Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Resourcefulness at Home


What would you do if you had to leave your comfortable home and were suddenly faced with a rough shod cabin or a tent to live in? How would you conduct your day? What if you had to live in a bleak place with dark gloomy skies all the time? Or, maybe you are transferred to a remote island somewhere. Do you think you have the resourcefulness to keep from falling into despair and disappointment?

Will it bring out goodness and cheefulness in you, or will it reduce you to something less than noble?

I just want to take a moment and write something about my mother. She is in a hospital in Melbourne, Australia undergoing quadruple bypass heart surgery. She is 79 years old. In her youth she faced many challenges. She had hard times on her family's homestead, but she had a love for life that could not be diminished by all the problems. Her family had a dirt floor but they swept it til it shone.

In the hospital she was talking to a Maori nurse who told her what it was like for her growing up in New Zealand. She said that they , too, had dirt floors but they kept them clean and shiny and the home was neat and clean. My mother went from a hard life in Canada to an even more challenging one in the wilderness of Alaska. It was kind of like jumping from the cooler into the freezer.

Her honeymoon was spent on a gravel highway between Whitehorse City and Anchorage, Alaska. There were no hotels for them so they camped out each night. I asked her, before her surgery, "Mama, weren't you scared? Didn't you miss your home? Weren't you poor and lonely?" She said, "Yes, but I didn't care. I was in love!"

Throughout my childhood she was extremely resourceful. Some things she already knew but some things she would accidently discover and then laugh joyfully about it. For example, she had no beauty products, so she put a bit of berry juice on her cheeks and lips. She laughed when she saw herself and then washed it off. She wound rags around her hair to curl it. She found all kinds of things that would normally be cast off or throw away and made a lot of things herself. A lot of women at the time were like that. I don't know if many women today would know how to be resourceful.

There wasn't much available in the way of communication but she could always find something to write on and she wrote lots of letters telling about her life there. She liked to make lists; all kinds of lists. She still makes lists. Laying in the hospital bed can be quite boring, so she made a list of all the things she would miss if she died. One of them, she told me: "I would miss 'Just Breathing the Air,'" which is the name of her book. She intended it to be a kind of play on words, a pun.

In any situation, there are resources. Resources are things than can be used at little or no cost. There are natural resources in any country, such as trees or shells or minerals, etc. Most homemakers have natural resources they don't even know about. In day to day living, there is the sky and the sea. There has to be something there that can be used as a resource for talents or for creating. Inside herself, a woman has something. Basically, she has things like her language and her imagination. She has her hands. She has her eyes which observe things and she has her experiences. She has her voice. These are all things that can be used for good.
Beautiful things can be made from the resources around us, when we are in a place away from home.

I knew a woman who always made something for her home when her husband was away on a trip. Today her life is full and her children half-grown, and she would not have time to sew a pillow or a tablecloth, but she has a fine collection from the days when she was alone at home.
My mother and others like her at the time, used every scrap of cardboard available. As soon as a box, any box, from the kitchen or any other place, was emptied, it was taken apart and cut down and made into a greeting card or doll house furniture for children. Sometimes one side of the cardboard would be white and it was a perfect artist canvas for one of us to make a painting. Egg cartons were particularly valued and hoarded, to make silver bells to hang all over the place. Wrapped in shiny silver foil, they caught the light and added sparkle in the dim winters where we were indoors for so long. Egg cartons were also used for doll house furniture, making settees and tables and bedroom suites. Fabric from old clothes were recycled into hooked rugs or braided rugs, or quilts. We made paper dolls with huge wardrobes, from old catalogs.
We learned a routine and knew what to expect in a day. There would be breakfast, lunch, dinner, and activities inbetween. Evenings were glorious just watching the light grow dim, at least to a child. Part of the resourcefulness of those people was not worrying about entertaining the children, but allowing them to enjoy ordinary life and find entertainment from it.
The resource within, such as the imagination, can overcome anything. With that imagination, fascinating stories can be made up, written, and illustrated. They can be told aloud. Her experiences can be used to help others in their personal struggles. For example, if there is something she regrets, she can tell others how it harmed her and point them in a different direction in life. There are resources available that we don't even realize.
In my adult life I found myself in many different countries and situations. There was one particular out-of-the-way place that I found trying, but after a bout of discouragement I wanted no more of that kind of mood and began to change things. We created an artists studio and learned about art, even going for walks and painting outside. We held musical concerts where we sang. We had speech nights and special dinners to celebrate even the tiniest thing, such as the 50th day of high temperatures and the first day of rain. We had fashion shows and book reviews and held tea parties for friends. We learned to write in journals and studied a character quality each day. These were hard times but with resourcefulness they created better memories and lessons than the easy times.

