Thursday, July 30, 2015

Lessons learned from mismatched storage containers

The other day I was attempting to declutter a bit during nap time. And by declutter I mean I was sitting on the floor in the master closet going through some items, to see what might be in need of purging or donating. The main reason behind this mini project was to free up some storage containers so that I could then use them in the living room to re-organize the girls toys.

Are you following? No? Ok, let me back up.

Clara's oral fixation has increased greatly and she (literally) chews on anything and everything. And by anything and everything I mean toys, clothes, shoes, blankets, pillows, cups, plates, pieces of jewelry, phones, and the list continues. We are working both at school and speech therapy to decrease this behavior but as of now, nothing is really helping. Any toy that she is able to grab on her own is promptly stuck in her mouth. And since all of our toys are in the living room and 50% of them are easily accessible for chewing, we had to think up and incorporate a new system where we are better able to control what goes in her mouth.

So after a morning of total frustration because "Sweet girl, this is a puzzle piece. It goes here. Let's not chew on it" was repeated 100x, I had hit my wits end. And when that happens I reorganize and declutter and donate and sell stuff and try to find a new solution to said problem.

(Side - Brandon knows this about me. He once came home to a missing living room coffee table. "I see there is no coffee table. Bad day?" - Brandon to me.)

So anyways, project toy lock down had officially begun.

So there I sat in the closet rummaging through old pictures and clothes to see what I might be able to part with to clear up some storage space so that puzzle pieces and toys cars and blocks can be more tightly secured from the mouth of my babe.

Something like this might be nice. . . 

But then as I sat around looking at one large blue bin, two small see through bins, one big flat bin with wheels, and several other containers of various shapes and sizes and colors. . . I just lost it. Because how in the world am I supposed to organize and take on this project when none of my storage containers match? They all look different and none are pleasing to the eye. So I immediately started scrambling to all the closets in the house (which isn't many), still crying, in search of bins that go together and that would look all nice and tidy when placed next to each other. And I couldn't find a single match. I wanted my project to look perfect and cute and like everything fit together like a beautiful puzzle with no missing pieces and that just was not happening.

And then I heard God whispering to me. . .

"Life is not perfect. Life is not going to be neat and tidy and always pleasing to the eye. You are struggling because all these little pieces of your life feel out of control and overwhelming and just too much. But a Pottery Barn style project is not what I have in mind for you right now. Don't look to the right or to the left with eyes longing for an easier way or a more beautiful end result. You just need to trust me and embrace all the shapes and colors and sizes of what is in front of you." 

Clara's needs that seem too much? He's working on that.

Healing from the loss of baby that I delivered but never got to take home? He's working on that.

Mental rest for when the ups and downs of life get the best of me over and over and over again? He's working on that.

So I move forward finishing the project in front of me. Embracing the fact that what I am working with might not look like what my neighbor is working with and at the end of the day, it is still hard but it's ok. God doesn't care if my storage bins don't match. He just cares that I take what I have been given and do my best with it. That I am honorable with the story line He writes. That I don't give up on the project that He has so lovingly entrusted me with. Because in time? He makes all things new. And the end result is way better than anything from Pottery Barn.


  1. So well said - and a great reminder for me, another person who struggles with trying to control my surroundings when other things in my life feel too out of control!

  2. I just love your perspective and attitude. You are a breath of fresh air!

  3. I so know this feeling and I so have had these moments! And thank you for the reminder in general about not holding ourselves to unreasonable standards or comparing to others... God's story in my life doesn't look like (nor should it have to) His story in someone else's!

  4. Beautiful perspective! Love how little things {like storage containers!!} can bring such insight! Thank you for sharing.


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