Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Please remember that the scripture references will pop up on the page when you linger your cursor on them.

The artists lovely painting of the path leading to the humble cottage makes me think of the importance of home life, and how the values we cherish must be guarded. These may include simple things like contentment and quietness, minding our own business, creativity, engrossing work, our family sayings and beliefs, our personal possessions and land, our lineage and the enriching history of our ancestors, or the love of beauty and the love of music.  I have pondered that a little bit today, and found a few things that might help maintain that "little piece of heaven on earth" which we call home.

A Thicket of Blackberries Against the Sky

Planning or pursuing moments of deliberate delight in a day can bring rest to the home. There has to be one place in the world that is free from anxiety. Observing something beautiful and thinking of something delightful each day, on purpose, results in tranquility that will be passed on to the family. This is where the little journal-art book can be used. Just one sentence a day with a little sketch or artful sticker can make you aware of the importance of a single day. If you are depressed or discouraged, try to pull from within your mind one good thing to write down. If this is not possible, find one good thing to say out loud. 

Forming a personal tradition of taking tea will encourage others to partake of the ceremony with you. It just has to be a cup of tea. I have also found that the walk is essential in the daily life of a homemaker, as a tradition to preserve. Walking to the mail box, to a scenic area, or to a place you like, can be one of your daily delights.  This and other things can be included on in your daily life and over the years will reap blessings.

  Mentally feed on the good, the pure and the lovely, and it will stabilize your mind in later years.  It is not too late for the over-50-age group to replace grim attitudes with be-happy attitudes or beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-16). This text shows the source of true happiness.

Leisure with the purpose of refreshing your mind and getting your thoughts sorted out is a type of relaxation that builds the body and mind. This can be in the form of sitting in a rocking chair on the porch, holding a child's hand as he walks with you on a meander through the garden, taking tea with a friend or by yourself, creating something of beauty,  and anything that gives you a sigh of happiness.

Boreas, by John William Waterhouse
English, 1859-1917

Speaking the positive when handling the negative. In another post, I have addressed the problem of the negative, naysayer friends who will seek your help. These people are always drawn to those who have consistent lives and foundational beliefs. They see your life and want it for themselves without having to endure the hardships or do the things that bring it about. They do not see each trial as a step to being an over-comer or being stronger. Wanting relief without solving the actual problem, they become a burden to friends and neighbors. 

 It is so important not to allow the fearful, negative speaking people to put a cloud of doubt over your life. It is also important to be kind and polite to them, but it is not necessary to let their moods dominate yours.  We have seen how so many homemaking blogs have put these people in their place by not giving them an inch into their blogs and not allowing them to poison the atmosphere with condemning, complaining, accusations, control, and other things that belong in the dark. While it is admirable to counsel such people from the good of your heart, I believe caution is necessary. I addressed it in this post.

Identifying the happy moments that were created for you by others.  It is very helpful to think back to the last time you were truly happy and content. Analyze the details. What kind of day was it? What were you doing? Wearing? Thinking? Who were you talking to? What was the atmosphere of your home? What were the scents, the scenes and the sounds?   Go back to doing the things you used to do when you were the most whole. For some people, it means getting out the knitting they were working on, and finding all the favorite books and magazines they were reading at the time. One woman recently told me of a small thing she did which helped her greatly to renew her mind and be at peace. She merely bought a  calligraphy doodling pen and a notebook, sat down to enjoy a cup of tea and just doodled. She was not trying to be clever. She was trying to relax, and enjoying it very much. With a relaxed, clear mind, she is more able to speak without the tense, impatient edge in the voice that besets some people.

Look back also on the happy events in your life before you became a homemaker, that were created by your own parents: a happy place in the house, perhaps, that was created just for you, a new doll, your first record player, and other small moments of delight. Transport yourself to the sunny days of youth when the cares and burdens were light. This is a good source of strength in times of uncertainty or stress.

by Susan Rios

Re-designing thought habits to reflect the determination to rise above things. We have had in each of our lives, public figures who have preached the happiness message. We may have a tendency to think the songs and sayings are cute and trite but they are very important. "Life is a gift: untie the ribbons," was one of these familiar sayings. Songs like "Keep on the Sunny Side," or the lyrics: "Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, start all over again."  We have had poets and singers in our own times who spread the message of rising above defeat and  starting over. There is even a modern saying that God is the God of beginning again. So, there is encouragement all around us if we really want to find it. 

Minding the business of your home is essential in finding delight in life. It may require a change in what you listen to or what you worry about. It may require being a little more appreciative of the day's delights.  If you want to see the changes in yourself and the effect it has on your home and family, try keeping a journal for a few days in which you record things you have over come, or ways around obstacles or defeating a problem. You might record little moments of delight that helped distract you from something. If you are used to looking on the dark side of everything, you might find such a diary beneficial when you slip back into old thought patterns.

