Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Is a mixed up kind of day. We switched the schedule around a bit, so I didn't get the opportunity to start the day in prayer. Feels strange. I'll do the contemplative thing in a minute when I calm down.

I took Chaos to school this morning for "help day" with the cello strapped to her back. (Note to self: Do not allow children to wander around the house with a cello on their back. It's not good for breakable items. In fact, if it happens again, get out the video camera. It's slapstick comedy. And it scares the cat.)

I also noticed that my neighbors have been redecorating. They aren't sending the stuff to Goodwill or consigning it -- they are putting it on the curb for the garbagemen. That's crazy. They threw away 5 oriental rugs. Another neighbor nabbed two -- I grabbed the two little ones and a big one. It's too big for my kitchen or breakfast area, but I couldn't see throwing the away. They still had the tags on them. No wear and tear -- they "just didn't fit our new decor." Huh. What's with people? I know that all things are ephemeral -- all things of this world will pass away. From dust we came and to dust we will surely return. Yet I also know that we are stewards of this world -- it is our responsibility to take care of God's creation. How is it taking care of creation by throwing almost brand new items away? Especially when someone else could use them?

My mother and grandmother -- and the LH's parents and grandparents had what I call a "depression mentality." The lack of stuff and shear want of those lean years caused them to develop habits of conservation -- don't spend the money if you don't have it. I just hear the phrase "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without" echoing around in my head.

Of course, that caused them to horde quite a bit, as well. Like magpies or rats they lined their nest with things that they might need -- balls of foil and string. I was raised on tales of want and need -- of the times that my Grandfather was laid off in 1934 and they thought they were going to starve. They packed all their possessions in a Model T and went to Flordia looking for work. After the work ran out, they were reduced to camping on the beach and eating conch stew. They got money eventually to go home to the farm where my great grandparents were scratching out a living. They were so poor that my mother didn't have a birthday party until she was 16 years old. My greatgrandparents were gentrified farmers -- raised on a mentality that valued education and the land. The land was in my family from 1830 when it was granted to them during the resettlement of the Cherokee nation to 1978 when my grandmother sold it. They always had the land. There's echos of the Hebrew Scriptures there, is there not?

And I wonder about contentment. What is contentment?

There was a man all alone; he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. "For whom am I toiling," he asked, "and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?" This too is meaningless— a miserable business! Eccles 4:8

I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.Phil 4:11-13

But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. I Tim 6:6-7

The secret is -- I can do all things -- I can be in plenty and want -- all circumstances -- through him who gives me strength.

And I can get this big rug and give it to someone who needs it. That will indeed make me content.

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