Tuesday, March 10, 2009


In the Cove by Gary Shepard, from Lovely Whatevers

You Can If You Think You Can!

If you think you are beaten, you are,
If you think you dare not, you don't.
If you like to win, but you think you can't,
It is almost certain you won't.

If you think you'll lose, you're lost,
For out in the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow's will.
It's all in the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are,
You've got to think high to rise,
You've got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.

Life's battles don't always go
To the stronger or faster man.
But soon or late the man who wins,
the man who thinks he can.
~ C. W. Longenecker ~

This is a requested subject: Ways to Find Solace and Sensibility When There is Chaos Around You

Whether it be a remodeling project in a home, packing and moving to another location, political unrest, national security, or trouble with relatives, women can find ways to develop permanent stability in the home. If the home is destroyed, people will be like ships without anchors.

There has to be one place in society that can be depended upon to have some sameness. My memories of the old folks at home is that they were predictable in their countenance and stable their habits. They had practiced for years and now, it was a part of their lives. When you visited the old home place, Grandpa was his steady-at-the-helm self, jovial and glad to see you, busy about his business, which he never seemed to tire of or get bored with. Despite family disappointments on all sides, Grandma was also "the same." She had established routines that she felt comfortable with, and enjoyed a life she had ordered, with dependable events throughout the day. She was ever prepared with lunch and dinner, a well made guest room and typical evening activities.

Today, it seems like there are things that cannot be explained. People are changeful for seemingly unexplained reasons. Businesses quit suddenly, sending families into poverty and debt. Thieves break
in and steal, killl and destroy. Property is devalued. Friends are untrue, and so forth. There are disruptions in people's lives, but it is up to the homemaker to make certain that her life has a certain amount of dependable sameness about it.

Though there always seems to be a crisis around, there are ways to protect yourself, and that is what I am going to welcome a discussion on today, if anyone has time for it. Surrounded by your children, it is important to exemplify calm in the storm and stability in sticky situations. I have a list of ideas that others have given me over the years.

1. Substitute a lovely thought for a disturbing one: The Bible says to think on these things: purity, loveliness, goodness, virtue and things of praise, plus many more (See Philippians 4:8). There seems to be an effort to discourage homemakers, or just anyone who does not follow "the group", with just the right kind of remarks that will try to de-stabilize you. Therefore, their words can play back inside your mind all day long. This is where the technique of substituting a lovely thought, can really help.

It may happen a hundred times that the nagging thought enters your head, but you can think of the lovely thing a hundred times, and it will always dominate the ugly thing. Picture something in your mind that is good and lovely, or something you would like to have (such as a house that works (no leaks) or a supportive family or some landscape you enjoy viewing; some interior decor you like, an event you want to plan for, with all the table decorations and food, etc) and substitute that every time. Soon, those thoughts will turn to action, and the action will turn to total delight.

If you are debilitated by upsetting events, you are no good to anyone at home and it depresses the family. Once you substitute the lovely thoughts and ideas, you can actually feel your heart slowing down to a normal beat and your blood pressure lowering. (I have naturally low blood pressure so I have no idea what it feels like to have high blood pressure, but I understand it can be quite dangerous.)

2. Keep close to the ones who love you and steer clear of the ones who don't: Too often, we go the 3rd and 4th mile with people who are doing us harm, trying to help them. When you are a homemaker, most of the atmosphere in your home depends on your own sense of well being.When you associate too much with those who do not believe in what you are doing and who run you down, it can make your mood so low that you do not do anything. It is important, therefore, to "cling to that which is good," and "abhor that which is evil." Romans 12:9 "Abhor" means to push away something that is distasteful or disgusting. It is important not to have too many friends that are well-versed in cutting you down. If they cut you down, you in turn, may not give your creative best to your home or your family.

