to gather my thoughts and order my environment. To change seasons and adapt my rhythm with grace and dignity. Or, to just order my kids around and clean and de-clutter in a frantic frenzy until I can stop hyperventilating.
Some notes on that:
Blessed the husband of a good wife,
twice-lengthened are his days;
A worthy wife brings joy to her husband,
peaceful and full is his life.
A good wife is a generous gift
bestowed upon him who fears the LORD;
Be he rich or poor, his heart is content,
and a smile is ever on his face.
A gracious wife delights her husband,
her thoughtfulness puts flesh on his bones;
A gift from the LORD is her governed speech,
and her firm virtue is of surpassing worth.
Choicest of blessings is a modest wife,
priceless her chaste soul.
A holy and decent woman adds grace upon grace;
indeed, no price is worthy of her temperate soul.
Like the sun rising in the LORD's heavens,
the beauty of a virtuous wife in her well-ordered home.
-from the Book of Sirach
May I have the strength and the will to do the humble tasks, that make a house a fit abode for my loved ones. Clean floors, shining china, dainty curtains, clean sheets, good food, a cheery fire-may my willing hands make these things possible.
But Father, let me remember that man does not live by bread alone, that material things but make a proper setting for life's real treasures of mind and spirit. Give me patience and understanding and kindness and humor and love in abundance, and charity for all. May the spirit of happiness, of joys and sorrows shared, of unity, of the peace that passeth understanding linger here! Help me to keep the path to Thee open and easy to find for the little ones in my keeping. And let there be laughter here.
And last, dear Lord, help me to remember the stranger without the door. May there be warmth enough on our hearth to share with him.
Is this too much for one so weak, so full of faults as I, to ask? At least it can be a goal toward which to strive, and to Thee all things are possible. Amen
Dear St. Anne, we know nothing about you except your name. But you gave us the Mother of God who called herself handmaid of the Lord. In your home you raised the Queen of Heaven and are rightly the model of homemakers. In your womb came to dwell the new Eve uniquely conceived without sin. Intercede for us that we too may remain free from sin. Amen.
More Links to inspire your clean-sweeping:
Homemaking Companion Notebook (with lots of forms to use, if you like)
Here's some chatting about Cleaning and Simplifying at the Faith and Family Livecast!
CrazyBusy, Overstretched, Overbooked and About to Snap! This is lifestyle simplification for adults.
Simplifying Your Domestic Church a beautiful, thoroughly Catholic guide to bringing simplification principles to your environment.
Keep it Simple: The Busy Catholic's guide to growing closer to God. This is simplicity for your prayer life.
A Homemaking Library:
Join Me for Tea
Open Heart, Open Home
Martha to the Max: Balanced Living for Perfectionists
Splendor in the Ordinary
Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World
Holiness for Housewives
Mothers and Daughters at Home