Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Power of One

My daughter is expecting a baby any day now and I am "on call." This is her 3rd baby being born at home and her fourth with a midwife! Already the midwives are taking over their hospital equipment and getting ready. I would like to thank Mrs. Alexandra in Europe for her research and insight. As she has stated before, she grew up under a totalitarian government and a communist society. That is one reason why I value her opinion so much on this blog. She sees things happening in trends and in policy that I, having grown up in the free world, would not even suspect as being a threat to the freedom to be a homemaker! She understands how it comes to be, that the Biblical role of women as wives, mothers and homemakers, will be threatened. Mrs. A. speaks a host of different languages, and although English is not her native tongue, she writes it and speaks it impeccibly.

We want to thank all the people who post, and tell you that we appreciate even those who do not agree with us. Not everything will be agreeable to everyone, but most reading should be done with that in mind. I've always been able to discern between what applied to me and what applied to someone else, so there was no need to get offended.

Working women are really feeling the need to come home and take care of things. We are in a crisis with our marriages and our families. It is hard to believe, but there is power in one person. I read an article many years ago called "The Power of One," which told about how one vote in Congress made our national language English and not German, and how one person changed this or that, etc. There was a long list of men and women who changed things for the better.

Our homes and families and marriages are in a crisis, which effects the over all strength of our nation and our freedom, but it can be changed by the simple act of letting the women come home to have greater power over the family. The home must be guarded against things that divide loyalties internally as well: things like friends, television, movies, music, reading material have to be monitored by the mother. Our enemies are jealous of our freedom and our country. They know that the easiest way to defeat us and put us under totalitarian rule is to divide family loyalties. This is done when husbands and wives and children go in different directions with their lives, not having a common family goal. In the morning, everyone gets up and goes somewhere else, separate and apart from one another. It is bad enough that the husband has to work, without everyone else being so fragmented during the day.

One of the biggest threats to our national security is disloyalty and dishonor to parents. This can all be changed by making our nation family-centered, and that can begin with the women at home, influencing the way money is spent, the way life is lived, the way children are raised.

One belief I used to have, was that I could not home school my children or stay at home and be a housewife unless everyone else did it. I decided that if I waited til everyone else woke up and did it, I would lose precious time with my family, and my children would be among those numbers of children who went through life without a strong purpose.

Although I stayed home and homeschooled them in the early 80's, it felt very lonely, as no one on my street or any other streets was home. I used to put the children in the stroller and go for walks and see all the empty houses, thinking, "The women have gone to work so they can have these grand houses, which remain empty most of the time." No little tricycles in front of the houses, and no children's swimming pools. It all seemed as bare as the top of the moon.

After reading Helen Andelin's book, "All About Raising Children," I was fascinated with the concept of molding and influencing the lives of our own children, that she wrote about. In it, she had a section called "What's Wrong With School," in which she wrote about school not being sufficient to build good character in children, school taking too long away from home, etc. I wrote one letter to Helen Andelin and told her why I was homeschooling and gave her the addresses where some good teaching materials could be found. This was in the days before computers. She copied the letter 8 times and send it to each of her grown children. All but one of these children immediately began to homeschool their children, and did homeschool them throughout the years. One of her daughters even phoned me to get some ideas. I was an amateur at the time, yet the small bit that I did know about it, was important to her. Each of those children had an average of 6 children of their own, who are now grown, and married and teaching their own children.

Just one letter influenced 8, and who knows how many those 8 have influenced? There is a saying that the pen is more powerful than the sword. We can influence a lot of people through blogging and through doing the thing right in the presence of our friends and families. When you become a homemaker, it will surprise you how many people will want to do what you are doing.

One day there was a knock at my door and a woman who was a complete stranger stood there with her two children. She said, "I heard you were homeschooling your children. Can you tell me how I can do that, too?" I showed her some books and gave her some materials to read. She had a sister to whom she took these materials and right away the husband said he wanted his children homeschooled.

I was also a housewife, and one day a woman who lived at the end of the road phoned me. It was Saturday and she was not working. She expressed a desire to stay home but she said she wanted to wait and watch me and see how it ended up. She was going to miss out on many years of enjoying her home and her family. There are lots of people who will wait and see, and there are those who will go ahead and do something. The wait and see people will wait so long to do something, that the opportunity will be gone. I was just one person, and even though this one woman did not become a homemaker, she was influenced by it.

Another woman wanted to stay home and she said I was the only person she knew that was home so she wanted to come and visit me.During that time, she followed me around the house while I tended to all the things that needed to be done. She said she thought she could do that, so she quit her job and is home to this day.