In an old Charlie Brown cartoon, the critic, Lucy, plays psychiatrist to Charlie Brown. She first makes sure she runs him down enough to make him cry out in agony, "What's wrong with me?!" and then she offers to tell him what is wrong with him if he pays her. He pays for a session with her and all she does is show a plain picture of him. There is nothing wrong with the picture but she points to all the flaws she can think of. He feels worse, and what is worse, he had to pay for it. Lucy will tell him he will feel better if he will come in for another session. In a vain attempt to be accepted, he will continually depend on her opinion of him.

In social circles, such as Junior High, there has been a trend for many years to have a pack, or herd, of girls whose main goal is to run down other girls not in their pack, regarding their beliefs, the brand on their clothing, or their innocence. They learn this kind of behavior early and by the time they are in their late 20's, it is still a habit and they continue it in the adult world. Such hatred has caused young girls to take drastic measures to change their natural looks, reject their parents, or even harm themselves, in their desperation to be accepted by these groups.

Beware of miserable comforters, the kind Job dealt with when he said, "No doubt, you are the people, and wisdom shall die with you." He was exaggerating because his friends were acting like wise know-it-alls who had all the solutions to his predicament. Homemakers will sometimes expect people to sympathise if they are tired, or have caught a cold, or have not been able to get all the things completed they wanted to, and "miserable comforters" will tell them to give up and seek employment outside the home. Job was telling the miserable comforters that they had such a corner on wisdom, that when they died, they would take all that wisdom with them. Being careful who you confide in will help when it comes time to dig new wells or rebuilt walls.

Homemaking is a loner job, for the most part, and no education can prepare you for it. We have to learn the art of working alone. Acting as an individual is not something most people are trained for, especially if they go through schools and colleges with other "herds" that can influence them. Keeping close to your mother, daughter, sister, or a like-minded friend, is so helpful, if they are on your side. If they reject you, it still does not have to be a lonely job. Being creative and fully active in making your home a beautiful place to live, will take up so much time and concentration, you will find you hardly notice that you are working alone.

3.Rebuild the Walls: If you watch certain television programs, within minutes there will be a jab at homemakers or marriage, and you will feel the sadness and discouragement. When Nehemiah was rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, he was discouraged on all sides by enemies. He had to put out guards against them so that they could not get anywhere near the building efforts. When he found out people even within his own company were not on his side, he reprimanded them.

We can rebuild the walls in a sense, by re-inforcing the strength of our walls outside the walls themselves. This means there are certain pieces of mail that should not enter your home, or should be thrown away immediately. It means being careful of the company that enters your home, if they would have an influence that makes you uneasy. To make the walls effective, you may have to create more distance between your home and those who would discourage you, like Nehemiah did, so that he could be left in peace to get the job done.

4.Re-dig the Wells: ItalicBoldWhen Issac dug wells, it was to benefit everyone who would come across the wells. He was constructive, not destructive. Yet his enemies continually filled in the wells with dirt or poisoned the water so that he could not use them, and neither could anyone else. Isaac would just go and dig another well. He named wells after his father. The enemy came and destroyed them again and again, but Isaac dug more wells. At least, he always had a new well for a time, and was never without water.

When you re-dig the wells at home, you are like the spider that weaves a new web on the wall within days after his former home is torn down. Someone may come right into your home and rant and rave about how crazy you are. Instead of it crushing you, go and do something constructive to make the house even better or to benefit others. I knew of a woman who, when insulted or treated badly, would immediately plan a party. She and her friends and their children, would have an afternoon of fellowship in her home, which she decorated to the hilt and enjoy her sumptious food. She would go "all out" every time someone try to destroy something in her life.

Sometimes there is a real disaster at home, in the form of someone actually stealing something or destroying something. It is then that it is important to dig new wells, so to speak. Repair the damage and upgrade it at the same time. Sing a joyful song and reassure your family around you. Remember the patience of Job. He suffered things like stealing, destruction, and death in his family, but he was given twice as much for his faithfulness.

