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August 4, 2009

Lessons from Mom

I've learned so much from my mother over the years.
I've learned about smiling through difficult times.
Creating a home that overflows with love.
Giving without expecting anything in return.
Unconditional and unfailling love.

I could go on and on with the list -- or you could read more stories about my Mom if you'd like. The point is -- she is one special lady -- and she has taught me some of the most valuable lessons of life. The one I want to share with you today is about keeping house.

Now before I say another word, I want you to know that my Mom keeps a very orderly house. She's not neurotic about cleaning-- but she is conscientious and she takes very good care of her home. I honestly don't remember a time when I walked into her home and thought it looked out of order.

That said, I also don't remember my mother ever missing out on anything because she needed to stay home and do housework. In fact, growing up there was a magnet on our refrigerator that said, "A clean house is a sign of a life misspent."

That's the lesson my Mom taught me.

My Mom taught me that there were no household chores that were more important than enjoying family and friends -- and life. From Mom I learned that Saturday mornings didn't necessarily have to be spent doing housework -- that could be done at any hour of the day. When it came to Saturday morning cartoons, dance lessons, and high school football games -- we either put down the broom or missed it.
Needless to say, when I received the following verse in an email this morning, I realized how very lucky I am that my Mom taught me this very important lesson before I missed out on too much living!


Author unknown

Remember...a layer of dust protects the wood beneath it.

'A house becomes a home when you can write 'I love you' on the furniture ...'

I used to spend at least 8 hours every weekend making sure things were just perfect -- just in case someone came over

Finally I realized one day that no one came over; they were all out living life and having fun!

Now, when people visit, I don't have to explain the 'condition' of my home. They are more interested in hearing about the things I've been doing while I was away living life and having fun.

If you haven't figured this out yet, please heed this advice. Life is short. Enjoy it!

Dust if you must
but wouldn't it be better
to paint a picture or write a letter,
bake cookies or a cake
and lick the spoon
or plant a seed,
ponder the difference between want and need?!

Dust if you must, but there's not much time . . . .
with wine to drink, rivers to swim and mountains to climb,
music to hear and books to read,
friends to cherish and life to lead.

Dust if you must,
but the world's out there with the sun in your eyes,
the wind in your hair, a flutter of snow, a shower of rain.
This day will not come around, again.

Dust if you must,
but bear in mind, old age will come and it's not kind. . .
And when you go -
and go you must - you, yourself will make more dust!

Mom, I am forever grateful that you taught me this life lesson. I've come to appreciate the dust bunnies (some of them even have names)....and when I see cobwebs strung from the curtains and ceiling I smile and see them as "streamers" that are celebrating LIFE!
As always, thanks for being wonderful YOU.


Thomas Dzomba said...

Amen Lauren. Great post.

Anonymous said...

So beautiful Lauren. :)

Chow and Chatter said...

this is so powerful when my Great Aunt died, they found this poem in her house and read it out her funeral lol
I am going to post this on my blog as well, we all need to read and ponder it and get the balance, the reason I stay home with Jasmine is to spend time with her. dust but only if i must lol


J Mac said...

Love it L!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

I am a little bit of a clean freak and this made me feel guilty! ;-)

I can't help it. I hate dust. I hate schmutz on the floor and grime in the bathroom.

Maybe I need a support group? After all, a messy kitchen is a sign that someone has been cooking in it, right? If I had a clean kitchen all of the time, it would mean I wasn't using it for the purpose for which it was meant.

Becca said...

This is something I needed to hear.
(When I was growing up every Saturday morning was spent cleaning.)