Her eyes can view the place she is in and she can find creating ways with language to describe it. Her hands can make the home a comfortable and tidy place to live. Resourcefulness seems to come out best when there are no convenient things to rely upon. It can either be a hardship, leaving bitter memories, or it can be a journey where God's hand is seen in the process.


The Grief of Disrespect




To all parents who are suffering from the outbursts and threats of grown children, I would like to say that you have my heart felt sympathy. It must be bewildering, especially to those of you who really raised their children with good principles. Sometimes, as I have stated in previous posts, the young adult likes to make a big drama out of breaking off relations with his parents. He is testy for weeks and waits for the slightest infraction or error on the part of the parent. "That's it," he declares, "I'm cutting off fellowship." He then calls his parents hypocrites or "sanctimonious," and vows he will never eat with them again. He has a lot of Biblical terminology as his arsenal and he aims to wound his parents and come out looking like he is the wounded one and his parents are walking disorderly.


I've seen a couple of families totally devasted by these antics. There is a song that we sing called "Does Jesus Care," that comes to mind when I see a stricken parent, who can barely talk about the disrespectful words and demands of their grown children. It is called, "Does Jesus Care?" and the words are these:


Does Jesus care when my heart is grieved

Too deeply for mirth or song?

When my sad heart aches til it nearly breaks,

And the day grows weary and long?


Oh yes, He cares, I know He cares,

His heart is touched with my grief!

When the days are weary, the long nights dreary,

I know my Saviour cares.


I just wanted you to know that I can imagine having spent many hours with your child trying to pay attention to his character and develop his reasoning skills and teach him to be kind and loving, only to have friends, relatives, and other influences create resentment and bitterness in him when he is older. I know it must seem like building a nice house and finally getting to enjoy it only to see that the termites are eating away at its foundation.


These "kids" who are grown up are really frightened children. They don't know what they are doing. You must pray for them and realize that God made parents the parents for a reason. You might not have done everything right but God knows your heart and your intentions and he will complete the work that He has done. Please don't be absorbed too much in grief that it prevents you from functioning as a human being. If yout get too debilitated by it, you will be no good to anyone, and I'm sure if you are a conscientious mother, you have many things you need to do for your family. The outbursts of these grown children do not necessarily mean that you are condemned, although you may feel it.



I think a lot of grown children attack because of the guilt in their lives. In small ways they've compromised and they may have even talked about the parents to others. I really had my eyes opened when I saw a message board where grown children were asking lawyers how they could sue their parents for having a bad childhood. Now most of them couldn't even define a bad childhood, but because they resented the restrictions their parents had for them, and the teaching, they got their feelings hurt and were still angry at their parents. Some of the young lawyers were actually telling them that it was possible in some cases. I even knew a boy who divorced his parents and took on a new name.


Reading the previous post about respect, really had an impact on me. The fact that it was from a book written in the 1800's, made me gasp at how far away we really are from respecting parents. Even when I was a child, we did not take it too seriously. We respected them in order to stay out of trouble, but most children didn't understand the meaning and the depth of honoring parents.


I think of the Irish and the Italian cultures in the 19th century, who revered their parents so much that they wrote songs and poems about them. The early school books had stories about beloved mothers and fathers. The handwriting books had phrases to copy about loving their dear mothers and fathers and not disappointing them. The Irish sang songs like "Mother McCree" with phrases like, "I kissed the dear fingers so toil-worn for me!" The Italians sang many songs about mothers and fathers and even famous singers wept openly as they sang them.


Somewhere in time, the sentimental feelings towards parents, the kind of thing that touched the heart and made it weep, was lost. I do not know what happened to it. Children seemed to get a casual relationship with their parents and not feel a strong sense of their value. I can remember as a child sometimes having a bad dream that my parents died and I woke up crying....not because I would have been an orphan, but because I would have lost their love. I would not have had a mother and father and they meant more to me than anything.


I can think of many more songs about mothers but I won't list them all. The songs have changed to songs about things that scare you instead of warm your heart. I believe there are several things that pull the grown children away from their parents hearts:


the current rock music and lyrics of the day

the fashions for youth

the culture at work or college, and friends

the movies,

and even church youth groups.


During their upbringing, we wouldn't be responsible parents if we didn't warn them about danger. It would be irresponsible to put them in harm's way. I remember the first youth group I attended and it impacted me so badly that I decided I wouldn't ever introduce my children to a youth group. It would not have been responsible of me to say, "Well, I had to experience it and learn my lesson, so they should experience it and learn theirs," because I knew where it could lead. The same goes for the music and the movies. It would have not shown any sense on my part to send my children to the movies and let them wear the latest youth fashion. A responsible parent guards the children instead of exposing them.


If you are a parent and your grown child has just stomped out, I just want you to know that it is kind of like a disease these days. They all seem to be stomping out and grieving their parents with the heartless things they say.


