Tuesday, November 15, 2011


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
whisper, "More!"

Love to you...


Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage Designs said...

Sweet Rebecca I love the real you! You are precious!
When I feel like that I wish I would clean! That would probably be a really good thing ~ I love the Velveteen Rabbit story .... how sweet and true ~


Jenna said...

Hi Rebecca,I'm sorry you had a bad day, I hope today is much better :o) I have seen days like that and I'm sure I will see more, but it's the little things that we find comfort in such as the words in a childs story book. This was a wonderful post! I clean to when I'm upset and it surprises me how much I get done by the end of the day... Hugs Jennifer

Charity C. said...

Hey Rebecca!

I loved your post today! Sometimes things like that happen to me, whether it be something I read, something I heard or the pastor said. But it seems as if those words at that moment are especially for you. And of course I believe it is God's way of telling us that he cares and he understands and He is with us. He can be so comforting at such times. I like you clean when I am upset and my husband knows it! It drives him crazy to see me buzzing around without so much as a pause or break in between. I hope things will be better for you at home very soon. I really hope your husband comes home soon and that you won't have to worry about anymore trips for awhile. I now it must be hard. It is that way for us, but couples who love each other like the bible says, have a very hard time being away from each other. Our relationship with our spouse represents Christ and the church and can you imagine is Christ told us He was taking a business trip! What would we do without him? So I believe it is the same with true christian couples as well. I hope you feel blessed today! I will be praying for you.

Unknown said...

Hi Sweet Friend!
That was REAL and beautiful...so glad to know that you like me have bad days just like me...;). Isnt God is so good to help us get our minds back on him through it all?

I so get the "quiet" stress that having your hubby away somehow brings...after doing that for 10months...i so cherish just sitting, making roses while hubbys watching TV at night and his coming home for lunch most days,just having him around... just love my guy as I know you do yours!

Be strong the the Lord and the power of HIS might!

Be blessed as you have once again blessed me,

NanaDiana said...

Good Morning Rebecca! Well, I am sorry your day was so off kilter yesterday. I CLEAN when I am upset too. I can remember scrubbing floors when I was young~on my hands and knees and just fretting things out.

Now...I must have needed to hear this "message" about the Velveteen Rabbit because I read it yesterday, too. Pop over to Holly's if you get a chance...http://thetreasurewithin.blogspot.com/

She posted a portion of the story, too. Great minds think alike! xo Diana

Pat Winter Gatherings said...

Dear Rebbecca,Your life does seem picture perfect filled with such beauty from all around and outsiders looking in tend to forget we are all human and face daily challenges. I sometimes come to your blog for that very reason, to see beauty.This was an especially nice post to read to remind us life isn't always perfect although I do hope things get back in order for you very soon.I'm glad to see you are human too,LOL.
Hugs and Blessings,Pat

Yasmin Smith said...

Ah, Rebecca..you have touched my heart again with this post..I have always loved the book THE VELVETEEN RABBIT, even as an adult. I must whisper to you that sometimes when I have been feeling very depressed and hurt, I, too, took the book out and read it..somehow it always made me feel better! I've given the book as a gift to several children through the years but I think it takes a more mature mind to truly grasp the beautiful meaning of the story....
I hope you are feeling better today and will have a good day. I understand how hard it is to have Steve gone so much, I really do, as
my hubbs is gone eleven hours a day, five days a week, to work, and I miss him as well as need him here so much. It is very hard on us as I am sure it is on you and Steve...it makes our time together that much more special, though. With you there IS a light at the end of the tunnel and before you know it, he will be walking up to receive his DEGREE, and believe me
it will all be worth it!!!!!
Remember you are much loved by so many, you are such a special lady!!
Have a happy day, sweetie...
Love, your friend Francy

Sherri B. said...

A very touching post. In the past my hubby has worked away and only able to come home one weekend a month other times he made it home on weekends, so I understand. It can be a heavy load at times to 'handle' things for both of you in the home and socially...but then the cleaning and praying begin. Hugs!

Daphne Nicole & Lynda Cade said...

Oh Rebecca, so sorry you had such a bad day. I wished I would clean house when I have a bad day or feel depressed, instead I curl up in the bed, you are truly an inspiration to others. I hope you have a wonderful day today and the days to come!
Big hugs~~~ Daphne

Mosaic Magpie said...

I had to laugh about the cleaning of the house, while you are agitated about something. I can do my best cleaning at those times. I think it is because that is something I have control over. Somehow when we need it, we get a bit of a reminder, of what is really important.

Anonymous said...

I am seldom easily moved to tears but this made me cry. Now, before you cry because I cry ~ don't cry okay? It's good tears but life tears. Being real at all cost has always been my frame of mind. Seeing the horrors of life at 8 years young can do this to a person. I used to ask as a child, "what did momma do so bad daddy had to end her?". I chewed on it, prayed on it, begged for answers on it and so on. As I became an adult and matured I realized it was because neither parent was real. They both had things to hide & it all caught up to them. I'm not saying in any way a murder is ever, EVER justified by a mere mortals hands but, I understand the psychology of the incident. I knew I would always be honest even when it might hurt. The trick was to learn some tact and have have the holy spirit on my tongue when doing so.

Now that said Dear R, I fail. I fail often. BUT, God has taught me even when I may not deliver the message properly, always deliver the truth. I was raised on Honor being the most steadfast of qualities of a "man". If one could not call on his honor, then what does he stand for?

Being real for me, is a way of living and a state of mind I choose. It means giving & receiving honesty when it's warm and fuzzy AND when it might be hurtful or hard to hear.

I hope whatever it was that upset you has now passed into the hour of recognition or relization and you have found peace with it. I love this post inparticular, it reminds me of my grand daddy!
huggers & xoxo

Anonymous said...

