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(But the love you part is true!)

Several things to share with you all today, my Gentle Readers.  I would say I was getting things off my chest, but I need all I can get of those things,, so I won’t be sharing any of that part of me.  If that makes me selfish, so be it!  Besides, you will be getting a bit of skin from the ol’ honker.

Yesterday, to the amusement of some, and the delight of one (whose name will not be mentioned), I busied myself for the most part of the day with clutter-busting. I was able to complete about one half of it.  I am hoping to finish up today, but not sure that the energy I drained during that 6-1/2 hours of work will be replenished enough to attempt it. I’ll let you know – maybe even take a picture.  If I do, make sure you keep in mind that there are no “before” pictures, and if you think that my version of clean and decluttered doesn’t measure up, you didn’t see the room in its disastrous state, so be kind. . .

In the course of all that strenuous work, I made another decision.  Barring unforeseen circumstances, for the foreseeable future I will not do any blog work at my computer before 12 noon.  Which means that if I did not complete the next day’s post the night before, then the daily posting (I’m still trying to keep up with the “Post-a-Day 2011 Challenge”), will not go up until midafternoon at the earliest. If you are not able to follow that convoluted sentence, don’t worry.  The information imparted is significant only to myself, but I feel a certain sense of obligation to any of my readers who might be sorely disappointed were they not to have something choice from me to read each morning. (Including my Hubs, that makes one.)

Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, a day marked by those of Christian faith as the beginning of the Season of Lent.  I won’t define Lent other than to say it is a season of introspection and of preparation for Easter that lasts 40 days, (not including Sundays). With many Christians, Lent is a time to “give something up.”  Generally it is a habit or indulgence that might perhaps hold you from a fuller relationship with God.  It us usually considered as a “sacrifice,” although sometimes that part is questionable.  If one is absolutely addicted to eating brussels sprouts for breakfast, then giving that habit up might actually be difficult to break, and therefore an idolatrous obsession worthy of sacrificing.  Giving up something you don’t like, however, is not much skin off of anyone’s nose.  The idea, also, is to create a new and lasting habit that carries over into your daily life for the rest of it, and not just to hang on until Easter Sunday morning and then have at those brussels sprouts until there is no tomorrow!

Years ago, I happened upon the idea of not just giving something up, but to also “take something on,” perhaps to add a piece of the “whole armor of Christ.”  It is probably unnecessary to point out that my successes in that endeavor have not always been particularly successful, but I do believe that God appreciates the effort, and certainly each step in the direction of a fuller relationship with God serves me well, and adds to the joy of living.  So, you ask, “What are you giving up, and what are you taking on?”  I am somewhat reluctant to tell you that I don’t know quite yet.  It’s not like I haven’t thought about it, it’s just that I have allowed myself to be distracted from the point of the season.  Perhaps I could tell you that I am giving up slovenliness and taking on habitual neatness, but I am also realistic.  And, that wouldn’t be anything new, because each day when I wake up, after expressing joy and gratitude for the day, I usually ask for help with accomplishing those very things.  Each night, before I (attempt to) go to sleep, I ask forgiveness for not having done so!.  I can just hear God sighing, shaking His Head, and saying:

“My dear child, I offered you countless opportunities to do as you resolved, but you ignored them and sat writing at your computer. I am delighted that you are endeavoring to make use of and to grow some of the many gifts I have given you, but I also expect you to be a good steward of the house I have provided you.  I know you are sincerely contrite, and you are of course forgiven, but in addition to being contrite I would ask that you change your behavior to make the fulfillment of your own desires possible!  After all, remember that what I most desire for you is your happiness and an abundant life.  Whether your house is clean or not matters nothing to Me, but it does matter to you, and I want for you to make the sincere effort to have it!  I do not need to remind you that there are no magic wands, except the earnest desires of your heart, and with those desires, you can indeed accomplish anything, and grow closer to Me in the process. I love you, Paula.  I want for you to be happy, and I want more than anything to be closer to you every day.”

A few of you are probably wondering why I don’t make, as my Lenten challenge, a resolution to give up my slovenly habits and take on the cultivation of that “magic wand” of a willing heart!  Yeah, I’m wondering myself.  It’s not like I haven’t tried before, but there can be no harm in making the attempt again, and the rewards can be not having to make that sort of confession again.  It’s only one confession of many I make each day, but it is one of the more repetitive ones.  In that department, I don’t “backslide” so much as I “backleap” – often huge distances!  If there was ever an Olympic gold medal awarded for the Long Jump – Backwards, I would most likely win.

Therefore, on further consideration, and with your help gentle Readers, by being such a good sounding board, I make the following resolutions:  I will begin in this season of Lent to give up, decease, and desist my habit of wearing clutter-blinders and living like a veritable slob, and take on the new habit of keeping my eyes open to what needs to be done, and then doing it! I will try to keep you all posted on my progress, but if I don’t, you are advised to ask me once in a while!  Bug me, even.  I might respond like the President and CEO of C.O.L.A.*, which of course I am, but you will be appreciated in the long run.

Next subject:  I saw this morning, that “appearing in select theaters near me<” there is a new version of “Jane Eyre” that has been made.  Through some thorough research (I Googled it), there have been some 18 versions to date.  In the course of my extensive Googling, I came across the New York Times review of this current film, and found it (the review) quite good, as the reviewer evidently found the film!  You can find that review and review it yourself by clicking on this.

I started this post telling you I had “several things to share with you.”  I’m already well over 1,000 words, so I’ll stop with the two juicy items I’ve written above.  I’ll save the rest for another time.  (My nose most certainly can spare the skin, and my chest – well, you know. . .) I will close with one request of you all:

I’ve changed the set-up for my blog.  If you like it or if you don’t like it, please let me know, and tell me why or why not.  This is the first of two that I am going to experiment with.  I’ll leave this one in place for a couple of weeks, to give as many of you as possible an opportunity to respond, and then give the other a trial run.  When both new styles have been tried, I will ask for your vote.  You might even ask that I return to the old one – whatever!  I am soliciting your opinion, and appreciate your comments “for” or “against.”

One more thing (isn’t there always?):  I have not forgotten about the prizes for my Blogoversary contest.  I am in the midst of getting the booklets prepared and printed – my new printer went on the fritz recently, and the manufacturer is replacing it – I’m waiting for delivery!  As well – please, ALL THOSE WHO SENT IN AN ENTRY:  SEND ME YOUR MAILING ADDRESS, SO THAT THE BOOK MAY BE SENT TO YOU!  The six winners will also soon be receiving the photos from which to make a choice for your gift print.  Keep your eyes open for an e-mail soon!

Well – back to the remaining clutter!  As always, my wish for you all is enough. . .

*Crotchety Old Ladies Alliance