Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Saturday, July 19, 2014
Friday, July 18, 2014
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Monday, July 14, 2014
At Goodwill there was a discount on the curtains, so I got two sets of these ruffled curtains. When I got them home I found that one of the sets had a shorter panel and did not match, so I decided to use the one matching set for my outdoor tea.
I am going to get busy now, with my day, and I hope to post some more of my old ettiquette classes for children . I hope you have a calm and peaceful day.
Remember that the broadcast news is the bad news, full of terror and horror that will occupy your mind and create anxiety, but the Bible is the good news, full of peace and assurance, that will give you a sound mind, especially the New Testament, which is full of light and joy. If you think on the gloomy reports, how can you do a good job at home? Consider this passage:
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith...
I think it is crucial for homemakers to concentrate on making the house pretty (prettifying the home) . To enable the creative senses to function, it is imperitive to think on good things. The media continually broadcasts the darkest side of life it can find, and it is demoralizing and defeating. The Bible likens the followers of Christ to soldiers, and so we much acquire all the positive attributes of good soldiers and keep those in our charge uplifted, and the house safe and clean.
A good soldier does not believe the enemies taunts and does not allow the propaganda to penetrate his mind. Look around and see how much there is to do at home, and concentrate on that. Remember that you are glorifying God when you offer your best service at home. I pay scant attention to the news these days because all my life it has broadcast nothing but doom and gloom and disaster, and yet, I look around and see that it has not made a bit of difference in my life, and worrying about it never helped me clean my kitchen.
Friday, July 11, 2014
Our speech should be as refined and as beautiful as the things we value at home. When something is refined, the dross, dirt, and impurities are removed so that the product is pure and clean. Our speech should be free of impurity.
Before I can suggest the elements of edifying, pleasing conversation, it is necessary to discuss the harm of corrupt communication.
Improper speech is offensive and destructive.
Rude, critical remarks and spoil the sweet atmosphere.
Crudeness is a lack of completeness, unfinished, lacking in perception, and lacking in culture.
No lady in her right mind would dare to serve her guests a cup of tea in a dirty teacup, and a guest would not even think of bringing her personal trash into a house where she was invited. We all want to give our guests our very best, and mature guests do not want to leave a bad impression on the hostess.
It seems though, that there is a big disconnection of this principle (uncleanness or filth) regarding the way women talk these days, and they especially tend to be unrestrained in what they talk about when in a group of other women at a tea party or a ladies class. This is particularly sad because they are usually dressed up, wearing a hat, and there is a dainty table laid out for them.
There is no greater blame on the young, than on the old. While we might expect filthy talk from those "who never knew our God," we are in real trouble when ladies of the Lord's church become careless in their manner of speaking. They understand why they value their lovely furniture and their well-appointed homes, but they fail to view their speech in the same way.
In days gone by, especially in the home, parents guarded the speech of their family carefully, not just to avoid rudeness, but to keep corrupting talk from tainting the family and making home life unpleasant.
While Christian women generally agree that swearing and cursing should never be included in their conversation, there are those who do not realize that subject matter, such as talk of bodily functions, private husband-wife relationships, jokes about private parts of our bodies, references to physical desire, and innuendos about such things, are included in the Bible's admonition to have pure speech. (Colossians 4:6 and Titus 2:8)
Women may reason that as long as they are not using foul language and uttering curse words, that it is okay to talk about anything and everything. However, even without filthy language, there are some things that are not appropriate to talk about.
There is an erroneous belief that as long as there is no one under the age of 18 in a room, that it is okay to talk about everything from underwear to intimate relationships in detail. They believe that as long as they are not gossiping or criticizing, that any subject is safe to talk about.
Ladies always need to be careful around little ears and not violate their innocence with talk about grown-up things they are not ready for.
Discerning women also have to understand that it is possible to offend the purity of anyone, any age, whether married or not. The more a Christian lady strives for pure thinking and pure living (unblemished by filth), the more she would be aware of how speaking of things which are "done in the dark" can harm the pure in heart, no matter what age they are.
Lectures on pure speech often bring up questions about things that are recorded in the Bible, and whether or not it is okay to discuss them. This all depends on how such situations involving sin are discussed. Just because it is in the Bible, it does not give ladies leeway to indulge in impure curiosity or speculate on sensuous details of sin.
