Tag Archives: orderliness

The beginning of a true newness

I am somewhat apologetically writing already another post on The Hidden Art of Homemaking, because it is the philosophy and theology, the heavenly underpinnings perhaps, that inspire me and give me the energy to carry out the practical details. From looking at the chapter titles it seems that this introductory chapter might be the one about which I have the most musings.

As to the oddness of me taking my inspiration from yet another man, when it is we women who traditionally do the homemaking and who are discussing a woman‘s book, I will just say that, Christ who enables us also was a man, and the Life of The Holy Trinity is something greater than our gender roles. The reality of the Holy Spirit operating in the world through us is our means of living out our humanity. Homemaking is one of the many facets of our calling and our life in God, and this particular pastor always encourages me in the fact of “Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

The passages from Metropolitan Anthony are from a talk on Genesis given in June, 1986, from the book Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh: Essential Writings by Gillian Crow.

Creativeness, however, is something more complex than the ability to call out new forms, to shape one’s surroundings or even to determine to a certain extent…our destiny. It begins with the ability to change — to change intentionally. Creativeness begins with the ability a being has…to become what he is not yet, to start at the point at which he was created and then grow into a fullness that he did not possess before: from image to likeness, if you will — having begun to be, as it were, a reflection, to become the reality itself; having begun to be in the image of the invisible Creator, to become the image of God incarnate.

…And this process is a creative process. It is not an organic one; it is not something that must develop inevitably; it is something that we must choose and that we must achieve with the grace of God.

Amy mentioned the possibility that we might, contrary to our calling, create ugly or bad things, and even sometimes express not craftsmanship but craftiness. Other and various sinful impulses can also rob us of our creative strength. On the other hand, many times just creating something can give us a boost in the right direction. For example, I am learning not to be discouraged by the disorder of my messy house. Instead I can take joy from the chance to create order and space to replace — or at least reduce! — the chaos that so easily develops. But creating order out of chaos is huge. That seems like a good description of one aspect of the creative work God is always doing in our lives.

Met. Anthony says that the creative work he is primarily talking about is not the art and music and literature that we tend to think of right away,

…both of heart and intelligence, of skill and of hand, but is much more essential and also much more important because all the rest can flow from this basic source of creativeness but cannot derive from anything else.

So that here we are confronted with man, whom God has called and loved into existence, endowed with His image, launched into life, and when on the seventh day the Lord rested from his works, the seventh day will be seen as all the span of time that extends from the last act of creation on the part of God to the last day, the eighth day, the coming of the Lord, when all things will be fulfilled, all things will come to an end, reach their goal, and blossom out in glory. It is within this seventh day, which is the whole span of history, that the creativeness of man is to find its scope and its place.

And this is a wonderful call to us because each of us can be a creator within his own realm, within his mind and his soul, by making them pure and transparent to God, within his actions and life, and become what Christ said we are called to be: a light to the world, a light that dispels darkness, a light that, as in the beginning of creation is the beginning of a new day — that is, the beginning of a true newness and a new unfolding of the potentialities that are within us and around us.

(Cindy was hosting a discussion of Edith Schaeffer’s The Hidden Art of Homemaking, and this post was written as a contribution.)

Like tidied toy shelves.

When Pearl was a toddler, all her toys fit on two shelves held up by cinder blocks. Most every day, with sun streaming in through big windows of the old Victorian where we lived at the time, she would absorb herself in exploring all her belongings and scatter them around in the process.

Later in the day, or the next morning, she’d show no interest in the toys that had been removed from the organized rows. She would wander aimlessly, unhappy and bored. But as soon as I tidied up the collection of blocks and dolls and plastic pull-toys, they were fascinating again and good for another long spell of play.

My own toy shelves hadn’t been tidied in at least 20 years until last summer when I tackled the chaos. I’m speaking of the boxes and baskets that held bolts and scraps of fabric, scissors and embroidery thread and patterns. Binder paper on which I’d written the body measurements of my granddaughters’ dolls, and the design for a copy of Bird’s tattered apron. Inherited notions, thimbles & thimble keeper.

Because I was known to like to sew, people thought of me when a grandmother or aunt died and left a button box or collections of needles and zippers, and I welcomed the gifts with open arms. You would think it was I and not my parents who grew up in The Depression; I even followed the example of my foremothers and snipped the buttons off before tossing out any raggedy shirt.

My grandmother Grace’s button box at least did keep all the buttons in one place. I still can’t bring myself to throw out the cards of odd old buttons in the bottom of it, and every year or two I pore over the loose ones in the top tray and imagine what I could stitch them on to.

You can see the closed button box on the floor.

All my wealth of possibilities grew without much notice because for a long time I couldn’t decide which spot or room would be my sewing area, and sometimes I’d let a year or more go by without even opening my sewing machine. But once everything had been deposited in one room, I saw that it was a burdensome barnful.

The chosen spot is a bedroom where I can have my sewing machine near the door and while I sit at it I can face outward toward the rest of the house; I didn’t want to lose touch with what might be going on downstairs. I had tried out the great room that is far removed from everything and often too cold, and I had also tried another bedroom that was too cramped, even though it was prettier.

Once I had invested in some storage racks and containers, and put things into their places, I could jump at the chance to sew doll clothes last year, knowing that my tools and materials were where I could find them. In the process of organizing, I found some interesting antique notions. And one of the doll clothes hangers that I had made and completely forgotten about.

Now that all my pins are in one box, all the spare buttons from purchased garments are in another, and there are no boxes of Hodgepodge anymore, my needlecrafting spirits have been lifted and I feel like playing again.