Personal Reflections September 2014, My Home & Sacred in the Everyday

I hope you’re not too tired of images around my house.
I’m actually very tired, but it’s a good tired.

Autumn triggers ‘nesty-ness’ for me so yesterday involved:
(1) purging closets and
(2) round one of organizing purgatory (the storage room).
That room with the shelves of boxes! Oy! The angst!
It is full of nostalgia, dusty exercise equipment, our sons’
childhoods, and odd stuff we think we may someday use.

Even though I don’t have to confront our pergatory on a daily basis
(it’s not truly purgatory…more like the land of the unloved),
the objects there do seem to possess energy,
and the change of season signals it’s time for a shift.

I strive for peacefulness in my environment
maybe because internally there is often a degree
of turmoil and disruption, and simplifying restores
a degree of control and eases the flurry.

Organizing helps, but living more soulfully helps more.
I have learned, for example, in the past year how spiritual practices can
make a powerful difference in my energy, balance, and health.

Two practices in particular that are changing me were
a bit of advice offered to Henry Nouwen from Mother Teresa:
Spend one hour a day in adoration of your Lord,
and do nothing that you know to be wrong.

For me, that one hour often involves sitting at this piano,
the same one which has always been in my family.

I compose lyrics, music, and prayers, and while I’m hopeless
as a player and mediocre as a singer, I find great solace and
solitude and communion with my maker here.

An hour of adoration does not necessarily entail singing or
reading scripture; for me, it often looks like stillness
and quiet listening.
True: As a child I was jealous of the religious practices of my neighborhood friends:
Catholics who had gorgeous churches and these amazing raucous social events, and Quakers
who didn’t have to listen to long boring sermons at church (they told me
they simply sat in quiet prayer there).

The balance of that prescription from Mother Teresa
(do nothing you know to be wrong) while more challenging,
is nudging me into a life more pure, holy, and honorable.

Without such active intentions to move me into
a rhythm more divine (and less egoistic), I’m vulnerable
to one disjointed with selfish desires and amnesia for the sacred.

And that is enough confession, soul, and intimacy for today…
especially if you came here thirsty for worlds of energetic
whimsy and motion!

Peace to you right where you are.




  1. September 18, 2014 / 8:53 pm

    Love your home and this post. Love the Rosary Beads on the lamp. Love the neutrals. Happy fall.:)

    • September 19, 2014 / 2:52 am

      merci, lovely. there are rosaries dangling from everything around here. 🙂

  2. September 18, 2014 / 9:04 pm

    Oh sweet, sweet Michele such beautiful heartfelt words. I love the image of you sitting in your peaceful home at the piano. I feel more peaceful just thinking about it. Thank you for your eloquent description of what you are doing to have a more peaceful meaningful life with your Lord.

    • September 19, 2014 / 2:54 am

      thanks for reading, kathysue.

  3. September 18, 2014 / 10:46 pm

    Michele your home is beautiful and elegant. It is also calming. This post is beautiful to see and to read. I felt every word and I say Amen.

    • September 19, 2014 / 2:55 am

      thanks for your support, karen.

  4. September 19, 2014 / 1:41 am

    thank you for the uplift. I'm exhausted. I'd do well to spend that hour also!

    • September 19, 2014 / 2:56 am

      you're so welcome, kathryn. thanks for reading.

    • September 19, 2014 / 6:31 pm

      thanks, jamie. i do love cozy!

  5. September 19, 2014 / 6:28 pm

    The words of Mother Teresa! Ring true in what ever your faith or practice.
    Doing good by all rights, and trusting he will rise up to meet your needs.

    This was a beautiful post, touching….you know what will be on my mind all day?
    the need to make and set aside more time in serving God.

    I never tire of your home, the modern coastal feel to your sanctuary place of shelter.


    • September 19, 2014 / 6:36 pm

      oh that you never grow tired, dore. for i will never tire of your words of affirmation. they give me wings ya know.

  6. September 21, 2014 / 7:54 pm

    I feel like I can breathe easier after reading this post. The soft beauty of the photos, your calming words- this was like a moment of meditation. I never knew Quakers sat in quiet prayer at church sometimes rather than listened to sermons. I think we need to take a page from their book. I just got back from church a few hours ago, and while I love our "rock band" high-energy worship service, an hour of quiet could be just as effective…especially for me when I'm usually chasing a screaming toddler. Thank you for sharing!

    • September 23, 2014 / 2:31 am

      i hear you, lauren! thanks for your kind words and feedback. i'll be visiting your blog again for sure!

  7. September 23, 2014 / 1:23 am

    Beautiful, Michele. Suddenly this morning, three of your posts – this one and the two you've done since jumped into my blogger feed all at once. It was like gorging on visual chocolate (perhaps white chocolate or shortbread cookies when one considers the pure beauty of your home). I tip my hat to you for your simplifying, organizing and clearing of the decks. Something I am not good at. At all. But fall is the time for it, and I know my husband would love it, so perhaps you've inspired me.

    Thanks for the loveliness! XOXO

    • September 23, 2014 / 2:32 am

      oh my! that is planet michele overload…my condolescences, jeanne. things are looking worse here on the way to betterdom so wish me luck as the purge continues!

  8. September 23, 2014 / 10:09 pm

    I love loo king at your beautiful home and listening to you talk about your thoughts….


  9. October 1, 2014 / 7:10 pm

    Michelle, this is exactly
    what I needed to hear,
    today. Right now. I may
    have to dig out my classical
    guitar, have my son tune it–
    I used to play, but could never
    tune–and weave that into my
    own quiet time, as you do your
    piano. Thank you for the idea,
    and for being you!

    xo Suzanne

    • October 2, 2014 / 1:21 am

      play! what a kind thing to say.

  10. October 10, 2014 / 11:53 pm

    I experienced such peace and serenity reading your post and imagining my self in your home. Thank you

  11. October 11, 2014 / 12:08 am

    White is exceptionally beautiful spread about in different phases! Happy Fall Lisa@ Sweet Tea N' Salty Air

  12. October 30, 2014 / 8:26 pm

    You really have a beautiful peaceful the simple and the whites..but think being peacful..takes lots of work..ha..decorating and all..

    Just got a Frenchbull dog puppy and it is even harder to have time to be clean, decorate and spend time in the word..but I sing and praise….you might enjoy my pics on my blog and facebook of the my new Cream Frenchie..she matches the house..
    After she grows up it will be easier I hope!!
    Check out my husbands Celtic music (St Patrick and Pilgrimaes) and Christmas music..his music is beautiful as you mentioned your love of music in this post. Found you on Furniture

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