~these are the days of wiping the table, sweep, repeat~
We live in a fairly small house, the seven of us. It’s maybe about 1600 square feet, give or take.
The plus side is that there are five bedrooms which means we have plenty of sleep space. The bedrooms are not that big, but it allows everyone to be a little spread out and the older two actually have their own room, for now.
Another plus side is that there are two bathrooms. Because, ahem, that is really helpful on many days with seven people. Needed? No. But welcomed.
The downside to our house is that aside from the bedrooms and bathrooms, there isn’t much living space. A small kitchen, a small dining room, and a small living room. No finished basement, no attic, no extra living room or office space.
So, the majority of time that we spend during the day together is around the dining room table. It’s where we eat, where we do schoolwork, where we play games, where we prep food sometimes, where the kids do crafts, etc…We use the living room for that stuff too, but I’d say the dining room gets used the most.
We don’t like to have a lot of stuff around. The kids keep most of it in their rooms but it somehow ends up downstairs because that’s where they tend to play. The two littles have some things in the living room because there just isn’t anywhere else to put it. I store school supplies and books in the dining room and part of the living room. I’d say where we eat looks a bit more like a school room than a dining room. It’s an eclectic hodgepodge. Here’s a lovely unedited photo. Real life, friends.
And the view from the other side into the living room. Again, obviously unedited.
And usually, our table isn’t even as cleared off as the pictures above would make you think. I cleared it off just for you. These photos would be a better representation of everyday life.
Not too Pinterest worthy, eh?
But this is where we spend the majority of our days. Around this table. In these small rooms.
So what does this have to do with small moment living anyway?
I’m procrastinating my topic, can’t you tell? Just to give you a lovely tour of my home.
As I was cleaning off the table today, well, the one time out of ten I was cleaning it off, I found myself grumbling just a bit. My thoughts we sort of like, “Good grief, I have nowhere to put this stuff. Why do we have so many books? Can we not put our stuff away for just one minute?!” I threw away 4 markers without caps that were dried out (most likely from Naomi), threw away 7 pieces of scribbled scrap paper, found the glue sticks we were looking for under cabinet, stepped on numerous crumbs and a squished blueberry (or maybe I squished it), and found 5 polly pocket pieces and 4 random puzzle pieces. I turn around to put the markers and pencils in their rightful place only to find the basket of supplies in shambles. I really just wanted to scream then and there.
Most days, cleaning off the table looks like making stacks on the end so we have enough room to eat since we’ll be using those stacks later in the day anyway. It’s eat breakfast, clear table and sweep floor, wipe table after schoolwork and stack stuff, eat lunch, wipe table and sweep floor after lunch, wipe table after afternoon lessons and stack again, sweep floor, wipe table after dinner and sweep floor. Repeat daily.
I realize this is totally normal for many families. It’s just what you do.
There are days I wish we had a small extra room to store school stuff and have at least a small table where we could work and not have to clear the table all day long. Sometimes I wonder, after doing school this way, if we’d even use it. But a place to keep everything would sure be nice.
Other days I wish we had a larger living room or an extra living room. A place where it wasn’t so noisy and they could be able to focus more without constant interruptions. Sometimes the older kids will go to their rooms, but to be honest, I think they find that a little lonely so they end up back in the noise and chaos and love.
Some days I wish for my office space back. A place where it’s quiet and peaceful for writing or planning lessons or reading or whatever. But our dining room table is used for that too. When I pay bills or do paperwork, all that gets stored in that room as well, which is probably why I feel so disorganized and keep missing important things.
Do you ever have those days where you find yourself wishing for something? Or grumbling about something you don’t have? As one of my pastors reminded us on Sunday, thankfulness can turn that around and help take your eyes off your circumstances. And when you find yourself being thankful, even for the little things, your perspective changes.
So when I grumble about crumbs and lack of space, even in days like today where the lack of sunshine seemed to enhance my grumpiness, I find thankfulness in the small things.
Thank you, Jesus, that we have food for every meal, and for this broom so that our floor isn’t a never-ending pile of crumbs. Thank you that these days are filled with my children and not my old job. Thank you that we have supplies for school, and books to read, and children who love learning here with me. Thank you that the dishwasher works and the washing machine works, and the water is clean.
And on and on.
As I was reminded yesterday and again today, life is good.
What do “these days” look like for you. Simply comment with one…these are the days of…
**If you want to check out the rest of my #write31days series, you can find the link here.