All three of us awoke with a return of flu symptoms. Fortunately, Christopher's first class wasn't until late morning so he could sleep in a bit. I thank God that everything I need to get accomplished today can be done very slowly. :)
Here's another repost from last November... wisdom gained at times the hard way.
The Way Things Ought To Be
I had a coworker many years ago who told me the problem with most people is they live life the way they think it ought to be rather than the way it is. He called it his "Is-Ought" theory. I've been pondering his words recently and realized he wasn't completely right. Perhaps we should be living life the way we think it ought to be. We are in control in more ways than we think.
First, we can choose to have faith that God is in control of our lives. By spending time in the Word and reading books by people of faith, we build inside of us a deep reservoir to use in the challenges of daily living. We don't need to be going through a great trial to need strength for living. Sometimes I find it easier to pray for a large need than to forgive my husband after an argument. Little things need big faith, too.
Second, we can choose to learn what we do not know. I have been making a home for over thirty years and there is a great deal I do not know about the subject. I continue to learn how to better clean house and do laundry, ways to decorate my home, gardening skills I need...lots of gardening skills I need, recipes to try out, decisions to make about next semester's schooling, books to read...miles to go before I sleep, miles to go.
Third, we can choose beauty in a world that gets darker every day. I don't know why it took me nearly a year to change my bedroom from a place I disliked to a beautiful sanctuary. All it took was time (about a day's work) and some creativity. Except for the Goodwill tray I had already purchased for the kitchen, the change cost me nothing. The process has made me look around to a few other areas of the house that need just a small change here and there.
I work at making things beautiful. I study the library books, magazines, articles, etc. in an attempt to find new inspiration. My home has to be a sanctuary from this world for all of us who live here. I'd love to have a room done in a Shabby Chic color scheme with big cabbage roses in pictures and on pillows but that is not to be in a small house with two men. Fortunately, they both like the lace on the windows, the teapots and teacups, the vintage look of the kitchen, the shelves of books and more books, all items men can live with.
They both enjoy the results of a morning baking in the kitchen along with coffee or tea (or a large glass of cold milk for my son). They liked the flowers planted, the herbs in containers, the rocking chair on the porch and the aromas when the door is opened and they step into home. They roll their eyes at some of my more whimsical decorations but they live with them. Pink cabbage roses they could not...
Fourth, this world should be a comfortable place in which to live...it isn't. My home can be quite comfortable, though. I like soft sofas and chairs, throws everywhere for when it gets cold, pillows abounding, hot drinks on cold days, flannel housecoats, comfortable clothing (washed and put away where they belong), clean bed linens, quilts, and soft cats.
Finally, this world ought to be filled with grace and it is not. Only in my home can I have some control over grace filled words and atmosphere. It is not always grace filled. Just this morning tempers flared and words were spoken because the three people living here were exhausted and cranky. However, because grace is sought after and important, there was peace in our home this afternoon.
For most of us, we do not stay within the walls of our home all day, every day. Life is often lived on the other side of the front door, whether family members work outside the home or simply must run the necessary errands required of keeping a home. We attend church and other meetings. We take part in school activities whether they involve homeschooling, public schools, private schools, universities or preschool. We volunteer, we hold public office, we do what we are called to do to be salt and light in the world. There must be a place where we come home to a world a little closer to what it ought to be.
It will never be perfect this side of eternity. But when there are people making an attempt, doing their best, putting thought and energy into bringing a little bit of Heaven into this fallen world for their family (in spite of the fact reality is far from perfect and perfection can never be reached) then we are at least heading in the right direction toward hearing "well done good and faithful servant".