Saturday, October 31, 2015

An Artist's Studio



There are times when I feel there is nothing of interest to post. Someone told me that even if I posted a cup of tea, there would people people out there who would be brightened by it and would give them a bit of a lift. Today I am sharing the place I go outside, temperature permitting, to make my little sketches.  The good thing about having an outside studio is there is no distraction from all the indoor things there are to do!

I have not painted in awhile but hope to have something to share soon!  Today is Saturday, and I am making communion bread as well as ironing shirts and finding all the things we need, as well as getting the house cleaned so that we can function smoothly in the morning.  My goal is to paint a picture by the end of the day.





Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A Lovely Visit


As one of our snow birds is going to warmer climes for  the winter, I arranged to have her invited to an afternoon tea before she leaves...


...so up the mountain we travelled to see these lovely people who love to have tea.

One of the girls in the family uses patterns you rub on the pumpkin, as carving outlines.


Here is the tea table all set out.

She used this Wild rose print China from her Grandmother's collection.  It looked new, and she said her grandmother valued it so much as it was such a fine set, and used it rarely, but for special occasions.  It made such a nice impression on the table.

She also made this pumpkin roll, which is a quick bread with cream cheese.  It was just perfect.

This is a rose carving on a pumpkin. They set the carved pumpkins over led light candles turned on and off with a remote.
Everything was bright.

Little touches of delight were tucked in corners of desks and shelves to make things colorful.


Everything sparkled!


I hope you felt the joy of this visit and will duplicate it some way in your own home for your family!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Christian Lady and Hospitality


1887

 
By: Henry Dunkin Shepard Item #: 10324204



Greetings, Dear Ones,

I know most ladies are very busy and usually have a myriad of things they must be doing, including things they did not have time to do yesterday! 

 I believe it is essential to Christian ladies to extend hospitality and also to have hospitality extended to them. It is like getting the best ingredients  "from afar" (Proverbs 31:14) to make life taste good.


Times for Hospitality:

-It is important to extend or experience hospitality during bereavement. Having a visit with someone can fill up the lonely moments when they are missing someone the most.

-Giving hospitality when someone has crossed your mind; when you have been thinking about them and have not seen them in awhile.

-Inviting someone to visit, or visiting them, when you notice they may not have many friends or much social interaction with people.



Sometimes the seasons or days that are darker, colder, more isolating, or less prosperpous, are perfect times to extend an invitation. Maybe your neighbor, your relative, or the preacher's wife :-) needs company.  It might seem like an inconvenience to offer hospitality, but let us consider this: all real Christianity is inconvenient. Our life was not designed to be "at ease in Zion"  (Amos 6:1) where Christian duty is concerned.  We are told by the New Testament to be rich in good works! (1 Timothy 6:18).



1Peter 4:9  Use hospitality one to another without grudging.

Two kinds of hospitality I want to deal with in this post are: hospitality extended by you, and hospitality extended to you.

The above photo shows one of the tea cups I am going to give away at the Preacher's Wives Afternoon Tea I am having in November.  I thought it had an interesting old-world style in the design, and is also very fancy and rich looking!



Hospitality You Extend:

Things to remember about this are:

-Your house will never be in perfect enough order to have guests, so just have a clean kitchen and bathroom and a presentable seating area.  It is tempting to repaint and refurbish, especially when a house needs so much care, but a person whom you have shown kindness to will always appreciate the warmth of a cup of tea and a sandwich, and you do not know what good you can do by that small act of hospitality.

-There is never a perfect time to show hospitality.  It is too hot, too cold, to rainy, too busy, and we are are too low on money or are waiting for personal problems to settle down, but there are lonely souls who do not care, and wish someone would visit them or invite them.

-Not everyone can share their homes for hospitality, but they can pack a basket and take a refreshment to someone and leave it on the doorstep or serve it and and share it with someone at a park or on the beach or a tailgate of a vehicle.  Keep people's age and personal comfort in mind, as some people are more comfortable in their own homes or would rather come and have tea at your house.

