Thursday, 5 May 2011

The Elixir

This is the name of a great poem by George Herbert [to be found as hymn 487 in the 1962 Baptist Hymn Book] Here are a couple of verses…

Teach me, my God and King,
In all things Thee to see,
And what I do in anything,
To do it as for Thee.

A servant with this clause
Makes drudgery divine :
Who sweeps a room as for Thy laws,
Makes that and the action fine.

I quote them here because I plan to be humming them to myself all day – I have no teaching booked, and intend to spend the day spring-cleaning. I do not wish to get distracted, and need to keep reminding myself that doing the laundry, and cleaning the kitchen floor can be noble acts!

Edgar Degas (1834-1917)_  Woman Ironing 1870s

[Woman Ironing by Edgar Degas]

but if I am honest, I would rather be doing this…

woman reading Georges Croegaert (Belgian Academic Classical artist, 1848-1923)

[Woman Reading by Georges Croegaert, Belgian artist 1848-1923]

or this…

Maxwell Ashby Armfield (British artist, 1881-1972)  Portrait of the Artist's Wife

[Artist’s Wife Sewing by Maxwell Ashby Armfield 1881-1972]

A good woman is hard to find,
   and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
   and never has reason to regret it.

First thing in the morning, she dresses for work, rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
   is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She's skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
   diligent in homemaking.

[From Proverbs 31, The Message]


  1. This is where 'Simple Abundance' is at right now, too. How are you getting on with it, Angela? I keep reading it and wondering what you think, as some of it is nonsense but other bits have been so helpful to me.

  2. I always like to read "...diligent in homemaking". It doesn't say housework, so I feel vindicated if the ironing isn't done but there is freshly baked bread, cats draped on the furniture, and a cozy atmosphere!
    Jane x


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