* From Dust you came and Dust you shall return *
This is what the priest says as he made the sign of the cross, using the ashes from Palm Sunday, across my forehead. Today is the first day of Lent. The day that marks 40 days to the Passion, Crucifixion, and Resurection of Our Lord Jesus Christ. While I'm excited, the end of the journey is the most Glorious day...Easter. But today, it is somber. Our home is filled with a spirit of sacrifice and will be daily until Easter morning. Chris and I have each made personal choices as to what we want to give up for Lent, or do for Lent. While I don't feel it necessary to share my personal sacrifices, I will share one.
I have been inspired the past couple of days to "get my home in order". The Holy Spirit is working through others and recently I found a past magazine I used to get called "Keepers at Home". The article is titled "To Guide the House". I had randomly picked this out of my bookshelf when I felt I needed some inspiration, for what I don't know, but felt I needed inspiration. I ran across this magazine and opened up to this article.
The first sentence was: "How do you keep your home orderly?" Um, well at the moment my home was chaotic with paper clutter, piled in several places in the house. My bathroom, small as it is, had so many things on the counter (including clean towels to be hung) that you had to pass by carefully. Ok, enough confession. Anyways, she goes on to say "This seems to be the struggle of every housewife." Whew! I'm off the hook. Oh wait, fiddle sticks, there's more. "Let all things be done decently and in order" from 1 Cor. 14:40. Ok, I'm listening Lord. This is where I started to get renewed in my desire to manage our home. I pondered it. I don't do things decently, I do them rushed. Oh, Lord. You have so much work to do in me. "In order". Hmm, my husband can't find what he needs and always asks me, sometimes I can't find it either. Hmm, I have some work to do. I sat thinking: "How can I sit around complaining there is nothing in this house to do! The house is tidy (on the first floor) and it is cleaned weekly, but it is not in order, nor do I do things decently. There is not a peace in our home, a rythym of which I thrive on. How can I consider taking that part time job offer to fill my time when my husband and I don't even know where things are? I have work to do right here!"
So the article goes on: 1 Tim 5:14 and breaks it down and goes through it. I'm good with it all until she hits "Guide the house..." She writes "Do I hear groans?Is keeping order not part of the comand to guide the house? It includes teaching and training our children the blessings of diligence and self discipline in this area." Um, diligence? self discipline? Ok, now I'm feeling sheepish and see I have no excuse to sit around and say there is nothing to do and there is too much snow to go outside!
Though she talks of the Proverbs 31 woman, she admits, along with many women I know, while this woman is a role model, it sets an almost impossible standard. But doesn't God call us to holiness? Doesn't God set the bar high for us to give us something to work towards, to humbly admit our weakness and our dependance on a Power greater than ourselves? While I could never do all the things the Proverbs 31 woman does (nor do I think anywoman in her right mind could do it ALL) I do believe the Proverbs 31 woman gives me something to work towards.
That is to do things,not rushed, but peaceful...creating order...and doing it decently. Do the things that are needed for our family, for me, and for our home. It is in this process, I believe God will mold me and change me into the woman He knows I can be.
So, I will use this next 40 days to clean out, par down, and create a peaceful environment. I have already taken care of both my desks, which was an all day task. Death by papers!! I have one desk upstairs (which I'm on now) that has the computer and all my files within arms reach. This is my Home Management desk of which I do most of our budget (we split this by the way!), our records upkeep etc. The desk downstairs was my great-grandparents and it is used as my everyday desk. It is very small and I keep my planner open on top all the time (unless it's with me :-) That desk is somewhere for me to do the day to day things...like dreaming of my garden and making plans for it.
We don't sing the Alleluia in mass during Lent and each Crucifix in our home is covered with a purple cloth. A visual reminder of the our Lord's suffering and where my heart should be during this season.
Wow!This is a long post. But there is much to say about Lent and my journey as I set out.
I wish you Christ's peace,
(Note: This is posted on Thursday but was written on Wednesday.)