-Get used to being turned down.  It is surprising how institutionalized many people are, and though they have no hesitation in eating out or going to a cafeteria or a deli with friends, a home invitation to afternoon tea is foreign to them. You will suffer many strange remarks such as "I can't do anything like this myself, and I can't do it as well as you, so I don't want to come."  

When I was growing up, I was encouraged to find out how people did things, and to learn to emulate the Christian ladies who invited me to their homes. I was told that by observing, I could learn how to duplicate their hospitality in my life.  The thirst to learn and know more about hospitality is on the wan but we can revive it by showing hospitality.

-Help your guests become good hostesses by offering your help when they want to return the favor or invite ladies for tea.  Encourage them to invite you back!  Too often the preacher's wife or another capable lady spoils everyone by hosting everyone in her home, not expecting any return invitations. We really need to teach people to return hospitality willingly.  It is not good for other people's spiritual growth to always give them a pass if they never return your hospitality. Tell them it would really give you a bright spot in your day you if they would invite you over sometime.

You might say you would love to come and see them, sometime, too!  This would encourage other ladies to show hospitality.

 We are supposed to "out-do" one another in good works!  (Hebrews 10:24)

 When we invite someone after they have invited us, don't let it appear that they are just being paid back, which comes across as being a duty-invitation and very mechanical.  Often those who pay you back will never invite you of their own free will or their own inspiration.  They only invite you after attending your little event.  We should encourage ladies to feel the excitement and rejuvenation of hospitality in their own homes and invite people on a whim, not just to appear to be paying back. (Although reciprocating is very important).

 They should "feel" the excitement of hospitality and do it willingly, reaching out.  Have you ever considered that reaching out is opposite to being pulled?  When you reach out, no one has to ask you to do something. Reaching out means you are looking for  way to give of yourself.

-Extend hospitality even if you have not had a return invitation.  There are some people who are legitimately unable to open their homes due to their special circumstances, but should not be left out of your hospitality.

-Do it for other's sake: those who are lonely are especially needy of hospitality.  I know a few ladies who went "all-out" for hospitality for decades, and then when they were lonely, people forgot about them.

-Do it for your own sake. Hospitality makes you feel good.  You are motivated to get your house freshened up, maybe getting some new tea towels and fancy napkins at the dollar store, creating a pretty table setting or getting your rooms ready for a house tour. 

-Dress well. Your guests are so uplifted by your fresh appearance.  Ladies who want to dress more like ladies will go away wanting to dress in a special way.  You can be a big influence regarding feminine dress! If you sew, and the invitations are a few weeks in advance, take time to make a simple, colorful dress and apron.  If you do not sew and don't have time, try your thrift stores or discount stores for a new skirt or blouse just to make the event special.  Your appearance will determine the first impression of the atmosphere in your home, and set your guest's mood.


-Consider using the post for far-away friends who need a lift. There are a lot of things you can put in a package that say hospitality from afar!


-"Without Grudging" is important, so if you are not feeling well, are upset, or someone has been rude to you, wait a while before showing hospitality.  Be in the best mood possible. Having hospitality too late in the day when you are tired, or too early that you feel rushed, or at a time when you know you will not be good company, is not a good idea.  You can also take hospitality to someone if you are not able to do so n your home.  There are some "off" times for hospitality but there are also some very good times.

-If possible, keep things on hand at home that would provide an impromptu hospitality situation.

-Develop a sense of hospitality. That means you are always ready to extend it if needed and you are on the lookout for anyone who needs it.  It will give a hospitable nature to your character.

Since I depend very much on your opinions, please leave a lot of comments on this post!


Party

 
By: George Sheridan Knowles Item #: 10606286

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Tea Room


Hello Dear Ones,

Today I visited a lovely tea room called "Indulgences" which has been rated with a lot of "best food" restaurant report cards, recommendations and awards.

The server told us that people are welcome to sit at the tables and just visit if they want to and that they encourage people to do that. One of the staff pointed to some people at another table who had been sitting there for three hours!  I so appreciated that they liked people enough to welcome them staying on longer than their tea or their meal.  It makes the place look busy and friendly.

