Friday, December 4, 2015

The Wisdom of Aunt Elller and Bro. Lawrence

"I have no pain or difficulty about my state, because I have no will but that of God..." Brother Lawrence

"You've got to get used to having all kinds of things happen to you.  You've got to look at all the good on one side and all the bad on the other side and say 'Well, all right then' to the both of them."--Aunt Eller, Oklahoma :)

I think that, for me, this is the height of faith:  When there is nothing I do not trust God completely with, and when everything, good or bad, is the same because I understand that everything will be worked out for my good and that the Lord has His hand on me every moment.

When I am just as close to the Lord in bad things as in good, when being broke is the same as being rich, when being sick is the same as being healthy, because a) Heaven awaits and b)the Lord is with me always and is glorified and, in turn, will sustain me, this is faith.

When I can praise the Lord in all things at all times and KNOW His goodness and have trust in Him even at the worst of times....that to me is faith I aspire to.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Who are You?

You ever want to just have a place to declare "This is who I am."?

Oh we kinda get that opportunity on fb with memes that say stuff like "If you can't handle me at my worst than you don't deserve me at my best" and junk like that.  But that is not what I am talking about.  Those are more "in your face, this is my excuse to act rudely, take it or leave it" stuff.  That is not you.  You are more than a meme.  You are more than rudeness.  You are more.  And less.  And more.

No, I mean YOU.  The you who actually kinda likes the color pink.  The you that actually kinda hates bacon.  The you that is moved to tears by a sunset.  The you that actually is ok with those extra 10 lbs.  The you that wants to be more gentle, more peaceful, more brave.  The you that was you before society and hurts and expectations made you put on fakeness and faces and bravados.

The artist you.  The banker you.  The SAHM you.  The SAHD you.  The more holy, less wordly you. The you that is SO you that you don't care what others think or are or do or say.  Because you are you.

The Godly you.  The forgiving you.  The filled with Jesus you.  The holiest you.  The "I'm tired of not showing my faith so that I don't get looks at work" you.  The you that catches glimpse of you in characters in movies and in neighbors and friends, and you feel your heart lurch and for one second, you think "Yes!  That is me!".   The you that you do not allow yourself to hope you are, but the memory of which hides, deep inside, of who the most perfect you is.

The you that loves to sing and can't carry a tune in a bucket.  The you that has no illusions of making money on blogs but just wants to post pics and write things.  The you that runs because it is fun but has to fight the inner voices that suck your joy and say "You must go further/faster.".  The you who wishes you could talk deeply with someone who will listen.  The you that wants to not be anxious or depressed.

The you that keeps posting those memes because they are at least some statement to yourself that you matter, even if the meme is the most shallow, worst part of you.  But at least you made a claim:  you tried to hear your own voice, but you don't listen, so one part of you focuses on brashness--not for the rest of us to hear but so that you can break through your own walls.

The you that gets weary of the mean girls scene or the keeping up with the joneses or the shallowness of society.  The you that is tired of showing too much skin and hiding too much brain.  The you that is tired of having to hide your love of poetry so the other guys don't tease you.

The you that you were made to be before you changed.  Before you gave up.  Before you got tired.  Before you thought you were too old or had become too afraid of the opinions of others.  Before gentleness turned into victimhood and strength turned into aggression and competence turned into pride.

Who are YOU?  Who did God make you to be?  Be that here.  Be that now.  Pray for the Lord to show you who He made you and what parts of the fake you are standing in your way.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Remember that TWS brought me five citrus trees?  Well two of them are fruiting, praise the Good Lord!

The orange had blooms on it when we got it, so that was not surprising.

The grapefuit didn't though, and now it has started to produce blooms and even some baby grapefruit!  Surprisingly, the blossoms of the grapefruit smell even better than orange blossom.  Grapefruit smells more purely jasmine or gardenia.  The scent was strong enough in the bathroom where I keep it that the perfumed cloud actually wafted out of the door and delighted your nose when you strode past.

Now to keep them happy so the fruit develops.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

So Far, So Good

Day 3 of my "Not Be A Crummy Housekeeper" plan and I have figured something out about myself--I work in crisis mode but not as much in calm mode.

Some of that is not surprising, I used to do emergency management stuff.  However, my house is clean, it only took me a few minutes this morning (because today's room was the living room and it was already tidy, just needed dusting). what do I do?

The thing is that I think I find things to do when I am under pressure to do something else.  Need to mop the floor?  Hey!  Let's write a book instead!  Clean laundry piled upon the couch?  Hey!  Let's play video games!  Kitchen in need of work?  Hey!  Let's cross stitch pretty hankies for everyone we know whilst we binge watch Pride and Prejudice!

Now that I am not trying to avoid anything, I have no idea what to do.  It is the classic "I only want it when I can't have it" nonsense that is the root and bane of human psychology.  I think the adrenaline plus dread of a chore hanging over our heads adds to the rush that distraction gives us.  Now I don't need to be distracted so there is no energy that I am diverting from a stressful task to pour into a fun one.

