Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Solace of Home

Victorian Woman II by John O'Brien  Irish who immigrated to America (b.1951, d.2004)
Note: If you press the link to read more about this artist, you will find that his wife posed for many of his paintings.

Solace and rest at home are important factors in making family members the people that they ought to be.  In search of the balance between solace and public exposure, we can learn something from Royalty.  The Queen of Denmark expresses in an interview with the BBC that she is not trying to be "mysterious" when she insists on privacy in her home life, but that she must be rested, and if her private home life becomes public, she cannot be rested and it will effect her public life. If everyone is there poking their nose into her home life, she will not have a real home life.

Living in an era of social openness, where people often think they should not hide anything, we have gained stress and lost some privacy.  I remember well the old people when I was a lot younger, and how they, though friendly, kept everyone but close family at arm's length. You never knew of their worries, nor of impending financial disaster, nor would they discuss their frustrations with anyone. "If he worried, he hid it," penned Edgar Guest in his poem, "Somebody Said It Couldn't Be Done."

The bad thing about abandoning personal reserve and privacy is that it gives the cynics and skeptics a chance to find sources of derision and accusation.  I think the Queen's quote is something worth thinking about.

Enjoying the home is an integral part of having complete solace and rest. To achieve this, you have to have it reasonably orderly and clean, so that you can sit down and breathe easy and pick up your knitting. The women of old that I knew usually aimed to get their housework done so that they could indulge in some of these quiet past times. After the dishes were washed in the morning, and essential house keeping taken care of, they might have put a roast or a stew on the stove and then sat down to knit or write letters or read.  Some of the women I knew were artists and enjoyed getting out their paints to record the glorious scenes around them.  One blog in Scotland which always lifts my heart is simply called "The Quiet Home"  and all the writer does is shows how she enjoys her home. It could be looking out the window or sitting in her favorite chair, or washing dishes, but she shows how these are enjoyable moments throughout the day.

To find solace and enjoyment in the home, it is necessary to limit the demands that outsiders put on our time. Women tend to be helpers and nurturers and want to make things better for other people, but they have to be careful not to do too much. If others can learn to be independent and take care of themselves, it is extremely helpful to the homemaker.  Children might not do household jobs perfectly, but they can do enough of a job that it takes some stress off the homemaker and allows her to relax more.  

Rest is important for good speech, memory, thinking and reasoning. Keeping out unnecessary noise or conflict will add to that restful solace at home. I read recently about a doctor who recommended a news media fast for one month to those who were suffering from anxiety. If you would try even one day not knowing all the upsetting things going on, there would be a reduction in tension . The body and mind would be rested.

While it is essential that homemakers have an awareness of the political threats to their way of life, it is important to know that the world's news is usually the bad news which brings constant anxiety but the Bible is the good news which brings solace to the home.

Jesus said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." John 14:27

To print this lecture on the importance of solace in the home, go here.

Notice: I have added the wedding waltz of Fred and Mary of Denmark to my playlist so I hope you will go and watch it here. Notice how the queen gives a signal for the crowd to start moving closer to the waltzing couple, clapping until they have completely surrounded them.  If you go to my playlist, it is the third to the last entry on the list.

You might also enjoy Frederick's wedding speech to Mary and her father.


Rightthinker said...

Oh how I love this, Lady Lydia!

Thank you for yet another wonderful post!

God Bless you today!

Ginger said...

I've been moving this direction for some time. I used to think it was so important to stay up to date on the news. Now I realize the same events are happening today that happened 20 years ago with different faces. However, the players are a bit more open and devious about everything. I want to be home, reading, gardening, writing, corresponding, sewing, and serving God. I can be informed enough to vote with my conscience without immersing myself in the mud of current events.

Lydia said...

That is an important observation, Ginger. If you know the basic Bible standards, you can quickly make decisions about what is good or not good for your home. You will not miss out on the bad news if you do not activily seek it. Word of mouth is very fast and someone else will probably tell you when there is an important news event.

Alexandra said...

Super post. John 14:27 is one of my favorites. It's deeply woven into my faith, and often mentioned on Sunday. It is so important to be the gatekeeper of your home, and hold fast to your boundaries. Women have to learn to be assertive in this area, despite possibly disappointing people.

Unknown said...

This is such a wonderful, peaceful post...thank you! :)

Have a lovely day,

Mrs. Sarah Coller

Anonymous said...

As a homemaker, I have learned you are very right about keeping personal matters personal. The most innocent remarks can be twisted to sound like something totally different out of context. The best way for a homemaker to make a statement to her detractors is to go about her business, doing a good job and saying little in the way of personal information. After awhile, the results will speak for themselves. It is hard to be on guard, but even harder to find an innocent comment has been turned into gossip about your family!

Anonymous said...

I just went to The Quiet Home blog that you gave a link to and it is wonderful! Thank you for mentioning it. The writer has such a lovely outlook.

Anonymous said...

I have had to learn the hard way about innocent comments and gossip. And saying nothing is better than saying the wrong thing. It is better to limit how much you talk about personal matters. There is a good saying, "don't air your dirty laundry in public". In other others do not say or do anything that you don't mind everyone knowing.

Lydia said...

Some people today do not care what people know because they say they have nothing to hide, so what's the problem? They do not realize the harm that can be done. Later on, someone will remind them of something they said, and they find themselves explaining, defending, etc. It takes a lot more energy to re=phrase everything than it does to not divulge it at all. Even an innocent remark about being tired or sick, or behind in something at home, can give people something to talk about. It is tempting to show that we are human and we are like everyone else, but it is not necessary to share the feelings and frustrations with others who would use it the wrong way.

Lydia said...

Ginger, you are right: its the same old song and dance that it was a long time ago, and the new media picks and chooses what they want you to hear. It is the private blogs of people living in different areas that do the best reporting on an event, in my opinion. I read one major news writer's comment that he was upset that people were getting their information from each other on the web, instead of looking at official news. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for another lovely post! We have been so much happier not paying for cable!

Lydia said...

Retro Homemaker> a person does not have to worry about feeling isolated without cable or news. We survived a long time without it as a people,and were more inventive and industrious and content. Everyone is so anxious these days. It does not have to be that way.

Anonymous said...

So true! There is so much anxiety and stress in this world. I keep up to date but I don't find reading every bad news necessary.

Michelle said...

I loved the comment about the news media fast! I have "turned off" the news in my life! I always find out through family and friends if something life shattering is going on, but my life is so much more peaceful without all the anger and sadness.