I have a confession to make: I despise organization.
Don't misunderstand. I would love to be organized. But I am convinced my abilities are limited.
Getting ready for church, for example, was a nightmare when I lived in the Bible Belt back when church attire was in a class by itself. Finding shoes and socks that matched 18 feet was a routine Sunday morning frustration--also in a class by itself.. One morning we were down to the wire and I was frantically throwing shows out of the shoe basket, crying, "I hate shoes and socks!" when I turned to see my daughter, Bethany, standing behind me, no doubt trying to figure out just what her mother had against shoes and socks.
During baseball season, I have shown up at the wrong field with the wrong kid on the wrong night.
I frequently get lost--with a GPS.
I started a Facebook and couldn't find my wall.
The constant clutter and chaos can get a mother down. But one day several years back, I learned to let go.
I was talking with a friend who manages people's homes by profession. These folks depend on her for anything and everything. Our family was visiting the home where she worked, and we had a conversation.
"You do a good job with those kids," she said to me. "They are polite at the table and they take their plates when they're done." She didn't know we had practiced for a month before we came. "I can tell they are being raised with a lot of love."
"Oh, thank you," I said. "That really makes me feel good--my house is so messy, it really gets to me."
She stopped and turned to face me. "I have worked in many clean houses where the kids are killing themselves," she said, looking me right in the eye. "Don't you worry about that house."
I will forever keep trying to do better in the organization department, but I will never forget her words. Her advice has helped me to remember that while being organized is a good thing, it is not everything.
Once in a while the clutter still gets me down, but then I revisit the essential elements of raising kids. Being organized pales in comparison.