Are Your Windows Clean?

     
     The days are cool and our woodstove is in almost constant use.  We rarely open a window or door these days; and when we do, it’s for a very short period of time.  We’ve gotten used to the idea of closing our blinds against the darkness before dinner time.  It’s a cozy season of long evenings spent in the living room – playing games on the Wii, listening to music of all sorts, watching a movie a couple of times a week, and reading.  Lots of long evenings spent reading. 

    

     I’d intended for the boys and I to homeschool Monday and Tuesday of this week, but yesterday they went with Copper to split firewood with and for a friend.  They enjoyed using the friend’s splitter to take care of some of our own over-sized pieces of wood, too.  Dani and I enjoyed a quiet day here at home, just the two of us.  I did several loads of laundry, finished up the invitations for our Christmas Eve Celebration and spent some time outside watching our dog run.  It was a slow, quiet, wonderful day!
   
     It seemed kind of silly to buckle down and hit the books for just a day today, so I opted to enlist the boys’ help to take care of some projects around the house.  My husband needed to run a few errands in town, and I needed a couple of last minute items from the grocery store.  I left Dani in charge of assigning chores for the boys while we were gone, and I was so pleased to come home and see how much they had  accomplished.
     
     I left home riding as a passenger in our van, and I arrived back home riding as a passenger in a tow truck!  Our poor old Windstar is having electrical problems again.  My husband spent his birthday last August replacing the alternator in the van, and the battery is fairly new, so we were not quite sure what the problem might be.  Fortunately, my husband finished up his errands before the van broke down! 
    
     I’m so blessed that my children were able to do so much while we were gone.  It made the stress of having to deal with a broken down vehicle easier to bear as we came home to a tidy home and yard and Dani cooking chicken quesadillas on the griddle.  I am one blessed mama!
    
     I could, I suppose, have bemoaned the fact that the van was broken.  Again.  But truth be told, I am so very thankful that the van broke down during the day time, on my husband’s day off, while he was driving, and in a safe location.  It’s all about perspective, isn’t it?  We can wallow in our woes or count our blessings. 
    
     Joy is a daily choice, and certainly contentment is.  Contentment really is about accepting the Lord’s will in your life.  Complaining against your circumstances, or whining about your woes, really is complaining and whining to the Lord!  I’m certainly not perfect.  There are days where I fail and complain about things, but choosing contentment is so much better.  “
Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.” (Philippians 4:11 NAS)  Choosing contentment gives us a much clearer look at things.
    
      Then I received a cute little story from Meg, Copper’s Dad’s wife, in my email this afternoon, that was a very good illustration about this very thing.  You may have read it before, but it was new to me.

     A young couple moved into a new neighborhood. The next morning, while they were eating breakfast, the young woman saw her neighbor hanging the wash outside. ‘That laundry is not very clean,’ she said. ‘She doesn’t know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap.’  Her husband looked on, but remained silent.

     Every time her neighbor would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments.

     About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband:  ‘Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this.’

     The husband said, ‘I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows.’

     Are you making observations through dirty windows?  When you look at your home or your situation in a complaining, discontent manner, are you looking through clear glass?  When you see that other gal, the one with the dirty laundry on the line, are you sure that it’s not your own windows that are at fault?  What a wonderful illustration!!  I know I’ll remember it!

     Right now?  Now, I’m off to have the boys clean the dirty windows in their bedroom. 

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your household!
Proverbs 31:27
 

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6 comments to Are Your Windows Clean?

  • Hi Cheryl…love your blog.  I’m  a frequent reader but I’ve never commented.

    Just wanted to mention to you that I used to own a Windstar and just yesterday I received a recall notice in the mail.  I threw it away since I no longer have the car, but the gist of it was that they’ve discovered a problem in the electrical system (I think) that may cause fire, whether the car is running or not.  If your car has this problem, a dealer must fix it without charge to you.  Just wanted to give you a heads up…

    Good luck with the car and I hope your family has a blessed Thanksgiving!

  • I received the same email a couple of weeks ago and love it!

    We had not one but two vehicles die last week.  One is totally gone…but hubby was able to limp it home.  The other is debateable as to if we will repair it or not.  It might be one thing (an easy repair) OR the transmission… definitely getting junked if it is.

    BUT I am thankful that those were “extra” vehicles.  We had bought the small car for hubby to commute THREE years ago for $800.  We got our money’s worth.  The other vehicle was our “back up” van used by my son or I if needed.  Once again, purchased a year ago for only $300.  So, yes, looking at it like we got our money’s worth and that both vehicles were able to ‘limp’ home…(even if it did take my son an hour to get nine miles…lol) definitely a blessing.

    I think I shall print this blog post as a reminder that I need to change my point of view.
    Thanks again Cheryl for great reminders.

    (on a side note I had a vehicle w/alternator – electrical problems and ended up having to replace a voltage regulator was a fairly inexpensive and easy repair — I say easy b/c my non-mechanic hubby was able to tackle it)

  • Ouch. I better go wash my windows.

  • I remember when our car broke down (the transmission) just a week or two after we had made a long trip.  How I thanked God He allowed it to wait until we arrived home and not on the Pennsylvania Turnpike!  🙂

    Have a blessed Thanksgiving.  (((HUGS)))

    Will send the book out when I can get to the Post Office.  I’m happy it will find a home.  I think you and the boys will enjoy it since it makes learning logic fun.

  • Cheryl,

    Wonderful post. I had to cover my mouth from laughing at the Husband’s reply because I just got everyone down for sleep here LOL. You are so right about perspective…it makes all the difference. We have Mt. Washmore here and my Princesses are watching my every move (and telling me to get to work..how is that for you 🙂 and I just keep saying to myself “I am very grateful that we have all these nice clothes to wash!” And since my washer is dying…”I am very grateful I have a washer at all!”

    The General laughs at me, but often when I am overwhelmed I remember the documentaries I have watched about the incredible Christian Sisters we have all over the world. One included the terrifying tale of a woman missionary who woke up in the middle of the night with three black mambas under her bed and the heart breaking tale of a Mama who went with all the other villagers to the river to bath her children and one was ripped from her by a man eating alligator. This is CURRENT stuff, not something from 100 years ago. I say to myself “THIS IS NOTHING AT ALL!” and it makes me realize how easy and LUXURIOUS I have it here. In fact, in Motherhood, I am a wimp compared to many, many women.

    Yes, perspective makes ALL the difference.

    We are praying for Copper and The Princesses are wearing your hats again (the weather has turned) 🙂 Thanks again!

    Many Blessings 🙂

    Ace

  • The husband’s comment about the washing had me laughing for ages.