The project began after the fabulous homily by Fr. Ron Gillis. He was a visiting priest who offered the Latin Mass in the absence of our pastor. Fr. Ron's words about prayer and asking for what we need in faith, humlity and perservance, took me off in the direction of meditating on what I have and what I truly need.
Somehow, the Holy Spirit brought my mind the vast wasteland that is the basement, and my children's play zone. We have lived in our house for 7 years now, and the basement has been the great dumping ground of all things we are unable to part with.
Fr. Ron spoke about how we get tangled in the world around us and somehow forget to pray, or have trouble in prayer because we don't know a method. The most important thing he said, at least it was the most important thing for me (I had recently written a piece about it so, obviously it was on my mind) was that we have to ask for the grace to pray well for what we need.
The basement -- what we need -- the clutter and the stuff that consume that space; it all overwhelmed my heart and my mind. Isn't that odd? Well, not if the Holy Spirit is whispering that if you order your home, you'll order your spiritual life. He knew, the basement was the right place to start. So, I asked for the grace to make a positive change in our home by clearing out the disorder in the basement, and off I went, garbage bags in hand!
It was a feat, especially because a huge weather system came and knocked out the electricity in the midst of my grand purge of unnecessary items. But, before the weather could cause a slow down of progress -- get behind me Satan! -- I was able to identify, with the permission of my kids, three large items that had to go: a Little Tykes kitchen with accessories, a Little Tykes shopping cart, and a child's table and two chairs.
While it stormed, we took time to say a decade of the Rosary. And when the storm subsided, I placed these items out on the curb in front of my home with a painter's tape sign that said, FREE! Within 30 min. of placing the items out front, they were gone -- hopefully to good homes and little children who will love them as much as mine had.
It felt good. No, GREAT! The kids were excited about the prospect of making the space more livable. We had a family project, a family prayer underway. We'll see from this point how long this purging and revamping the basement into a space for our aging-up family will take. Hopefully, it will be an experience of shared growth in the spiritual life for all of us.
Tomorrow, we'll continue and I'm hoping that the enthusiasm remains high. I have a plan to make this a lesson in creating a new space, money management, assessing appropriate needs vs. desires, learning to plan and accept other's ideas, etc. -- virtue building. Lyle likes the idea...more to come.