I have observed many mothers over the years who were very successful in teaching their children about the sin that is described in the scriptures and still not indulge in describing the corrupting details.
Sincere ladies can develop sensitivity and a sence of shame regarding the kind of talk they engage in.
Nonetheless, there are still some women who may find it hard to discern what should and what should not be spoken out loud, so I will suggest some guidelines to abide by. That way, if a situation comes up and a person is tempted to join in an inappropriate discussion, they can think of these rules.
1. Avoid talk about personal bodily functions. Even discussing your digestive tract can be a problem when other ladies just want to have polite, cheerful, uplifting conversation. Keep your monthly cycle totally private and never mention it in a sewing circle or a ladies Bible Class.
2. Speak not of things that create pictures in the mind of immodesty of any sort, or any graphic description of anything to do with physical privacy or private parts of the anatomy. Conversation alluding to bathing can even become embarrassing, even if it is about cleanliness.
3. Really refined Christian ladies never discuss their womanly cycle or details of childbirth except with a mother or close friend privately.
4. Do not talk about the details of your family finances to anyone outside of the family and be careful not divulge such private things to your children.
5. Bringing up past bad experiences and telling them in detail, time after time, is not polite conversation.
6. Begging. Edifying conversation will never manipulate anyone into giving them something. It is not good form to whine about your financial setbacks.
7. Avoid the bad conversational habit of one-up-man-ship or "I do it better."
8. Coming in late to a conversation that has already begun and adding your opinion without having heard the whole matter.
9. Correcting everyone every time they speak, on their grammar or the things they are saying (unless you are training your children).
10. Always asking "why?" Or "Why is that?" In response to every thing anyone says.
11. Walking into a conversation between people and blurting out "Now what??" or just demanding to know what someone is talking about.
12. Not discerning when you are not included in a conversation.
13. Rudely excluding someone in the same room with the same company, by talking about something experienced by the two of you (wasn't that tea party we went to fun?") that others cannot relate to.
14. Never being interested in the other guests and only wanting to tell your own plans and your own experiences.
15. Silly talking with no point.
16. Doting about words and strifes. (1 Timothy 6:4)
17. Great swelling words of vanity. (2 Peter 2:18)
18. Hasty, sharp responses.
Some of the above subjects can be covered in another lecture.
To prevent inappropriate talk, you first have to be careful what you think about. Watch out for where your mind goes and turn your thoughts back to whatever is lovely and pure and good. Your thoughts will guide your tongue. James explained that when he used the bits in the horses mouth as an illustration to the problem of controlling the tongue (meaning your words).
To halt inappropriate talk, learn to find something in the conversation that can be used to change the subject. Catch on to a word or idea that is being discussed and say that it reminds you of something, and see if you can ask a question about it, that will get people off the other subject. Note that sometimes people with bad habits and impure thoughts will use the same tactic to talk about things that are untoward or vulgar.
To get conversation back in control, you might have to use drastic measures and tell the ladies that they need to move on to more decent subjects. If you have children within hearing, it will be important to stop people before allowing corrupt talk to offend their ears.
There is something else you need to know, that is very important, about listening to silly, unregenerate talk. It puts a bad taste in people's mouths (a figure of speech meaning a bad memory) that they cannot get rid of.
I once was a guest at a ladies gathering where one of the other guests began talking about her anatomy "in the vernacular".
The other ladies were embarrassed but never said anything and some of them got up and went into the kitchen, while others bravely tried to change the subject. It was even more serious that there were some little girls sitting politely by their mothers. The words they heard would be replayed in their memories and pollute their minds with thoughts that would crowd out innocent childhood thinking.
The older ladies were so disturbed by such foul talk (including bathroom and bedroom talk) that some of them departed with deeply glum expressions. I heard later that a couple of the more refined guests went home and wept for their sister in Christ who had been so thoughtless. Although she was eventually enlightened by a very kind lady, the damage had been done and could not be undone.
People who let-loose their tongues do more than let out words that will be forgotten. Such words also bring up images in people's minds that they play again, and will not go away for awhile. Furthermore, it is just as bad to pollute the mind of a child as it is to pollute the thinking of anyone else, whether they be the age of 18 or 80. This is because The Lord has told us in his word to have pure minds and think on pure things . (Philippians 4:8)
Crude talk of those things "done in the dark" (1 Timothy 4:7) make you appear to be less refined and less of a lady. Corrupt communication is bad for your future influence on those who might be guided by you.
