Sunday, December 03, 2006

Benefits of the Harmonious Home


I just wanted as many people as possible to see my article in the Lady Lydia Speaks section of Ladies Against Feminism. Click on www.ladiesagainstfeminism.org and scroll down to Manners: Showing Respect and Honor at Home.

Occasionally, someone misunderstands the Ladies Against Feminism website, but we are for marriage, preventing divorce, teaching our children well, and being all we can be as homemakers. Jennie Chancey and I teamed up several years ago and created this site to help women understand that their homes and families needed them full time.We hope to encourage men to be providers and make it easy for their wives to stay home and guard it and guide it. I have posted several articles here to help women see that it is possible to save money by staying home, as well as earn it, without neglecting their families. (see http://homeliving.blogspot.com/2006/11/making-your-home-place-you-like-to-be.html)

(December 4th) Some people say they can do just as good a job giving their families the time they have left at the end of the day, after putting in a day with a company or a day in another place of work. If such reasoning was given to an employer, I doubt they would be called a good worker, even if they gave "quality time" at the end of the day. There was a terrible change in society when women left their homes and went to work. The way meals were taken was changed.The way clothes were treated was changed. The way houses were cleaned was changed, and the way money was managed was changed. More divorces and more troubled children existed than any other time in our nation. It may be hard for intellectuals to understand the simple thing that will change it all back to the standard: the presence of the woman in the home, the father setting down standards for his family, and the children honoring their parents.

The article on honoring parents that I wrote, will show you that just because children are teens or grown up, does not mean that we should expect that they will disrupt the home or go against the parent's values. They don't have to do this.They can live more harmoniously at home than ever, if they follow certain principles.

Regarding the article on making your home a place you like to be, some of the shop owners that I highlighted, have stated that they ship to Canada and other countries, and that they also are willing to create or find what you are looking for if you can't find what you'd like. Even if you don't buy, the ideas at these shops will give new life to some things you already have, and show you new ways of using them. I have been noticing that some of the old men's tie-clip boxes--short jewelry boxes with little drawers, are now being re-painted and used on entry tables by the front door, to hold keys and other important things. It is such ideas like this that make home living and full time home making more exciting than anywhere else!!

painting: Deer Near Cabin by Caroselli, from www.allposters.com

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Lady Lydia, I am sorry people misunderstand your blog. I don't see how they could miss how encouraging and supportive this blog is of loving families and happy homes. I don't comment often, but I read your blog every day, hoping for a new post. You are a blessing and an inspiration to me.

in His peace,
Melody

Anonymous said...

I agree whole heartedly with Melody. I look each day to see if there is a new post - I visit the sites & read the books you recommend - Home Comforts came last week and Edith Schaeffer's What is a Family? came today - both secondhand. I completed my Christmas shopping today with your words ringing in my ears to guard the house keeping money! I always think of these words as I shop. I think my friend summed it up - I have been ill lately and she wrote to me "I do not know how you can sound so contented, cosy, warm comfortable & relaxed in your letters whenI know you are in so much pain & discomfort". Home is a real healer!
Blessings,
Lynn

Anonymous said...

Lady Lydia,
Your site is a blessing... oh I am blessed by it, and so are my three children, YOU are making a contribution to society in such a way that I am sure you cannot even fathom;if you are effecting the life of three boys in my home, can you possibly see the good that is happening in so many homes world wide....Oh the awesomeness of it all!!!
God Bless you,
Esther

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

I don't know why most women don't want to make homemaking their full time job. It can be as stressful or as peaceful as a woman determines, because she is the guide of the home. If there are things at home she wants to make more efficient, she has the freedom to do it. Another book I'd recommend in Linda LIchter's "THe Benevolence of Manners" (or the old title "Simple Social Graces") because it will help you see women in the 1800's when most of them were home-focused. That did not mean that they were not free. Many of them were artists, authors, and even inventors. Because they knew the needs of the home, by being there, they were better able to understand what was needed to improve them. Today there are a lot of empty homes, which cost quite a bit a month in payments. What a pity this potential is not used.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia, I love your site and its such encouraging! I am SO thankful that I found your site!! :)
Im glad I posted about some online shops not shipping to Canada, only to find out that there are lots that do! Im so glad they spoke up and posted. I have been checking out all of their sites and plan to order a couple things very soon. (Just waiting for my new paypal to be completed).
Thanks,
CandyfromCanada

Anonymous said...

Just so that you know, Mrs. Sherman, you, Mrs. Alexandra, and Mrs. Chancey disprove neatly the bumper-sticker phrase: "Well-behaved women never make history." You may not get your names in a politically-correct fairy-tale they call a history book these days, but you touch the lives of hundreds of women--and by extension, their husbands and children. This is much more "historical significance" than most workaday women can claim!

