The Coconut Chronicles and Lessons in Chaos

Some days (most actually) I feel like the character Pig-Pen from Peanuts.  You know, the one who has the dirt cloud swirling around him wherever he goes.  I don’t have actual dirt blowing around but a whirlwind of chaos.  I am the most organized, unorganized person on the planet.  See I love the concept of ultra organization.  I love making lists.  Those free house keeping printables make me swoon. De-cluttering tutorials make me absolutely giddy with delight….but alas although I am an excellent planner, my follow-through is pathetic.

I once joined one of those “mom” websites.  You know the ones that promise to “Help You Get Organized and Clean Your House by Following a Few Basic Routines!”  Well, I had to discontinue my membership because I was having murderous and extremely unchristian thoughts about the authors.  Just for fun, here’s their instructions followed by what my actual routine was:

1) Website tip: Get up 15 minutes before the rest of the house – you’ll be amazed at how much you can get accomplished and have a hot breakfast ready!
My reality:  “Oh Lord…the alarm didn’t go off again!  Everybody up!!!”  Then I run around turning on lights and dragging people out of bed.  Hot breakfast??  What’s that?  I throw cereal on the table and plop Coconuts 1 and 2 down in front of it, whining and half asleep.

2) Website tip:  Empty the dishwasher from last night and reload.
My reality: I would but apparently after I loaded and started it last night my three-year old came  in and pushed a few buttons. It currently is running through it’s “sani-rinse” cycle for the 9000 time since last night and I can’t figure out how to turn it off.  At least this time I remembered to use the correct soap and the kitchen floor is not full of bubbles.  Whew!  Disaster averted!!

3) Website tip:  Get dressed to shoes including fixing your hair and makeup.
My reality:  Well I don’t wear make up but fix my hair?  Are you kidding me??   I’m lucky to run out the door with matching shoes.

4) Website tip:  Put on a load of laundry and wipe down the kitchen sink.
My reality:  Ok, at this point I’m shoving Coconuts 1 & 2 towards their clothes that I may or may not have laid out the night before.  Chances are they are still in the wash from yesterday
In this case I throw their school clothes in the dryer where they will come out damp in 15 minutes and I will then force them on little, protesting bodies.  Meanwhile the 3-year-old is following me around whining miserably because she just woke up, is not a morning person, and is vying for my attention by screaming demands at me. “I want a snack! I hungry!  I tired!  I go to school!”  Coconut number 1 is howling at and crying because I’m trying to comb her hair and she makes it sound like I’m ripping it out by the roots. Plus her wet clothing is stuck to her body.

5) Website tip:  Finally get your keys and backpacks from their usual place and head leisurely out the door.
My reality:  Now I’m screaming like a shrew at Coconuts 1 and 2 “Where is your back pack??”  ” Where is your homework?” “You didn’t brush your teeth!?”  Coconut 2 is whining about not wanting to go to school and how he hates school.  I not so politely remind him he’s got at least 12 years of this left.  Coconut 3 is following me around, naked, one shoe on the wrong foot, clothes in one hand, and a sippy cup in the other that she drug out from under the couch with something like penicillin growing in it.

And so, as you can see, I had to cancel my membership with the site.  The guilt that it brought for the first 45 minutes of every day was just too much. Things have improved however, and not because I cancelled my membership.  How did I do this you ask?  What website or self-help guru did I use??  Simple.  The Hubby has been getting up with the kids in the mornings these days and into this chaos he has inserted calm.  That’s no surprise because that’s what he does in my life.  He’s always managed to calm my stormy seas.  I don’t know how single moms do it.  I have a profound and deep respect for them.  The Hubby is my anchor.  The one I can always count on to bring clarity and sanity into my situation.

I heard a commercial recently that annoyed me.  It was for diamond engagement rings and the announcer was asking, “Don’t you want to give her a ring that is one of a kind so that she will know that you are one of a kind?”  Ladies, if you are basing your engagement and marriage on the ring your significant other is giving you, I can guarantee you things are not going to go well.  My ring is beautiful but I know my Hubby is one of a kind because I’ve seen the character and loyalty that defines him.  I’ve watched him tenderly cradle our newborns, change diapers, and kiss boo-boo’s. He’s held my hand and my heart as I bled and miscarried our 4th baby last year. He’s loved me when I was unlovable.  And of course he’s always leading us, encouraging us, always pointing us to the One who is Lord of all.  Then it’s the little things that do it for me these days.  Catching a glimpse of him loading the dishwasher.  The hot mug of coffee he presses into my hand without me ever asking.  The feel of his hands running through my hair after an exceptionally long day.  Murmurs in the night that he still finds me beautiful and desirable after 40, after 4 kids, and after time has embedded her crows feet and laugh lines across my face.

My life is chaotic and it’s not slowing down as we prepare to welcome one more into the mix in June.  But I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I am a blessed woman.  It’s true that I don’t make pintrest worthy crafts with my kids and Betty Crocker I am not.  But my hope is that when the Coconuts are grown, they will remember only that their mother thought they hung the moon (most days).  That although our house was chaotic and noisy, it was also filled with peace, love, and the light of Christ. Finally, my deepest prayer is that they simply remember that they had two parents who were crazy about each other and them and who did their best to lead them to the Master by living by example.


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