Friday, September 30, 2011

broken windows

dear emily,

my father in law has a gorgeous bathroom/dressing room.  his
walls are decorated with gigantic photos of my mother in law
from her movie star days and floor to ceiling mirrors.  no one,
especially grandchildren have been allowed to step onto the
thick, black carpet or into the shrine unless escorted by their

the top of his lovely teak dressing table is graced by favorite
memorabilia like dozens of tiny screwdrivers and caterpillar
tractors.  i used to sneak peaks at the incredible order and beauty
of this special place until a few days ago when one of the giant
mirrors fell from the wall and crashed upon everything.

it reminded me of the 'broken windows' theory coined by james
q.wilson and george kelling.  they believe that crime is attracted
by disorder.  if a neighborhood tolerates panhandling, graffiti,
or broken windows, then worse behavior follows.  one broken
window calls out to another.  on the other hand, if a neighbor-
hood vigilantly watches over its borders and keeps things orderly,
crime goes elsewhere.   (the tipping point, malcom gladwell)

can you believe the broken mirror occurred three weeks after he
broke his hip?  he has been fighting for his health for six weeks
now, but the hip is mending nicely.  we don't want his other limbs
getting any 'broken window' ideas!


ps.  my friend sandra from thistle cove farms, recently reminded
me of a beloved verse:  "see, I have engraved you on the palms
of my hands; your walls are ever before me."  isaiah 49:16


Cindy said...

That's one of my favorite Bible verses.

I hope your father in law recovers soon.

Rondalahonda said...

Lea, What great insight...Rick just talked about this on his video blog, about how a bad attitude invites all kinds of disturbances, etc. Something in the water, my Mom broke her arm last week!

Vee said...

Oh how jarring that must've been. I am sorry about your father-in-law's broken hip and glad to read that it is on the mend. I am sorry to read about the broken mirror and am just thanking God that Christians are not superstitious types. That bathroom sounds wonderful and your mother-in-law's photo is beautiful. Will be keeping your family in my thoughts and prayers.

(Note to self: Must get that broken cellar window fixed pronto. Not that I'm superstitious or highly suggestible or anything like that.)

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Oh I hope he gets to doing well very soon! Blessings and healing in Jesus so sorry.

You also didn't need to send a thank you was my pleasure and so glad you are enjoying it

I love the picture of your precious!

Now I am looking around my spiritual house to make sure I don't have any broken windows...good word

Debbie said...

I am sorry to hear about your FIL. Praying that He continues to improve rapidly. What wonderful perspective you have written here. I'd LOVE to see that bathroom. What a pretty picture of your MIL.

Have a wonderful day!


Dawn @ Dawnings said...

Lea, you are so sweet to stop by and comment. I miss your web-presence. You've been scarce lately. I hope that means your real life is abundant and blessed.

Have a glorious weekend.

Girl Meets Paris said...

Been catching up on your blog today...reading backwards. As always you bless me with your words...I've missed them!

Joan Elizabeth said...

What a wonderful description of the dressing room. Your story took me back to my childhood peeping into Grandma and Grandad's bedroom with its big iron bed and Nana's which has polished wooden furniture ... peeping and not daring even put a toe over the threshold.

Your story also reminded me of the difficult years of parents and in-laws ageing so I am sending you a hug from over the seas.

Sandy said...

I'm sorry to hear about your
father in law. Praying he heals
quickly. The picture of your
mother in law is very beautiful.
That is one of my all time favorite
Bible verses.
Been missing you.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Well hopefully, one broken window won't lead to another. Hope your father-in-law continues to heal --and that there are no more problems for him... God be with him!

Sonja said...

She is so beautiful!

Your theory made me shudder when I think if a stranger saw the inside of my garage right now, there might be some criminal activity. It's a call to order, which I usually like anyway, but this storage area has gotten away from me! I do have some watchful neighbors, which is always good. No broken windows, but I still feel the need to get in there and DO IT!

Praying for your fil and so glad for the encouraging report.


Sassy Granny ... said...

Another variation of reaping & sowing. Fabulous! I hope your father-in-law is recovering quickly.


KarenHarveyCox said...

That room sounds amazing, and your mother-in-law certainly was beautiful. I am sorry that he broke his hip, I hope that he is healed soon. Prayer and rest will help him to heal.

That mirror breaking and causing so much disarray is surely unpleasant. But the important thing is that your father-in-law is okay. Had he not broken his hip maybe he could have gotten hurt when the mirror fell.

Have a lovely weekend.


Tamara said...

Lovely post Lea. I pray your father-in-law recovers soon. The broken window theory... working in prison makes it all so much more relevant. Hugz!

Rachel said...

Hoping he heals quick!

What a beautiful picture and what sweet memories.

No more broken things!

Sarah (Nikki) said...

I think in ways we do attract things into our lives with our attitudes. Hope your fil gets better real fast

Single and Sane said...

There's truth in the broken windows theory, but we'll pray it's not the case here! Continuing to keep your father-in-law, as well as the rest of you in my prayers.


Jenners said...

You manage to weave together so many little threads of interesting things. A movie star (for reals?) mother in law! What sounds like an amazing bathroom! A bit of philosophy! A book! And you are still succint. Sigh … I need to learn from you. Hope your father in law mends quicklyl and well.

Grammy said...

Hi, Lea,
What a terrible thing to have happen so closely following your father in law's broken hip. It is also terrible that he broke his hip and I hope it will soon be healed so he can walk around again. I really like that picture, too. Such a beautiful lady. What was her name and what movies was she in? (Inquiring mind wants to know). I always worry about getting all the little pieces of glass up when I break anything.
Love, Ruby

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

I am glad you father-in-law is on the mend! Your mother-in-law was such a beauty!

I do believe in that "broken window" theory!

That beautiful bible verse is inscribed on a statue of Jesus, who is holding the Twin Towers in his arms. The statue is outside a church in Brooklyn that lost many parishioners that worked in the towers. I have a photo of it on my post for the 9-11 anniversary.

Anne Lyken-Garner said...

In that case, our neighbourhood will be free of broken windows! We have a very strict neighbourhood watch group in our area. They know everything.

Jenn said...

Love the truths in that verse. Praying for your Father-in-laws healing.

Vickie said...

Hi Lea - I'm trying to play catch-up and get around to visit everyone. You are such a great writer! I went back and did some reading - so entertaining! I hope your FIL gets back to normal soon. That was interesting about him having a "shrine" (sort of) to his wife - he must've really loved that beautiful lady!

Darcie said...

So sorry to read too about your father-in-law. Those hips are a fragile thing as we get older. Hope he gets back to feeling well very soon, and enjoys his dressing room/bathroom for many more years!

Gwendolyn said...

It's nice to know that nothing happens outside of God's plan, and His working all things out for our good. I trust Grandfather's hip heals well and that you are all uplifted in the knowledge of His presence.

Silver Strands said...

Beautifully written Lea! Best thoughts and prayers going out for your father in law.