26 April 2007

All is Vanity

I can so relate to Solomon when he writes "all is vanity". It seems my days are spent shuffling from one thing to another that is truly meaningless in the big picture, menial tasks that are sure to need repeating the next day - and always sacrifice the things that are of eternal significance. The worst part is that I get my panties all in a wad about it. One second I am a perfectly reasonable human being, and the next I am like a teapot that has just achieved steam. This week we have had to have the motherboard replaced on our BRAND NEW refrigerator, had to call a service technician and troubleshoot why they dishwasher was running for six hours without stopping in the middle of the night, and it seems that every time I turn around I am cooking, cleaning, sweeping, or straightening something. I have a little OCD about a basic standard of cleanliness - and it makes me miserable. I don't need the Flylady, I need her polar opposite. (BTW - when I just went to grab that link I noticed that there was a "Flylady Cruise" coming up - how relaxing is does that sound? A siren goes off at 6:15 am and you have five minutes to dress from head to shoes! Ugh!) Where is the chick that says, it's okay if there is so much dirt on the floor you think you're in the Little House on the Prairie - if your children know that they're loved. Don't freak out if the beds aren't made - make a life that is a bed you can stand to lay in. I need the guru who gives me permission to spend an occasional afternoon reading a good book, scrapbooking, taking a nap, or immerse myself for hours in Bible word study (this is not random, this is something I'd really like to do, and never seem to find the time for). I think that we have entirely too much pressure on us as women to make it all happen. How are y'all doing with all that's on your plate?


  1. i will be the guru who gives you permission!!
    actually i will pass it along from the guru who gave it to me.
    her name is thelma, and she changed my life. she was a neighbor across the street from us when we lived in town. she and her husband were in their 70's. when you walked into their house, i am not kidding you, there were stacks and stacks of stuff everywhere. i mean you could walk through and sit down and everything, but there were literally cases of pop, cases of paper towels, cases of candy, books, clothes, you name it, in every corner and on tables. it was a nice home, and clean (as far as no dirt and grime), just a lot of stuff.
    it shocked me really because i was one of those who thought before you invited anyone into your home, you had to make it look like no one lived there.. no toys on the floor, no dishes in the sink, etc... and with four kids and a dog AND a husband, i was driving myself crazy worrying what my house looked like if someone just dropped by for coffee.
    anyhow! what i noticed was that thelma always had people over. kids would congregate on her front porch, friends and family were always going in and out. anytime she saw my kids outside she would say.. "stay right there i have something for you." and she would go in her house and bring out some little treat. she always had something.... for anyone who happened to cross her path. and if i ever ran out of anything... i mean anything at all... i knew i could run across the street and thelma would have it.. and she'd gladly give me whatever i needed.
    this was her ministry. i saw all the people she touched. all the lives she lit up with just being able to hand out a can of pop, or a sucker, or a loaf of bread.
    she was comfortable with herself and she loved giving, and you felt so "at home" when you walked through her doors, that really, you may have noticed the clutter when you first walked in, but the love soon made you blind to it.
    she told me once that if she took the time to put away all the junk, and clean, and make everything presentable for everyone, she'd never have time to sit and really get to listen to someone's needs. she wouldn't have the time to live the life God gave to her, and she'd never have time to share that life isn't about things. it's about people, and relationships, and living, and enjoying what we have.
    i know she didn't mean we should all be slobs and neglect our homes. what she meant was that when it all comes down to it, those dishes in the sink will eventually get done, but the chance to share a moment or two or three with someone (even our own selves) may pass by all too quickly.
    life is sweet, and so very short.

    and ok.. maybe i should have made that my own post.. sorry for the lengthiness.
    i'll blame thelma.. :o)

  2. I second what Fatty said. Read her blog, the woman is a genius! lol...

    Everyone should have a Thelma.

  3. Thanks for your post- I can relate. I can cause myself a lot of stress when I dwell on how I am lacking in the organizational department! I love what Fatty said. I think we should all have an older woman to mentor us and help us see the big picture. I know I have gotten some great advice from some of them when we have been in bible studies together..

  4. It might be like the bedtime thing - you should do what you and your family are comfortable with. If you are cleaning so much that you don't have time to read, scrapbook or whatever then maybe you are cleaning too much (or the kids aren't cleaning enough for you... :) )
    I can not wear shoes all day - I secretly take them off even at work, and I really dont give a rats @$$ if my sink is shiny, so I will never be a successful fly-lady person, but you can take it for what it is which is just a tool to help those who are hopelessly disorganized in this area.
    Anyway - you always seem to have time to do fun things with your kids and friends, so you must have some kind of balance there. And your house in WV was always very welcoming and homey, as your home in Texas sounds from your blog.
    Maybe you are just in a frustrated state because of all your appliances going crazy and having so many kids with you and getting ready to travel? Look on the bright side - at least you are not taking the flylady cruise.

    PS Is this "panties all in a wad" some kind of Texas saying? Made me laugh - thinking of you saying it.

  5. *LOL*
    Um...Fatty said it all.
    Never Mind.

  6. I have rooms in my house that I don't visit for weeks at a time. They may be dirty but who the heck cares when you don't see them. I always find time to do what I want...like reading your blog!

  7. Well, I am probably not the best to respond to this. I agree with a lot of what Fatty said. But it is a hard habit to break. I try to keep the main room of our home clean, so we can have visitors without me being embarrassed. But I have come A LONG way from the neurotic germophobe I once was.

    My floors are not always swept or mopped. Toys are not always put away. My desk is often cluttered. Over the years, I hae been learning to balance life better. IF there are cobwebs on the ceiling, but the kids and I are into a great story, the spiders can wait. Tomorrow we are having a curriculum sale at my home. It is supposed to be outside and everyone's kids should be out there playing, since there won't be any supervision inside, but they will likely end up inside if the FL sun wears them out. Do I care, not in the slightest. I didn't clean a thing. The kids picked up and put away anything they didn't want a chance of being broken, but the rest is as is. I have learned that whatever state my home is in, this is me. My house is not spotless every moment of every day. While I still get some grumpiness from the kids, the hubby is much happier now that I have balanced a bit. The kids have their chores and that helps keep the chaos down.

    Everyone in my family knows that the sign it is too much for me is when I walk from room to room and feel I cannot breathe. To them everything is ok, but they are more understanding when I say, I am having a hard tim ebreathing, the house is a mess. We take 15 min and everyone takes a room. After that, I can breathe. It really is wonderful when you take time to live.

    All that said, I still feel as though there are times I am not getting to everything. I got a new digital sewing machine last week and I haven't even had time to learn how to wind a bobbin. =( But I have had time for prayer each day, blogging (mostly), school, reading, and time with my family. I am hoping to get to use my machine this weekend and next week to scrap a bit. It's all about finding the balance that is right for you and your family.


Awaiting your words......
♥ Juls ♥