Somebody clean the ox

IMG_20150103_172451138My house is not a clean house. 

Well, I mean it’s hygienic.  We have indoor plumbing and clean water, which, for context and perspective, is more than can be said for most of the planet. 

It’s just that, as Bob says, “my girl is a messy girl”.  Truth.  I really had to acknowledge that when all the girls moved away and the empty nest didn’t really reorder itself.  Nope. 

Just too many books to read, too many posts too write, gardening, projects, and then there’s this thing called a full-time job.  And a husband.  (They take time, too.  Well worth it.  And he’s the clean one of the duo.)

So I find at least some solace in this:

“Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest.”

Thank you, King Solomon.

Not that I consider myself a strong ox, although Bob says that I “come from good stock”, whatever that’s supposed to mean.  (He also says, however, that I can “work him under the table”.)

I think it’s probably also easier in parenting, for instance, to take a DIY attitude rather than let the kids learn by doing, because of the potential/probable mess, which makes more work for yours truly (which may or may not get done, see above disclaimer.)

Extrapolate: it’s likewise easier (translate “safer”) to not care so much, try so much, dream so much, reach out so much in this otherwise hostile world we live in this side of eternity.  It gets harsh, uncomfortable….messy.

This citation will probably put me over my word count, but it’s worth the read:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” –Theodore Roosevelt

I have not a clue whether or not good ole’ Teddy would have made it into the White House in today’s climate, but I sure do like this quote.  And if ever there was an ox in a Washington china shop (other than, of course, now) it was Teddy.

sweepSo while the laundry piles up in the stairwell and the dog hair in the kitchen, I’m off to a workday at the church.  The laundry will be there when I get home, and the dog hair never really goes away.

Proverbs 14: 4  Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

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I’ll pass on the placebo

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We’ve all heard of those scientific trials where one patient gets an experimental medication and the other gets the imitation in the form of a sugar pill, AKA, placebo.  Of course, what the doctors are looking for is what effects, if any, (good or bad!) take place in the ones with the “real thing”.  The guinea pigs patients are not aware of who is getting what.  Naturally, some of the side effects of the authentic medicine can put the recipients through some uncomfortable experiences, but it can be worth it in the long run if you are out of all other options!

That’s what comes to mind as I Continue reading “I’ll pass on the placebo”

Hardhats required

neuschwanstein-castle-467116_1280My friend Linda works as a church secretary.  The church a beautiful old red brick building, but as old goes, it needs occasional repair.   When I talked with her this summer, the blessed old place was going through another face lift, this time with concrete.  That meant her office was anything but quiet.  I can only imagine the pleasant sound of jackhammers outside her office walls…

Which makes this phrase from the building of the Lord’s temple during the reign of King Solomon even Continue reading “Hardhats required”

Phyllis Diller, my heroine

 

I tend a bit to the Phyllis Diller end of the housework continuum:

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I like a clean and orderly home, naturally, but it needs to reach a critical mass before I’m overly motivated.  If I don’t dust the furniture, it will only gather more dust and so much the better in which to write Bob a love note.  On the other hand, if I’m not out in my garden watering and such, my green babies might DIE! 

Now really, which is more important??

So it’s pretty amazing what Continue reading “Phyllis Diller, my heroine”

Fat Lady Wasn’t Singin’ Yet

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I remember sitting in a school-age Bible class many (and I mean many) years ago learning about this king named Solomon, about all the neat things he did, about how he loved and followed God like his father King David had done, etc, etc.  Neat story, until the teacher told us about how Solomon turned away from God later in life. ..my reaction was something like “What!? No!!”  I was truly disappointed (being the sucker for happy endings that I was and still am).   To put it bluntly, Old Sol liked the ladies—a lot of them.  And as if that didn’t make things complicated enough (which it always does, let’s get real) he started liking non-Israelites also, adding them to his burgeoning harem.

The text goes like this:

“In Solomon’s old age, they TURNED HIS HEART to worship other gods instead of being completely faithful to the LORD his God, as his father, David, had been…   In this way, Solomon did what was evil in the LORD’s sight; he REFUSED to follow the LORD completely, as his father, David, had done.  On the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, he even built a pagan shrine for Chemosh, the detestable god of Moab, and another for Molech, the detestable god of the Ammonites.   Solomon built such shrines for all his foreign wives to use for burning incense and sacrificing to their gods.  The LORD was very angry with Solomon, for his heart had turned away from the LORD, the God of Israel, WHO HAD APPEARED TO HIM TWICE.   He had warned Solomon specifically about worshiping other gods, but Solomon did not listen to the LORD’s command.”

Solomon’s story might not have been so upsetting to this little school girl sitting in Bible class if he had been able to “guard his heart” by—

  1. …being discriminating in his close relationships. I’m to love all people as Christ does, but that doesn’t mean they all get the same place of influence in my life.
  2. …whole-hearted devotion to Jesus. That relationship comes first, without which all other relationships never reach their full potential at best, and skew me off course at worst.  And, importantly, this devotion is a choice that I make, every day and in every circumstance.
  3. …remembering and respecting his past experiences with God while at the same time pursuing fresh encounters in that relationship. Relying on the past alone is not enough.  Guarding the heart includes keeping current in our face time with the Lord AND (as uncomfortable as it can be at times, admittedly), with His people.

Thanks for readin’! —dawnlizjones

*1 Kings 11:4, 6-9Tyndale House Publishers Inc (2008-06-01). The One Year Bible NLT (One Year Bible: Nlt) (Kindle Locations 19279-19288). Tyndale House Publishers. Kindle Edition.