Gah.  Is this what organized feels like? ;) ;)

Today I tidied and swept, dusted the living room, wrote over 1900 words discussing the Syrian Refugee Situation, watered the plants, drove to Tennessee with TWS, came back and stopped at the feed and seed for scratch and flock raiser, drove to pick up a present, went to the pet store (they did not have the food we needed), drove to the vet to get the food and register MicroMew for his shot series, etc, went to the grocers to get our Thanksgiving meal supplies (OH!  and new cleaning supplies!....wait, did I just get excited over cleaning supplies?!?  Who am I and what have I done with me?), came home, put groceries away (including 4 tubs of ice cream, three boxes of ice cream bars, two boxes of chloraseptic, and one bottle of Robo--there is a cold in the house), then ate lunch.

I actually just volunteered to help The Boy clean his room.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Confessions of a Crummy Housewife

I am not a good housekeeper.  Let's just get that out into the open.  I am a ROTTEN housekeeper actually.  Oh there is not gross stuff, but there is not order or tidiness either.

Now, I am good at many things.  I can help you paint a house.  Help you write a book.  Can help diagnose your illness, help you train your kids and cats.  I can help you improve your relationship with your sweetie.

I can plant a garden.  Cook over a fire.  Help cure your panic attacks.  Discuss literature, the Lord, and theoretical physics.

I can bake bread.  Skin a moose.  Write a poem.  Deliver a baby.

I can even tie a cherry stem in a knot with my tongue.

But I have never kept a clean house for more than as long as it takes to have company come and go.  Actually there were two times I would clean:  if company was coming or if I was upset.  The kids could see if I was upset so in those "50 year flood" type of time when I cleaned the house spontaneously, they would ask "Who's coming over?".

There is just so many other things that seemed more important.  I spend my time in my head.  My environment just needed to be sterile, not tidy (you might could eat off the floor if you could find it).  I did not care where my shoes were (until I couldn't find them) or if my bed was made.  As long as nothing was on fire or a health hazard, I didn't need order.

I am a grown adult.  It is about time I learned how to keep a house.

I started small--making sure my bed was made every day.  I don't even remember day I got tired of our room being messy and put away a ton of clothes, shut drawers, wiped surfaces.  Made. The. Bed.

And thus it began.....

And every day for the past month I have made my bed before leaving my room in the morning EXCEPT on laundry days when I was going to strip the sheets.  Then I made the bed when they were done.

TWS, with a gleam in his eye, asked if, perhaps, this would carry over into other rooms.  Oh that poor man.  That poor, type A, logistician-by-trade, completely organized man.  I imagine that it was hard to live with his own personal tornado, but he understood that it was not a deliberate thing.  For example, when I get out of the shower and start putting on clothing, my towel actually ceases to exist.  I do not see it.  I do not remember it.  I do not think about it.  It phases out of my existence until it is time for the next shower.  Not on purpose, it just happens.  So I have literally 3 seconds before dressing to remember to hang my towel.  It got to be a habit, so now I do it unconsciously.

WHICH leads me to both my new Word of the Year for 2016 and my game plan:  Diligence.

We, thankfully, just had wonderful company come by, which meant, of course, panic clean.  The rooms were straightened, the floors scrubbed, etc.

Now I just have to keep it that way....which is what I have said before for oh, about 30 years BUT now I have both guilt and a plan :D  TWS never complained about a messy house but he did, after 21 years of marriage, hint that it would be nice.  He is too fabulous for me to deny him, so wishing became guilt which became a desire for diligence for the gifts the Lord gave me which led to prayer which led to plan. (love how that works!)

Because everything is not exactly 100% organized when i am starting, I still have a little backlog to do.  But those will be done on the days of the plan.  I divided the house into specific chores and assigned them a day.  Now, I have done this before, but this time, a)I am starting out after a panic clean and b)I started getting practice by the daily bed making thing.  I have worked out a HABIT, which is what i was missing.  The "bed making" is the starting line for my cleaning for the day.  After that, since I am already "cleaning", it was no big thing to add another chore, for example, sweeping.

Today's chores were:  bathrooms, water plants, tidy, and sweep.  In the span of 2 1/2 hours, I have:  scrubbed both bathrooms (toilets, sinks, shower, walls, floor, counters), washed the dishes (dd's chore but she went to bed feeling poorly last night), baked brownies (for her finals week), swept the house, made the bed, did a light tidy through the house (instead of a deep clean which will happen on the assigned days, for example, today was the day for a deep clean of the bathrooms), took out some trash, read, posted on fb. 

Except for watering plants (which I have not done yet as I need to figure out when citrus need to be watered), I am done with my chores for the day.  I have even painted my nails!

My house is tidy enough for drop by company.  Maybe not "stay for a week company" but definitely drop by company, which frees me up to be hospitable.  Not only that, but the rest of my day is clear!!!  WOOHOOO!!!

I could work on the list for tomorrow, but I am choosing not to.  Today was good enough for today.  This needs to be a habit, which means I will need time for those days when I have appointments or tasks, so I need to get into the "little every day" not "binge clean" which is my usual :)

If anyone reads this and has a trouble area (cleaning, exercising, etc) let me know.  I could use an accountability buddy.  I really want this to be a "thing". :)

My little helper who actually is not as much of a help as he thinks he is ;)