You perform an incredible Titus 2 ministry. To do the will of our Father...what is more honorable or righteous?

Mrs. Bartlett

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to include one more positive comment to your post. I too appreciate this blog very, very much.
All my childhood, my mother was home, full time. I was raised to believe that God wanted home, especially as a Mother. Later, I realized, even if I didn't have children I should have been home.
Even with this very strong belief, there are moments when I struggle with the idea that I am selfish, because I want to be home. Sometimes, circumstances and pressures can cause thoughts to crowd in that are not good. I can actually experience guilt for being a fulltime homemaker. Because, I actually do like it very much. Even when things are not always perfect here in the home, it is still where I want to be.
Your articles and posts are an encouragement and a blessing, always.

Sincerely,
Marie

Gail said...

My husband is on full-time disability and no longer able to go out and work. We receive his disability check and Navy pension check. We still have 3 children at home, though the youngest is 13. I would like to try and trim expenses and live on the money we get, but my husband (not totally but to some extent), his father and probably most other people see no reason why I shouldn't be out there now, bringing in a paycheck. I have been working a job which goes for several weeks at a time and then lays off for several weeks. I just got done with this last project a few days ago, and I am so thankful to be home. I find it impossible to keep the house up when I am away from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Everything, including meals gets so neglected. I honestly do not know how other women do it, with young children, at that!

I am in the church choir and was feeling so weary one night at practice. Then I heard two other members discussing the fact that one of them is a physical therapist, with two or three young children, and here she is at choir practice, besides doing all the rest of it. I was telling my neighbor/friend about it; she is a school teacher and she also was in choir when her children were small. She said doing something for oneself like that will make you a better person. To me, keeping my home clean and cozy and serving good meals makes me feel like a better person. I am sure my viewpoint is just as foreign and nutty-sounding to these modern women as mine is to them.

I usually don't let myself get discouraged but right now I am sorely tempted to. Thank the Lord, that I am off until after New Year's. Most women are hooked in till retirement.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Lady Lydia,

I would just like to affirm the sentiments and words of encouragement expressed by all the ladies above. I too benefited from a dear mother who, on her own and battling terrible illness, raised my brother and I despite the great hardships we all endured. Her love, abilities and home-making talents have borne wonderful memories I'll cherish throughout my life. Though we had little and lived in public housing, her Christian faith (unwavering despite a life of adversity and pain), coupled with the grit and determination to do what was best for her children (having to fight at every turn for my education and so on - due to my vision impairment) seeded a legacy all too many of today's children will never know. Though we managed on little, it was not until my mid twenties, whilst spending the afternoon with family friends that I asked the question "hey, was our family poor when we were children?" to my astonishment, the answer of "yes" truly brought it home. For sure, the heating may have been sparce over winter, but we always had healthy delicious food (mum being an avid home cook and baker, and gardener. She always saw to it that we had jumpers (sweaters for the folk in the US) and footwear, sacrificing greatly that this may have been so. I thought nothing of wearing hand-me-downs or clothes gathered from charity shops - Indeed, my final year formal gown was purchased for $10 from one such outlet - a beautiful tiel dress of taffeta silk, worn but once before (if that) while other girls paid $400 - $500 for dresses half as nice. My lingering memory of cold winters is constantly offset by other memories of coming home to freshly made hot scones, butter and tea after school on chilly rainy winter days, of more joy than I can imagine from singing lessons (the teachers going easy on their costs), years of ameterr theatre performing the works of G & S (the Mikkado and the Sourcerer remaining my favourites). I was blessed to attend a school where old-fashioned standards still remained (all girls - much to be said for single-gender education for those who send theirgirls out to school and don't or can't homeschool), where history was not taught in the light of marxist and feminist ajendas, where art, home ecconomics and techstyles were offered alongside science and commerce, where a teacher's Christian faith was not barred from influencing our impressionable minds - and all this in the '80's!

Your work shines out like a beacon of hope to women everywhere as society slipps ever deeper into the abyss of madness, imorality, greed an, corruption and cold-heartedness.

Stand up for what is right!

