Making Room for God

June 14, 2008

After my last two pregnancies, I have suffered from postpartum depression. I did not realize that is what was happening to me- I thought that it was SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder. I did not take any medication the first time around, and I refused to take medication this last time, which was not a good decision. But I was nursing, and my baby’s health was very important to me, even more than my own.

My mood really effected everyone in the family, in a negative way. I was irritable, angry, short-tempered, not motivated to do anything, and just depressed. Last summer, I would go through waves of depression that lasted about three days at a time. It was not fun at all- it was more like debilitating, I felt frozen, even zombie-like.

A year and a half ago (before that last depression), my husband and I were blessed with a rather large check, so we spruced up our house, and reorganized everything. We painted the house from top to bottom, got new bedding, new (gently used) furniture for all of the bedrooms, new carpet for the upstairs, new area rugs for the downstairs, new (gently used) dining room table and buffet, new (gently used) couch, refinished the kitchen floor, and even had a radiator cover made for the most ugly radiator in the kitchen. I cannot even tell you how good it felt to get all of that done!

But then the depression came, and ruined everything! Now my house is full of clutter (mostly clothes and paper), the walls are full of fingerprints, artwork in various mediums, including permanent marker, as well as some holes where the plaster has chipped away- I am sure that those holes had a little help from some of my resident “carpenters”. The basement is full of out of season clothes, which are totally disorganized, along with boxes full of homeschooling books which we are not using anymore, as we have put our kids in our parish school. Our house looks sad now- it sort of reminds me of the book by Virginia Lee Burton, The Little House (that is one of my favorite children’s books, maybe I will read it to the kids today since that book has come to my mind).

I am not happy about it, but I am on medication, in anticipation of postpartum depression, again. I am hopeful that I will be able to continue to function normally after the baby is born, and be a good, happy mom to all of my children. They cannot have a depressed mom again!

In the past 6+ months, I have been looking at my home, hating how awful it has become, wanting to fix it, yet at the same time feeling totally overwhelmed at the thought of where to start and how long it will take to get it done! So, I mostly have done nothing, butI have a goal of getting my entire house decluttered and organized again, before the baby arrives in August- it is not optional, it must get done.

So, in the spirit of leading by example (especially the month of June, as the focus of the month is teaching our children the value of responibility), the desire for peace, order and beauty back in my home, and further inspired by a book that I picked up at a moms spiritual retreat that I recently attended, I am on a mission!

I have been working hard on decluttering and organizing. I have bagged and donated clothes and toys- probably about 2 dozen trash bags worth. I have made a lot of progress, and it feels good to get it done, but I sure have a long way to go! It is amazing to me how quickly the clutter and disorganization got out of control! Although, I suppose that I should not be that surprised, as we do have 6 children.

Here are a few before and after pictures of the girls’ bedroom:

Wow! I had forgotten how awful their room had gotten! I still cannot believe that I let it get that bad! This is a great visual reminder of how I never, ever want to be depressed again!

Ahhh- now that is much, much better! I can feel the peace and order beaming from their room now.

I even had a little fun dressing all of the baby dolls, and placing them on their beds. The girls were so pleased when they walked into their newly cleaned and organized room!

Some helpful resources:

Now, I am completely aware that there are a bazillion resources on home organization. You have probably read many books, and visited many websites, as I have. So, I will keep my recommendations simple.

Clearing Out the ClutterThe book that I am currently reading is Make Room for God, which I got at a moms retreat that I attended recently. It is very easy to read, and I really like how she relates clearing out the clutter in every aspect of our lives, to becoming stronger, healthier and more spiritually cleansed- with plenty of room for God. I suppose I never thought of the many types of clutter in my life interfering with my relationship with God. This is a new concept for me, and I am enjoying exploring it. Click on the book to read a summary of it, as well as read a sample chapter.

This little gem is a free, downloadable book, written by a Catholic homeschooling mom. Catholic Heritage Curricula has is available on their website. I have not gone through the whole book, but I am sure that someone will find this resource very helpful. Click on the book to download your copy.

Homesanctuary3x5A few years back, when Flylady was new and popular, I tried out her system. While it was very organized and useful, I was not able to hold myself accountable everydayto do all of the tasks. I admit it, I am a Flylady flunkie! I recently found some other fellow flunkies, and women who prefer a slower,

simpler approach over at Home Sanctuary. Rachel Anne’s theme for the year is Sanctuary is in the Small Things- creating peace, order and beauty. She posts small, 5 minute or so tasks each day to be completed. If you complete the day’s task, you are able to award yourself the designated points. At the end of the month, whoever has the most points wins a prize- that is some nice motivation! She even provides a pretty tally sheet each month for all to download. Click on the sanctuary picture to visit her blog to learn more, and join in as one of her Company Girls.

A Mother’s Rule of Life: How to Bring Order to Your Home and Peace to Your Soul- I love this book! This quote sums it up perfectly: “What I love about A Mother’s Rule of Life is that it’s more than just a practical guide to living a Christian life. The Rule is based on the very definition of the vocation of Motherhood and it’s own specific call to holiness. I feel like the book sets a framework for Christian motherhood that is both theological and practical and speaks to my very needs as a mother.”

Please visit Holly’s blog, it is full of great, great information and inspiration- you can even ask her questions, which she graciously answers!

Well, I hope that I have offered some information that you have found useful. I am just enjoying the journey of creating peace, order, and beauty in my home in an effort to create a sanctuary for my family, and make plenty of room for God- I think that is a wonderful act of benevolence!

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4 Responses to “Making Room for God”

  1. […] I have to admit, this is a great place for our family to start, including myself! I have been neglecting some of my duties, namely spring cleaning, the seasonal clothes, and an assigned chore routine. I am a little ashamed […]

  2. I just had my seventh 5 weeks ago. I have been on antidepressants since 5 yrs ago when I had my 1st ppd. I was worried about taking the meds but considered it would be better than to have a relapse. Baby girl born on time 5lbs.141/2 oz. Baby and I are doing fine. I prayed to St. Raphael almost every night for baby girl’s protection and for myself I prayed to St. Dymphna, awesome St. for mental health. Wear a relic or a medal if you can find one. God answered all of my prayers.

    I have been nursing now for 5wks and all seems to be well. So glad you shared. Be good to yourself!

  3. Nori,

    Thanks for sharing your story with me! I feel so much better to hear that you have been taking medication for so long, and have not had any problems. I was so worried about nursing with the meds, that I refused to take it with the last baby, which I wish that I had done. But I am glad that I am being proactive this time, in preparation for postpartum depression that is sure to come.

    Congratulations on the birth of your 7th! I hope you are feeling well, and recovering quickly. I visited your blog, and saw pictures of your family- you are a good looking bunch!

    Thanks for suggesting to pray to St. Raphael, and St. Dymphna! I will look up some prayers for them, and maybe visit my local religious shop for their medals. I know that I do not have any for them, I just have miraculous medals.

    Thanks for your note, and I will keep you in my prayers.

  4. […] 18, 2008 I am continuing to Make Room for God, each day (ok, almost everyday). I am doing small things, in the spirit of Sanctuary is in the […]

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