Oh... and I too find when I'm angry to be the hour of cleanliness! Ask the hubs, I've taken an object right out of his hand and tossed it in the trash before. I'm not proud of that fact, but by golly, clutter is clutter after all. :) T

{Bellamere Cottage} said...

Yes, my dear Rebecca..... it's soooo what I would expect from you, you positive and uplifting little chickie that you are. Take a Debbie Downer day and make it a special one to remember. Loved this post....and I thank you for sharing.....we allll have "those" days, but it's really what we do with them, isn't it? AWESOME post...


Theresa said...

REAL... yes, we must keep it real:) The REAL in our lives sometimes makes us want to paint the ceiling! I am having some REAL life issues in my life too, not with me personally but with my Family! Praying is what keeps me going, makes my heart happy and keeps me looking forward! I'll be praying for you and you'll be praying for me:) HUGS!

Unknown said...

I am so sorry that you had such a rotten day. Never helps when you get out of bed in a funk does it! I don't think that I have ever read The Velvateen Rabbit. Now I am curious. See another think I found out about from your blog. I pray that things have turned around for you and you are enjoying your day today. Big Hugs to you.

Pam Traskos said...

Hi Rebecca, God is the father of all compassion and comfort! You inspire so many of us bloggers by your beauty and realness! So many follow you and look up to you and I do believe these beautiful ladies are sent from God to comfort you! My hubby is a field engineer so he's on the road a lot...I know exactly how you feel, it's never easy!
Wishing you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Hugs, keep smiling, Pam

Nancy's Notes said...

Oh Rebecca, I'm sorry you had a rough day yesterday. So much good came from it, you just shared some heartfelt words that mean so much, thank you. You are an amazing lady, I'm praying for you sweet friend.


Pink Roses and Teacups said...

Ah, sweet Rebecca, so sorry you had such a bad day yesterday. I too, do the same thing with cleaning. Hope today is better. I can't believe I have never read that book. It's funny how things happen like that, and they just jump out out you.

Love you!


Jen said...

I love this post. Not because you had a bad day, but because I will remember this post when I have my "next" bad day. I, like many, clean when I'm upset and boy can I do a good job! lol
The Velveteen Rabbit has a special place in my heart, as I read it so many many times to my children when they were young.
Wishing you a beautiful day tomorrow!


Unknown said...

Hi Rebecca,
Thank you for not being afraid of sharing the real you. The thing that never ceases to amaze me is how God can use certain situations to help us reflect on things and help us on bad days.


Rita said...

Boy, did I need your post today! I haven't been on here in a while but yours is the first I read and wow! I'm so sorry your day has been this way. It is not a pleasant feeling is it? But thankfully, you brought it to view and we are listening! Great post, Rebecca. I've missed you since I've been away.

Christine said...

Another one of your posts that tweaked my heart. You are blessed with the gift of words.

Nannyaboo said...

Hi Becky--


This has to be one of my all time Favorite books. I haven't read it in years, but I am tempted tovisit Barnes & Nobel and purchase a copy for myself.

The book itself is much like a devotional. :-) Love, like Faith is closey related to one another, and can heal the worst of hurt and heartache. We could learn a lot from "Skin Horse."

All of us, from time to time, experience periods of lonliness, but we are NEVER really alone. God is in the midst of it all. HE enables us to turn our "Scars into Stars."

Don't dispair, Steve will be home soon, and the sun will rise and shine brightly on the morrow.

Blessings on you dear daughter...

Love you Forever-- Mom

Marilyn said...

Aren't we blessed that the Lord provides us with what we need, when we need it, if we listen and pay attention. Children's books always seem to have great life messages for us. I guess that's why I have so many around!♥♫

Lavender Cottage said...

Hi Rebecca
We all get the misery once and awhile - funny the things that can set us off too.
Great post.

Ldy ~~ Dy said...

I enjoyed reading your post today. It has been a while. I hope to reconnect again with my blogger friends. Have a Blessed rest of the week! Hugs!

Unknown said...

Oh' Darlin', you're about as real as it gets in the most dreamy sort of way. You ooze tenderness and love, and we all feel just like you do. Cleaning is good for the soul and a great way to be ready to get ready to rest you're weary mind at night. Isn't it funny how God reaches us. Gently approaching subjects like he did yours with the Velveteen Rabbit and than once your heart's ready pressing forward with the same subject in your devotional.

Do you know I've never red the Velveteen Rabbit ~ maybe it's time I do. I see some of the most important messages in childrens books. I think that's going on my wish list. How funny at 51.

Your words were such a blessing to me and I heard the message I needed to in them as well. Last night I had a evening like your day.

I've written down your devotional. That's one to keep in my Quote Journal.

I'm sorry I haven't come by to thank you sooner for you sweet heart and tender prayers. Maybe God new the perfect time for me to visit was now. I hope today yours is blessed just as much as you bless me and others.

Love you Rebecca! OX's...Tracy :)

Kathy said...

I seem to be reading posts this morning that speak to my heart. The world and events in our lives can seem to be at odds and out of control. So, some of us try to make sense by redoing, cleaning our own personal space - I have always thought the home reflects the woman. I do the very same thing when I have to think things through. What is real - what a deep wonderful thought. The joyous thing is above all God is real - His love for us is real and how much He cares for us is real! What a comforting thought! Thank you for blessing us with your post today!
Love to YOU,

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

I've always known, right from the first, the real you. Not sure how, but I knew your warm and loving heart. You ARE real. I have never known you to be anything else.
I don't think you know how to be anything else. I call it "blessed"...
I say this from my aged heart and whisper "more...

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