I said all that to show how just one person can spread an influence without even trying. People notice what you do. The influence of one person can actually spread faster than telephone, tabloids, television or email.

It would be nice if homemakers could get together regularly and reinforce each other with ideas, and learn to how to live abundantly while saving money, and maybe that kind of thing will happen once again. Husbands could help reinforce their wives at home by being the provider and freeing them from other responsiblities, so that they can put their minds fully into managing the home.

Not everything can be learned in a school or a course of study. Some things, like home living, have to be figured out just by being there and observing from day to day what the jobs are. It takes some actual home living to figure out what you must do at any given time of day. You know for example, that people will need a meal at a certain time, clean clothes at another time, or certain paper work that they must have for something. These things can't be shown in a course of study, as well as they can just by experience.

So it is, that as time goes by, the homemaker can become better at what she is doing. If she spends the early years of her marriage at work, she misses a lot of the preparation that those early years give her.

Sometimes women come home for good after their first baby, and find that they cannot manage. Not only are they taking care of a baby, they are taking care of a house and a husband. If they stay home from the beginning of their marriage, they can use the time to get used to the way things run in their own home, before other responsibilities are added.

Because of the new baby, I probably will not be able to write as much, but I do have a new article coming up on in the LadyLydiaSpeaks column when it is updated. There are lots of other blogs mentioned throughout the comments and other articles, that show good examples of how to manage at home.

We have had several exciting things to happen becasue of this blog. I have made some new friends and been able to telphone them. We had a homemaking school for one day, in my home, in which 15 ladies of all ages attended and contributed lessons about the home! And, we were given the distinction along with other blogs like ours, of being banned in India by the Indian government. It has been a great year!!

Again, we appreciate the time each of you takes to make a comment.


Um Ibrahim said...

I just found your blog, and I love it, am a convert muslim mom, but your blog is so worth reading because it really expresses the true meanings of housemaking and the true intentions of biblical words.

Lydia said...

I did write to the Indian government department in charge of the internet, and they said I could have no sway upon them whatever. Some countries do not want their women to go back to the way they once were as wives, and mothers at home. They rather like the idea of them working in factories and joining the military. If they read blogs like this, they would want to stay home.

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of housewives getting together and sharing ideas etc. As well as a housekeeping school for a day type of thing. Great idea. Would be nice if someone started in within my Church family---maybe I'll start it! :)
I do think all housewives need to start something to get together with other housewives. It will catch on and you'll see how very much it will influence more and more women to not want to work outside of the home!

Thank you, great article!


Anonymous said...

Dearest lady Lydia,

it is with great joy I offer heartfelt congratulations upon the imminent birth of your next grandchild. may you, your daughter, the little one and your wider family be abundantly blesed with God's merciful watchcare.

Indeed, having read this article, I am heartened - So often, it is all too easy to fall into the trap of believing oneself to be alone in this quest of Godly womanhood (especially if family, church and local community do not follow such principles. Your take upon this has proven the very encouragement from the Lord I (and probably countless other ladies) have needed - even if we feel isolated, set upon and harried at all points, the simple act of honestly living the life we've been called to live is a more powerful testimony to those around us than anything else as they see how we and our families are slowly transformed; how we learn fortitude, courage and endurance through all those often not-so-perfect experiences and how simple quiet wisdom coupled with putting one foot in front of the other and marching on regardless of the snears, sarcastic comments etc will eventually shine through. Perhaps people are so afronted when they experience even the most basic special touches, good manners etc (by no means excusing such behaviour) because so often, in this modern hurting, fractured world no-one's ever made them feel special (the simplified, casualized, dumbed-down approximation of modern society certainly does not make people feel special, with so many barbs to every rose in broken homes, churches and neighbourhoods across your nation and mine). a secular, evolutionary model doesn't value life and put the other's comfort first or attempt to show how they're appreciated by taking the time to share even simple beauty with them, hence the people are progresively dragged down to the lowest common denominator, not lifted up by the redeeming grace of our Lord and Saviour.

It'll all fall into place for them eventually as they see us faithfully run the race set before us through sun and rain alike.


Mrs. e.

PS: I am curious as to where verification the Indian govt is actually banning your blog, LAF and other sites can be found; considering writing to a group such as amnesty international or the International Red Cross Society about such violations of freedom of speech and human rights incurred by such an act.if we have concrete sources, You, I and people everywhere can approach members of parliament, consular officials etc that the situation might be redressed; This is not a request for names, but valid concrete proof that this is actually happening, not just word-of-mouth (which cannot stand up if I , for instance, were to approach my local elected official to perhaps bring pressure upon the Indian govt etc. Let's put the 'Power of one' to good use here.

