I read a beautiful post by the wonderful and inspiring Sally Clarkson today that reminded me of a short devotional my neighbor had sent me a few months ago. The gist of both of these pieces reminded me that if there are children or people in general around there will be some sort of sign of this life (messes, noises, etc.). They both conclude that it is better to have the messes and noises, which are a sign of the life within, rather than the orderliness and/or silence which indicate the absence of this life. I am here to tell you that both kinds of signs of life are abundant here at Abundant Life Ranch!! We have almost daily construction of forts of one kind or another. We have projects, both finished and unfinished, as signs of a busy home schooling family of many. There are crumbs to be found often throughout our house, even though the "rule" is that food stays in the kitchen area. Books are everywhere... As I am striving to live more simply, I am more keenly aware of all of these things around.
Both pieces I read mention the proverb: "Where there are no oxen, the crib (trough) is clean." In the short piece my neighbor sent me to read, the author writes, "A home in which everything is in apple-pie order is not of necessity a matter for congratulation. The rooms are silent; there are no signs of childish romp and revelry. In the nursery, the toys are all in their proper places; everything is orderly and shipshape; all is spick and span. But the father and mother are heartbroken; their child is dead." (F. W. Borham,The Last Milestone: Essays by F. W. Borham). He later continues: "Let every minister be thankful that his study needs tidying; let every barrister be thankful for the confusion in his office; let every carpenter be thankful for the shavings on the floor; let every mother be thankful for the tumult in the nursery; let every farmer be thankful that the crib needs cleaning out. It all goes to show that there is something doing." Boy, does this resonate with me!! The author does go on to raise this to the spiritual plane, and conclude that we should be wary of the day when our conscience ceases to cry out to us that there is cleaning to be done as well. That is where I stand with my newly renewed commitment to declutter and make our home more peaceful. I am so very thankful for all the mess-makers in my home, and the signs of the blessings that surround us. I am so thankful that my nursery isn't quiet, and that it won't be for decades to come!
"...I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."