January 22, 2013

The Bread of Idleness

Awhile back, I attempted to take the Proverbs 31 Woman verse by verse and break it down...decipher what it means, and how to live to that ideal...I quit about 2 verses in...

Recently, I picked up a book somewhere, about "discovering a woman's purpose"...now for you non-Churchy types, stop rolling your eyes...I'm not saying women should be uneducated, and fully dependent upon their man for everything...BUT, I do fully believe that women were created to be completely different from men - different strengths, abilities, mannerisms, methods, a, truly, a different purpose...the book intrigued me, so I snagged it.  Plus, it was in the "bargain bin" for like a buck, so I figured, if all else failed and it was lame, I'd not feel too guilty about buying it and then giving it away...

I cracked it open the other night, and discovered its actually a study book following along with Titus 2:3-5.
(This is where I embarrass myself and admit that I've really only read a teeny weeny itty bitty portion of the Scriptures!) Oddly enough, she didn't include it in her book, just kept referencing it.

Therefore, I put the book down after the first chapter, and committed to reading the passage prior to picking up her book again.

Today, after many, many, many months, nay years, of procrastination and "pile moving", I committed to NO MORE!  After going through Financial Peace, and realizing all the expenses we had that were cluttering up our financial lives, I realized that we have a LOT of physical stuff cluttering up our lives too!  I never realized until recently just how much it was keeping me from acheiving peace at home! SO...I emptied out all the stuff from BB's office that flat out didn't belong.  To my delight, I discovered that only a small portion of what came out was actually going to be kept!  A few papers to file, many papers to recycle (I seriously found a Bed, Bath & Beyond coupon that expired in 2008!), but mostly books to put on my bookcases, and kids things that somehow landed in there and never made it back out.  I've yet to tackle the filing cabinets to purge old paperwork, and move the 2012 items to "long-term" filing, BUT, in the space of 2 hours, I fully removed the visible clutter, cleaned the windows, ceiling fan, baseboards, duct and return grills, dusted and oiled the wood desk, and vacuumed the carpet.  It looks like a new space!  Important to note, I also PUT AWAY EVERY SINGLE ITEM that was to be kept.  Yup!  I didn't move it toward the general direction of it's home...it got put into its home!  YAY ME!

This a HUGE accompllishment for me...all my life I've been a "mover" - I pile it up to be dealt with "later" and then never get to it, so then I move the pile to another location, vowing to deal with it immediately, and then the process repeats...

This is important, because tonight, after dinner, BB took the big kids to AWANA, and while he was gone, Littlest One and I watched Disney's Tarzan while I folded the clean clothes and put them away.  I was also able to tuck her in early and finish my Precepts Bible Study homework.  With time to spare!

I remembered my promise to read that passage in Titus, and grabbed my Bible, and read it.  I wrote it down on an index card.  I am NOT that sort of woman right now...but I want to be!  I want to be self-controlled, busy at home, so that no one can malign the word of God...

On a whim, I flipped back several books to Proverbs and re-read that description of that fabled woman...and I was struck by the reference to "She does not eat the bread of idleness..." and I began to think on it...what does that mean, the bread of idleness.

Maybe it's because MIL bought me a new breadmaker for Christmas, so we have 2, and I can use them at the same time, and have been making bread like a fiend for weeks the "easy" way - put the ingredients in the pan, the pan in the machine, plug it in, select my settings, close the lid, press start and walk away and BOOM, four hours later I've got fresh, delicious bread!  Then, the other day I made BB's sourdough - the "old fashioned way" - where you mix the ingredients and knead by hand and let it rise all day, then punch it down, and knead it a bit more, put it into your loaf pans, and let it rise all night to bake it in the morning...

I felt so much more satisfied by those loaves of sourdough than the breadmaker bread...

Why?  The sourdough is a simple recipe, not complicated or time consuming really...

Tonight it hit me!  I had worked to make that bread - I did the labor...I didn't let some one or something else do it for me...

I'm able to look back at BB's shiny clean office, the neat and tidy first floor, the clean and mostly tidy 2nd floor (Princess has issues with putting things away), and felt GOOD about what I'd been able to accomplish. Because I worked hard for a few days in a row, I've only to keep on top of things a bit each day to keep it this way...and my task list of "big projects" is so much smaller...

So tonight, I go to bed with the knowledge that there are no undone tasks from my day hanging over me when I awake in the morning...

I pushed the bread of idleness aside today, and I enjoyed the rewards of working hard...

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