Life’s Extras..Love and Faith

Dear Reader:

Yesterday was clean, clean, clean day! It all started when I went to the mailbox to drop a letter off for someone for Easter and noticed that my mailbox…a gift from Mandy who painted magnolias on it… now was covered in pollen and dirt.

So I thought I would get it cleaned up…but before I could get back to the front porch…I passed my bottle tree and noticed how filthy the bottles were so I started taking them off and bringing them inside to get washed too. This was just the ‘tip of the iceberg’…I ended up sweeping and mopping floors, loading and unloading dishwashers, washing clothes, dusting, sweeping the deck (again) …and vacuuming.

As I am typing the blog this Maundy Thursday afternoon…I am exhausted but I have a big grin on my face…because I am so happy that these (not fun) chores are over. The cooking I like…and the final decorating…the fun stuff is left. Maybe  symbolically  yesterday was all about more cleansing than cleaning...because, tired, I feel so much better…even lighter. I am ready for Easter…ready for renewed life.

I think the discovery that came while I was rearranging some books (while waiting on the kitchen floor to dry)was actually a reward for all the hard work. I couldn’t believe it… it did make me tear up. As I was putting Archibald Rutledge’s little book Life’s Extras away…something made me stop and look at it again. It didn’t look quite like the one I ordered a few years ago.

So I opened it…and saw the publication date was 1947…the first original publication had been 1929. Inside was a greeting that read “To Lucille from Janie B.” Then when I turned the page…the book was signed by Archibald Rutledge himself…I thought I was going to faint. I love Archibald Rutledge and now I had discovered a link between him, mom, and me. What a treasure!

The book was given to mother by Miss Janie Black. When mother graduated from Winthrop and went to work in Fayetteville for Uncle Max…she found lodging in a beautiful old Victorian style home in the heart of Fayetteville, NC…where five “old maid” sisters lived…The Black Sisters. (* One of them, Miss Polly, stayed a child all her life and I remember playing dolls with her every time we went to visit…that is why my beautiful old doll is named Polly…for her!)

It was while mom was boarding there…that she accepted a blind date…and it turned out to be my dad…all their ‘courting’ and ‘romancing’ took place there until daddy went off to war…they were married as soon as he returned in 1945. The Black Sisters loved mother and for as long as they lived…we went to visit them weekly.

While re-reading some passages from Rutledge’s book…I came across these phrases that spoke to me as Easter is quickly approaching…deepening and “resurrecting” my own faith.

“I realize that we live in a time when force seems to be the prevailing power in the world; but it is always temporary. The finer things that make the good life are not subject to change. The stock market may go down but the man or woman with a heart of “gold” always stands above par in value. 

All spiritual qualities appear to me to be extras; generosity, aspiration, courage, beyond the call of duty, and the love that outlasts the years. These things did not just happen; they could not appear in an accidental world. They were so ordered by the Hand Divine which made our spirits what they are and tenderly ministers to their needs.

Faith is one of life’s extras. We do not need it to live; but it is essential to the development of our spirits. It is the covenant which, if kept with God, will keep our pathway clear and our feet from falling. Life is instinct with mystery; but that very fact makes faith both rich and necessary.”


So until tomorrow…I love Rutledge’s name for God…the Hand Divine because that is how my faith was restored…and continues to be…by holding His Hand Divine!

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

Joan…so happy I saw your beautiful card the other day and have added it to the new photo table…it is one of my favorites! And it does look like a little fairy entered your painting…the light on the bloom by the pink, yellow, and blue egg! Easter is full of surprises.

*And speaking of fairies…look where Honey was yesterday…she was at Bullington Gardens waiting for her Fairy Garden class! I am so jealous but happy for Honey!

At the end of the workshop…look what Honey made and took home! Adorable!

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to Life’s Extras..Love and Faith

  1. bcparkison says:

    Blessings for you on this Easter weekend..
    Don’t you just love it when one thing leads to another and we “fall” into bed . I need to do this inside but been to busy out side….so more to come.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      Yes…there is a lot to be said for physical work that wears the body down….because it is accompanied by such a sense of completion that it prevents us from over-thinking issues when left to our own devices on how to spend time. Working in the garden or house….washes the cobwebs of the “What If’s” away and lets us concentrate on the present with our “Hand Divine.”

      Liked by 1 person

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