…next to godliness

Some days when I sit down, I’m not sure what I am going to write, but I show up and I am always inspired, divinely or otherwise…

Today, inspiration struck as I was reading Daniell LaPorte’s blog. Don’t know her?  She’s a Fire Starter!  Check her out here: www.daniellelaporte.com.  In a list she posted, this one caught my eye, “For me, clutter-free living is up there with rainbows, front-row seats, and answered prayers.”  She took the words right out of my mouth!  

My father was an interior designer, and as such he valued order, functionality and sensuality. I am his daughter. My mother had been raised, very frugally, on a farm. She always said,  “It doesn’t cost anything but a bar of soap to be clean.”  Well, that, and a little elbow grease!  I am my mother’s daughter, too.  Unfortunately, they both judged people who didn’t share their ideas. The idea they conveyed to us children, was that slovenly people were bad. Sofa...so good! 004

“All places where women are excluded tend toward barbarism: but the moment she is introduced, there come in with her courtesy, cleanliness, sobriety and order. “    Harriet Beecher Stowe

Harriet hadn’t met any of my girlfriends from when I first lived alone;  they loved a great party just as much as the next barbarian!

And this created cognitive dissonance for me – I loved these friends. They were well-educated, philosophical, generous, intelligent people. And, a few were slobs. I had been taught that this was bad…but, they weren’t bad!  It finally occured to me that my parents were out-and-out WRONG!

Cleanliness becomes more important when godliness is unlikely.”  P.J. O’Rourke

Maybe that’s why I’ve become even neater as time has gone by…I’ve missed my chance at sainthood!   Our contractor was just here doing a spot-check since we are having work done (…more work done) on our house in order to finally sell it…and as he left he complimented us on how clean the house was. (Mostly we give him credit for all of the beautiful work that makes the place such a retreat!)   Standing 6′ 6″ tall, he even noticed that the top of the fridge was clean, and commented on it.  He’s a real straight-shooter that way!  I knew that someday, somehow, for some reason, cleaning the top of the refrigerator (where I can’t see) would pay off!  

My late mother-in-law, whom I loved dearly, had a sign in her kitchen that read, “This house is clean enough to be healthy, and messy enough to be happy!”   And that’s the bottom line…do whatever makes you happy.  Happiness is always sexy!


3 thoughts on “…next to godliness

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