   My camera was not doing very well so my pictures are disappointing, but I will share the few pictures that are almost clear. The tea room is also a place where vendors create little shops all around the room and sell their interesting wares, from antiques to hand made to new.

Vintage Laura Ashley decorator pillows: those English rose prints are still exciting to see.





This display looks like a classic old painting from the 1800's, doesn't it?


An interesting sentiment! Yes, it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness! Create sunshine around you as much as you can with whatever you have. I was glad to be reminded of this today!





These candles had very unique names and scents. This one is called "Tree Lot" --the fragrance of a tree lot!  It actually smelled quite nice but the price was really high so I didn't get one. But I shall be going back to smell it and some of the other flavors too!

I just thought I would share this with you and let you know sometimes you can find places to visit when you need to go out, that do not depress you, have annoying music, or assault your senses with things that are abrasive or disagreeable, and if you have a place like this in your area, be sure and visit it.

And ladies, be sure to check the previous post. I have added another article on the "Elect Lady Series" that I have been trying to create. I want to do more of these subjects, Lord Willing, and try to create tracts and fold-over bulletins from them if I can, so that they can be printed from this blog.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Christian Lady and Envy

                                  The Visitors







Hello Dear Ladies,

There have been frequent requests in my inbox to address the problem of envy.
Envy is the unenviable quality of resenting someone's accomplishments, talent and
prosperity, abilities, strengths, or desiring it for themselves (without working for it).

I do love your comments, so please give me some feedback on this post and 
tell me what your experience is, or what some of your solutions are.

A Country Greeting


By: Nicky Boehme Item #: 12815430

From the time we were children, our parents taught us not to allow envy to be any
part of our lives.  To think about what others were doing or what others had was a
waste of time that could be spent finding and developing your own abilities.

When tempted to envy a family or friend because of a gift they received or some
good fortune, we were told that if you examine your life, you will see you have
some advantages and things the other person does not have.  

One lady I know whose mother had died and left her possessions to her divide up 
between the women of the family, found that she had been denied the privilege of
choosing the things in her mother's estate that she treasured the most.  One of the
other relatives had gone to the house earlier than the agreed time, and taken what
she wanted and divided up the rest to distribute to the others, rather than wait to find
 out what was fair to the others.

A Pathway of Color


By: Nicky Boehme Item #: 12815978






True to her excellent home training, the lady sized up the situation and noted that her sisters
and cousins had not had very smooth lives; they were full of sorrow and sickness, 
personal loss, material loss and financial instability. She mentally relinquished all
the sentimental things these women had taken without consulting with her. She looked at her
own life and counted it rich, because she had a long, happy marriage, loving children, 
and had lived in the same house for many years.  

Because of the instability in the lives of some of these relatives, they could not keep these 
things for long.  My friend inherited furniture and household items that  she never thought she
would own. Her relatives gave them to her whenever they
had to move or when they lost interest in keeping them. She got all of her mothers
things that she treasured. Had she allowed envy to absorb her, the outcome might have
been vastly different.


Autumn Overtures


By: Nicky Boehme Item #: 12815619





Dealing With Personal Envy:

My friends, we know that the Bible shows the tragic consequences of envy from the many 
examples recorded there. The New Testament, a book for this new age, warns against
envy in several places, including Titus 3:3, I Timothy 6:3-4, and James 5:5.  

When you envy someone, it is a waste of time and adversely affects your health. 
I cannot emphasize strongly enough the necessity of ridding your life of real envy.
This is not the same as telling a friend that you envy her the sweet nature she has or
the kind of good cook and housekeeper she is. That is a harmless statement. What I 
am speaking of is the kind of envy that results in resentment and wishing someone would
fail.

On the other hand, we should always rejoice when others succeed in something
that is good, because that success will always benefit you and others in some 
way. Someone's success has a way of making life bright for others. It is always
uplifting to see someone's progress in life and it is depressing to see someone
on a downward spiral in life. There is therefore no reason to be envious of 
anyone who is happy or doing well. 


