Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Hoarding and Lack of Faith

I have a fascination for mental disorders. I never actually specialized in mental health when I was in nursing school or working as a nurse for 13 years, but as I have said often, "every nurse is a mental health specialist". I have worked with more crazy people than you can shake a stick at.

Probably I have watched every episode of Hoarders or Hoarding: Buried Alive or any other variation thereof while knitting/crocheting; I can't sit and knit without something to occupy my brain and left to itself my brain can run amok. There's something satisfying about seeing people come to some difficult realizations about their lives and making positive changes. Not all the stories have happy endings and there's no way that a few days with a psychologist, organizer and cleaning team can "fix" a hoarder. But anyway, along with other documentaries, it's something I like to watch.

The other benefit of watching a show about hoarders is how it makes you rethink your own possessions and reasons for holding on to them. Now, I don't have sentimental attachments to empty yogurt containers, but I find it difficult to get rid of certain things. There is a reasonable amount of storage of clothing for hand-me-down purposes that must take place in a family with many children but even that good reason can develop into frank hoarding. Holding onto a piece of clothing because I like the pattern of the fabric is not good if there's no one who will be able to wear it. There are certain heirloom baby clothes that have been passed down that I continue to save and will keep for grandchildren. Other than that, I really have to be strict with myself about keeping things.

"Just in case" is a common argument heard on hoarding shows. "I need to keep this just in case the other one (or ten) breaks," or "I need to keep this in case I don't have enough money down the road to purchase something this nice." This is a not-too-transparent version of "storing up treasures on earth". When we keep every little thing because we "might need it someday" we are both displaying a lack of faith that God will provide for our needs and a selfishness in refusing to allow the item(s) to bless someone else.

So let it go. Look at your excess and ask yourself if you need it right now or in the immediate foreseeable future. Ask yourself if you have a definitive (and practical) plan for it. If not, consider letting it go. Let it bless someone else. If years down the road you are in need then trust that God will provide for you. Right now, in letting something go you may be the hand of God providing for someone else in need.


Monday, September 28, 2015


No matter how many photos I've taken of hydrangeas over the years, I keep coming back to them.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Cemetery in St. Francisville

We were down in St. Francisville, LA for the baptism of baby Irene Harrington today (Glory to God!) and afterward we drove through town since the children and I had never seen it. We stopped and got out to walk around Grace Episcopal Church (built 1858-1860) and the cemetery there. Gorgeous grounds...

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Yarn Along: Patchwork Knitting

Last evening I finally finished this patchwork knit blanket for baby Irene. Her baptism is Saturday and I was in a rush to finish. This morning I finished weaving in the rest of the 128 yarn ends. 

Eight rows, 64 squares, nearly 40,000 stitches.

I won't be doing another like this in a hurry.

 I've read "A Voyage for Madmen" several times. It's about the 1968-69 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race (single-handed sailing circumnavigation of the globe). The last time, fairly recently, I noticed a book in the bibliography, "The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst" by Nicholas Tomalin and Ron Hall. Donald Crowhurst was one of the nine men who set out, but he sailed around the southern Atlantic for several months and then worked his way back up toward England. I won't be a spoil sport and go into more details. The accepted story (based mostly upon his logbooks) is that he went insane. I certainly think he was mentally unstable, but there are also clear signs of demonic possession as well. It's terribly sad to read because you can see how the demons sought to destroy him and succeeded. That being said, it's a very interesting read.

What are you making and reading?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Porch Evening

This evening after supper I sat out on the porch while there was still a little light. 
I took the blanket I'm knitting. It's simple garter stitch so I can do it mostly by feel anyway.

 As the sun set a crescent moon appeared below the porch overhang.

The air started cooling a bit and bats fluttered around, replacing the late-afternoon hummingbirds.
It's definitely not fall, but it's not more than a month off now...

Monday, September 14, 2015

Exaltation of the Precious Cross

 Today is the feast of the Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross of Christ. Joyous feastday!

O Lord, save Thy people,
and bless Thine inheritance!
Grant victory to Orthodox Christians
over their adversaries,
and by virtue of Thy cross,
preserve Thy habitation.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Archimandrite Gerasim's Visit

  We were delighted to have Archimandrite Gerasim, our diocesan administrator, visit the parish this weekend. Everyone enjoyed it and we thank him for taking the time to travel over from Dallas!