Bringing Order into Chaos…Simply “Divine”

(Title Painting: Anne Peterson)

Dear Reader:

I picked up Simple Abundance (one of my all-time favorite books to re-read occasionally) ..and turned to its ideas for any and every new year promise of improvement.

God Wink… the one for today…really hit home with me….the name of the message was “A Sense of Order: Cultivating Contentment.”

For the first part of my life…I could honestly be content in a quagmire of “stuff.” Brooke’s and my dorm room was a prime example…year after year after year. We were both too busy experiencing all life had to offer to worry about ‘mundane’ things like tidiness and order…or as mother always told me…“There’s a place for everything.”

I took her words to heart at college…Brooke and I stuffed “everything” under our beds, pillows, closets…we could pass inspection if no one opened anything… like a closet or drawer…then we were busted as clothes, shoes, and all other kinds of apparel would come flying out to hit the assigned “inspector” for that week.

We should have put a warning poster up outside our dorm room….saying “Watch Our for Avalanches!”

Then as a single parent with three children I raised the “white flag” of surrender…while trying to work, feed a family, get them dressed and out in the mornings…I just got too exhausted yelling at the kids to pick up after themselves. (I consoled myself watching soap operas with their “museum well-kept homes” that these rooms were purely stage props maintained by an enormous crew of people…and absolutely…no children or pets allowed.)

It wasn’t until the last of the “chickadees” was off at school that it dawned on me  I could clean, pick up, and actually keep it that way… with just me. (On the occasional day that doesn’t happen any more…I really feel the guilt…because now there is no one to blame but me!) 🙂

But I have changed…these days I honestly can’t “operate” in a messy room. This includes my “office” where I type my posts each day. If I have allowed too many books to accumulate  or too many scattered research notes to flutter…I can’t think well. I need cleanliness and orderliness in my life now to be clear-thinking, more concise, and  content.

Even if I am looking out my “office” (once bedroom) window at Sammy or the birds feeding…and notice some flower is dying in a pot or the bird feeder is low or off-center…I have to stop and go fix these outside surroundings before I can concentrate on the post…just crazy stuff now!

The majority of us humans can’t think clearly when constantly surrounded by clutter, chaos, and confusion. There is also a certain security, especially these days, that come with having some kind of “control” over our daily lives.

“We might not be able to control what’s happening externally in our lives but we can learn to look to our own inner resources for a sense of comfort that nurtures and sustains.”

Dorothy Parker once observed…

It’s not the tragedies that kill us…it’s the messes.”

Sarah Breathnach (Simple Abundance) concludes with this January 17 message:

“There is a Divine Order- a Sublime Order- inherent in the Universe. We can tap into it when we are gradually willing to cultivate a sense of order as to how we conduct our daily affairs. Invite Divine Order into your life today and a more serene tomorrow will unfold.”

So until tomorrow…

“Order is the shape upon which beauty depends.” Pearl Buck

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

The nice thing about having a B&B on the other side is that once it is cleaned up periodically…nothing changes…(well maybe a little dust) but nothing major changes…and its serenity always calms me.



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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