Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Hospitality in the Home (Video 6)

Breakfast in the Garden by  Giuseppe De Nittis 
Italian 1846-1884

Hospitality is one of the ways Christians demonstrate the love of Christ to others, and yet it has many benefits to the one who shows hospitality. 

To help you become more at ease with hospitality, I have set up a tea table and will show you just a few things that might help you develop a love of hospitality. 

If you are not yet at ease in giving hospitality, begin with your own people: your family, and the people with whom you feel the most comfortable. Children especially love tea time, as they delight in the fancy settings, love to hear the sound of the tea spoon against the china cup, and enjoy pouring the tea from the pot, adding milk and honey, and eating all the little bites of attractive foods.

When you show hospitality, or entertain your children, they will become familiar with tea time and develop an appreciation and a respect for it. They will continue the tradition, as it brings so many happy memories.

You will notice on my tea table that I use plastic over the table cloths. A lot of people have written and asked me if this is proper etiquette and then want to know if it is proper, where they can find the plastic for their tables.  Although tea books and etiquette lists of the past have stated it is not proper to cover the table with plastic, most people I know are using it to protect their special table cloths.

I find the least expensive, and thinnest plastic from the roll at Walmart to be the best, because it adheres to the table better. The heavy plastic moves too easily and can fall off. People use it because they want their guests to be at ease and not feel worried about spilling things. Tea can drip and the foods sometimes are a little messy but it is good to let everyone stir and sip and enjoy themselves without worrying about staining the tablecloth or getting the surface of a table wet.

In America, some people are using honey to sweeten their tea. The tea books all say it is not proper to use honey in tea, but when I ask people why they use honey, they reply brightly, "Because we like it."  If no where else, the home is a place you should be able to do as you like, so honey is served here, especially since other people want it.  Most people here still use no milk and no sweetener in their tea, preferring it plain.

The little biscuits with jam you see on the tea table are called "Afternoon Ruby Tea Biscuits" which I got from the Anne of Green Gables Cookbook at the library years ago. I tweak the recipe a little, substituting some ingredients, and you may like to do the same if you have special preferences. You can find the recipe online.

 One way I changed the recipe was to indent the dough to make a place for the jam, as I show in the photo, below. After baking and cooling the biscuits (scones), I fill the indentation with jam The original recipe is more complicated as far as cutting the pieces of dough and putting them together, which takes up a lot of time, and I found people do not really care for the jam to be baked along with the biscuits. That is why I add the jelly after baking and cooling.

Although there was only only one item served, most people provide some little tea sandwiches  You can do some research and find the kinds of tea sandwiches recipes that would suit your family. 

I chose tea time as way for a beginner to extend hospitality, because it does not require a lot of cooking and it is not necessary to serve hot food. For adults, however, the tea must be hot, so be sure to bring the kettle of water on the stove to a boil before pouring it over the tea bag in the teapot. ( Never put a teapot on top of a burner on the stove.)


                   I have made a short video for you on tis subject and I hope it makes you want to start practicing hospitality at home. The important thing is to "show hospitality to one another without grudging" as the New Testament tells us.  


Since It has been requested that I show what I wear at home, I have tried to get some pictures of the outfit I am wearing in the video. 

 Years ago Victoria magazine had a photo of a cardigan and skirt set I really thought looked comfortable, but I never was able to find anything like it:

                         This is the issue where the adorable mother-daughter set was found:
Over 25 years later I ended up with a very similar ensemble, created from a Faded Glory brand cardigan (cotton and rayon, approximately $8.00 at Walmart this last week,  just like the yellow one in the previous video) and a "vintage" skirt someone gave me a few days ago. I knew when she handed it to me it would be just what I needed to make the outfit I was looking for.  

           I made the collar scarf years ago, and today fastened it with a large rose button.


                                        This is how everything looks on the dress-form. 