One of the parts of the previous article impacted me greatly. I wish I had been educated in this at an early age, for I admit there were times I thought my parents were very strange. I always regretted the times I challenged them or spoke disrespectfully. Though I wised up later, it wasn't the sort of behaviour that set my feet up on a rock. Instead, it depressed me. YOung people are always depressed when they tear down their parents.


This is the phrase that impressed me a great deal. I had not thought that it is part of our responsiblity to build up our parents and protect their reputations, because even in teh 50's, it was quite common for kids to get together at a slumber party or at school and complain about how their parents didn't understand them or were restricting them on something.







Parents are not perfect people, but the Bible does command children, even grown children to honor their parents. The benefit is for the children. Sometimes children get the idea that it would be wrong to honor or show respect to their parents because the parent didn't earn it or deserve it, but the reason behind it is manifold.







Monday, November 26, 2007

Respectablility















Wednesday, November 21, 2007

My Mother

To those who have read her story in "Just Breathing the Air," my mother is going to have heart surgery tomorrow. Since she lives in Australia, I cannot surprise her and be there when she goes home, but she might appreciate some email.







Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanksgiving

There won't be a comment section available for awhile, but you are welcome to enjoy the paintings and the 300 articles written here.
(This poem, written in the 19th century, is dedicated to young readers who think they know how this world should be run.)
As You Go Through Life Don’t look for the flaws as you go through life;
And even when you find them, It is wise and kind to be somewhat blind
And look for the virtue behind them. For the cloudiest night has a hint of light
Somewhere in its shadows hiding; It is better by far to hunt for a star,
Than the spots on the sun abiding. The current of life runs ever away
To the bosom of God’s great ocean. Don’t set your force ‘gainst the river’s course
And think to alter its motion. Don’t waste a curse on the universe –Remember it lived before you. Don’t butt at the storm with your puny form,
But bend and let it go o’er you. The world will never adjust itself
To suit your whims to the letter. Some things must go wrong your whole life long,
And the sooner you know it the better. It is folly to fight with the Infinite,
And go under at last in the wrestle; The wiser man shapes into God’s plan
As water shapes into a vessel. Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Mature Audiences Only

