Thursday, May 13, 2010

I interrupt this routine for a GIVEAWAY!

People, for the most, part do some of the same things over and over again. Every day. Some of these things are required of us [at least if we're going to do our jobs well] and others are just part of our own personal routine.

Just the other day I commented to Greg, "I have cleaned this kitchen counter four times today." And then I thought about how we only have three meals a day in that room, yet I seem to clean it more than that. And some days we don't even eat every meal in the kitchen. Yet I still clean the counters. But, hey, I like a clean kitchen counter.

So I don't mind to neaten the piles and break out the Clorox wipes.

Really, it's the same way in the bathroom. Every morning after I finish getting ready, I wipe down the bathroom vanity with a Clorox wipes. And I put most everything away in its assigned drawer.

Again, it's just what I do. Because I like it like that.

I do, however, mind the constant need to sweep and mop my floors. That drives me crazy. Yes, I like clean floors, but I don't want to continually clean them. Can't they just stay clean?

But I do more than clean. Knowing I have a 3-year-old girl and 5-month-old boy, I'm guessing you know I don't just clean all day. Nor would I want to just clean all day. I fill juice cups, change diapers, bottle feed my baby and send many text messages throughout the day. Every day. And that's fine. I'm a mom. And I have an iPhone I love.

I know lots of other moms read my blog. Of course, people who aren't moms read my blog too. All of you readers have a chance to break up your routine, at least today, and enter a giveaway for a $60 gift card to be used however you wish at any of the more than 200 online CSN Stores, where you can find cleaning products, baby products, games for people who don't have kids, bathroom vanities, and pretty much anything else you can imagine. And this $60 gift card can be yours. Just hang with and I'll tell you how you can win it.

Speaking of technology, a day doesn't go by that I don't visit Google Reader, Gmail and Facebook. I like Twitter too, but only via TweetDeck on my iPhone. Routine, I'm telling you. With everything we do. Everything.

I like orange juice for breakfast. Followed by a Diet Dr Pepper.

When I am loading in the kids in the car in the garage, I open Cate's door, let her climb in while I snap Ben's car seat in, then return to the driver's side to buckle Cate in behind my seat. Cate even knows the routine.

Ah, yes, kids are routines. Greg often says Cate is just like me. And one of those ways is how she likes things like they are supposed to be. She puts things where they go. She does things like she did the time before. Really, I have a hard time fathoming that other people aren't like this.

Even our mail lady has a routine. She parks her truck in front of the same house on our street every day. Well, not Sundays, but that's how the government wants to do it. She delivers the mail around 4:30, sometimes 4:45. And I like to get the mail. Yes, even as an adult, I like getting the mail. And I always sort it when I get it. Open what is interesting. Set aside bills and other things that are important. And move the junk straight the recycling bin. You know, it helps keep my counters clear.

I thrive with a routine, but sometimes routines do get monotonous, so I'm learning how to find joy in these ordinary moments -- both the ones I plan and the ones that just happen because I'm the mother to two small children.

Then I read something last week that helped me really put daily life into perspective ...

In those moments I force myself to take a deep breath and thank God for this season of life. These children. The privilege of wiping noses and bottoms and countertops. A privilege many women would love to have, but don't. I remind myself that the days are long but the years are short. And one day I will look in the rear-view mirror and see empty seats. ... And I will find that a new set of daily struggles has overtaken me. When that day comes I will find the strength to face them as well because God gives the grace, daily.

The daily-ness.

As C.S. Lewis once said, "The thing is to rely on God … Meanwhile, the trouble is that relying on God has to begin all over again every day as if nothing has yet been done."

Your daily-ness is probably different than mine, but it is nonetheless God-ordained. It is exactly what we need to live dependent on His grace instead of our own strength. The One who knows us best, who knit us together in our mother's womb, has allotted these days that are equal parts trial and triumph. And He knows that we will see Him most clearly from a place of dependence.

So today I embrace the normal things. The daily things. Another round of laundry. The ring in my toilet. The dust on my dresser so thick a child could write his name. But even more than that I want to celebrate the important things. A child slowly learning to read. A husband that finds his comfort in my arms. A baby who learns to walk and talk. Because all these are the things of life: some mundane and some holy. And all of them must be received daily.

--From a devotion I read last week

I embrace my routine, knowing full well all seasons are temporary. What about you? What do you like about your routine? How do you need to be intentional about embracing your daily life?

