Well, I'm up to chapter 3 in the Sidetracked Home Executive book by Pam Young and Peggy Jones. They are the funniest ladies! This old book has been taped to hold it together and has some coffee stains on it-but I wouldn't get rid of it for anything! I can't tell you how nice it is to have someone to relate to, even if it is on paper. So far they have told their stories.
Chapter 3 is called "One Foot Out of the Pigpen". They talk about being "BO" or "Born Organized". They mention that in gathering all the knowledge from all the books they read on keeping house and organizing (hmmm...sounds familiar...) they just could not relate to them. It was because the authors did not understand someone with a sidetracked nature and someone sidetracked could not understand the ease BO's had in their tasks.
They had a H.E. (Home Executive-someone who is BO) friend they asked advice from over the years.
"How do you do it? The scenery on your telephone-book cover is unblemished by phone numbers scribbled in haste.
"When you eat corn on the cob, you shirr it off in neat rows.
"You clip coupons and USE them!
"You have spare bags and a belt for your vacuum cleaner.
"You started those tomato plants from seed, and you catalogue and alphabetize everything!
"You apologize for messes that don't exist.
"You don't have to iron your permanent press.
"You use your TIMED BAKE button.
"When it says, 'DON'T BLEACH,' you don't.
"You have a hanky in your purse.
"You count calories honestly.
"Open-heart surgery could be performed on the floor of any room in your house.
"You rotate leftovers and have spare car keys tucked away securely in a magnetic container under the car.
"You have your camera charged, batteries in your flashlight, and you were BORN ON YOUR DUE DATE!!!... How do you do it?" (Sidetracked Home Executives c.1981)
And so on...sounds like the poor SHE (sidetracked home executive) Helen in our saga from "The Complete Home" talking to her cousin Miriam-the BO! I say she is BO because upon receiving a pretty little home made wall-hanging from a Mrs. Burr as a wedding gift that said, "Always be one hour in advance of your work"-she did just that! BO's do not understand how SHE's could desire order but live in chaos (can't have anyone over syndrome)!
The SHE's, Pam and Peggy, of the book I'm reading are right in that we have energy (I do when fibromyalgia is not flaring!) and desire-but no DIRECTION...and what did Aunt Sophronia say?
"Depend on it, the secret lies in industrious order--in what is called good management."
"All the result of not having a time and a place for everything; a lack of plan and energy on your part, Helen, is ruining your servant, and your domestic comfort. A household should have laws like the Medes and Persians, which never change; and privileges which are like and Englishman's house, an impregnable castle."
To me, it sounds like Helen's servant Hannah is also a SHE...suffering from what Pam and Peggy call the IGAD disease (I've Got All Day). It's main symptom is very little awareness of time. This is where I like Flylady too... http://www.flylady.net/ , she knows what a SHE is made of...and so she encourages us in many ways! She's taught me to change my way of thinking in many areas. Her slogan, "You can do anything for 15 minutes," makes any chore I can think of bearable when I set my timer for 15 minutes.
Pam and Peggy quote William James, a famous Harvard philosopher and teacher who said, "The greatest discovery in my generation is that by changing your attitude you can change your circumstances."
Flylady has a list of things to do she sends out each day to help you get going for the day. I love her emails-I have them sent automatically. There are so many things I do now that I didn't before. Still, I am not what she would call, "Flying." She has you make your bed right away, shower and get dressed to your shoes!
It appeals to me. Those of you who are BO are probably thinking how ridiculous this sounds-but the IGAD disease can keep you unprepared until evening. That's the awful truth of it!
I told a friend on the phone today...when talking about the clutter here I've pulled out to take down to the basement to declutter..."It looks like a Thing Monster came to my house and vomited all over the place!" We laughed-but it is a very sad thing! When did this happen? Why did this happen? How did this happen????? I honestly have no clue!
Reading the SHE book by Pam and Peggy and Flylady emails helps me to keep things on track. I am waiting to get to chapter 4 in the SHE book, when they actually start showing how to make your index card system. BUT...I think I will implement it with Flylady's Control Journal system...somehow blending the two. I want my system with me at all times, and carrying a file box of index cards does not seem feasible to me. I love the idea of carrying a binder with me where ever I need it.