Does it bother anyone that people call these clothes "vintage", when they were things you used to wear in the 1980's? They seem as classic and updated to me as when I first saw them in the picture! Now if I could only find that lovely blouse that the model was wearing with the cardigan. I probably have a pattern for it somewhere.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Courtesy in the Home (Video 5)

We know it is God's will for people in the home to be courteous, for the Holy Spirit, speaking through the Word, said, "...be courteous." 1 Peter 3:8.  

According to the 1828 dictionary, courtesy means to be friendly minded, polite, well-mannered, civil, obliging, and elegant. Those of you who like the stories written by Jane Austen will recall Emma saying, "When pressed, I say he is very elegant." She may have been referring to the manners of a gentleman.

Dress Up at Home

One simple way to show courtesy in the home is to dress respectably. Even when there are no others around to see you, proper dress has a tremendous impact on the mind, and if you are dressed up rather than down, you will approach your life's work at home as a profession, a ministry and an art. This will increase your sense of self-worth and ambition.

To dress for others in the home shows that you respect them and regard them highly enough to present yourself in a good light. We all have days of rest and relaxation, but we can still dress beautifully at home. It brings out the best in us and it inspires those we have in our care. Remember that children will be whatever you are, yourself, and if you want to teach them to care about how they look, be sure to look well, yourself. 

I know in this prevailing culture it is hard to find anyone dressed up for anything anymore, much less, the home. If you are depressed by the "dressing down" in the public places you go for your shopping and errands, or even travel, you probably know there is not much you can do to change it.  A recent article here  talks about a culture that refuses to dress up.  

You can, however, change things in yourself and in your home. If you dress nice to go out in public, it will spread an influence, and others will follow. You can dress up at home, and be less depressed, and influence your family. I am not speaking of formal wear or a prom dress, but of clothing that is more formal than sportswear.  It shows courtesy when you dress for your home. Dress up for your lovely home and to show courtesy to the people you love!

Pick Up After Yourself.

It is courteous to look after your own things and not leave them about for other people to pick up.  It is courteous to finish your work and not leave it for other people to finish. Everyone in the home should take care of themselves as soon as they are able to learn how, and should finish their own work if they are able. In the home, it is courteous not to burden other family members with our own possessions and messes.

One way to break the habit of leaving things laying around is to gather everything when you leave a place. When you get up from a chair, look around and pick up anything you have been using. Let the evidence of your presence be that the area looks better than before you came.

If you want to make a habit of picking things up, try it for a day and you will see it is less labor intensive than waiting for a clean-up day, and you will show courtesy to others by being a good example.

Build One Another Up

Showing courtesy at home requires that we build one another up and not spread gloom and doom in the home.  Rather than leave others with a feeling of hopelessness, try to give them help and hope and encouragement.  Learn to make life better, and not sink down into defeat.

Courtesy in the home will make life worth living, and the home the most desirable place to be. It is discourteous to complain, but it is courtesy to fix things.

Today I have a video on this subject:

Please keep writing your suggestions and ideas for subjects to cover. I am eventually going to do podcasts so you can have things to listen to while washing dishes and making beds ;-) 

I have no idea why the video transposed the scene from left to right. It should be like the photo, below. Maybe I did not notice a setting.

I usually get some questions about the cardigans I have worn in these videos. This one is Faded Glory brand cotton cardigan, price $8.00 from Walmart, available in many colors.  

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Contentment in the Home (Video 4)

The Little Shepherdess by Johann Baptiste Hoffner

Contentment means "to be satisfied" and also means "to please." It includes a feeling of satisfaction and a quiet, settled happiness.

It is easy, in any place, to become restless and anxious, but the home is a place where contentment is advantageous even into the future.

As a homemaker, doing the same things multiple times and trying to be happy about it can be a challenge, but I believe it is God's will to be content, so here are some things you might try, in order to gain contentment.

Pray for contentment.  Though we may think we can do everything on our own, it is God who enables us. If we ask for contentment, we may receive help, and somehow we become more aware of the avenues of contentment.