Springtime Hideaway


By: Nicky Boehme Item #: 12813532



Dealing With Other's Envy


While you may be like the lady who was taught from childhood how to avoid envy,
not everyone shares these good values.

 Even when most of us do not consider ourselves particularly "successful" , 
envious people can cause disturbance and
make life miserable.  They can simply feel petulant because you are happy. They may
dislike the fact you are content or have a little talent. 

When I was first confronted with envy many years ago, I was grieved that someone
had something against me and I made every attempt to reconcile and make it
right with the envious person. Eventually I had to admit that there are some
people who let envy blind them so much that they lose their ability to reason
and to think logically.  Nothing I could say or do would appease them. 

One source of envy apparently came from hospitality. Mindful of their Christian
duty to share hospitality and share their homes with others, some ladies extended
generosity, even including gifts, to other ladies.  There were those who became envious
during their visit and spread around that she had more money than they did or was living
better than others.  They did not take into consideration that this lady was opening
the home to them and making herself available for them each week. She could have
pursued her own selfish interests or made headway in things she was behind in, but 
instead, put these ladies first.  If this lady had not been generous, the envious
ones would not be sitting there enjoying her hospitality!  Envious people cut off and destroy
the things they need!

Envious people never take the generosity of their hostess
into consideration. There they sit in the comfort of her home, eating her food and drinking
her tea, and still feel envious.    The proper thing to do when feeling envy is to find out
how you can duplicate her example and be a better person, and build a good reputation 
for yourself by extending hospitality to women who are lonely or need fellowship.

 It can really bother you that someone is envious and you can start
 feeling so guilty that you cannot
enjoy your life anymore.  Their remarks can get into your mind and you think 
about it all day long, never really focusing on the current moment and never
able to smile again and be happy. It is like a death sentence.

 It is important not to let thoughts of an envious person rule your mind. Think
 on things that are lovely and good.  It might be beneficial to look up all 
the Bible references on the word "mind" to see what God has to say about the 
care of the mind.  Just as too much dreary talk and bad news is harmful to the 
health of your mind, dwelling on the comments of an envious person can destroy
your mind.  We are supposed to keep our minds "sound." (2 Timothy 1:7)

There is always the envious person who wants what you have.  The person may 
devise schemes to deal you out of something you have earned, to get rid of your
influence, to deprive you of your sense of well-being. They may want your house.
They may want to divide the loyalties of  your family. They may think you are too well-off. 



 Envious people will not believe the truth. They will believe a lie more easily. 
Once a lie is planted in their minds
they cling to it.  What is alarming about this is the way it has spread into our
culture, a culture that once was admired for maturity and optimism and a can-do 
attitude. Our country is now brought low by petty envying and lack of logic.

As Christian ladies, we can lift up our families and churches by rising above the 
trivial talk and instead praise what is good. Dealing with an envious person can 
be a real challenge, as the envious person wants others to think you are undeserving, 
critical and conceited. The envious person needs to be corrected, educated and limited
as to the amount of socializing he or she has with you and your family.



Christian ladies can find refuge from envy by immersing themselves in the work of the home that
God has given them. Doing an excellent work at home, keeping the family cared for and protected, is the best example to an envious person. Let the sting of envy be a trigger to do more excellently in
life. "My courage always rises with every attempt to intimidate me," said Jane Austen in "Pride and Prejudice."  Envious people want to intimidate you and make you feel subservient to them. But we know that we must submit to and obey God, rather than man. (Acts 5:29)  The next time someone sends a stinging envy remark, use it as a signal to do something lovely for yourself and  your family or a friend.

The following poem expresses the need to keep going when someone tries to debilitate or demoralize you.  I particularly like the phrase in one of the stanza's: "There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done, There are thousands to prophesy failure;"  Is not this so true?  One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to talk of your dreams and ambitions  within the hearing of an envious
person because he or she will immediately tell you it cannot be done. Usually an envious person is good at debate and will quickly contradict anything you say. ( Teach your children to stop answering debate and contradictory conversation, lest they learn their ways. )  Do not allow the envious to stop you from living! 