We can reason and talk and try to convince ladies to guard their speech, but if their hearts are not convicted that it offends Christ and affects their standing with Him, they will be forgetful hearers. They need to know that when they let foolish talk escape from their mouths, and do not bridle the tongues, (James 3:2) that they violate and corrupt other people. It is also disrespectful.
Ladies need to train their consciences to be sensitive enough to blush at corrupt communication. The ability to cringe or blush is developed when you pay attention to and dwell on whatever is good, lovely and pure. Then, the impure will stick out like a sore thumb and be immediately recognizable.
You should abhor the thoughts and sounds of corrupt communication.
Your speech reflects your morals and your religious views. An unbridled tongue can cause another person to have impure things on her mind. Be accountable for every word you speak and know the harm or the good that you do with your words.
Language can be used for good or for ill, and you need to be remembered for speaking whatever is good, lovely and pure. What God has to say should be the final word on our language, so here are some verses to think about:
Eph 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Col 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
Tit 2:7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,
Tit 2:8 Sound speech that cannot be condemned; that he that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed.
.Eph 5:12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.
1Ti 4:7 But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
Psa 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
There are so many things to talk about, which are interesting, stimulating, encouraging and beneficial,that it would take a life time to relate them. There is so much untapped glory in beautiful, edifying, or instructive words, one cannot tell it all. there is simply no time to indulge in corrupt and fruitless talk.
Corrupt communication is limited and amounts to saying the same stupid things over and over. If you engage in it, you do not appear to be very bright or wise.
I know people who have handicapped children with mental imparities that still are able to train them to avoid filthy talk. If a mentally-challenged person knows the difference, then any lady can master the art of polite and clean conversation, both at home and in public. It is better just to forget you ever knew any of those words or subjects and get them completely out of your mind. Then, the next time you hear them, they will jolt your senses and you will see clearly the difference between light and darkness.
When polite ladies refrain from vulgar talk, it has an influence on the society around them. Refined speech is a bigger influence than people realize. As you refine your speech you will begin to notice that you are reducing you own stress. Foul-mouthed people will not feel comfortable around you and might keep their mouths shut. If you try to be a real lady and speak only what is sweet and nice, you become a great influence and you keep a right relationship with God.
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
A lot of depression and discouragement can be alleviated by having a daily observance or quiet celebration. A time set aside each day for taking tea in a special cup, or just sitting still for a quiet hour restores the mind and regulates jumbled, racing thoughts. I have worked at making the morning tea a regular ritual, and have noticed a difference in my health and presence of mind when I skip the ceremony, as small as it is.
This morning I have got out an old cup for morning tea.
Now I am ready to restore order in the house and plan some extra things to do, which I plan to feature here in a few days.
I am always on the lookout for rose-themed cups like this at Goodwill and garage sales. The price is almost nothing at thrift stores, but teacups are getting harder to find. I use my teacups and give them a regular workout by having guests for tea.
And now I am on to another subject; that of polite behaviour with your whole presence. This is from an old lesson I taught many years ago to children, but its message needs to be revived for grown children, young ladies and a few older ones.
In the home it is not polite to block someone in a hallway. It is rude to crowd up too close to a family member in the kitchen or put pressure on someone by getting too close to them, crowding them, especially if they object. In our country, people believe in minding their own business , as the New Testament teaches, and so it is considered rude to look over someone's shoulder to see what they are reading or writing or doing, unless invited. It is also rude to be too inquisitive about personal, private matters, the exception being parents with their own children.
Politeness in public requires us to avoid being too curious about what someone is eating (peering closely at their plate or their beverage) and it is rude to try to get involved in a conversation to which you are not invited, especially with people you do not know well. This all begins in the home, where family members should not hover over someone who is eating or writing or reading.
One of the very first lessons many of us were taught by our parents was the value of minding your own business. This is more of a principle than a rule, since it has far-reaching results. If you as a young lady will always be reticent with people and keep a polite distance, not nosing into other people's personal things, you can never get a bad reputation or be labeled as a nuisance.
In shopping situations, do not walk in front of people while they are looking at merchandise, nor try to look at the same item or get too close to something they are buying. Shoppers do not like people to see what they are buying. Even though shopping is a public activity, people's purchases are private, and the amount of money they pay at the checkout is private, so it is polite to stand back and at least not look as if you are too curious about their transactions. It is best to stand a little distance and not look at what they are doing, that is, if you are really trying to be polite.
