Continuing a theme that resonated with many of you about my mom’s advice on the importance of pacing ourselves, let’s peer into the windows of both our homes and hearts as we head toward the holidays.
Fall is my favorite season. I love pretty much everything associated with it: colors, smells, tastes … and, of course, the celebration of the harvest.
Unlike my farmer husband and sons, I don’t even mind it getting dark earlier. A warmly lit home decorated with accents of the season and filled with aromas of food cooking is, to me, a slice of heaven on earth.
Before you show up knocking at our door, I must admit angel choirs aren’t yet singing in our house.
While half of our home is dressed for the season and looking pretty good, those piles and messes lurking behind closed doors aren’t really hidden, are they?
What a peaceful feeling it must be to have your whole home tidy … all at once. (Whew! I can’t even remember how long it’s been!)
If I had heeded my mom’s advice about pacing myself, I’d surely have prepared better for this beautiful time of year. Alas, mountains of outerwear and camouflage sitting ready for cold weather to call would have their place somewhere other than the dining room corner.
Piles of procrastinated paperwork would be caught up and organized … not atop the buffet and strewn all over the table. I could go on, but maybe you get the idea.
As much as I love our 1920 farmhouse, it doesn’t have much storage.
Does that sound like a good excuse?
Or maybe we have too much stuff. Or maybe I don’t always use my time wisely. Yes, I must admit that just maybe I haven’t paced myself.
Because I’m behind at home, I contemplated not even getting out our fall décor this year. After all, it will soon be time to deck the halls for Christmas (maybe I’ll feel more caught up then).
But when I stepped into our attic area and saw the rich foliage colors of those pretty fall decorations peeking out, I couldn’t resist.
Right about the time fall turkey season closes for my boys, it officially opens for me.
So after adorning our kitchen with a fall table runner, Indian corn candles and cute little berry wreaths, I noticed the dish towels … surely we had some more fall-looking ones somewhere.
Yep, in the back of a drawer was a stack of rich mustards, ambers, oranges, reds, and browns. I quickly scattered those around.
A pumpkin candle flickering in the window, a pot of beans simmering on the stove and a skillet of cornbread baking in the oven filled my heart with peace … for a moment.
But that nagging guilt over other parts of the house, unorganized and undecorated, interrupted my peace (as it too often does).
Do I dare allow myself to enjoy any of what I have done?
If not, could my undercurrents of frustration pull on my family? (What is it we hear about attitudes being contagious?)
Is the berating voice of shame and guilt louder than the loving voice of grace and mercy? To which voice will I listen?
A few days later, I glanced at one of those fall dish towels hanging from the oven door handle. It’s a vintage calendar towel, if you can call 1975 vintage.
It probably came from my grandmother’s stuff, so of course it’s precious to my sentimental heart.
Anyway, I finally noticed more than just its seasonably appropriate color scheme. Centered in the pretty picture above the calendar is this precious prayer:
“Lord, warm all the kitchen with Thy love and light it with Thy peace. Forgive me all my worry, and make my grumbling cease.”
Maybe peace doesn’t have to wait until the house is totally clean or until (insert whatever).
Maybe peace is right here for the asking … and then for the accepting.
So, despite the Indians, pilgrims and cornucopias just sitting in the floor waiting on their rooms to be cleaned so they can take their spots, maybe I can choose to seek peace anyway … right now, amidst the mess.
I am thankful for reminders to choose peace — from Grandma and especially from the Holy Spirit, our voice of truth.
“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and afraid.” – John 14: 26-27
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7.
Gina Moore, a news-editorial journalism major, has operated Marketplace Consignment Sale for 25 years and has worked part-time at Treasures. She also enjoys country cooking, reading and writing about motherhood, life on the farm and how God’s love and lessons surround residents.