It Couldn’t Be Done

By Edgar A. Guest

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,
    But, he with a chuckle replied
That "maybe it couldn’t," but he would be one
    Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
    On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
    That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed: "Oh, you’ll never do that;
    At least no one has done it";
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
    And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
    Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
    That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
    There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
    The dangers that wait to assail you.
But just buckle it in with a bit of a grin,
    Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
    That "couldn’t be done," and you’ll do it.

 Water Lilies, by Alfred Glendenning

Some people will give up living their good dreams and even their spiritual desires because they
are afraid of making someone envious. They do not want to be the cause of envy in someone else's life, so they live in a boring, mediocre way, not pursuing any interests or talents, not going anywhere or improving their lives in any way. They may be able to afford to travel or build a new house, but they are too intimidated by the naysayers and the envious.  It reminds me of a poem my mother read to us when we were young, called "He Made No Mistakes."  It is not about envy,
but it shows the reaction many of us have to the critics and the envious. 

HE MADE NO MISTAKES 

He made no mistakes, took no wrong road,
No, never fumbled the ball.
He never went down ‘neath the weight of a load,
He simply did…NOTHING AT ALL!!! 

He lost no hard fight in defense of the right;
Never bled with his back to the wall.
He never felt faint in his climb to the light,
He simply did…NOTHING AT ALL!!! 

So death came nigh for life slips by,
And he feared the judgment hall.
When they asked him why, he said with a sigh, 
“I simply did…NOTHING AT ALL.” 

God will pardon your mistakes, my friend,
And regard with pity your fall;
But the one big sin that He will not mend
Is simply to do…NOTHING AT ALL. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Walk

I
I like the soft colors: the deep red, light green, sage, soft pinks and seafoam green in this painting called

Down Pour

 
By: LaVere Hutchings Item #: 8650485

And today dear ladies I want to make it Go-For- A-Walk day, at least for me.  If you want to join in, all you need is to go for a walk some time today or when you happen upon this post, no matter what day, and mentally note what you hear, see, smell or feel.  If the weather is not suitable, you can, like ladies used to do, go for an inside-the-house walk.  You can make a route for yourself and appreciate everything you see or hear or sense along the way, outside or inside.  

Here is something I am sharing from my walk:


 I perched my cup on the swing seat while I continued on the path.  Here, it has rained a bit and so I had "raindrop tea" outside. Walking is a way of treating the senses to the sounds and scents and sights and feeling of the day.

This is a rare tea cup I found at a Goodwill, and since I like cottages and houses, it is one I value a lot.  These kind with cottages on them are not easy to find around here. 


After a few daily walks, you will begin to pack some take-a-walk supplies, like a basket with a camera, notebook/sketchbook, an extra shawl or sweater, or just a bag to collect interesting things.


A walk creates a different way of thinking, and kind of relieves the mind of worry.

There is an organization called the News that continually broadcasts worry, and women are very adept at worrying about everything in the world.  Jesus said "My peace I give unto you." 

John 14:27  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.




Other places in the New Testament say Christians are supposed to pursue peace, which means to go after it.  And yet, the news can be so upsetting as to make ladies at home take their eyes off the duties God gave them, particularly guarding the home and paying attention to their husband and children.  It is a serious waste of a good mind to allow it to dwell on the negative that you can do nothing about, and it can also harm your health.

We know the world is not at peace, and so does God, but we should especially know that God wants Christian women to be at peace. 

  I knew a woman who spent most of her life worrying about the end of the world and it caused her to have no interest in pursuing the good and the lovely things of life.  She died from problems relating to anxiety, and had wasted many days watching and listening to the news media reports of every known negative thing.

If you are being affected by the news, try a three day media fast.  If you feel isolated by it, substitute a "yes" for a "no" by visiting the beautiful and positive blogs on my blogroll and the blogs on other people's blog lists.  There you will find people sharing interesting things they are doing. This good news in real life, and probably more authentic than some of the news you hear on national media. This is something that can only bring good into your life. 