In any social setting, never stand up in the middle of two people talking so that they cannot see each other. That is as bad as having too large a centerpiece on the dining table which blocks everyone's view of one another. Also, be careful when in a group not to sit with your back to someone (this does not include church, where everyone faces the speaker or song leader). Children are not actually as guilty of this as are adults. I have been to baby showers and wedding showers where I have seen ladies place a chair right in front of someone blocking them from the conversational circle. (Classes are valuable to demonstrate what these sort of things really look like.)
Sometimes people use their bodies to be over-bearing with others in public. In Church, there is often a time after the worship dismissal to converse with people, and it is necessary to be aware that you can block other people from visiting with certain ones if you stand too close and monopolize anyone. Socializing is like a dance, in that you have to allow others to cut-in when you see they are politely waiting on the side to talk to the one you are near. When they do that, assume they have tapped you on the shoulder and are wanting their turn with the guest.
I observed once that a couple had come to church from another state, and after the meeting was dismissed, one person seemed to "swamp" this couple, blocking them from meeting anyone else. Only when everyone had given up waiting to welcome the couple and gone home, lights were finally turned off and the preacher said he needed to lock the meeting house, did this couple escape the rude, over-bearring person who stood in the way of others greeting them.
Another problem that you need to be aware of is that of engaging in troll-like social behavior in the church and other social situations. A troll is someone who follows you around. Sometimes in a church fellowship, when a person sees someone talking to someone else, they immediately go over there and take over the conversation. They may follow the person around and discourage her from socializing at all. This is not the same as watching your children or staying close to your mother, which is appropriate in social situations. I am speaking to young ladies who may be forgetting to be polite and neglecting to respect people and keep a little distance.
In Victorian times, young ladies were deliberately taught not to be too forward or too imposing, and to be quiet and discreet; to "know their place". In this day and age, such teaching sounds too formal, but whatever is good about society, particularly church, becomes miserable when someone trolls other people and will not sit quietly and mind their own business. Several times I have seen rude women, young and old, cause people to physically stiffen, retreat and shrink back from fellowshipping, because they felt they were being trailed or monitored in their personal conversations with other people. That is not the same thing as watching that someone does not get lost in a hallway or helping someone to find their car in the parking lot, or making sure people are safe. The personal monitoring I am describing is a rude, in-your-face snooping.
There are probably many more things that can be said about how you can be polite with your personal presence around other people, but it would take volumes to explain every detail. A really discerning person will learn to detect the reception they get and read people's body language. If they are not real receptive to you, learn to take the hint before you cause verbal anger in the other person.
The New Testament, the spiritual law of Christ for this age, makes behavior very simple to understand by the admonition to be courteous in 1 Peter 3:8. Courtesy is the act of making sure others are respected and not offended by what you are doing. It means putting the comfort of others above your own and not aggravating them in any way. As a young lady, you need to be grown up enough not to have every little thing spelled out for you down to the tiniest detail, as when you were a toddler.
Being grown-up means to pay attention to your own behavior and restrain yourself in order to be courteous and non-threatening to others. When you are out-of-control in your social life, people will be correcting your or avoiding you.The mark of a mature lady is being self controlled so that others never have to control you.
Monday, July 07, 2014
Still Life of Porcelain and Biscuits, by George E. Foster, German/American 1817-1896
Available from Allposters
Good morning. I have been out in the garden in the cooler moments and now am having my morning tea.
The flower garden is filling out, and I went to the above link to find out more about arranging flowers for the home. There is a slide show instruction from a flower-arranging school, too, plus seasonal bouquet ideas. For further flower-arranging instruction, do a search on YouTube.
My flower beds are filling out.
Many years ago in an ettiquette class I taught the importance of using our hands for good. Children should keep their hands to themselves and not aggravate other people with their hands. They should learn self-control by having their minds trained for good things, and then have their minds control their actions. I am sure everyone knows what it is like to be "picked on" by a child who cannot keep her hands to herself. Hands should not be bothering other people.