Lydia said...

To helpless homemaker: just relax and look around you and see what needs to be done. Get into it gradually. Do one significant thing a day, and then have a regular routine involving meals, clean up, and laundry. If you can do those three things, you will find control. You can then start adding other things to it. Yes we have all be indoctrinated to believe it is drudgery, but is filing papers in an office, or driving a truck inside of a warehouse to stock merchandise, any more exalted?

Anonymous said...

What a special time of year to welcome a new life into the world!! I am so happy for you and your family. I am sure we will all be praying for your daughter. You must be so excited!!

Anonymous said...

Mrs. E., you beat me to it! I'll let your well-written encouragement speak for me, too.

Mrs. Sherman, congratulations on your newest grandbaby! That's first.

Second, I wonder if India's banning of your sites also has to do with the Christian content? Missionaries and converts over there are getting into a lot of trouble. It makes me suspect that perhaps it's at least partly a religious-suppression issue.

In any event, we'll miss your regular doses of wisdom and encouragement, but I'm glad that it's for a noble reason! I'll be praying for y'all.

Mrs. Bartlett

Anonymous said...

Btw, LAF seems to be having some technical difficulties; it says the page has been removed or is unavailable. Are you updating right now? I hope so!

Mrs. Bartlett

Anonymous said...

You are such an encouragement! I have been considering starting my own blog regarding Godly women and what the Scriptures tell us, but am technically challenged. Would you point me in the right direction so I can start a blog, too? Thank you again for your inspiring articles. My heart fills with such joy knowing there are other women out there that feel as I do.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia,
Congratulations on the upcoming birth of your grandchild! Our family wishes your daughter and all of your family the best!

As far as local group meetings for homemakers, I have a information on forming a local chapter of the National Womanhood Foundation group for women interested in this very thing. You and I are "on the same page" as far as Mrs. Andelin's books and many things, so if any of your readers are interested, they can learn more about it at my blog by clicking on my name above.

Congratulations again!


Lydia said...

Across the top of this page, on the right, it says "Get your own blog." Click it on and it will lead you through. It does not cost anything unless you want a lot of added features. Ours here is just the basics. Others can help you put different kinds of backgrounds in.

Lydia said...

Yes Laf seems to be having technical problems. Usually it will work out. We hope to see it up and running again soon.

Anonymous said...

Many blessings to your daughter!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for telling how your example has influenced others. That is encouraging.

Have you ever considered writing a book encouraging women to be homemakers and sharing your many thoughts on how to best do that. It would be a beuatiful book, and very encouraging. While I appreciate blogs, books are much better for looking over and thinking about deeply.

Amy said...

Congratulations on to you and your daughter on the impending bundle of joy!!! I had my last 2 babies at home with midwives, and Lord willing, will have more that way!

I don't usually comment b/c I tend to get long winded and take up too much time...away from my priorities. But I thought I'd just let you know that this blog has been such a blessing in my life. Thank you for taking the time to "Titus 2" us here on the internet! It's incredible how many lives are being touched through this blog and others like it. Truly our God is marvelous and His hand reaches out to countless lives through this kind of thing. You have inspired me to start up a homemaking support group of sorts. Thanks!!!

Amy B.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia,

It is so encouraging to read that one person can make a difference. I am a first-year student at college, and when I look at my fellow students and wonder what kind of homes they will make after they graduate, it is very discouraging. I want to do what I can for them, but I am only one in 4000. I often feel alone in the fact that I try to dress with femininity and modesty when all the other girls wear tight, worn-out jeans most of the time. But living out the right thing in front of them is all I can do. Another thing I try to do (since I live at home, not in the dorms) is to have people over to my house, where they can see what a family who truly lives in their home is like. I am much more hopeful now that, eventually, at least one person will be changed as a result of my living my life to honor God.

Keep up the good work,
TJ :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia,
I once read that a very high percentage of women who are working would rather not be there. They would rather be home. I was a full time homemaker for the first eleven years of my marriage, but my husband thought otherwise. I held a job for seventeen years. Although I had wanted to be home for years, my desire only became a reality three years ago. When I think back on those years and all I did and managed, I could sit down and cry. It has been a wonderful three years that God has blessed beyond anything that I could imagine. The reaction from my ex-coworkers was not what I had expected. They too, would like to stay home, but will not. They thought I was "brave." They are trapped by debt and the lure of an income.
Mrs. Eugene

Lydia said...