5. Start out Slow when you are surrounded by major chaos. If you have had several days of illness or super-activity and have not been able to keep things orderly at home, don't panic. Ease slowly into some little job that will bring instant results, so that you can have some success. Don't start out by cleaning the basement or the over-stuffed laundry room, but do what can be quick and beautiful, such as tidying up the living area or clearing off the dining table. Then, move on to more what I call "densBoldely populated" jobs--jobs that have more clutter to sort, such as a kitchen stacked high with dishes and a bedroom that is cluttered.

6. Keep a Song in Your Heart: Literally. If you know songs by heart, keep humming and singing them when there are distracting thoughts or total chaos in the house during rennovation, your old familiar songs will help keep your mind sound.

7. Pray without ceasing: 1st Thessalonians 5:17 You can't run to your closet every time a distressing thing happens or a distressing thought enters your mind, but you can "walk in prayer" as I call it. That is what praying without ceasing is all about. You can have a prayer in your thoughts all the time, and God knows our thoughts. There is nothing "crazy" about thinking a prayer all the time.
This poem is worth reading over and over until you can say it by heart, and it is particularly good for children.

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done,
But he with a chuckle replied
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one
Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried.

So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin
On his face. If he worried he hid it.
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that;
At least no one ever has done it”;
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat,
And the first thing we knew he’d begun it.

With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin,
Without any doubting or quiddit,
He started to sing as he tackled the thing
That couldn’t be done, and he did it.

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done,
There are thousands to prophesy failure;
There are thousands to point out to you one by one,
The dangers that wait to assail you.

But just buckle in with a bit of a grin,
Just take off your coat and go to it;
Just start to sing as you tackle the thing
That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

~ Edgar A. Guest ~

If you are overwhelmed with housework and want hints on where to start, there is a great article here:
Need a break from blogging, but still want to keep active with your message? Click on Task Bar below your blogger window and on the right you can post date your articles. Write for a month and have them all appear automatically according to the date and time you determine. Great for people on vacation or just taking a break for other activities.


Anonymous said...

I can't thank you enough dear Lydia for this wonderful article. I will be studying and re-reading it many times. It's full of encouraging thoughts and practical helps. How does this quote make you want to behave, 'predictable in their countenance, stable in their habits' when speaking of your grandparents.'Dependable sameness, calm in the storm, stability in sticky situations' and the specific examples you gave, like the thoughts you can substitute for troubling ones are just such a comfort and inspiration to me. And the 'working alone'.. I have come to love and treasure this aspect of homemaking so very much. (This is not to say I don't have a close relationship with my extended family or at different seasons in my life had very close friends.)But I do so love working quietly by myself with my own hands, loving my peaceful niche in the home.Thank you once again for the work and wisdom in this post. It's very much appreciated. Love, Linda

lauraelizabeth4@outlook.com said...

Thank you for this timely post. This has been on my mind for some time as our family has been experiencing a lot of tension. My husband has been laid off for several months now and his emotions are all over the place. Sometimes I find myself riding the same waves with him...but I DON'T WANT TO! - for his sake and also the children. How wonderful to have a practical map to follow. God bless you good.

Mrs. Santos

Lydia said...

Sarah , those who stand by and speak the cutting remark, the bully and the destructive people, will often be hurting worse than those they direct the comment toward. When I first began homemaking, I thought I had the world on my side, but things had changed in society. Now, people were ridiculing the homemaker or the women attempting to follow th standards of the scripture in staying home and minding their own business. Then, it was a place of honor. I think we can restore it back to the place it is suppose to be, if we just live it in spite of the jabs. I mentioned the junior high girls who are victims of bullying, and hope they will learn the technique of rewarding themselves with something beautiful or by doing something good and lovely, each time they are persecuted. If they could give themselves rewards equal to the punishment they get daily, they would be able to overcome it. There are of course, those who never receive a discouraging word, and that is great. Maybe things will return to normal and we can be left in peace. However for most of us, there is a friend or relative at a workplace where this issue of staying home is being discussed, and many of our dear friends come home with these attitudes. To live it and prove it and triumph over it is so important.