If this is not learned in formative years, it can lead to trouble later on. The Bible says a lot about the use of hands, for good or for ill. I particularly never liked other people handling my babies and children in public---tickling, stroking, grabbing, picking them up, twirling them, etc. I feel that just as adults have a personal "space" and you keep a polite distance and do not get up too close, that children's personal space should be respected.
Polite behavior demands that we not only stand a polite distance from people but we also are careful to control our hands, not meddling with other people's children. Teen girls are wont to be obsessed with children, but they should practice polite restraint and not touch other people's children unless invited.
An old plant holder with a birdhouse theme, from a former anniversary.
Hands also have to be guarded and trained by the mind not to touch everything that the impulse demands. The Bible teaches us to control the impulses. Young ladies need to practice the art of restraint in the homes of other people, in church, in the market and when with their siblings, cousins and friends. If you restrain your hands you can never be guilty of damaging property, personal or public, and can never be accused of anything offensive or tawdry.
If you are a young lady having trouble knowing what to do with your hands, you might try practicing flower-arranging. Your hands will be so busy from the intricate work required in this skill, and your mind will be duly and thoughtfully focused on something worthwhile. There are a number of ways to use such careful creations, and there are numerous facilities that would welcome such a sweet gesture.
Young ladies who are having a struggle controlling their hands need to direct them to a worthwhile work, such as the flower arranging I suggested, or art or gardenning, sewing or some other thing that has something to show for the effort. How about becoming a dedicated housekeeper and keeping your mothers house clean, at the same time keeping your hands out of trouble and busy with something useful.
Meddling with other people leaves no reward but frustration on both sides, and nothing to show for it but loss of friendship and respect. They should engage their hands in something that requires them to mind their own business, or keep them still.
There is an old saying that idle hands make mischief, but The act of holding your hands still and being politely refined in your movements, not threatening anyone by the way you handle yourself, is good, too. The idle-hands-make-mischief slogan can mislead some young ladies into thinking they cannot hold their hands still, ever.
If young girls and young ladies are having difficulty controlling their hands, they can meditate on the teaching in the New Testament that says Christians are supposed to be quiet and mind their own business and not meddle:
1Th 4:11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
1Th 4:12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.
Sometimes people are convinced they are being "friendly and outgoing" and must be always aggravating others with their hands, (especially brothers and sisters) but this is not true help or true affection, especially if the other people do not like it.
The above is part of the lesson I taught on how our hands can be used for good or for ill. Sincere young ladies will not wish to be offensive to others and will desire to build their social skills in a pleasing way, rather than being pushy. A pushy young lady who will not accept instruction on this matter will become a pushy old lady someday who will become a terrible plague on other people. Mothers are obligated to teach their children a hands-off policy regarding people and things. When my children were little, I finally had to establish a hands-off policy regarding other people tugging on their clothes or their hair or aggravating them, including siblings.
Friday, July 04, 2014
Base your country, where ever you live, on who you are and what you are guiding your family to be. The spiritual qualities from Christ and the character qualities you are teaching your children---this forms the country you are living in.
Do not base your beliefs about your country on what the news media and other media is portraying. That media is in the business of demoralizing the people of the country. They will not only loudly broadcast the most tawdry things, but they will create their own news, often of events that did not really happen, show them on film for the purpose of getting you to give up on your country.
The best news is who you are in Christ, how you live your beliefs, what you are doing at home, and that is really what your country is.
Today we are having our own parade, which has become a tradition. In the hot weather we do not have to sit in a long line of cars when leaving an event. We have our own parade with marching bands, two and three-wheeled vehicles, all the farm wagons and buggies we can find, and we eat at a long table set outside. We do not have to go far to find the utilities we need.
In past years, other families have joined us and we have had a train-stop speech from a local politician running for mayor of our seceral-acre country. The speech is usually quite stirring, explaining what a country is all about and how following the New Testament principles can make a country thrive. Having a population of New Testament abiding Christians can benefit a country.
Christians have the blessings of two countries. They have dual-citizenship because while residing on an earthy country, they are citizens of a "better country", (Hebrews 11:16) referring to the kingdom and citizenship of Christ.
We sometimes have strawberry lemonade in the 4th. You can see how to make it on The Pleasant Times.
Search that blog also for Mylar fireworks made out of straws and shiny papers. Before the fire -works that exist today, matches were never used to make a firework show all the sparkle. Children dropped homemade sparkly things from a height to make them swirl and curl colorfully, catching the sunlight, all the way to the ground.