Look around you and noticed that no matter what the news on any given day, life goes on.  The trucks go past on the highway full of food and merchandise to stock the stores.  Notice the shelves in the market places that have things you may be looking for to make your family more comfortable and your house a nice place to spend many happy hours.  The continual bad news does not stop the market from going on, so why do some ladies put their dreams on hold til something is sorted out in the world? 

The real news that matters is the actual things that make a difference in your life every day: what the sermon was about in church on Sunday, what your children are learning, things your family has done, the hospitality you have given, and the trucks still coming down the road with food and fabric for the stores you visit. :-). I live in a place where the sounds of tractors and trucks is so loud I have to close my doors and windows, but it is all good news to me.  When I see the logging trucks with the huge loads of timber, and later the trucks loaded with packages of lumber, I know someone is going to be able to get the materials they need, to build a house. When I hear the farm tractors and see the trucks loaded with pumpkins, it is my news.  Someone is employed, someone's land is yielding a good crop, and someone is living life as it should be led.  When all this passes by my road, I know that there is a lot in this world that is orderly and sensible. Generally, what is right in front of you is what you will get your news and your contentment from.

Our work at home must continue, no matter what the world reports.  Think of all the good and creative things that can be done in the home while time is wasted in worry.  Even if you do get some things accomplished, if you carry the hype and the anxiety  of the world in your mind, you lose the ability to focus and concentrate and enjoy the beautiful minutes of daily life. When you feel worry coming on, substitute a yes for a no, and treat yourself and your loved ones to something good and uplifting. 

In future posts I hope to make suggestions for things to do that will replace negative thoughts and worry, that will also bring progress in your life.  For today, just take a little walk.  Maybe you can carry a little basket or hand made nature bag to collect delicate flowers or leaves or things to make an indoor arrangement, or maybe you can use the time to listen, to breath slowly and deeply (there is probably a lovely blog by that name:-) and to get some data for your little notebook. This notebook has to be your good-times book where you record whatever is lovely. 

 More and more I see why the Word of God empasizes filling the mind with whatever is good and beautiful and tells us to guard our hearts and mind from dwelling on the things that bring our moods down and take our attention off the important things of home.  In the long run, the news reports will not make a better day at home for you or help you get your list of things to do fulfilled.  The news will not help you or motivate you to get your house cleaned up, your laundry or dishes washed. However, there are some motivational videos you can watch or listen to that are designed to help you do your best.  Substitute these good broadcasts for the depressing news broadcasts. 

Also, if you have lived more than half a century, you come to realize that it has always been bad news and we have never been able to fix it.  It's a mistake to think we can fix the world, and it will drive you crazy when you don't make an progress at it.  However, you can fix your home, clean your house, learn to cook, sew, paint, teach, and a myriad of things that can't be numbered.  There is so much to do and see and learn, we wonder why anyone has time to hear the bad news.  Stay with the good news and see how much better your life gets.

Other things I have done today:

Laid out my fall fabrics so I can cut out some things...I really like that salmon/coral color...


Sketched the things I want to paint in my old Bible,


...and tried to figure out how to get the pages pasted back in place.  You will see a colorful waterfall and some nice lettering on these pages when I get it finished.


I have done my preliminary sketch for this dress on some good paper that I am trying out, but have been a bit delayed as I am trying to find a good eraser.  School erasers alter the grain of the paper too much.  I have a little collection of ideas here, including a picture of a window with curtains. 

When I as exploring the new Hobby Lobby store in my area, I found a free flyer that showed a picture of a fake cake made with florals, similar to ones I have made in the past. I want t make a  new one now for a centerpiece and add scent.


A chalkboard from Dollar Tree for my motivational saying,


...and a used book with patterns for making doll dresses out of fancy handkerchiefs and old crochet pieces.




There has not been time to finish any of these things because the cleaning lady, cook, laundry crew, gardener, secretary and hostess did not come today and I have to do it all!


Spring at Dogtown

 
By: LaVere Hutchings Item #: 8650494

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