Friday, February 13, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday


We are in the middle of a doozy of a snow storm. It started about 7:30 this morning, and I'm so glad I talked DrummerDude into staying home from work today. Am I horrid?

He's been fighting a cold all week, and I could see him getting very fatigued. So when the forecast for today was 6-10 inches of snow with 25-30 mile an hour winds, I thought the time was propitious for him to stay home and get some sleep. Besides, I kept dreaming last night about him being stuck at work because his car was snowed in. My mama heart is happy because all my brood are safe indoors. (JD and LovelyDaughter, even though they're not under my roof, are cozy and safe under their roof.


Speaking of JD and LovelyDaughter's roof, you may remember that I mentioned earlier that the house they are living in belongs to DrummerDude. Well, Monday was a red letter day because he paid off the house! DrummerDude is so pleased with himself. (I told you he got a great deal on it. Plus, he's been putting most of his paychecks on it ever since he took out the loan.)


In my last post I wrote about learning to form the habit of cleaning my sink every night. In response, Ornery's Wife said this:

Personally, I have no problem with leaving the dishes till the next morning. I know lots of people think that is bad, and if I can get motivated to get them done before bed, that is better, but I don't sweat it.

Most of my housework is actually just a little behind. Life intervenes, and I am just not that worried about a bit of dust, dog hair or an unmade bed or two. Relationships are so much more important, and they take undivided time.

I agree with her completely. In fact, except for the part about dog hairs, I could have written it myself. However, the reason I started the new habit was two-fold:

1) I wanted to learn to keep my kitchen under control.

2) I'm working on learning to humbly accept instruction. If what I'm doing is not working, why wouldn't I accept help from someone who knows what works? A couple of years ago I read FlyLady's suggestions and waved them aside, saying to myself that that would never work for me because she doesn't know MY priorities, and MY house, and MY personality, etc, etc, ad nauseum. Finally, I decided that as an act of humility I would take her word for it and begin by cleaning my sink.

Where it goes from here, I don't know yet. But I will say that it's amazing the impact that that one little chore has had on the state of my kitchen. (And maybe it's even helping the state of my humility, but that's not for me to say, I guess.)


I just finished reading "The Story of a Soul" by Therese De LeSieux. There's so much to say about it that I can't really summarize it here. I really should just do an entire post about it alone. But here's one little quote:

In the refectory we have but one thing to do: perform a lowly
action with lofty thoughts.

Substitute "kitchen" for refectory (or "bathroom," or "laundry room") and there you are: up-to-date instructions for making the mundane have eternal value.


Which reminds me: On Monday when I was reading the book, I had to take a break and run some errands. While I was out, I had the radio on and I heard a preacher/teacher say that he lived his life always evaluating whether each thing had eternal value. He said, "We should start each day with the Judgment Seat and work backwards."

I was struck by the contrast between this viewpoint and Therese de LeSiuex's attitude of doing everything by and for love. I guess we can choose whether to serve God out of fear of the Judgment, or out of love.


I was raised Protestant, but lately I've been studying Catholicism and reading writings by Catholic writers and I've discovered something.

It seems to me, and I could be wrong, that Protestants work-- at least in theory-- to eliminate everything from their lives that does not have "eternal value." That line of thinking always confused me, and eventually, a few years ago, sent me to the edge of suicide. Nothing in the world has any real value, does it? It's all destined for destruction, and maybe I should just go to heaven right now. Of course, winning souls, or being in full-time Christian ministry, are considered valuable. But what about cooking, cleaning, shopping, getting dressed, brushing your teeth, making the bed, putting gas in the car? I used to look with amazement at preachers who shouted this doctrine at us and then wonder where they found room in their conscience to go out to eat or buy that expensive suit they were wearing.

On the other hand, Catholic thinking seems to be to redeem all of life by the attitude in which we live it, thereby giving every action, no matter how small or mundane, great eternal weight. While I have no plans at this moment to convert to Catholicism, this view has encouraged me greatly and I have decided to adopt it.


Did you know that leftover blueberry pancakes are really good re-heated in the toaster and then sprinkled with sugar?


mrsdarwin said...

I like your take on St. Therese. One of the main principles of her "Little Way" is "if you pick up a pin, do it for the love of God". Every little action we perform has some eternal significance. She also had some pretty intense struggles and doubts, but she stayed faithful.

Good luck in your spiritual journey! (I got here from Jen's Seven Quick Takes link.)

Jennifer @ Conversion Diary said...

Wow, all of these really resonated with me! I LOVE the idea in #3 about admitting that your way isn't working and being humbly obedient to a plan. I've been having a lot of those same thoughts lately though I never crystallized it as well.

Also, if you liked Story of a Soul and the theme of serving God with love at every moment, I can't recommend highly enough the book He Leadeth Me by Walter Ciszek. It's a memoir about Ciszek's time in Russia: he was a priest who went to Russia during WWII with glorious ideas about ministering to the Russian people only to end up getting arrested and sent to a Siberian slave labor camp for 20 years. The story is about what that taught him about how to love and serve God, even under the most difficult or just mundane circumstances. It's a quick, easy read and one of the most life-changing books I've ever read.

Anyway, thanks for participating and have a great weekend!

Ornery's Wife said...

The last two years I have been learning about serving God and others out of love, not out of fear of judgment. What a release that has given me! It is a shame that the protestant church is so quick to cast judgment our way, especially in the light of the cross, which has provided all believers the gift of righteousness! I'm sure glad you are learning freedom from that lifestyle, whatever path it takes to get you there!
hugs and blessings!