It's a Thursday, and glad for Titus 2.

When I first saw the many wonderful sites that had Tablescape Thursdays I just knew I'd participate in every one. So far I've done two and one was rather half hearted. I have a couple of sets of really nice china that I love, but still haven't gotten around to setting the table pretty with them. Mainly because it's summertime.

Summertime here means 4 kids out of school. One of them is constantly taking off in her car to go work cleaning houses or go hang out at her boyfriend's house - so while she's not here to add to the mess, I also no longer have her help around the house. The 13 yr old is constantly asking to go here or there. She's got quite an active social life for a 13 (almost) year old. In fact this afternoon she went with her boyfriend's family to Pigeon Forge for the weekend. They're a nice family and I think having her along will help keep her own kids occupied, so when his mom begged me to let her go, I agreed. Soon, our family will be going to Florida to visit ailing grandparents. As soon as we get back, the 13 yr old will be going to New York with her grandmother to stay with my sister in law and her family for 2 weeks. I believe a visit to the City is planned. Lucky girl. The oldest was invited as well, but she can't be away from her boyfriend that long. I remember that kind of addiction... but we're talking New York City!!! haha.

All this week, we've been so busy running errands and having to go out of town for things that I am way behind on everything. I am glad that I didn't have clothes sitting in the washer or wet clothes in a basket waiting to be dried because we've just not had time. Finally today I've gotten three loads washed and have two on the line. In this heat they're probably already dry. Line drying is even faster than a dryer when it's weather like this. Saves money and energy too of course. We should be getting our dryer fixed soon, but for now there's no rush. The clothesline is working fine, and anything to keep the electric bill down is a good thing.

I've been pretty good about keeping up with the dishes. There was one day when things were just way too chaotic here and when I went to the kitchen during my lunch break at work, I was just depressed at the sight. My kitchen and living room were truly trashed. But I decided to just take it a step at a time and unloaded the dishwasher, reloaded it and got it running, stacked the rest of the dishes (enough for another whole load!) on the counter near the sink and washed down the counters, put stuff away, closed cabinets etc. So, just during my 1/2 hour lunch break I made a big difference. I guess it keeps me from eating too much at night too haha. Too busy to eat! I do usually eat a light something after work at 3am, but the snacking has been cut way down.

Changing my attitude and my whole outlook on being a homemaker, wife and mother has changed so much already. It's helping me keep the house clean better, keeping good nutritious food on the table instead of scrounging for ramen or pb&j for dinner cause there's nothing clean to cook in or I'm too tired or depressed to cook. Life was getting pretty rough... well to be honest it had been for years. My depression was an ongoing battle. But you know what, it's gone. I made a conscious decision to be more of the Titus 2 and Proverbs 31 woman, and honestly that's all it took.

I have read the scriptures, found other blogs of women who feel the same, and am devouring books I find on it. (Right now I am reading For Women Only by Shaunti Feldhahn.) Finally it just feels right. I feel like the housework isn't a chore or torture or a punishment - it's a blessing I am honored to do for my family. Yes it can be hard at times to keep up with it when I have 4 kids and a husband and 7 pets, work til 3am 5 nights a week and sleep til early afternoon. BUT!... it's worth the effort. My husband has already mentioned several times how happy he is. He keeps telling me how much he loves me and I can tell already he greatly appreciates me lifting him up as the Head of the Household instead of tearing him down. I've seen his self confidence just explode and I am so happy for him.

Today he is working from 7am til 10:30pm. He's one of the store managers and they're having inventory today. It's a day he dreads for a year. I packed him a good sized lunch, and hopefully he will have time to have a dinner break too, so I packed more than normal. He's thanked me many times for packing him such great lunches everyday. I love doing it for him. He's a real sweetheart. Tomorrow he is off work, and I am not giving him a big Honey Do list. I'm sure he's well aware of the things that need done around here, but tomorrow he will need to relax after having such a rough day today. It's actually been a lot easier than I thought it would be to not be nagging and bitchy like I have been for way too long. Since I made this promise and prayed about it and asked God to help me be the kind of wife and mother I should be, it's like those things stop before I ever say them, and I have time to rethink what I would have said and say something positive instead. I know I could not do this without God. He is right there poking me every time I would say something demeaning or belittling. In fact, I don't even get the urge to say those things anymore. It's kind of strange, but very freeing.

Titus 2: 3Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. (NIV)

Well, I'm one of those "older women". I have my work cut out for me undoing the damage I did with the way my kids were raised during those years of my depression and the hardships we faced as a family. But I know with God's guidance and help, it can be done.