As mentioned in a previous post, the younger women become older women, and take with them the habits they formed in their youth. Bad habits are very hard to shake, once they are formed, especially if they involve substances like drugs, alcohol and cigarettes. Young girls are full of fun and rebellion, wanting to relieve themselves of every stress, and turn to mindless occupations. To learn more about the effects of rebellion in youth, go to my blog for parents at www.guardthehome.blogspot.com
Immaturity takes the form of:
*Mocking everything that is good. This might be "cute" when you are young but translate it to old age and you get someting far more repugnant.
*Sarcasm. Young people today have a propensity to be sour on life, and when they get older, they are even more jaded.
*Drinking and partying. It might seem cool when you are young, to have a beer in your hand and a cigarette in your mouth, but just imagine what it looks like on the elderly.
*Not being a good steward of time. You may get away with unfinished projects and lateness when you are young, but it is a sign of immaturity if you are still doing it as an older women.
*Careless in dress and going unbathed. You might get away with it for awhile, especially if everyone at college is neglecting their appearance and going to school in their pyjamas, but it is more disgusting as you get older.
*Thinking that money is the answer to everything. Mature people are resourceful and do not use lack of money as an excuse.
*Pessimism. Old people who are negative and pessimistic and critical of everything, were once young people who developed these attitudes and cultivated them.
*Turning everything into an argument. Though this was once loftily labeled as "higher criticism," it is just immature rudeness. Skip ahead 50 years and imagine what you will be like as a critical, argumentive old lady.
*Naivity. It is not necessarily innocent to be naive. One is wise and the other is foolish. Naivity may be protected in your youth, but as an elderly person, naivity will rend you powerless.
I posted all this to let the young ones know that if you are not mature you will automatically misconstrue the Biblical teachings for women. Scoffing and simple mindedness is like being constantly drunk. Drunk people do not have good judgement. Who would pay attention to them? Only those who would restrain them. You are in training to be an older woman. I wrote about this several years ago on the Lady Lydia Speaks column at www.ladiesagainstfeminism.org and mentioned that you are practicing to become an old woman with dignity or else you are putting into place habits that will make you an old lady that will never be regarded as having anything worthwhile wisdom to contribute to the young.
I do not think many people realize how much the older women are needed to be good examples. Though there may be no older women in your life that you desire for mentors, you'll just have to take control and start learning how to be one for the next generation. You can build a reputation of being smart and wise in all things regarding the roles of women.
One lesson to be learned is the art of visiting. An older person who wishes to call upon a younger person should first make an appointment. She should phone and find out when would be a good time to drop by. She can say, "I have a little something I'd like to give you. When would be a good time to drop by." She should prepare a gift bag with something in it for her home: maybe a scented candle, a set of measuring spoons, some jam or a new dish towel in her favorite motifs or colors. Fruit or vegetables from a farmer's market is nice, too. Flowers from your garden put in a jar that is hand decorated...sometimes I use a baby food jar and put a rose sticker or decal on it and "frost" it with clear glitter paint, tie with a bit of ribbon, and put fresh mint leaves in it . If there is no money to spare, she can make her something very simple--a batch of homemade cookies, some hand made cards or stationery.
The next thing she needs to know is that she must try not to over-stay. An hour, in my opinion is enough time. That way you won't use up her day and she will look forward to seeing you again. While I love visits, I find their are older women to whom time means nothing, and they will stay from noon til 6 in the evening and only leave when they see me starting to get dinner for my husband.
Another thing she needs to know about is conversation, and to be careful about subjects that would depress or cause anxiety. I find the easiest things to talk about are the things that seem to mean a lot to the young woman in her house, from decorations, collections, quilts, colors, or whatever you find. Also to inquire about how she has been and what she needs help with. Stay away from discussing all your health problems and your own family problems such as the daughter that doesn't speak to you anymore or the cousin that ran away with his boss's sister, leaving behind his wife and family. Don't criticize your husband. Be a cheerful as you can and leave on a high note.
Finally, she should be careful what she wears and not show up in shorts or something sloppy. I have an elderly friend that I never tire of seeing, because she always comes dressed up. I remember James MacArthur talking about his mother, actress Helen Hayes. He said that his mother was very dignified in her appearance, and in the later years when other actresses were showing up at the studio in jeans and sports shoes, Helen said she would not do it, and came "dressed to the nines." A young person can get away with being a bit more casual, but that casual, sloppy look has a terrible effect on an older person.
I am not yet an older person, but having found very few older women that would teach me, I began at the age of 21 to find out more about this role. The Bible seems to indicate that a woman was considered an "older woman" when she was past the age of 65. I wrote an article on the Guard the Home blog called "Doped Up and Dumbed Down; the Demise of the Older Generation." In it I showed how the older people were under doctor's care and most were given pills, disabling their thinking processes so that they could not teach as they should. They sit in front of television sets and feed on what the liberal media is dishing out. They cannot be counted on to give sound counsel. It is best to care for your health as young person and not get dependent on chemicals if you want to be an effective older person.
It is somewhat difficult to explain the feeling I get when I realize that though there are people in the 60's, 70',s 80's and 90's ahead of me who cannot be trusted to give sound counsel and guidance to the younger generation. It is a terrible waste, but a waste that could be prevented if young people would prepare for their old age more carefully. The older people should be running city hall and the government, and we should not be so youth driven. However, we are losing our elderly due to the many vices they practiced in their youth. You will not be a robust, healthy elderly person if you smoke, drink, stay up all night, eat junk food, take drugs and medication (which wears down your internal organs and cause side effects), have a bad attitude, and in general think that life sucks. YOur habits NOW determine your future.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Researching the Victorian Era



If you are tired of the same old fables about the Victorian era, i.e. the old stereotypical things written on the web that say the Victorians were a repressed, unhappy people who had no rights, then check out The Benevolence of Manners,)a reprint of Simple Social Graces, here http://www.amazon.com/Benevolence-Manners-Recapturing-Gracious-Victorian/dp/0060987456


The original edition is a hardback with the title, "Simple Social Graces." Both are reasonably priced at Amazon. In case you forget to scroll down to the reviews, I'll paste them here. I've spoken of this book many times and told how it portrays a more accurate view of the era of our great grandmothers, and gives better documentation than many sites where you read typical assumptions about the Victorians, most of which is fable. This book is really absorbing and I hope those who are researching the Victorians will read it.


Editorial Reviews:

'Book Description
We can go home again, and not just to the hearthbut to the art of love and the art of civilized living. . .
Imagine a time when common courtesy was a standard for all, when a genuine moral authority reigned supreme and when relations between the sexes were marked by mutual respect and honor. These were the hallmarks of the Victorian era.
In The Benevolence of Manners, sociologist Linda S. Lichter guides us on a wonderful journey back to the complex world of our Victorian ancestors, illuminating their most precious concepts and presenting a wealth of invaluable advice for our troubled times: the fine and elusive art of living.
Although the Victorian era is often misunderstood as a time of sexual repression, it was in fact a time of sexual floweringwhen love and romance were unshackled by chronic infidelity and exploitation.
In Victorian families, the greatest gift a parent could give their child was not complete indulgence, but a strong sense of self-reliance and restraint.
Victorian parents successfully instilled confidence and character in their children by holding them to the same high standard of civility as adults.
Whereas we often seek to be "good enough," the Victorians strove for consistent perfection. The Victorians achieved more, and received more, because they expected the very best from themselves and others.
These Victorian values, as Lichter eloquently explains, are not simply outdated relics, but priceless tools for mending the many problems of our modern world. If we have the courage to follow the path the Victorians have left behind, we can regain the joy of gracious living. Slowly but surely, Victorian wisdom can again become our own. About the AuthorLinda S. Lichter is co-director of the Center for Media and Public Affairs in Washington D.C. With her husband, Bob Lichter, she has co-authored The Media Elite and Watching America, and she has written for The Wall Street Journal, Reader's Digest, The New York Times, and other publications


