Yesterday I spent some time cleaning and straightening our guest room... It's the room my Miss K sleeps in when she spends the night and it has a tendency to get a bit, well, messy. Her papers, pens and coloring crayons were all strewn about and a few of her favorite books needed to be tucked back into place.
Truthfully I wasn't having a good day and when things get hectic or go awry in my life the first thing I do (after I pray) is clean. I think I inherited that behavior from my Gramma Bertie. My Momma told me once when she was little she saw her mother frantically cleaning the "Venetian Blinds" after having "words" with my grandfather. Something must have hurt her or made her very angry to have been dusting those blinds with such vigor~ Maybe it's a woman thing.
I believe in this:
Hurtful Words + Cleaning and Scrubbing = ONE VERY SPIT-SHINED HOUSE and GOOD SLEEP!
So like I said...my day didn't start off well. An early morning phone conversation took my day off in an unpleasant direction. Now~I'd love for you all to think my life is just perfect and things around my La Chaumière de Briarwood always go smooth as silk, but that wouldn't be the truth. Far from it if I'm being honest. Frankly my Mr. AGPMan is out of town AGAIN on business and all this nonsense of him being away from home week after week is wearing thin on me. Actually I was ticked off. I woke up ticked off and after my phone chat I was even more ticked off...
Just trying to be REAL here...
And so I cleaned,dusted, moved stuff around, etc. I shuffled papers, vacuumed the floor, changed bedding and then like I said at the beginning of my post, I reorganized my Miss K's junk and re-shelved some of her bedtime books.
For some reason it jumped out a me. The one storybook I love most of all, The Velveteen Rabbit (original text). I picked up the book and skimmed through the first few pages. Immediately my eyes panned over one specific part of the story...
"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day...
"Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"
"Real isn't how you are made", said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time...then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse..."When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once...or bit by bit?" said the Rabbit
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse."
"You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
For some reason I was totally overwhelmed by this simple yet profound portion of the story...
I sat down and decided to read the entire book and for the rest of the day couldn't get it out of my mind. The sentence "Being Real is something that happens to you and sometimes it hurts" kept running non-stop through my brain. I was hurt. More than hurt. I honestly felt like, as least at that moment, my hair had been loved off and I certainly looked more than a bit tattered...
The day wore on and somehow I managed to re-focus on salvaging what was left of my afternoon. As the evening hours closed in I settled in for a night of quiet reading. I picked up a tiny devotional book and God's truth, the first page I turned to said this:
Seek the real with
everything in you. More
than life. More than
breath. Not just once but
over and over for the rest
of your days, till your
voice is hoarse and with
shriveled hand you point
to your own aged heart
and with one dying word
Love to you...
Love to you...