Set yourself on a course of personal improvement by correcting your faults, serving others in your family, learning something and adding good character qualities. You might want more discernment, nobility, be able to recognize truth, develop things that are good and lovely etc. (Philippians 4:819), or, there might be physical things you want to improve, such as better health and adequate rest. You might list social skills like learning more about hospitality and courtesy.  Maybe you want to dress better everyday at home. These are all things on a self-improvement list that improve your quality of life and your contentment.

Sort things and list things. I hope there are other ladies out there my age who remember listing and organizing everything they owned. It increased a feeling of contentment. I suppose today it would increase contentment if we listed everything we owned and tried to eliminate half of it. As we grow older we naturally accumulate a lot!

Finish something or accomplish something. Completing one task or finishing an old project produces contentment.

Take your time, not to delay, but to allow your mind to dwell on what you are doing and give it time to catch up with your actions. Rushing can bring on a feeling of anxiety and panic. To produce contentment, take your time doing a small task.

Block out the world with all its stress. An old hymn says, "Take time to be holy: the world rushes on."  In every era, people have experienced the same anxiety about life going past too fast. It will slow down when you personally slow down and take time to be holy. "Holy" means to set apart. It means to get away from the world. You can do that in your own home by allowing yourself to be still and to dwell on something good and lovely. 

The Bible says: "Godliness with contentment is great gain."
 (1 Timothy 6:6), and "Be content with such things as ye have." (Hebrews 13:5)

I hope you enjoy this video and will excuse that I fumble about so much. I am learning how to edit and will become more confident at this, I hope. I do have a remote...somewhere...and will be content when I can use it to aid in making videos.


Someone is probably going to ask about this light blue cardigan so I am posting pictures here. It is by Faded Glory and has a lot of rayon in it, which is comfortable--not too hot, amd just right for wearing at home.
I like the knitted ribbing going completely around the garment from the neck to the front and again around the back. The piece at the back waist gives it a nice shape.  These were on sale in several colors some time ago, at Walmart. They style looks like something that might be easy to knit or crochet.


I have been amused at some of the emails I get regarding the videos: they all ask where I got the sweater I am wearing :-)

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Adding Beauty at Home (with video 3)

The Arrival by Edward K. Johnson, 1825-1896

Hello Dear Ones,

In the last two posts I wrote about choosing the the most urgent things to do at home, and the concept of believing in what you are doing, as the most important thing in the world to you.

Edward K. Johnson "The Hammock"

While a great deal of home life is work, it does not have to feel like it is always something grueling, stressful, hard and unfeeling. If you believe you are creating a life of beauty and happiness for your loved ones in your home, it keeps your mood upbeat and adds a feeling of love in the overall atmosphere of your home.

Today I have created a video on the subject of adding the element of beauty to your daily life. When we connect to the old paths, that is, the values handed down to us from our parents and grandparents, that were rooted in the Bible, work and life at home is incredibly enhanced. 

In 1987 we saw the first issues of this magazine which tugged at our hearts. I remember paging through it in the grocery store to see what it was all about, because it stood out among the other magazines--not because it was flashy or attention-getting, but because it had a quiet and gentle look. The early issues included scenes with Bible verses, poetry and paintings in the most innocent and good taste.

 In its own advertisement, the publication offered an invitation to "enter a world of grace"  in "The new magazine of living beautifully ever after."

Inside one of these early summer issues we caught a glimpse of our own well-lived rooms furnishings. Many of us would declare: "Oh! I have this already. I would like to see how I can make it look as lovely as that."

We liked the house plans in the back of the magazine,

...and the "Favorite Things" in the front pages.

Presentations of ordinary things people have used for generations (such as this natural wicker basket used as a tray)  were a nice, non-jarring change from the contents of the commercial magazines marketed to ladies at the time. 

This was one of our favorite pictures of children dressed in the clothing that was available to us in the 1980's which was reminiscent of the Victorian era:

In fact, the photo was so delightful, we found sand-castle-making sets and took a trip to the Gulf of Mexico for a little holiday in 1987. Since we lived in Texas at the time, it was just a day-trip.

Above, every year the magazine did a feature on England, which was something we always looked forward to. We may have missed an issue or two during the year, but never the the "oh-to-be-in-England-now-that-spring-is-here" issue in March or April.