****

A very wonderful book, it's a real eyes opener. There is a lot of truth in there. The author, really shows us how different society is today from the Victorian era, and shows we should have kept some of their ways of doing things, and can learn alot on how to live from them era.


****


It was wonderful to discover that a woman traveling alone in Victorian America could do so without fear of molestation. In our enlightened era, we can't do that today at High Noon! They must have been doing something right, those Victorians. After reading this book, I don't see how any woman could bristle at a man holding a door open for her. Some still do, thank God and I'm ALWAYS grateful! The most important message in the book for me was that everyone should strive to be a better person in everyway. Amen to that!!!


****














In Search of the Titus 2 Older Woman



Note: Ladies Against Feminism is now updated and you can read my article, "How to Stop Fretting About Politics and Live an Abundant Life." In it I show 7 things that people are trying to do to break down the home, and 7 things women at home can do to thwart them, without taking any time away from the home.


At this point I would like to address the comment from Mrs. Vawser, because I had the same experience. My upbringing was excellent and I was quite capable of managing as a wife, mother and homemaker. However, being married to a man whose job took us all over the world, I did not live near her. In spite of the fact that I had good training, I still needed the older women in the church to be teachers of good things that would encourage me in my home. It would have given me some fuel to go on and some inspiration.


In an effort to learn more deeply about the Biblical role of women, I attended the Ladies Bible Class. What a disappointment! There were no classes taught on the many different aspects of guiding the home. Instead, many of the women wanted to study something "that applied to everyone." They would excuse it by saying that there were single, widowed, divorced women, students, etc. coming and they wanted something for the whole group.


As we moved from place to place, I heard this excuse and offered suggestions for Bible studies that would help the younger women. That way, all women would be involved. The older, though they may have been through women's studies many times, would never tire of it as they saw their opportunity to be used and to teach the younger women. They would get great satisfaction from watching their young proteges succeed in making happy homes and contented husbands.


Prior to the 1900's, when women of the churches got together, it was to sew for the poor or teach the younger women. They shared homemaking hints and had tea together. Later, as I entered my 20's and attended some of the classes, I was very sad to see that they were no longer about such things. Instead of being taught by older women who were crocheting as they spoke, the older women wanted us as a class, to collect labels and turn them in, for some such cause. Other times, throughout the years, these classes turned into cutting and pasting for the bulletin boards at church.


It was the older women who continually rejected the subject of teaching the younger women. Some said they were "tired" of the Proverbs 31 woman or bored with studying the women of the Bible. "We've already studied all that," they would say. However subject matter they chose and the study books they used usually didn't apply to anyone 's personal life, either! Sometimes it would apply only to one person. Most of the material was about how to be nice and kind to everyone but never showed how to prevent your children from rebelling or your marriage from falling apart, or wise use of time regarding house work and home making.


Instead, they chose topics that could have been heard in an adult Bible class or from the pulpit, such as a study of Jeremiah or a study of the symbolism in Revelation, or a study of the different kinds of angels in the Bible. All this is perfectly fine to study, but why in a LADIES Bible class, when such topics were usually already studied in adult classes or preached from the pulpit. In all the churches we attended, the preacher (my husband) usually asked for topics that people wanted to hear about, and even had a box in the foyer for suggestions.


In the meantime, many young women were experiencing the tremendous force against marriage, home and family. Many of them could not manage their income, and many of them felt alone in their struggle to do well at home. Some of their marriages broke up. Sometimes one of the partners would come to the minister for counselling, but as qualified as he was and as excellent of advice he gave, he admitted it was a topic that would have been better covered over time with the older women in the Ladies Bible Study classes.


I could not understand why they wanted to study things that the men could teach. The older women had a responsibility to teach the younger women, but what exactly were they supposed to teach them? Titus 2 was very clear! Occasionally when I was successful in having a Titus 2 class, it was, to my surprise, the older women who made the discouraging remarks such as:


"I already know how to cook. I don't need to come here and discuss cooking.."


"I hate sewing. I don't want to waste my time studying about how to sew. I can buy everything I need."


"I can't stand Proverbs 31. It must be a myth!"


What they did not take into consideration is that the younger women sometimes could not cook or sew and did not have money and wanted to be guided into how to cope in those early years when there is not much money and the husband is just beginning in his profession, or the children are little. I noticed the older women were the ones the most resistant to the Biblical role of women!