Just answer in the comments section, and you'll be entered to win the $60 gift card from CSN Stores. Want another chance to win? Follow me on Twitter [@kristinhtaylor] and retweet about the giveaway. Let me know [either here or there] that you've done so and you'll be entered to win.

The winner will be announced here on my blog on Tuesday, after my 3-year-old randomly picks an entry from a hat, or a box, or whatever container is convenient. Be sure to leave an e-mail or Twitter name so I can contact the winner.

For you faithful followers, CSN Stores is the same company that provided the Settlers of Catan game I gave away about five months ago. I'm excited for this second giveaway.


  1. Hmmmm...routines and I have a love/hate relationship. I love knowing what I need to do next, love that my kids know what's coming next, love that our household functions well on a routine. I am a pretty scheduled person. I like having a schedule...and for the most part am pretty predictable. the same time hate them....I get bored sometimes with the "daily" tasks...the same routine that I love, that is comforting, also causes boredom other days!! I have to learn to embrace the be thankful for it...the dirty dishes, the messes, etc, and to find joy in those tasks..only by God's grace. Knowing that one day this routine will be over and a new one will begin..and the only way I can be content in either of those is through the Lord.

  2. Kristin,

    I find your thoughts refreshing. They are thoughts that for almost 3decades I have had, mine often times came with a little more difficulty because motherhood was not something i wanted to embrace. I also battled a culture that was the breeding ground for feminism. So it is a wonderful blessing to hear the thoughts come from a young woman that is embracing the wonderful calling of motherhood and the ministry of raising her children.

  3. I love routine because I hate surprises. I find comfort in the repetitive tasks I do each day because they help me feel secure. Another thing I like about routine is the thrill that comes from breaking it. It's always exciting knowing that a break in the routine is coming up.

  4. I have a pretty good routine I think, but some think I am too flexible. I want to use this season of life to be with my kids and see them change. So, I try to keep the only unflexible parts of the routine as the family dinner and bedtimes...naptimes for the little ones can be flexible..they have learned to sleep pretty much anywhere. But, I so get tired of the daily mundane things such as washing dishes, emptying dishwasher, sweeping, etc.. I learn a little bit more each day to be flexible and remember that anyone who comes to visit knows that I have kids and they are mor important to me than having a perfectly clean house. Now, I do have a sanitary house, just not always spotless!! :) -- MindyE

  5. I battle with my routine. My schedule has changed with my first year of teaching, and while I love my job, my cleaning schedule has suffered because of it. I found myself taking a personal day just to clean my house. However, our tv schedule is firmly set in place and I don't know what I will do after LOST is over!

  6. @Alice - I'm surprised (although I don't know why!) how motherhood has changed my perspective so much. I never imagined myself as a stay-at-home mom, and now I can't see myself doing anything else right now. I actually have heard about two couples right now having some conflict over what to do once their babies are born, and I see how our culture still promotes the idea that women can do it all. And while we can, I don't think it's always wise. That was the thing I realized: If I continued to work full-time, I was going to be doing two things that require much time, and I wouldn't be doing either as well as I'd want to.

    @edmontonjb - I hadn't really thought it like you said it, but I do like anticipating the break in the routine as well.

    @Mindy - I've really been going with the idea that nobody expects my house to be spotless. I like clutter put away, but I don't dust and mop like a maniac, even though I could probably do those things every day. Greg's aunt told me when her kids were little she wanted their house to be lived in. It was a good reminder for me.

    @Carly - I'm with on not knowing what we'll do after LOST is over! Are you all watching it live this season? If so, you should read some of my LOST blogs and share your thoughts. If not, come back later and share your thoughts!

  7. I think a routine is good and bad. It's nice when you have a little one to take care of, like if I'm babysitting my friend's baby. Otherwise, it's nice to mix things up every now and then or it becomes even more AWFUL to do sometimes.

    lauren51990 at aol dot com

  8. Oh, routines! They are good, but you're right that you have to be intentional about them. The things I like about my routine is that my husband and I make it a point to eat as many meals together as possible--at the dining room table. We also make it a point to integrate prayer/daily devotions, etc. Those are both very important. But then there are other routines, like having a relaxing Saturday that I sometimes have to let go of when other people need our assistance (a friend needing a babysitter, our church needing cleaned, etc). I have to remember my priorities!

    junkforcarmen at gmail dot com

  9. Requested to add you on Twitter (lifeblessons) and tweeted:

    Thanks! junkforcarmen at gmail dot com