Butterick later published a pattern that looks like the photo in the above, March 1993 issue:

 In this video, I am sharing how I used the original Victoria magazines to stimulate my interest in the home, and particularly, how I enriched our home-school.  I hope you enjoy it, and thanks ahead of time for watching it.   Please leave a comment!


Note: I am now learning about podcasts, which I think will be more useful. Its like listening to radio while you work around the house.

Note: The original issues of Victoria were published in New York, and although the magazine had a wonderful Victorian gentility about it, the ads were very feministic and modern (alcohol, unappealing styles that were in direct conflict with the magazine's soft demeanor, and extremely immodest ads for products). After about ten years,many  ladies did not care to purchase it and the magazine lost popularity. Many of us who were charter members wrote to the Victoria publishers to cite exactly why we were cancelling our subscriptions.  The magazine, now based in Alabama, (I think) does have advertising, but in much better taste and not in conflict with the magazine as a whole.

Someone inquired about the cardigan I am wearing in this video, so I have posted photos:

The brand is Rendezvous, and the style # is 540D5428M

The sleeves have elastic gathers, something I like to add to my sleeves when I am sewing.

I got it at a discount store for about $7.00 but if you locate it online, the price may not be that low. The fabric is rayon and has a knitted look.

The dress form does not show it off in its best look, but I wanted you to see the back.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Confidence in the Home (with video 2)

                                   (Setting the Table, Saturday Evening Post, 1957)

I thought you might enjoy this depiction of the 1950's home economics classes.  If I am remembering right, the boys were in the workshop classes learning carpentry skills and how to put an engine back together. Sometimes when the home ec class finished preparing a meal, the boys from the workshop class would come in to have the food tested on them :-) Does anyone remember this?

In homeschooling, we changed this a little by inviting the rest of the family to dinner, or, when we taught homemaking to other girls, would invite the parents to dine with us to sample the final result.

Some women really want to make life  at home pleasant, stable and worthwhile, but they need confidence. Confidence consists of trust, faith and courage, and a touch of boldness.

There are two things that might help to develop confidence in managing the home:

1. Being convinced that what you are doing is right. This makes it possible to do something with steady determination.  When you know something is the right thing to do, that it is important, and
necessary, confidence comes more easily. 

Isaiah 30:5  says, "In quietness and confidence shall be your strength."

As an example, a lady at home may want her family to have meals at home. She feels strongly that they should eat food prepared at home, as well as sit together at meal times. She wants to prepare the table so that her family may enjoy the experience of dining, rather than just eating in an unceremonious way.  Being convinced that this is a noble and good thing to do, she confidently does whatever she needs to do.

2. Keeping your eye on the final outcome of any effort will keep you from losing confidence.  A mother may begin home schooling, and as the days go by, may come across difficulties, but if she keeps her final goals in mind, she will have confidence. 

When confronted by difficulties, keeping her  ultimate goals pictured in her mind will help her feel confidence.

The opposite of confidence is uncertainty, nervousness and feelings of inferiority. 

Enemies of confidence are things like discouraging news, distractions, and unfair comparisons.

I have created a short video to emphasize two important points, so please click and listen here:

It would have been good to have added in the video, to use the discouraging news you hear, or any discouraging thoughts, as signals to do what is right and good and what is necessary for you to do, with confidence.

To practice being confident:

1. Develop knowledge of your work. These days, training in skills and knowledge is more convenient than it ever has been. When you become proficient at something, your confidence increases.

These days there are so many choices in learning materials, that you can choose whatever you respond to the best, for your teacher: video cooking lessons, housekeeping manuals, workbooks, podcasts, skype visits, and hands-on experience through attending things in youe area. 

2. Every goal has some unpleasant aspects in the attainment of it, so do not be daunted by difficulties. 
You can feel confident when you quietly and patiently go about your tasks.

When discussing the quality of confidence, I always enjoy relating the story of Nehemiah. I find it amusing, because it is so like the way things happen today. 