They did not like classes about femininity or the distinctive role of women. They wanted to make the Deborah the Judge, and Lydia the seller of Purple , the role models for todays women. Yet there are no instructions for women to become judges or sell products....not that there is anything wrong with it! However Titus 2 was clearly a course for the young and the old as to the focus they should have.


Personally, I am not fascinated with Deborah or with Lydia, as it does not challenge me as much as Titus 2 does. Every word in there can be a unit study lasting for months, if one were to put it into a college course. There were reasons for each of the women mentioned for what they did, but the Bible nowhere recommends their careers as something to emulate.


In the book of Acts, Lydia was apparently hospitable, but many working women today are not. When women went to work, hospitality just about stopped, leaving the burden to the younger women who didn't have the time or the money. I saw younger women in the church trying to shop for church hospitality for a funeral or a wedding, while handling small children, and living on a very tight budget. The older women could have been doing this, especially if their husbands were retired, as they would not have been under the pressure of their husband's work schedules any more. Instead, they were all at work in their later years, and did not participate when there was a need in the church. I saw the Thanksgiving baskets delivered by the young women, because the older women were too tired on weekends to do it.


Finally, as a younger women, I had my fill of sitting through Ladies Bible classes, and quit. I needed the time to work at home and get my house in the kind of smooth running order I needed, in order to feel at peace and give my family a nice home. I enjoyed sharing sewing and decorating ideas with my daughter. Sometimes other mothers would ask us to include their daughters in our projects, which we did.


Abut 16 years ago I was asked to teach a Bible class for women, and I decided that no matter what topic they decided to study, or what chapter in the Bible, I would do my best to enrich it with applicable teachings about women. I try to remind the older women what their duties are and the younger women what they should be concerned with. Time is so short and in just a few years a woman can make a mess of her life. The older women need to be able to detect when a younger one needs a bit of help.


Ladies Bible classes are nice, but they are next to useless if they aren't using the time wisely and training the younger women. They are not really necessary, however, and they do not have to be held regularly. I always thought it might be nice just to have a gathering once in awhile in your home to remind the young women of certain principles of the Christian home, and not have one every week. However if you are not happy with the subject material presented, you might consider having something in your home, as an alternative, once in awhile.

If the older women will not do their duty, then the younger ones can start practicing it. They can be the kind of women they wish the older women would be.











Women at Home








The last three entries have emphasised the need for older women to be good examples, as per Titus 2 in the Bible. Now I would like to present a little study outline of Titus 2, where you, the reader, answers and discusses the questions yourself. Remember to answer according to these verses, and not from what you see going on around you in society.



Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior,




not slanderers




or slaves to much wine.




They are to teach what is good,



and so train the young women to love their husbands




and to love their children,



to be self-controlled,




pure,




working at home, (THe King James says "workers" at home.)




kind,




and submissive to their own husbands,




that the word of God may not be reviled.




Questions to consider concerning these things:




Does being an older woman automatically qualify a woman to be a "teacher of good things?"




What if there are no older women doing the job of Titus 2?




Is it appropriate for older women to be somewhat more serious about life, and less silly than a young person?




Do you think she is a good influence if she is out drinking with friends, has a beer can in her hand, or smokes, even if she is a good person?




Look up Noah Webster's 1828 definition of "good", and Young's Analytical Concordance definition, and make a list of some good things an older woman could teach.




How can a younger woman be taught to "love" her husband. Isn't she "in love" with him already?




What are some examples of love in action throughout the day, the week, an a lifetime, today, and in the Bible?




For example, what is respect?




What sort of things should a younger woman avoid saying that would discourage her husband and show lack of love?




What sort of things would be helpful regarding the teaching and training of your children?




How can an older woman help you understand what you should be doing daily with your children?




Is the teaching of character important? Why?




Which is more important in raising children: having a lot of material things, like great clothes, and fun food, or teaching them to be good, honest, just, obedient, respectful, and loyal?




What is self control? Write the meaning from Noah Webster's 1828 dictionary (you might get it online, as well) and the meaning from Young's Analytical Concordance (also online) as well as looking up the passage in Adam Clarke's Commentary of the 1700's.




How would lack of self control make people sneer at the idea of a woman being at home full time?




Are there things like television shows and movies, reading materials, certain friendships, social activities, etc. that will rob a young woman of her youthfulness, sweetness, innocence and simple trust? In other words, what influences make us jaded and sarcastic, even to the point of saying things that are not becoming to an older or younger woman?




Do you think that modern man has become confused with the phrase "workers at home" and made something of it other than home making? What do you think "workers at home" really means?




Is it right to have a business at home to earn money if your home is neglected and the laundry piles up and the dishes go unwashed, the meals unprepared, and you lose your sleep over it?