Blessings,

Mrs. E.
Australia.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Gail,

You are right: it is not very fulfilling to be rushed at home. I believe Helen Andelin said something about it in the homemaking section of her book. It talked about how anyone in the world could be out all day and neglect their home, or be home all day involved in something not related to the home, and then at 4 o'clock suddenly rush through and straighten everything out and put some food in the oven, and make it look like they had been working all day. But something is lost in doing this: enjoying the process and feeling fulfilled at the end of the day. The housework feels like a burden and the frustration and resentment increases, when people do it at the last minute. I can't imagine a company or even a factory allowing the employees to come in at 5 o'clock and give the company the same so-called "quality time" that some people give their homes and families, and still consider them a skilled worker, or even wanting to pay them the same wage, even if they could get it done in less time. That is perhaps another subject which also shows the flaws in the workplace (keeping people there a full 8 hours inspite of the fact the work could be done in 2---but the same goes for the public schools)---however the point is taken that it takes a lot more FEELING to make a home a home and to manage it, and a lot more time. It is partly standing back and looking at a room or a place and thinking about what you need to do. You can't be that thoughtful if you are in a rush after work. And working women don't have the time to put on the afternoon tea for other homemakers, which is the kind of thing our great grandmothers who were homemakers, used to enjoy so much

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Sherman,

You say, "...it takes a lot more FEELING to make a home a home and to manage it, and a lot more time."

I agree. Now that I'm not practicing criminal law anymore, I actually have had the time to step back and think about my home.

I've also had the time to compare prices at grocery stores. We've stopped shopping at Walmart and Sam's Club for two important reasons--and yet we're saving money on groceries now. I have an almost-complete list of products I use, food and other, with prices for each at three grocery stores. I've managed to come up with $50-$100 in monthly savings just by using my chart, and even more now that I can compare sale prices to the best available.

There were months where I either made no money, or wound up "reinvesting" the money I made into my practice (it always seemed like there was another expense for my clients that I had to "front"), so I'm putting more money in the household pocket NOW than I was when I was working!

That also doesn't count the future savings we'll get now that I'll have the time to track maintenance on vehicles, consumption, and other things.

Who says homekeeping is a "soft option?" It takes brains, dedication, and creativity to excel at this--more so than most of the jobs I've ever held!

Mrs. Bartlett

Gail said...

I would very much just like to get my house back under control, take care of my husband, do the Christmas baking, and other Christmas activities, and be able to cook nutritious, affordable meals for my family, but I actually feel guilty about preferring these things over outside work. I think the trap lies in comparing myself to other people. I should know better; I am 52 years old.

The ironic thing is, that I myself have just been diagnosed as having two benign brain tumors, called meningiomas, in that they are in the meninges, the lining of the brain. They are very small, and don't seem to be affecting me that much, so I am not worrying about them, but yet I have to have an EEG (brain wave scan on Thursday) to make sure I am not having seizures. To add to this, one of our children is in a long-term residential treatment center, and I go up there (about a 200 mile round trip) at least once a week and sometimes twice. So you would think I would be "forgiven" for not being really "jazzed" about my job. I don't really mind working, but I cannot stand having to get fast food sometimes because I am too tired, or having the house go to rack and ruin because more and more things are out of place and there is dust everywhere.

I am just wired up tonight and cannot sleep, so I am being a bit whiny - sorry for that. I just need to get the Lord's guidance on what to do, and come up with an answer to people who make comments - an answer that satisfies me, since I know there will be no satisfying of others.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ladies,

I am in so much agreement with this web site; I truly believe it has a long lasting effect on society and the future of children, if we have any, AND not the least, on the quality of our own life.
I am a Real Estate Broker, and am a foster mother to three boys…. It is a long story, but my Christian principles really gave me the foundation to choose the best for myself and my boys. I am able to stay home mostly and take care of the boys, they get a small stipend from the state, and I have my own income from Real Estate investments…. I am divorced and God has blessed me. I truly believe we MUST be careful what we allow into our home, by the way of relationships and where we go and what we do…
I know personally I could go out and make more money, but I have learned my life suffers. Just being in the home, the peace and harmony one needs to have health requires time devoted to that principle. God also spoke to my heart and said “do not be greedy”… So I am fortunate to be able to cook good wholesome food, bake and have a ‘QUALITY’ life. I am so much more at peace when my home is clean and orderly. I also shop the thrift stores for most cloths and home items, I do not waste money on junk food, which I believe is one of the most frivolous expenditures there is.
I have time to pray, to exercise and to really meet the needs of my small family. I work hard to teach them about life, by being an example and we have a lot of fun.
They love coming home. We spend time at the Library, thrift stores, church activities, we are go skiing, hiking and I strive to make loving, wholesome memories for them….. They enjoy all the homemade goodies, and the peacefulness in our life.
I believe the Homeliving blogg has helped me to clarify my idea of “HOME” and given me the support I need, and ideas and the feeling that I should respect and cherish my home; A life not to feel guilty about, because it really is the foundation to a society.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Gail,

Having read both your posts here, as one sister to another, let me take a moment to encourage you in your walk with our Lord and Saviour; and that of the home. those who judge ought to take a step back; with your comittments to your child in residential care, not to mention the health of your husband and yourself (brain tumours whether benin or otherwise being no small thing) they might be best served removing the beam from their own eye before attempting to extract any tiny mote they may suspect in yours. We're warned in scripture that the enemy is the accuser of the brethren and that we will encounter as much grief (if not more) from within the assembly ;not outside it.

