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The artists lovely painting of the path leading to the humble cottage makes me think of the importance of home life, and how the values we cherish must be guarded. These may include simple things like contentment and quietness, minding our own business, creativity, engrossing work, our family sayings and beliefs, our personal possessions and land, our lineage and the enriching history of our ancestors, or the love of beauty and the love of music. I have pondered that a little bit today, and found a few things that might help maintain that "little piece of heaven on earth" which we call home.
A Thicket of Blackberries Against the Sky
Planning or pursuing moments of deliberate delight in a day can bring rest to the home. There has to be one place in the world that is free from anxiety. Observing something beautiful and thinking of something delightful each day, on purpose, results in tranquility that will be passed on to the family. This is where the little journal-art book can be used. Just one sentence a day with a little sketch or artful sticker can make you aware of the importance of a single day. If you are depressed or discouraged, try to pull from within your mind one good thing to write down. If this is not possible, find one good thing to say out loud.
Forming a personal tradition of taking tea will encourage others to partake of the ceremony with you. It just has to be a cup of tea. I have also found that the walk is essential in the daily life of a homemaker, as a tradition to preserve. Walking to the mail box, to a scenic area, or to a place you like, can be one of your daily delights. This and other things can be included on in your daily life and over the years will reap blessings.
Mentally feed on the good, the pure and the lovely, and it will stabilize your mind in later years. It is not too late for the over-50-age group to replace grim attitudes with be-happy attitudes or beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-16). This text shows the source of true happiness.
Leisure with the purpose of refreshing your mind and getting your thoughts sorted out is a type of relaxation that builds the body and mind. This can be in the form of sitting in a rocking chair on the porch, holding a child's hand as he walks with you on a meander through the garden, taking tea with a friend or by yourself, creating something of beauty, and anything that gives you a sigh of happiness.
Boreas, by John William Waterhouse
Speaking the positive when handling the negative. In another post, I have addressed the problem of the negative, naysayer friends who will seek your help. These people are always drawn to those who have consistent lives and foundational beliefs. They see your life and want it for themselves without having to endure the hardships or do the things that bring it about. They do not see each trial as a step to being an over-comer or being stronger. Wanting relief without solving the actual problem, they become a burden to friends and neighbors.
It is so important not to allow the fearful, negative speaking people to put a cloud of doubt over your life. It is also important to be kind and polite to them, but it is not necessary to let their moods dominate yours. We have seen how so many homemaking blogs have put these people in their place by not giving them an inch into their blogs and not allowing them to poison the atmosphere with condemning, complaining, accusations, control, and other things that belong in the dark. While it is admirable to counsel such people from the good of your heart, I believe caution is necessary. I addressed it in this post.
Identifying the happy moments that were created for you by others. It is very helpful to think back to the last time you were truly happy and content. Analyze the details. What kind of day was it? What were you doing? Wearing? Thinking? Who were you talking to? What was the atmosphere of your home? What were the scents, the scenes and the sounds? Go back to doing the things you used to do when you were the most whole. For some people, it means getting out the knitting they were working on, and finding all the favorite books and magazines they were reading at the time. One woman recently told me of a small thing she did which helped her greatly to renew her mind and be at peace. She merely bought a calligraphy doodling pen and a notebook, sat down to enjoy a cup of tea and just doodled. She was not trying to be clever. She was trying to relax, and enjoying it very much. With a relaxed, clear mind, she is more able to speak without the tense, impatient edge in the voice that besets some people.
Look back also on the happy events in your life before you became a homemaker, that were created by your own parents: a happy place in the house, perhaps, that was created just for you, a new doll, your first record player, and other small moments of delight. Transport yourself to the sunny days of youth when the cares and burdens were light. This is a good source of strength in times of uncertainty or stress.
by Susan Rios
Re-designing thought habits to reflect the determination to rise above things. We have had in each of our lives, public figures who have preached the happiness message. We may have a tendency to think the songs and sayings are cute and trite but they are very important. "Life is a gift: untie the ribbons," was one of these familiar sayings. Songs like "Keep on the Sunny Side," or the lyrics: "Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, start all over again." We have had poets and singers in our own times who spread the message of rising above defeat and starting over. There is even a modern saying that God is the God of beginning again. So, there is encouragement all around us if we really want to find it.
Minding the business of your home is essential in finding delight in life. It may require a change in what you listen to or what you worry about. It may require being a little more appreciative of the day's delights. If you want to see the changes in yourself and the effect it has on your home and family, try keeping a journal for a few days in which you record things you have over come, or ways around obstacles or defeating a problem. You might record little moments of delight that helped distract you from something. If you are used to looking on the dark side of everything, you might find such a diary beneficial when you slip back into old thought patterns.
Queen Anne's Lace
The home is the ideal place to practice delight-living because you are not regulated by any government or workplace than your own. It is here you determine the schedule and life that is works best for you, so it is here that you can create spots of delight in a day's time. One lady I know who has small children says she enjoys her daily walk down the road from her house to the mail box. It is her re-creation time.
In our world of mindless chatter and constant communication, let us not lose touch with the delights of ordinary life that was experienced by each generation before us. If you are home schooling, this might be a subject you could explore with your children, finding things to do or think about that are good, pure and lovely.
Sunday at the Shore
by Susan Rios
Try also creating places of delight in your house so that each room or hall you walk past will have something in it you can appreciate: a plant in a pretty pot, a shelf of special books, a place setting at the table, a chair on the porch, a stack of letters you have received, a quilt on the back of a couch, and much more. Letter writing, picture drawing, picnics (the old fashioned kind), art, music, hand-work (sewing, etc) and many other things enjoyed by our great grandmothers can be revived to enjoy today and get the same results of tranquility in a rapidly changing culture. In order to accomplish this, there must be a determined effort to put away fear and gloom and replace it with happiness.
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