Do you think there will be seasons in a woman's life when she can sell something to earn money, or take on different projects besides homemaking? If a homemaker is in business, discuss what kind of businesses would be most complimentary to her role as wife, mother and homemaker?




Define the word "kind" from Young's Analytical Concordance, and Noah Webster's 1828 dictionary.






Make a list of kindnesses, according to these definitions, that are essential in having a strong family unit and a good marriage. and an orderly home.




Divide the word submission into two parts and define each. What does the word "sub" mean? What does "mission" mean? HOw do you think love can be connected to submission?If a woman loves her husband, should there be constant conflict regarding decisions?




Discuss the following reasons that the word of God is mocked?




-Christian women do not live the way the Bible teaches


-Older women do not fulfill the role given to them in the Bible


-Some people are just mockers




Discuss the following:




What is faith?


Can only rich women be at home?


Trace your grandmothers and great grandmothers and great-great grandmothers activity at home. Were they rich, or poor? What were their responsibilities at home?


How can being at home improve the health of your family?


Make a list of things that can be done at home, all the way from hairdressing to horticulture.

























Monday, November 05, 2007

Older Women and Virtue







Virtue being the practice of goodness, and vice the neglect of duty and the use of substances not able to multiply wisdom in one's life, it is incumbant upon me to discuss this in relation to the example of older women.


There seemed to be many a young woman in the 20th century who at one time or another as a young person who cried out in anguish for better guidance from older women. It was an era of abandoning the responsiblities of the home. Many older women shaved their heads, donned trousers and went to work with the men. It was hailed as a right and and an expression of independence, but later became a harsh taskmaster, demanding more and more of women outside the home.


Imagine if you can, a young woman at home in an empty neighborhood, praying for a visit from a wise older woman. She comes to the door and offers to help. Once inside she demonstrates a routine of picking up things and cleaning, leaving the front room, living area a scene from a memory of long ago when women were at home and loved making it a place of beuaty and order for their husbands. Then she leads the young women into the kitchen where she shows her how to put dinner on the stove to simmer, while they clean up the kitchen and then go through each room of the house to put it in reasonable order. Afterwards she brews a pot of tea and finds the tea cups which have rarely been used. She brings a tea tray to the lounge room they have just put in order. Between sips she tells her things about the home and family, while the young woman takes notes. Oh, wouldn't it be lovely?


Witness, however, what takes place in much of our society today. Admittedly there are a lot of wise and helpful older women around who really do more above and beyond their own strength. Some of these wonderful women are exhausted with the work they do for their own homes as well as the help they give to others. If more older women would return to the Titus 2 model, the burden would not be so great on these few wonderful women.


Instead we can't help but notice the many older women who spend enormous amounts of money at gambling casinos, or in drinking establishments, or travelling to and fro to spend money on their favorite vices. Many of these older women are quite noticible in regard to what is in their hands. Whereas older women of the past could be seen with a benevolence basket, or their hands holding a piece of sewing for the home or a family member, or hands holding a fan, or holding the hand of a little grandchild, today, older women can really shock you with the things they hold in their hands: cocktails, cigarettes, gambling chips, scratch cards and even guns. It is impossible for the young women to imagine an older woman with the Titus 2 description!


What is the solution to this? Anyone can change, it is true, but sometimes it is time consuming and fruitless to try to reform older people who are set in their ways. It may be necessary to train yourself and the next generation to become those older women that the young people so desire in their lives.

Dignified Speech




Continuing with the subject of older women. There are a lot of younger women who just long for older women to be what they should be in the way they speak, in the way they dress and in the way they conduct their lives. Many a young married lady has hoped for hints on homemaking and relationship-making, from the older generation, only to find out that older women are lacking in the kind of example that is worth emulating.


All these things are signals for the younger women to try hard now at this age, to regulate themselves and educate themselves in things like manners, homemaking, to help with the role of being wives and mothers. They are creating a history for themselves. One day younger women will look at them and analyze them with questions like:


- Did she get along with her husband or was she always arguing?

-Was she able to keep house?

-Were her children respectful?

-Did she show hospitality?

-Is her appearance a good example? (see former article for ideas on what does and does not look dignified on older women).


One area that young women can work on in their youth, is speech. One expects the young to be somewhat brash and not careful what they blurt out in public. At a seasoned age, appropriate speech should be already learned in youth.


One example is the woman in the line to buy drygoods in a certain department store. We are all lined up, patiently waiting, and she says loudly to the clerk, "I missed the sale, because I didn't get my SUPPORT CHECK until today." The other people in line looked embarrassed, for it is personal information like this that one should keep quiet. For one thing, she was airing the failures of her marriage. She might not have been in the least at fault for a broken marriage, but she was announcing failure by the very remark that she made. Even if she was within her rights to divorce, it was obvious that the younger women in line were somewhat horrified at the prospect of getting that old and being worried about a support check.


