Sunday, December 30, 2012


It's good to be able to laugh at ones self, and today that's just what I'm doing. I have been comparing lifestyles of the Amish/Mennonites and, well, ME. There is an appauling, visible difference in their simplicity in thier homes, especially their kitchens, and mine. It's like "sense vrs. nonsense", or "peace compared to chaos"?  I always wanted to be the keeper of the home, yet I see my husband cooking breakfast, because I need some rest from working all week.  I guess my mind is rather programmed to consider their way verses the way I am? Or the way "we" are as a couple??
My husband actually likes cooking a hearty breakfast, and I don't. I'm great at lunch and dinner, desserts, casseroles, and appetizers. But I have a hard time focusing in the morning, and prefer to just sit and sip my cuppa joe will I wait for the fog to clear.  I get sidetracked worrying about this. It's an internal battle of me wanting to be the haus-frau, but I'm terrible at breakfast!  Shouldn't I be the very model of  domesticity??? Well, too bad. I'm not. So I like to laugh about those little battles and I hope you'll laugh with me? Laughing at our weaknesses, and shortcomings is honest, and part of what keeps us humble. So off we go!
 In my mind, my home should be neat, organized, and tidy. Like the Mennonites? Ok, more like some Mennonites,, more like the Mennonites in coffee table books! There we go! Believe it or not, even Mennonite women have children who drag toys out. They have days when the dishes pile up, when the laundry is too much. They also get sick just like everyone else. The thing that they have that I probably envy the most is the sense of community that comes with church. It's not uncommon for a group of women to go clean another womans home when she's unable to keep up for any given reason. Most commonly; a new baby, illness, or a death. Still, they rely on each other. All churches of all denominations should be that way, and many are. Still, ya gotta give the trophy to the Mennonites for really going the extra mile in the sense of *community*. 

But just like facebook, and pop-culture, people are people, and just because you post a picture, doesn't mean life is always that way. It means you captured a good moment. Life is full of chaos, disorderly kitchens, toys strung from one end of the house to the other, and trash that smells. You can't smell a picture, you can only capture the best moment of the day, and post it to leave the impression that life is organized and pristine. And as humans, we love to show our best side! Aren't we peculiar that way?

Life tends to be more random, reckless, and half hazard. Yet I think I need to rise to a higher standard? Truthfully, most Mennonites I know DO have orderly kitchens, but it's out of necessity.  I fall so short in this department, likely because I wasn't raised Mennonite, and I didn't have a huge family that required this sort of forethought in the pantry, I'm guessing? But still, I carry some guilt about it, because I've spent so long trying to fit in with the Mennonites, that you'd think my kitchen would reflect this? Nah. Forget about it. I'll just enjoy my friends orderly kitchens, and do my very best to keep mine clean. I can live with that.

Here is an image I relate to a little better, because SINCE becoming a Mennonite via the plain route, (no longer plain, but I should get brownie points for trying), I've become rather brainwashed in the laundry department. I have  large drawer full of long black socks purchased through various catalogs in the past 15 or so years. My friend Patty Lockwood wrote about Mennonite catalogs here on ber blog; The Morning Ramble:

 There are many nifty items including black socks that are easily purchased through stores that cater to the Amish and Mennonites. I sometimes find them at department stores, but rarely at a good price.. There is something about a solid pair of black knee socks that *for me* just reeks of trying too hard. Yet I've worn them for so long, that they have become a part of me, at least in the winter. My Birkenstock's are part of me in the summer.

All my very plain friends wear the black socks, and we all have little jokes about the number of black socks we own.  My sock of choice for winter is by far, the polyester-cable-kit-knee-length-black sock. It's something that the younger Mennonites will probably move away from, but I suppose I'm stuck on them? Hey, I have bigger fish to fry, so I can live with the black sock obsession. Some people collect Star Trek memorabilia, just probably not The Mennonites. Really, this is nothing to be concerned with in the big scale of things. So bear with me, as I can't seem to get past the black sock thing? They are warm, they are modest, they don't show dirt! It's one small step for mankind. And they help me wear skirts because they keep my legs warm. They are warm under jeans. They are warm under scrubs. What's not to love?

Moving forward, my next investment, other than more black socks, will be a hangy-down, clothespin-covered, chandelier like product that you can hang your black socks from. It doesn't have lights, but it's functional in that it doesn't take up space, and one can dry socks indoors from it. It just looks like a chandelier... ok, a redneck chandelier...

I found one in The Budget,   

(newspaper for the Amish/Mennonites,written BY the Amish/Mennonites)  listed for $19.95.

With all these socks, this is a requirement, and absolutely so if I'm going to call myself Anabaptist, however, I fall short in every other area. Really.... I do. But such is life and it's all a struggle to put one foot in front of the other as we all step heavenward. Right?

I hope you've gotten a chuckle or two out of my perception of myself,  my disorganized kitchen and my footwear?  I'm not too terribly worried about what's on the outside, or who cooks breakfast, as long as overall, my motives are pleasing to God? He knows my heart. He knows I don't wake up and hit the stove running!  He knows I fancy black socks. He also knows I love to laugh. Today, I looked at my kitchen and sock drawer, and did just that. Hope you did too. Blessings! Now go clean out your sock drawer!