Mrs. Santos, Read "When Queens Ride By" on the theme articles on the side, and you will get a bit of comfort in your situation. Men do not like to be home; they want to work and make money.

Jennifer C. Valerie said...

Ms Lydia
I had a grandmother(now deceased) who was the epitome of peace and calm even in the midst of hurricanes. She was a Christian and from time to time I find myself saying that I aspire to be like her. I appear to have a long way to go but I would like to have that type of demeanor so that others would find comfort and peace in their hard times when they come around me. Thanks for the reminder of what I am praying for, longing for and working towards. Your articles always help me to feel stable as well when I need it in my homemaking journey. God bless you for the ministry you do through this site.

Lydia said...

Fruitful Vine,

I think that much of their demeanor was bred into them from being around the generation before them, who knew how to live. I say "how to live" because we live sort of helter-skelter, doing things without regulation, and being distracted, whereas, no matter what, these people had a routine that gave them and others around them a strong sense of stability. I do not think this generation feels as grounded as they did. Still, we can practice doing things that will give us that kind of calmness. I remember a friend of mine who was elderly. Her sister told her that one of their relatives had run off with another woman and that his children were going to have to come and live with her. She said, well, let me get dressed and have my breakfast and I will talk to you about it. Confronted with a crisis, our generation would still be in their pyjamas at noon,running around using phones and messaging, trying to get the problem solved. It makes us more nervous.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this beautiful post. Yesterday was a terrible day and it was so so good to read this in the evening.
God bless you Ana

Anonymous said...

The part about the girls and women running in packs really spoke to me.

I often feel on the outside because I am not filling up my entire week and even weekends with activities and volunteer work at the school with the PTO, etc. I feel like people, and "SAHMs" just can't bear to be home anymore.

I hope when my children look back they remember our home as a place that was always the same and a dependable shelter from whatever storm was brewing in their lives.

Thank you for an inspirational article!

~ Ann

Becky said...

You are so right, Lady Lydia. Thank-you so much for reminding, teaching us and helping us about what to do is such situations. Sometimes such situations are so overwelming that they catch you off guard, but thanks for all your advice.

Lynn said...

I love this post, thank you.

Anonymous said...

I can't tell you enough just how valuable this article is, Mrs. Sherman...surely I will be returning to it & studying it again in the next few days.

I have, I'm sorry to say, been the recipient of some pretty nasty comments, of the cutting-down kind you described, by my original family. It does not feel good to be called a "Stepford Wife", or have my fondness for needlework & playing the piano sneered at. It is worse than awful to be made fun of because I don't like drinking to drunkeness, or that my disinclination to take part in banter that could measure on the Richter Scale somehow means I'm not a "regular guy". And yes, your example of Lucy & Charlie Brown is a pretty apt one!

All I know is that my parents, were they still alive, would be broken hearted to witness such behavior among us....they did not bring us up to be like this, & as distressed as it makes me, I'm also a bit mystified by it all.

I thank you for such a restful & helpful blog to come to. :o)


Anonymous said...

Aren't you mis-using the term "literal" here? (Put a song in your heart, literally)--how would you put a literal song in a literal heart?

Lydia said...

Anonymous: I saved your comment for awhile and then decided it may be a misunderstanding of the word "heart" rather than the word "literal." The heart I am speaking of is a spiritual one. A song in the heart, as spoken of in the Bible, is the song in the spirit or the mind, which you dedicate to God. I think most people understand what it means.

chicory cottage said...

thank you for this post; it is a blessing to me.

Anonymous said...

I know this is a late comment to a post that was done a few weeks ago but I am so glad I came across it by blog surfing... I am currently in a struggle with how I have allowed my self to be outsourced by the place I worship, dont get me wrong its a good place but there are things that are really plaguing my heart as of late with the lack of support I see for full time stay at home moms especially one who home schools too