Tuesday, January 17, 2006

More Hours in My Day

Emilie Barnes' website http://www.morehours.bizland.com is very encouraging to women who want to be good homemakers, wives and others, while adding meaning and beauty to their lives. Click on the side subjects on the left and go through all of these. Her book, "The Spirit of Loveliness" has great ideas about making every room in the house a joy to be in, as well as the outer perimeters of the house--the garden and the front porch. No matter how small your dwelling is, it is the homemaker's responsibility and domain. She, and she alone, is responsible to give it the atmosphere she desires. She may use the help of members of her family, and websites such as Emily Barnes , but it is her duty to see that it is done. No one else is going to do it unless she can afford to hire someone.

I recall dreaming, when I was a child, of having a place of my own, but as time went by I met with disappointment after disappointment. We were not going to get our "dream home." We were never going to have things exactly as we liked it. By reading some of these inspirational books about the home and family, I learned how to create that dream within the circumstances that I was given. You can do this too. No matter where you are, your place of living can be made peaceful and lovely.

Most women get bored and discouraged with the cleaning and organizing of the home. This is where beauty can be added to motivate them to do the less pleasant tasks. Scented soaps for the bathroom, a sparkly candleholder for the dining room, and a bouquet of flowers for the coffee table, all add that little reward to cleaning each room. These can all be bought at dollar stores throughout the world, or you can innovate with things on hand. Nothing can stop you, if you really want to be a good homemaker and have a beautiful home. He who is faithful in little, will be faithful in much. Take care of what you have now, and you will find that one day you'll be in charge of something greater. We must all be good stewards. It brings great rewards.

I've listened to women complain that they never had anything nice. They wanted a nice home and a good family, but they didnt' work for it. Now, they are envious of those who had these dreams. The ones who made it, stuck to their principles and stood by their commitment to the home and family. The ones who gave up, did not mulitiply their blessings.

Anything that is worth doing at all, is worth doing well.

Good, better, best;
Never let it rest,
Til your good is better,
And your better, best.


Anonymous said...

Once again, a delightful and encouraging word to spur us to good works!

I'll have to check out the suggested website when I have more time.

Marie said...

Similar thoughts:

Godliness with contentment is great gain.

Bloom where you are planted.

Anonymous said...

Emilie Barnes is one of my favorite authors and I have had the priviledge of attending one of her seminars. She is a very inspiring and motivating Christian woman. Thanks for being another source of encouragement, too, Lady Lydia!

Mary Ann said...

I also really enjoy books by Emilie Barnes. My sister has her book about decorating , I think it is called Decorating on a Budget.(Very good little book!)It can be easy to become discouraged when friends have new furniture and nicer houses, etc., but I do enjoy the challenge of making my small home with its hand-me-down furniture as appealing and comfortable as possible on my even smaller budget! Great post!

Anonymous said...

Thank you - your statement about never getting your dream home was touching. My husband and I will be hopefully moving into a new home - bigger than I ever imagined I would ever live in. But oh how I wailed - The yard is tiny! I'm 10 feet from my neighbor on either side! I am unable to have a private backyard! What am I to do with the children!!!! So it's got some "failings" and that is all I could see. I needed to be remined to be grateful. Thank you Lady Lydia - God Bless You!!!!

Kathleen in Illinois said...

For those ladies who are unhappy because they cannot afford the pretty things in the magazines:

I found many a lovely item at my local everything's-a-dollar store, or at the local Salvation Army and Goodwill stores (still regret not buying that beautiful oval mirror with the gold frame and rose at the top for only $5!), and garage sales. I found beautiful baskets for 25 cents or so at garage sales; some needed refreshing with paint, others not. I found an unfinished willow-type basket at a craft store in their bargain bin; it was originally $39.99, marked down to $5, because a few of the canes were broken. I was able to work the broken ends back into the weave, add a touch of hot glue, then "paint" with the combination of stain and finish (Minwax?), resulting in a basket that matched one in a very pricey "stuff store" (as I called them) for $59.99.... I loved going to the Salvation Army and Goodwill stores for "crystal" candle holders, brass pots from India that only needed polishing, formerly-loved embroidered linens, table covers with small tears or holes (that could be covered with a vase of flowers, or a tea pot), etc. In fact, I amassed so many finds that I began giving them as gifts! My limit was $10 per item, and it needed to be really nice for that price...I found the candle holders for typically 50 cents to $1.... I was able to put together a blue and white table for a small get-together that cost me approximately $10, including the silk flowers, the fabric purchased for the table cover and napkins (on sale), the candle holders AND candles (again the everything-a-dollar store), etc. AND it was raved about for weeks....

So we need to realize we can see the treasure under the dust and dirt, and we can have nice things.

Sorry, I really didn't mean to go on this long........

Kathleen in IL

Lydia said...

I have sufferred the same regrets! The moral of it is "if you see something you like, and it is practically free, get it and worry about what to do with it later." I once saw a beautiful children's cabinet for about $5.00 that had a door on one side for a closet and shelves on the other side. I didn't like the style of the knobs on the door or the embellishments ont the shelf edges and I passed it up. Later I learned you can replace the knobs and handles on things with ones that you like, or paint over them. We can learn to see things made over, or look at at item with a "possibility" attitude. That cabinet would have worked well as a pantry, a bathroom towel-holder, a china cabinet, or a book shelf, not to mention a nice bedroom piece.

Lydia said...

Speaking of formerly-loved linens and crocheted pieces: I had an abundance of them that were given to me when someone moved on to a more modern decorating scheme. I lined them up on an over-the-window shelf for a beautiful valance.

Others take the torn ones and cut out pieces that are whole, to use in quilts.

One cottage industry I have seen, takes old linens and makes them up into things for babies: bonnets, jackets, pillow cases.