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Motivation at Home (with video 1)

Irish Cottage by Bonnie Cook

(Note: all paintings are from Allposters.com)

When you are a home maker, there will be no time clock, no assigned work area, no designated job, no dress code, no imposed schedule, no promised reward and no supervisor or manager evaluating your work performance. It isn't like college, either, where you are motivated by test scores, achievement awards, competitions, and diplomas.

Welcome to the challenging world of  self-employment,  where your personal motivation is powered by the desire to have a successful home life, good food and a comfortable, orderly house. Your rewards are the results you see from a finished task.  You will enjoy looking at the room you have  cleaned, the meal you prepared, the pile pf papers you sorted, and the talents you are developing. You will see  results in teaching children manners and making them good helpers, while they acquire strong spiritual values. These are some of the immediate rewards of your efforts.
Cottage for the Birds, by Vicki Wade

Like the self-employed entrepreneur, your job at home is where you will have many different roles.  You will be your own supervisor, your own maid and butler, housekeeper, quality control agent, advisor and counselor, shopper and your own personal motivator.

Your  motivation comes from anticipating the end-results. Your rewards are the joy and satisfaction of personal achievement and success in any particular effort.

Housekeeping is not the main job in the life of the homemaker, but it can be a reflection of how you feel about your work, as to whether it is a personal ministry to God or just a job that must be done.
Victorian, by Erin Dertner

 While you hope to please your family, you cannot give up if they forget to notice your home improvement or your self-improvement. You have to serve a higher King, Christ, because His standards are more excellent. Whenever people try to impress others and please mankind too much, they live far below what we they are capable of doing and being.

 I want to also address young ladies at home.  You may be longing to have your own home and family that you can manage yourself. You cannot afford to pay rent at home, so let your housekeeping be the way you pay your rent.  Keep your eyes open for opportunities to help at home. Take care of your own room, your own laundry, and pick up after yourself in shared family areas of the house. Learn to prepare food and learn to clean a kitchen after a meal. Look around for things that need to be put away or put into order.  Be an asset to your home, not a liability. Be an encouragement and a help to your family, and less of a burden. Your parents would appreciate this more than your paying room and board. Pay your rent in thoughtfulness, work and encouragement.

Nicki Boehme

1. List the Three Most Urgent Things to Do The Next Day.

Personal motivation, Ladies, may possibly begin in the evening before you go to sleep. At this time, you may write on a nice piece of paper or a little notebook, three main things you need to do the next day.  This does not mean you will do only three things, but that you hope to do at least these three most important things (Lord willing, and the creek don't rise).  With this simple list, you will find that   instead  of running from on half-finished job to another, you will focus on completing at least three things.  If you do not complete two of them, include them on the next day's list.

Your three items on the list can be as simple as: dishes, laundry, meals; or clutter, floors, beds; or just baking, ironing, letters. If you only get one done, put the other items on the list again for the next day.

Motivate yourself to complete at least one job, with a personal reward.  You may have a publication you have been wanting to read, a friend to call,  or a particular talent or hobby you never have time for. These rewards are bright spots in the day you can give yourself.

2. Take Care of Your Appearance in Preparation for the Day.

In the morning, the first thing you need to do is prepare yourself for the job ahead by personal grooming. Dressing your best and paying attention to your hair and skin care has a positive effect on your mind and your personal motivation. You need not wear a prom dress, but opting for something pretty in place of jeans and t-shirts can have a motivating effect.

One reason so many ladies liked Laura Ashley clothing  was because of her statement that her cotton dresses were not intended to be posh or to be worn to the theatre, but were designed to be worn at home. These lovely  dresses and skirts with their inspiring prints and colors were so nice to wear. They were comfortable and suitable for home living without being dowdy or stiffly formal.  This is one reason I sew a few dresses every year.  Wearing them gives me a fresh approach to my day. If you do not care to sew, there are still ways to get nice clothing for the home if you put your mind to it.