Now we could get off on all kinds of other subjects regarding the older woman and her income, but this is not the point. The point is, that in public, older women, and others as well, need to be discreet about the source of their income. Today, they talk about all kinds of personal things, but in former times, it was not considered right to tell about your financial situation or announce publicly anything personal.



There are many other times people have been embarrassed by older women who are loud and brash in public, and it is more the tragedy because by a certain age, they should know better. Some excuse themselves loudly from a tea table and announce they have to go to the bathroom and take their pills. Others talk about surgeries in detail, all the way from how big the scar was and how much they bled. Some complain loudly about personal matters, and even worse, some speak in public situations about their husband's faults.


Older women have a responsibility to the younger women, and that is why they need to be gracious and graceful and careful in their appearance and their attitudes.In the Orangery
In the Orangery
Art Print

Perugini, Charles...
Buy at AllPosters.com



Sunday, November 04, 2007

Pretty as a Picture













Friday, November 02, 2007

Dignified Dress

Have you ever looked at the paintings that so many blogging ladies are putting on, and wondered how in the world we got so far away from beautiful fabrics and flowing designs for women? To be fair, there are still some good styles out there. I get a catalog called "Seventh Avenue" (http://www.seventhavenue.com/Fashion/Womens/Dresses--Skirts/index.cat?index=0&viewall=1) which has a page of womens dresses that look somewhat like the dresses depicted in Edmund B. Leighton's paintings such as "Stitching the Standard," or "The Accolade," and others. If you do consider dresses like this I would like to emphasize the importance of good foundations, or the dress will hang on the figure like a trash bag. You will notice from photographs of the 19th century women compared with photographs of the 20th century women, how awful the women looked in the 1940's styles unless they were models. They had gotten rid of the stay, the linings, the various quilting and padding, and the undergarments that gave the clothing shape. The garments looked very droopy on ordinary women. In contrast, the 19th century clothing looked good on everyone, even the older women and those with more ample figures. There was a look of structure and good fit. These were supported by various pieces of underwear that gave it its shape. Also, the style was created to elongate and slim the figure and bring the upward to the face.

We watch "Antiques Roadshow" sometimes and are always horrified at the camera's inadvertent capture of women in the background wearing the worse shorts and pants and sleeveless things that make the women look shapeless and fat. If you ever look at an object they are filming and are distracted by the appearance of the people in the background.

It is impossible to overlook the woman in short shorts standing just behind the antique clock that the commentators were talking about. She turned around and showed the ill-fitting shorts from behind, which was a total embarrassment. Do old ladies really think they look good in these things?

I read in an old book written in the 1800's that women should try to dress as well in the back as in the front. Today, they seem to ignore what they look like from the back, but people will view the back just as much, if not more, than the front.

Take church, for example. If you have gone to church every Lord's day for most of you life, you have viewed the audience from behind them. As women quit wearing long skirts and dresses and began to wear pants more and more, the scene became almost ludicrous. Yes, it is good they go to worship, but it is not good that their back views are so distracting.

The young are no less culpable. Though their figures are more fit, and their clothing in better shape, the styles leave nothing to the imagination because they are too tight, too short, too low, and too revealing. Large girls do not realize that tight or revealing clothing makes them look fatter. Looser clothing in good taste can take the eye away from all those extra pounds and make them look dignified.

Here are some things for older women that will help them look dignified in dress:

*White at the neckline and throat softens the face and hides a wrinkled neck.

*Long sleeves, particularly those with puffs at the shoulders and cuffs at the wrist appear more dignifed and respectable.

*Long skirts, at least below the knees, and preferable below calf, slim the figure. If you wear the hem at mid-calf, it makes the leg look fat.

*Don't wear slinky fabrics that droop and sag. Wear structured clothing that has a little strength in it. Try on everything and think about this. You need to avoid wearing sleeveless garments if your arms are not attractive and in good shape. As you get older, they sag, and wrinkle. YOu also don't need to be showing the veins on your legs, and your knees are not your best assets for fashion.

*Matching jackets and skirts are nice, but avoid drab colors. Dresses are all around the best deal, because they already match and they hang well in a closet. In my opinion, this is less messy than a lot of separates.

Though there are many more things that help older women look dignified, young women need to realize that the habits they form now will most likely be carried on into old age. If you don't want to be a sloppy old lady, then dress with dignity now. The things you get used to wearing as a youth, will be the things you prefer as you age. Jeans and tank tops might have looked good on you as a teenager, but they don't look good on you as an older woman.

Concerning hair, here is something I've written before: Shaved and spiky hair styles emphasise

wrinkles. Longer hair, swept up, is much like short hair, and can be worn off the neck for coolness.

Tennis shoes, sports shoes, or any name brand

Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Appearance of Older Women









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