Fall Cleaning and 24 cents

Well friends, after a blog like the last I am unsure what I have to say this time around. It has been a fairly ordinary 14 days since I wrote to you and life has continued to roll forward. I have been focused on organizing, cleaning and getting the house in order. I think the chilly weather combined with my friend's passing, brought my Fall Cleaning on a little early. The last two weeks have been a time to keep reflecting on the goodness of life, considering what our purpose here at the Yoder house is, and how we can best be about our most excellent work. 

This means I have finally had to face 2 months of neglected counters in the laundry room (I am a terrible flat surfacer!!), piles of hand-me-down books that needed to be looked at in the dining room, a closet in my bedroom that I started to organize and didn't finish, and just general direction to younger kids in housecleaning duties. We even ended up ripping up a carpet in the upstairs hall that must have been there since 1978- brown and orange shag 2 inches long with a kind of burlap backing I haven't seen since I watched my dad tear out carpets when I was a kid. I think many pounds of dust and dirt left the house with that project! With all of these tasks coming to a finish on Saturday I had a wonderful Sunday afternoon to sit and watch football with Ted and just enjoy the clean house. Ted also needed some extra pampering since he had about 36 hours of severe headache and neck/back tension so we brewed a few cups of tea and gave some foot rubs in there too. :) But the pleasure of just sitting on the couch, with no piles of clutter, no dishes calling my name, and no task put-off just really felt terrific. (I know I've now lost all the guys and I'm sorry, that's just the way the words are coming today. Maybe in the end I'll pull out a bit that you can appreciate.)

So all this is leading me to ask a question- why did it feel so good to get the house organized? Why do we all feel so much more productive and successful this week than in previous months? One conclusion I'm coming to is this- order leads to success & living in the kind of visual and physical chaos we had come to just clutters the mind and everything you try to accomplish. (Not to mention the monumental problem of where to set your coffee cup when you head to the laundry room!) Not all weeks can be the Mary Poppins picked-up-and-tidy kind of week that we finally achieved by Sunday, and we have to find inner peace in those times too, but our Maker made the world in an orderly fashion and we honor Him and acknowledge his design when our dwellings are in order too. For a girl who has spent way too much time piling up things and procrastinating what to do with them, I am really growing to appreciate the value of methodically taking 15 minutes in an area to tidy it up and put away a little mess, before it becomes a big one. And this is the funny thing, believe it or not, I have learned this from Ted. We all laugh at how fun loving he is, how he's a youngest, or how he doesn't keep track of time, but really he is the orderly "Put Things In Their Place Pro" around here and I've learned many healthy habits about staying organized from him. Such as always putting vital things like your keys, purse and eyeglasses in the same spot so you can avoid spending 30 minutes looking for them when you are already needing to be in the car headed somewhere. (gasp! Imagine that!)

The lyrics of a song by Ted's producer, Gersh, are going through my head so I'm going to include them here for your musing:
"24 Coins are in my hands
24 coins for me to spend
And I will treasure them, treasure them

24 hours You've given me
It's a world or possibilities
And I will treasure them, treasure them
Theres 24 coins in my hands

Today, today feels good to be alive
To see the beauty of your earth and sky
and I know You're there and I know You care."

My nose tells me that my 12 year old daughter has tried the new "Cream Cheese Pound Cake" recipe in the Martha Stewart Cookbook that we all have been drooling over and that it's almost done baking. :) Boy is it nice to enjoy how the rest of the family is using their time today!
Take your 24 coins and make the lives of those you love, brighter, tidier, or whatever other "er" you have to bless the earth with.