Many professionals who work at home have found that in order to feel motivated  to work and succeed at it,  they must dress as though they were going to work somewhere.  The homemaker can consider her role a profession of great honor and importance and she is not just going to work. She is in a position of responsibility to help her family have success in their lives. This is worth dressing up for.

Your personal grooming is an important motivator because it makes a difference in how you feel. When you dress your best and you look good, it will lift your whole countenance. If you begin the day with good grooming--a refreshing shower, hair arranged, skin-care and a little scent, you will feel that nomatter what happens, you are in a little more control, or at least you look like you are!

3. Work as Though You Expect Company.

After each assignment is complete, stand back and say "it is good."  You will enjoy going back to a finished room or looking at a book shelf you have just organized. There is a great feeling of satisfaction in completed tasks when you do them with company in mind. You want company to have an uncluttered house to sit in. You want to make your home nice for them. I used to plan company two weeks ahead so that I could be more motivated to put my house in order.

4. Go Beyond Mediocre.

While you could probably "get by" with a swipe at the kitchen or a quick removal of dirty dishes from the table, go beyond what is merely required, and remove debris, clean and perfect each area so that it looks finished, polished, and completed. Your personal job-satisfaction depends on how well you do the job. Do not be content just to declare it "passable", but make it excellent.

5. Give Yourself Rewards.

There are always things you wish you had more time for: a favorite publication, a cup of tea in a nice cup, a conversation with a friend, personal talents, learning some new skill, going for a walk, sewing or any number of things. Use these as rewards for finishing a job. Say to yourself, "When I get this job finished I am going to write some letters, (paint, sew, read, etc.)

Finally, think of your home as a Palace, where you reside over it in a queenly manner, seeing that everything is running smoothly. Think of your family as the most important people to you, Prepare your appearance as though your home was the most refined, most elegant place in the world to work, and work as though you are expecting important guests. Knowing that Christ is the unseen guest is the greatest motivation, since serving such a great King requires giving our best efforts.

Go here to print this for your homemaking notebook.

I hope you have a wonderful day, ladies and that you will leave me a comment about what motivates you at home. As I am just learning about making videos (I am always ten years behind everything!), I have only now completed one. I see lots of room for improvement, (I changed my mind several times but finally decided to let you see it with all the flaws) and I hope to do better next time. I only wish I had done this when I was a 20 years younger and a lot more photogenic ;-) I hope to get better at it, but in the meantime, I hope you will check it out, below:

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Enjoying The Year

Here we are in a new year, and perhaps many of us are writing down some plans and goals for the future. 

The New Testament talks about the future in a healthy manner  when it says:

 "..forgetting what lies behind, I press forward to the mark of the high calling of Christ Jesus."  (Philippians 3:13-14)

It is apparent from this verse that God approves of us setting goals and trying to press forward and achieve them. In other scriptures, the achievement of goals is likened to a race of an athlete who tries to make it to the finish line, or the marker. (Hebrews 12:1)

Observe, however, that pressing forward necessitates forgetting unproductive regrets and failures of the past. Instead, use these mistakes as reasons to start over and try again, with more determination. You can analyze where you "missed the mark" and try again.

If you are too often sad about missed opportunities, you may be living in the past. In the trials of life, you cannot keep regretting the prize you did not win. You have to try to get another prize. 

The plans you make must have the qualities of a higher calling. They must be of a noble nature; something worthwhile.  We cannot ask God to bless our plans if they are contrary to the good, the pure, the noble and the lovely.

I believe it is important to make some plans and goals and not drift through life with no apparent purpose.  Many years ago (maybe decades) my husband attended a class related to self-employment, which taught how to set goals and create steps to achieve them, and so today I will relate some of the main points of this lesson.

Using what he learned about setting goals, he accomplished in 18 months what many young people find to be overwhelming. In that time, he got out of debt, developed his career, bought a house, and got married.  He did this by creating smaller steps which he could accomplish daily.