So, that's where I'm at in this accomplishing Proverbs 31:27..."She watches over the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness." I know with the help of the Lord I can accomplish this! Every wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands. (Proverbs 14:1)
----more of "The Complete Home" saga from the chapter "Order in the Home"...we just got done with our visit with Helen, Miriam, Hester and Aunt Sophronia, where they compare households and the management of them. They broke off when we last read. To continue...----
For some weeks thereafter I was absorbed by Hester's preparations for departure. In her own and her father's atrocious neglect of proper dress, I feared she would go off deplorably shabby. I poured out my complaints to Mrs. Winton. "See how Hester looks: her clothes have no fit; John is so absurd in his ideas; the girl never dresses like other people."
"The evil is not in Mr. Rocheford's ideas," said Mrs. Wnton: "he is right in the opinion that the human figure should be allowed a natural development, without any compressions: vigorous health and true beauty of form will thus be secured. You have often admired the upright and elegant person and carriage of my daughter Grace: she has never worn any article of dress, from a gown to a glove, which pressed upon her, or in any way changed or hindered her natural growth. The trouble with Hester is, that from the extreme of anxiety about dress in which some girls indulge, she has made the rebound of entire carelessness; her clothing is neither properly made nor properly put on. I predict for her the soon reaching a happy mean, and being a model of taste and neatness, while she eschews extravagance and display. The good order which pervades her studies will soon permeate all her life: her cultivated taste will direct her to fitness and beauty; it is well for her to go away to school: she will be brought into companionship with some good and congenial woman, who will become her model. It is most dangerous to neglect the greater for the less: Hester has been neglecting the less for the greater; but increased mental training will produce harmony in her mind, and she will give less its full and proper place,"
I began to think Mrs. Winton right, when on going to see Hester, I found how nicely she had packed her trunk. She explained it by stating, that first she had packed her books and pictures handsomely, "Because she loved them," and then she thought that the care which was good for them would serve as well for other things, and so I found her surveying with much satisfaction the work of her hands.
As I heartily abhor an untidy woman, I gave Hester some advice about clean collars properly put on, neat hair, and the excellence of neck-ties and white aprons. I said to her, "Hester, there is neither honor nor advantage in the neglecting of little things. God makes the flower which is to perish unseen in secret nooks as perfect as that destined to bloom before millions of admirers; he carves with the same exquisite symmetry the shell which is so small as to be almost microscopic, and the great treasure of the sea. God slights nothing. They who love goodness and beauty for their own sakes will slight nothing. An old writer says: 'Manners makyth man,' Chesterfield advises: 'Prepare yourselves for the world as the athletae used to do for their exercises: oil your mind and your manners to give them the needful suppleness and flexibility: strength alone will not do.' Cultivate graciousness as a duty, and cultivate as a duty also a harmonious neatness and beauty in appearance and in all that you do. People, Hester, judge us by what they see. Let not your good be evil spoken of, but let your zeal for knowledge be commended by order and harmony in all that you do."
----end of visit with Hester---tomorrow Aunt Sophronia visits Helen----
My friends, in my many ramblings here about housekeeping, I merely hope to share with those of you who are at wits end and frustrated with the methods you've used thus far (or lack thereof.) The truth is that once we are in a place where we realize that we need to turn it all over to God and in wanting to obey Him in all we do and really doing everything as unto Him, He will give us the desires of our hearts because our desires line up with His will for us. Then frustration, as we know it, will vanish!
God is a God of order and peace and joy. He takes joy in blessing His children and in revealing His will to us. There is nothing we can do to make Him love us any more than He does at this very moment. He is so gracious and benevolent to us-He just longs for us to love Him and live our lives as an offering unto Him to will and to do for His good pleasure! How wonderful to be God's expression of love to a lost and dying world-the journey is thrilling-if we let it be.
I pray that as you and I go about our day we become aware of the wonderful God of order and purpose and ask Him to show us how He would order our day. I pray that He would direct our paths and teach us to do everything we do for His glory. I pray that the things we do throughout the day would be a witness to the wonderful blessing and instruction of God's Spirit. Let our homes be a reflection of Your Love, Joy and Peace. In Jesus' Name. Amen
Isn't it good to know God is for us and not against us? He is so wonderful! Reflect on His goodness and graciousness upon us as we learn to order the home-sweet things! All for His Glory! Good Night!
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace — where there is hatred, let me sow love — where there is injury, let me sow pardon — where there is doubt, let me sow faith — where there is despair, let me sow hope — where there is darkness, let me sow light and where there is sadness, let me sow joy. O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console — to be understood as to understand — to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive. It is in dying that we are born to eternal life. —Francis of Assisi