Friday, December 26, 2008

Calm, cool, and collected

I cleaned my house yesterday. Sounds like an awful way to spend Christmas day, right? Wrong.

This was not the normal frantic, stressed-out cleaning rampage because, for example, someone calls and is coming to the house in 30 minutes. This was a leisurely puttering, vacuuming, picking up and putting away, straightening, sweeping, and getting sidetracked and wandering off to do something else, and coming back 30 minutes later and noticing the pile of debris still sitting on the floor.

It felt good.

At Christmas in December 1998, someone named Melissa gave the Sarah Ban Breathnach book Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy, as a present and wrote in the front:
Merry Christmas, Holly!!!

I thought you night enjoy reading this daily devotional. My mom got it for me last year and it has been a neat experience for me. It helps me put things in a new perspective. So, enjoy, and I hope maybe you learn a little something new about yourself along the way. Here's to a safe, healthy, and happy 1999!

Love, Melissa
We will never know if Holly learned something new about herself along the way. For whatever reason, Holly did not keep the book. It ended up at the Goodwill store in Gardena, the Los Angeles suburb where I grew up. I found it there while I was on vacation 5 years ago and I bought it.

Breathnach titles the January 16 reading "A Sense of Order: Cultivating Contentment" and she writes:

There is an immediate emotional and psychological payoff to getting our houses in order. We might not be able to control what's happening externally in our lives, but we can learn to look to our own inner resources for a sense of comfort that nurtures and sustains.... No woman can think clearly when constantly surrounded by clutter, chaos, and confusion....
She may be onto something there.

Brother Lawrence writes about his attitude toward the jobs he had in the monastery, including working in the kitchen and in the shoe repair shop, and that he tried to do "...everything for the love of God, asking as often as possible for the grace to do his work."

I did both of those jobs yesterday as well. I made a pie and scalloped potatoes (note to self: start nagging Richard about replacing the counter top in 2009).

I also did a little shoe repair; well, actually it was Richard's slippers. He bought them from a well-known mail order company that we have since come to realize sells - how shall I put this nicely? - poor quality, cheaply-made stuff.

We have purchased two items from this company and will never ever do so again, knowing that one gets what one pays for.

These slippers, which were very inexpensive, almost immediately began to fall apart. So I sewed 'em up, which will keep them going for a little while longer, and then he will finally throw them away.

It would be nice if all of life's rips and tears could so easily be mended.


Far Side of Fifty said...

Mending and cleaning I think you maybe a super woman! We vacummed but I am sure there are bits of paper under the couch. Everything in its own time:)

Miss Paula said...

There are several things that I would like to sew up to fix. But I know, God wants me to go through the things that need to be fixed to build character and to learn from my mistakes!! Sewing is a lot easier!

Leilani Lee said...

Well... I am not super woman and I am not very good at sewing either. What I didn't blog about was trying to patch a hole in a blanket and finally giving up in frustration.