I really was not sure what I wanted to title this post. My first instinct was to call it, "Making your life small," but I feared that some might misinterpret my meaning as negative when in fact I mean it all in a positive light. But then I thought that "Carefully placed hedges in our life," might convey exactly what it is I am wanting to share.
It is quite common in our time to hear someone say that it is such a "small world." It is said that with all of our technology and knowledge we have made the whole of it all so much smaller and more accessible to the masses. Which, in many senses, is true. But in reality, have we really made our world, our personal world that touches us each day, any smaller? I think we have done just the opposite. Gone are the years when wars on the other side of the planet would go unnoticed by us. Gone are the times when news of weather systems hundreds of miles away from us would never reach our ears. Gone are the days when our life would consist of...our life ~ instead of our life with everyone else's life (and stress and strife) heaped upon our shoulders as well. Gone are the moral standards of privacy when no one would dream of laying out all of the personal details of their life for every Tom, Dick, or Harry to view.
Is this really good for us? Is it helpful or edifying? Or does it take time and mental energy away from what our real life really is. Let's face it, real life can be very stressful. It can be painful and hard. That is simply a fact of life. So is it helpful for us to fill our minds and homes with so much extra information that can also cause stress and pain and hurt? Does anyone else think that perhaps we have taken it all a bit too far? Remember the Tower of Babel...
The more I live and the more I see of the world, the more I want to pull down my shades and roll up my sidewalks and work on cultivating the life that God gave me. He did not give me wars on the other side of the world to attend to. He did not give me politicians to reason with or a national budget to balance. He did not give me control or influence over whatever the headlines of the day happen to be. He did give me one little house with one little family inside of it. And I find that I am becoming more and more fiercely protective over it. I am feeling very strongly just exactly where my scope of influence and activity starts...and just exactly where it stops.
I will tell you something. Over the course of the past week (or two ~ I'm not sure) the big news and big talk has been of the impending financial doom of our country. And I purposely...deliberately...ignored every bit of it. Because you see, there is simply not a thing on this Earth that *I* can do about it. God did not place me there. He placed me here. And here still needs to be attended to in as thorough and charming a way as it ever did, despite what the national ills are. If I partake of all the hoopla going on over it (and after this hoopla there will be a different one and one after that, repeat, repeat, repeat) all that will happen in *my* life is that *I* will get upset and stressed out. That will transfer onto my family members right down the puppy dogs and kitty cats. (Perhaps the chickens would come out unscathed...) It would take away my peace of mind which would in turn effect my ability to concentrate on my family and home. ~The very family and home which God gave me! ~ I would be forsaking the blessings and responsibilities he placed before me in order to, at least mentally, pick up the responsibilities He gave to someone else!
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
I don't care for the news anymore and I choose to stay away from it. I have a small circle of online sites I go to ~ my blogs and others I read, my Yahoo group The Gingerbread Cabin, Netflix where I have found some wonderful period movies (*love*), and a small spattering of a few more. I leave it at that. Now days, when I turn on the tv it is usually to watch things like Cranford, Wind to My Back, Anne of Green Gables, or The Waltons. I am blessed to still be able to get all of these on t.v. although I would not be surprised to see them yanked off the air soon. (In which case I will purchase the dvds and be happy as a fat little bug in a rug.) It does seem that people's tolerance for wholesome entertainment is quite low...but I do hope each of these stay on air for a long while yet.
So. It is in that spirit ~ of taking care of and attending to the things of my own life instead of that of the world at large ~ I bring a few homemaking tips to you today. :-)
The first one is something I do with cinnamon sugar. I started doing this as a young bride and continue on with the habit today. When I am making a sweet bread ~ pumpkin, zucchini, pear, what have you ~ after I grease the pan instead of flouring it, I liberally sprinkle on cinnamon sugar instead. Then after my batter has been poured in, I also sprinkle the top with cinnamon sugar. It bakes up beautifully, the bread does not stick to the pan, and the top has the slightest crunch that people can't quite figure out how I achieved. Cinnamon sugar. It's a good thing.
The next tip is about febreze spray. I know everyone already uses it and it is a staple in almost every woman's home. But one of my favorite things to use it on is our bedding. I always spray the bed while I'm making it but I also like to spray it every night after I pull the covers down. I spray the sheets and blankets and the pillows also. It is not an overpowering scent but just enough to where it is noticable. It's so nice to lay down in a bed that smells good! Very relaxing at the end of the day.
And finally, furniture polish. If you, like me, have a shower with a glass door you know they can get very yucky with soap scum and film. It is very difficult to get off. So they key is to never let it get on there in the first place. What you want to do is spray some furniture polish on your rag and wipe it all over the inside of your clean shower door. It has the same effect as wax on a car. The water rolls right off. Just make sure you use the adage of, "a little goes a long way." You don't want to drench your rag. Just a bit. Too much and it might slip off the glass door into the shower and make a slippery hazard. But I have been using this method for over two years now ~ making sure to use just enough but not too much ~ and have never had any get onto the shower floor. And I've got the cleanest shower door in town. ;-)
May God bless you as you attend to the quiet pleasures of your home & some carefully placed hedges as well!
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