Aditionally, a major flaw with current ecconomic philosophies is that they make no allowance whatsoever for we as human beings with hearts, souls and needs separate to the workplace. health, a family's requirements, one's own health and wellbeing count for naught as we're simply fodder for the machine, each body being seen as yet another ecconomic unit able to pump taxes back into big Govt (not that I mind tax necessarily, but the way folk are squeezed by the system at all points is disgraceful - read LAF's biblical stewardship articles for more info).

Take heart and be of good courage; fight the fight and run the race set before you. Don't be swayed by what others think but come together with your husband and family in prayer, delving into the scriptures for God's truth as it stands for we ladies.

You're not alone.

Interestingly, in past times, the church (not the state) reached out to the needy of our community, and workers set a portion of their pay away into friendly society schemes such as 'Oddfellows' etc to cover the entire family in times of need. Back then, there was no question about wives or daughters staying at home, tending to their calling there. Likewise, if a woman was widowed, she'd receive a 'pension' on her husband's death (if he paid into one of these schemes). the state did not lean upon her to go into the workplace. Throughout the ages, as Lady Lydia so rightly explained, women have always been artists, poets, musicians, writers, physicians, scientists, inventers and the like; they simply prioritized their lives, putting family first. their work was not some type of escapism from supposed patriarchal repression as the Commufem dictators of history, education and the past would have us believe.

How willl the last 45 years be judged in a century from now?

Please excuse my ramblings.

Blessings,

Mrs. E.
Australia.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Gail,

When I first married and settled down, I found that I was very restless and anxious at home. This was, I discovered later, partly due to the habit of not staying home previous to this. Habits are hard to break and can leave a person feeling lost and lonely when they aren't doing the same kind of rituals, so you have to replace them with other time-fillers. I kept a sort of record/diary of how I adjusted from day to day and tried to notice the specific times when I felt a little odd. I began to take on new things that gave me a lot of enjoyment--decorating my home, writing letters, making my own cards, sewing, hosting tea parties for other lonely women, putting photos in albums, gardening, and so forth. As days passed, I found I could stay home longer and longer until it became a real inconvenience to leave. Even now, I ask my husband to buy things at the store on his way home, rather than go get them myself, to save time. I had a lot of experience staying home while growing up in Alaska. We got snowed in and settled in for "a long winter's nap", amusing ourselves with puzzles, baking, art work, crafts, quilting, singing.

Lady Lydia Speaks said...

Monise, thanks for the post but I couldn't bear to publish it....its too flattering and I'm not THAT wise!! I actually got a lot of IDEAS from my mother--she is the one who is wise, not me!

Anonymous said...

Yes Gail - I could readily stay home for a week or two or three - hey it's cold outside how about the whole winter!!!!!
I HAVE to go out today - Dr appointment so I scheduled all my errands for today. My friends are concerned I am becoming a hermit - not much chance of that - they come regularly for tea - a pretty tea pot on a tray with handmade tray cloth set before a log fire - at last I have time to spoil my friends.
I am so glad your scan went well. I hope you can use this as an opportunity to slow down and come home. I used my own period of ill health to do this. I recently read a book about working to God's time and whilst we are waiting say for recovery from illness God wants us to learn something new - and now I ponder on the fact that maybe he wanted me to slow down and come home. Enjoy your time at home and I hope you find a way forward. Thank you for sharing your ideas with us.
Lynn.

Anonymous said...

Gail - how lovely a tea party would be - with all the visitors from Lady Lydia's site. It would be lovely to learn from you all over a cup of tea - but I guess that's what we do here - but in person would be nice!
I am feeling much better thank you - I must now take 3 months medication & wait & see! I am able to do a small amount of paid work from home but have declined all outside work. Last week I was offered work at a local school where I used to work - I said no - I have realised that I am happiest at home. Up until the past couple of years I was very career minded then I concentrated on my faith and decided to try to reduce my living costs and thus my need to work - it has taken a while but I have totally changed my lifestyle. My dear husband is happy with this new me and says he is happy because I am happy. It is so lovely to be home and have the time and energy to really look after my husband - it means that his weekends are for leisure as I have completed all the chores. And to be home when my sons return home from school/university is such a blessing.
Lynn (in UK).

Gail said...

Well, Lynn, since you are in the UK and Lydia is on the west coast of the U.S., I propose you all meet at my house, which is in the middle (Virginia)!! We can have a homeliving helper convention and you can make the tea! Till then, we all can chat over our Internet "fence".

Blessings, Gail

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