I want to say also how powerful one letter is. If you just wrote about your convictions and personal dreams for happy marriage, home and family, someone would surely treasure such a unique and forthright letter, and even read it to someone else. You never really know. If a bad influence can spread, a good influence can too, and probably doubly, since the good always wins over the bad.

Since our daughter has always delivered several weeks earlier than due date, everyone has been on call, but this time it looks like the baby is happy to wait til Christmas, and we hope it does, but are still standing by.

Lots of people have been asking me to write a book. However I had a book that urgently needed to be written: a story that should have been recorded a long time ago, about my brave parents who married at 19 and 23 and set off for the wilderness of Alaska in 1948 and built a home with their own hands, and raised a family.

For years and years I would wake up in the morning having had a dream about some different aspect of that life that I shared with them. I would sometimes wonder why in the world after all this time I could not shake the dreaming about it over and over.

Finally, after consulting with my mother and father, I decided to go ahead and write about it and the impact that it had on my life. I finished the book and it is in the editing phase, where we are positioning the pages and pictures and seeing to little details. In a few weeks we will have it published. I wanted to write it while my parents still live. They are in their 80's, of sound mind, healthy and strong. I hope that this book will honor them. They certainly deserve it. I can't imagine a 19 year old woman and a 23 year old man getting married and deliberately doing something like that today. I asked her how she let Daddy talk her into doing that, and she said, "I was married to an adventurous man. I was 19 and I didn't know any better so I just went along and did what he did!" I hope a lot of home school families will get this book when it is available. We will put it on LAF when it is. What is very interesting is that after I began writing the stories, I stopped having the dreams and seeing the rooms and the house and the lake, etc.

I know people will disappointed that I did not write about some of the subjects on this blog, but this was actually the thing that burdened my heart the most.

Inside the book, though I think you are going to read some things that are not written, and draw some conclusions that are not stated. I tried to make it very simple and plain, and let the reader observe and draw his own conclusions. While refraining from moralizing, it is clear that certain standards were being lived out during this time, and there is no denying it, even though I did not lecture. I just wrote about what happened and left it at that.

When it is available I will let you know where it can be ordered. Over the last few years, several people have sent me free copies of their own books and publications. If they would kindly remind me who they are, I will send them a copy of my book in exchange, and return the favor.

Lydia said...

Some of you might enjoy reading this site

Scroll down to an article about the problem of casual dressing in public places, by Miss Manners

Anonymous said...

Dearest lady Lydia,

I'm thrilled all is going well with your daughter. may God continue to hold you all within the palm of His hand until, during and after the little one is born. I would be fascinated to read the account of your parents' life. Indeed, there are few who would nowadays have the spirit and hart needed to undertake what your mother and her husband undertook all those years ago. it is interesting with regard to 'power of one' that you're constrained to pen these experiences to paper rather than a book on manners, modesty or household management - the testimony of your parents' homesteading experience with all such entales will most likely stand in its own right upon these matters also, as memories and accounts of how lives were lived, the family was managed, the influences that impressed themselves upon it and so forth will, through the simple and honest act of telling, allude to these wider issues in due course.

Personal testimony has a far greater impact than a 'how to' manual as it's able to reach through barriers by its very nature and touch a far wider audience than a simple instruction book ever could. I truly believe, even having not been privy to any draft etc, that God, in His incredible wisdom, will accomplish in you all that He wills in this imminent publication. For we ladies who cannot access the printed word, your publishers would make life ever so much simpler for us if they were to sell it in HTML, Text-file or Word format (NOT PDF, AS IT'S NOT BLIND/READING DISABLED FRIENDLY) thus illiminating the need to purchase the print copy and send it off to be transcribed whichtakes time and usually costs three - ten times the price of the original print title.


Mrs. E.

Kirigakure said...

Lady Lydia,

You are absolutely right. One person can make all the difference. We Orthodox say that, "if you save yourself, then others around you will also be saved."

Keep going! Someday, our culture will come to its senses. I just hope it doesn't take widespread chaos and tyranny to wake up our people.

Lydia said...

Yes the book will be available in several different formats on the web, and we hope also in the bookstores.The sight impaired will be able to get the kind of copies they need.

When we were young, our Dad told us that we should not complain. As normal, we would get restless and do our share of begging or whining or wanting to go to town, etc. just when he was the most tired and didn't want to do anything for us. If we complained about anything --even the food or having to work, he said, "You ought to be happy just breathing the air." I heard that so many times that when I became a teenager and saw kids my age smoking pot, I told them I could not understand it. I said "You ought to be happy just breathing the air." So, the book is named after that phrase: just breathing the air. It won't be available for a few weeks, so please be patient. And you are right, lady in Oz, the message is never spoken directly but is every where implied.