This being an important family holiday week means that blogging lite is in order. I have all my kids and a few assorted important other persons coming this week. Am I ready? Of course not. There are the perennially ready who were born to fulfill the Scout code (“Be Prepared”) and then there are the rest of us in varying degrees of panic. I, personally, am long down the scale of disorganized…but I am always trying to overcome it with all the ideas that self help books and good intentions invent!
People try to offer me excuses for myself- but it is like offering diabetics sweets- they like it, but it isn’t good for them.
It is so important not to waste what is precious by spending all one’s time and emotion on fretting or complaining over what one does not have. – Edith Schaeffer
Anyway, I was thinking last night, “if onlys”. If only I had the house in more order and hadn’t let the clutter get away from me … it wouldn’t be so hard to get ready for holidays…. if only I wasn’t in a perpetual state of renovation around here I could get organized…. if only I hadn’t taken on so much “other family” stuff my own home would be the peaceful sanctuary I would like to make it. If only.
But “if onlys” are the opposite of gratefulness. Gratefulness operates outside of wishful thinking and takes reality by the horns … and makes beef stew… just kidding. It makes for contentment and a state of peace. It makes for what everyone really wants. We think we want fine linens freshly pressed, gourmet feasts and cleaning ladies… but we really want love and satisfaction, and all the things that we think will attain with those adjuncts. Somes those things are a hindrance and sometimes a help, but they are only the condiments of life. The real meal is in enjoying each others company, appreciating the efforts and the presence- giving a place of importance because we mean something to each other… and being grateful for whatever is on the table and whatever one brings to that table. Whether it’s a smile or a cake or a sidedish, whether it’s help in the kitchen or a timely shoulder massage. It’s the little things, the big things, all stirred together with gratefulness and enjoyment.
Now this doesn’t mean that I will allow for the turkey meal to get a short shrift…oh no…. that is part of what holds everything together. I will execute the plan all this week, from the day to chop the veggies to the kitchen plan of action on T-Day.
I just have to accept that maybe I didn’t catch all the cobwebs or maybe we will have to keep a few closet doors shut. And try to be more prepared in my daily life ( because Christmas is coming to test me on that), thankful for the health and strength and willpower that I hope God will provide. So this is really a week to be thankful to God… for whatever I can get accomplished… and for a full house. And the very fact that it is possible at all.
Have I had setbacks already? Yes… I think I am going to have to throw away a lace cloth that got ruined, the renovation didn’t get as far as we hoped by this time… so there is crowding and I have to send things to the attic for the duration, stuff like that. And I haven’t even started the cooking yet. And I had one little girl up the other night with stomach flu …. but sometimes life is not a perfect accomplished set of events, it is the daily living of the real stuff of life- full of messy, sometimes wonderful and sometimes maddening, people.
How good to have some of the best of those people sitting around your house and eating food and playing games, and talking up a storm. How good that is 🙂
Don’t you agree?