pcm-online.org

Mandy said...

I hope you had a wonderful time!! :)

Seaweed and Raine said...

Thanks Mandy. Too often lately I find myself n a similar position. And what is worse is how it makes me respond to the kids. All week I've been seeing reminders to make more time for them and stop stressing the stuff that really isn't so important. And while gourmet meals are great, my kids are just as happy to spend time playing with me and eat cold cereal for dinner. Just love them. That's the motto I'm trying to work on right now.
Sheree

Savannah Shafer said...

Mmmm... so true!

Leslie Melby said...

Thanks for these encouraging words! I was recently introduced to your blog by a friend, and your last few posts felt like you were reading my mind! I easily feel overwhelmed and try to earn God's favor with all that I do. I must remember to allow Him to do the work. I continually try to replace these lies with Truth. Matthew 6:34 and Isaiah 40:30-31 are great reminders for me. Thanks again for these encouraging words.