Ladies at home benefit from setting goals, so here are a few ways to set achievable goals:

Setting and Reaching Worthwhile Goals

1.  Things for the present:

These are things that are easier to get, such as quick comforts for yourself and your family that make life a little easier and relieve the pressures of the world. They can be things that contribute to rest and relaxation, or things that give you a sense of well-being, that have nothing to do with the future, but with the present. These right-now, present goals will help you with contentmentcwhile you work on plans that take longer. Contentment is evidence of being happy in the "now." 

 Children respond to regularity in the home, where they know they will be eating at a certain time, reading at another time, bathing and sleeping at another time, and so forth. These habits are developed out of necessity but sometimes can be neglected, whereupon you may find your family less emotionally stable. You will find that listing a few present-time goals is very satisfying and reassuring to you and your family and add to your over-all contentment.

If you are happy and content, you are living in the present.

There has been a great deal of criticism of the idea of living for the moment or living in the present, but a Christian will keep in mind that although we learn from the past and hope for the future, we still must live in the present, hour by hour and day by day, and the present can be treated with great respect and appreciation by the things we do right now.  I believe a regard for the present has to be taught in childhood, but it can be learned later on, as well.

You can test the results of goal setting by making small, easily accomplished plans for the day and completing them. You may find it very freeing.

2. Things for tomorrow and for next week, or short-term goals: 

 In making your list for tomorrow or next week, be sure to allow for any kind of reasonable interruption, but keep the goal in mind and be sure to pick up where you left off as soon as the temporary crisis is past. For example, you may want to rearrange your furniture, organize your sewing room, catch up on correspondence, or start getting rid of things. Unexpectedly, you receive visitors, or there is a meeting you need to attend, or someone calls you and needs your help. Maybe you spill something or something in the house quits working. You have to put aside your own plans and take care of the matter.

 You will pay attention to the more urgent things that come up, and then go back to where you left-off  on the work you were doing. Always go back to the uncompleted thing. 

Short-term  goals are very important because it is encouraging to see instant success. In your daily life as a guide and guard of the home, your cooking, cleaning, teaching and encouraging are things you can see results from almost immediately and they bring a strong sense of personal contentment.

As you fulfill each goal, it is easier to enjoy a day, since that day was prepared by you before it arrived. 

3. Long-term goals: 

Set your sights on some things that will affect your future, and list them. It may be a place to live, a place to travel, or a private business of your own or something to do with teaching your children or improving manners. It could involve finding ways to protect your income and use it wisely. It could be making plans to invest or save.

 Maybe you want to take a course in something like art or cooking, cake-decorating, or calligraphy. You might want to take on a different direction with your blog, the classes you teach, the example you are showing, or any number of things.

 These long term goals can seem so distant that it may discourage you from listing them, but list them anyway. It is possible that many goals are not realized because the person was not interested.

Not every plan on your long-term list will be realized, but when the days come for the end of other goals, you will find yourself more confident and your family happier. The work done beforehand to achieve the things you put on your list will be finished and you can enjoy living in the present without worry or intense pressure.

 Interest will be the big key to listing and completing a goal.

Long-term goals can become the source of anxiety unless we learn to just list them and make day-by-day plans to complete them.

 Women tend to worry a lot about everything (family relations, impending disasters, security at home, financial stability, church things, and just about everything in the whole world) and so it is important that although you have long-term goals, you put it in the hands of the Lord. You say, "Lord, this is my desire, my request, and my hope for the future, if it be your will."  This does not mean you give up on any worthwhile dream or goal, but that you try not to stress over it. 

If you find yourself feeling anxious all the time, you are living in the future.   Although we "press toward" the mark, we must live in the present and use this present day to concentrate on a step for that high mark.

The next thing to do is take one goal and list the steps required to achieve that goal.  It can be learning to upholster a chair to taking a trip, buying a house, or creating a business.

1. Name the goal.
2. Gather information about it, through  books, searches, etc. 
3. Find the cost.
4. Gather the materials.
5. Make a list of everything you need to do, item by item.
6. Determine a start time and a finish time.
7. You may want to write on the calendar squares what to do each day until the goal is completed.

