I diagnosed a disorder I had known I had for years: H.A.D.D.: Housework Attention Deficit Disorder.

Housekeeping – fighting clutter, dirt, and dust-bunnies – is the one component of homemaking that if ignored (too long) ruins all the fun stuff. I can wait too long to do just the basic chores – because life — writing, painting, kibitzing — is so much more motivating!

But when one’s hand sticks to the oven handle, perhaps one should . . . reconsider the day’s chores?

Following the example of my daughter, who restored her over-worked oven to pristine condition, I applied a paste of baking soda on the greasy glass of the oven door, covered it with a hot, hot towel, and waited – not long enough though. So, I had to do it again, after scrubbing and rinsing. The third time, I thought I’d quicken things up, and sprayed vinegar and H2O over the baking soda paste.

That was fun.

Now, I won’t say it’s clean enough to eat off, but I significantly lowered the possibility of a grease fire in my oven. And my hand doesn’t get sticky when I touch the door! The oven door’s glass window isn’t completely sparkly – but the inside of it is 81.9% cleaner. And the new aluminum sheets on the bottom of the oven positively glisten, awaiting the first boil-over – which given the outside temperatures in Dallas this week may be a ways away!

In the past five years, I have made progress . . . Real Simple might not do a spread on me, but in some ways, I’ve gotten better at corralling the clutter – it’s mainly on our dining room table – and on the sideboard. Diligent downsizing is a big reason – and I’ve gotten faster at tossing, too, the catalogues, solicitations, and bills.

No, just kidding; I haven’t tossed bills for a long time.

Cleaning up for guests is not quite the crazy scramble it was years ago.   When folks come for dinner, I can rein in the disorder in fewer minutes, and rely on a clear plastic container to hold the stray paper and books, which I then place in the bedroom and hope no guests wander in!

Note, please: tidying up, preventing grease fires – and a few other dailies, like the eternal laundry, are chores that now give me a sense of satisfaction I didn’t appreciate years ago.

How can that be? I can still do them!

Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude – too often I let it drain out of me, sometimes for no other reason than I won’t look on the bright side that dark shadows hide.

  • It’s so hot, I can’t take my little walk at night – but I have been able to enjoy early morning meanderings.
  • It’s so hot, the house doesn’t ever quite cool down, so I wake up – but in the quiet and dark I think about our kids, and what treasures we have been given.
  • It’s so hot, I can’t cook . . . wait – that is a bright thing!

So, paraphrasing a reference on happiness:

[Gratitude] is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or [grateful] and strong. The amount of work is the same. ~ Francesca Reigler

Yesterday’s gratitude is never enough for today’s troubles. Like God’s mercies which are new every morning, so must my attitude be replenished every day. (Psalm 73)

  • We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.  ~Thornton Wilder
  • If you don’t get everything you want, think of the things you don’t get that you don’t want. ~Oscar Wilde

Now, you, dear reader, may be looking at way more trouble than a platitude on gratitude can sustain. I pray as you are able and willing, you turn over these burdens to the only One who can and will sustain you, count all your tears, and carry you.

Five years ago, I found a new rendering of an old promise that is refreshing and true – something you can lean-in to, with all your weight!

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion?

Come to me.

Get away with me and you’ll recover your life.

I’ll show you how to take a real rest.  

Walk with me and work with me — watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.

I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. 

Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” (Matthew 11:28-30 from THE MESSAGE)


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Also See:Tried & True & Home Made

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