Test out this list with a small goal, such as catching up with the dish washing or cleaning a room:

Clean the guest room:
1. Remove bedding.
2. Replace sheets and pillowcases with clean ones.
3. Re-make bed.
4. Clean the surfaces of table, desk, dresser.
5. Remove unnecessary items.
6. Clean the floor and carpet.

The above is an example of making steps to achieve a goal.

I would recommend reading all you can about goal-setting and achieving, by doing a web-search, until you find an article that has steps you can follow.

Setting goals requires not just writing down personal plans and dreams for adventure and financial achievement, but taking a personal look at ourselves and listing the things we want to improve.

A Christian lady will always keep in mind that the foundation of  all of her plans and dreams and goals is her goal of pleasing the Lord and improving herself in His sight. She gently guides her family according to the spiritual values learns from the Word of God.  

I thought it essential to state this because there will be some physical goals that are essential in living life on this earth (maybe improving the house, making life more comfortable at home, helping children to appreciate the home, etc) that appear to be "materialistic" but have strong spiritual connections.

One important thing about setting goals is to have in mind the appreciation of the life God has given you and to get to see His hand in everything. When you make a goal of travelling or getting a new piece of furniture, it is ultimately so that you can serve the Lord in a better way.

(I feel I have to say this because there is always a religious philosopher who thinks we are not to be concerned about cleaning house, losing weight, improving our temperaments, or reach for higher goals of taking care of our families in the best way we possibly can. Such a philosophy teaches that it is affectatious and silly to want to improve our lot in life. This belief can cause people to live far below the excellence they are created for and capable of.)

Some of the self-improvement areas to consider may be things like the following, which you may want to choose a couple of things from:

Abundant living

Increasingly skills and knowledge

Correcting health problems and maintaining natural health

Improving posture  

Improving our manner of speaking 

Better and more thoughtful communication (answering calls and mail, calling those who need our encouragement, keeping in touch with those who have benefited us, and with those we wish to benefit)

Being more honoring of those God has put in our lives.

Develop listening skills (this is really an enjoyable thing to teach children)

Being more organized

Find new ways to extend hospitality

Teaching the things we know and value

Helping someone else with their goals in life

Being more organized in your office with paperwork

More organization in the kitchen

Effective Bible study, Prayer

Learning a skill that can help you in your particular walk in life

Material goals can include home repairs, house improvement, a new kitchen, new windows, a new door, and other material things that suit your needs.

Goals are seen in many areas of life, that you may not realize. For example, a book that tells you how to repair something or make something has the step-by-step directions from beginning to end, in the order necessary to complete the project. Even a lesson on how to wash dishes includes the logical steps to completion. When you cook, there is a goal which is reached by making simple steps in an order that leads to the finished product.

So dear ladies, while we do live in the present, the past and the future can be used to help us live happily in the today of our lives. We plan for the future because it makes us less anxious and we can relax, knowing the goals and the steps. We learn from the past and we can be happy knowing that we know better than to make the same mistakes and we can be wiser.

This concludes what I have to say, at least for now, on goal setting. I thought you would enjoying seeing how Philippians 3:13-14 is written in the KJV, and the Tyndale Bibles.

Philippians 3:13-14 [Full Chapter] King James date - 16ll
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do,forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Tyndale Bible: approximately 1522-35
 William Tyndale. Tyndale’s Bible is credited with being the first English translation to work directly from Hebrew and Greek texts.

It says: "Brethren, I count not my self that I have gotten it: but one thing I say: I forget that which is behind and stretch my self unto that which is before, and press unto the mark appointed, to obtain the reward of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."

Notice the words "I stretch myself." 

 I like this, because it sounds like a person trying to reach
something on a high shelf; a truly picturesque way of 

describing the act of "pressing forward."

Here is how it is originally written:

 (the original spelling is below:)
13 Brethren I counte not my silfe that I have gotten it: but one thynge I saye: I forget yt which is behynde and stretche my silfe vnto that which is before 
14 and preace vnto ye marke apoynted to obtayne the rewarde of the hye callynge of god in Christ Iesu.

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