Queen Anne's Lace

The home is the ideal place to practice delight-living because you are not regulated by any government or workplace than your own. It is here you determine the schedule and life that is works best for you, so it is here that you can create spots of delight in a day's time. One lady I know who has small children says she enjoys her daily walk down the road from her house to the mail box. It is her re-creation time. 

In our world of mindless chatter and constant communication, let us not lose touch with the delights of ordinary life that was experienced by each generation before us. If you are home schooling, this might be a subject you could explore with your children, finding things to do or think about that are good, pure and lovely.
Sunday at the Shore
by Susan Rios

 Try also creating places of delight in your house so that each room or hall you walk past will have something in it you can appreciate: a plant in a pretty pot, a shelf of special books, a place setting at the table, a chair on the porch, a stack of letters you have received, a quilt on the back of a couch, and much more. Letter writing, picture drawing, picnics (the old fashioned kind), art, music, hand-work (sewing, etc) and many other things enjoyed by our great grandmothers can be revived to enjoy today and get the same results of tranquility in a rapidly changing culture.  In order to accomplish this, there must be a determined effort to put away fear and gloom and replace it with happiness.

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Enjoy the message of the song "High Hopes"


Anonymous said...

Boy did I *ever* need to read this post, as well as the one below, thank you....

I have linked to both of them on my blog. Such edification to be had here!

Trish said...

"put away gloom and replace it with happiness" - AMEN!!!

Lovely post, Lydia.
I enjoyed all your thoughts and suggestions on making our days delightful.
I agree with you.
Every day is a beautiful gift to be unwrapped and cherished.
With so much sadness and ugliness about us these days, it is important to create joy and beauty wherever we can, and by whatever means we have at hand.

God bless your day..Trish xx

Lydia said...

If you are a gloomy or negative thinker, try the journal tactic of writing something complimentary and cheerful every day for a determined period of time (determined by you) and see if makes a difference in your health.

Gayle said...

Wonderful suggestions,I truly need this post.Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lydia,
your last two posts have been particularly helpful to me. I was raised in a very negative home and after leaving home I realized how happy life could be.

I still carry the baggage of my previous home life, but with the help of Christ and good friends like you who have the gift of encouragement I am learning a better way.

Thank you for the posts on dealing with negative people and delightful living. I thank you for your wisdom and encouragement to me.

In the future I will employ what I have learned in these posts and continue to read your posts as I know the Lord has given you great understanding and wisdom. Thank you for being obedient to the Lord.

Lydia said...

Your comment about being brought up in a gloomy atmosphere makes me realize I should clarify that it is not wrong to recognize danger or evil or to warn someone of harmful influences, etc. It is very important to know the difference between good and evil and to be able to avoid the evil. In the hippie era, many people wanted to ignore evil and not admit it existed. They just wanted the positive and not the negative, even if the negative would have helped them. They wanted to be continual innocent flower children who could indulge in sin and not feel the guilt of it. So what I am talking about is unnecessary complaining, whining, predicting doom, objecting to everything, showing the bad side of every little thing, which is not a good atmosphere for a family

Unknown said...

What a beautiful post and certainly one I needed to here. Each day is a beautiful gift and I believe it's one of the tricks of Satan to keep up so busy and stressed out that we can't see the beauty and joy in life. Thanks for the tip for negative thinking as well. I tend to have gloomy thoughts but I'm working on that. thanks for your blog. It's such a blessing to me.

Anonymous said...

I so needed these two posts for a long time. Thank you!

Have found I do have some survival techniques that have worked for me over the years with suffering attacks from the enemy or dealing with negative people and lifting me out of the mire:

First I pray and put on the armor of the Lord. Sometimes we suffer attacks in the area of our spirit from the enemy.

Then I ask the Lord to set me free from negative thinking.

Next I start reading the Word on the positive way of thinking in Phil.4:8 and other scriptures.

As this is beginning to work, I prepare a cup of special tea I use whenever I need a lift.

Then I surround myself with beauty in some form, be it art, photos, and lovely uplifting music.

Sometimes I walk in the forest or in my veg. garden and the Lord speaks to me there. Its hard to stay gloomy when there are delights in the garden to see, smell and taste.

And finally I start doing something constructive, be it sew something, work on a hobby, create something pretty (your bouquet of Queen Ann's Lace was delightful), bake something delicious for my family or a friend to share.

If I'm in a grumpy mood I may take to constructive housecleaning. Nothing makes you feel better then a clean orderly home to abide in.

Before long I am thinking along the lines of the positive and purposeful.

Since reading your posts I have gleaned much in the way of setting the tone of the home and learning that the lady of the house is the guide and guard of the home. I was never taught these things. However it is never too late to learn.

Thank you again for your post.
Mrs. J.

Anonymous said...

"Anything that gives you a sigh of happiness....." I like that.


Lydia said...

I received this email from a friend, who is at home full time: "I have been resting every early eve on my chaise lounge in the shade and it's been heavenly...reading, doing menu planning to lose weight, napping....the air has been beautiful here...breezy and balmy." I believe this is one of the perks of being at home full time. You have time to rest and think and enjoy special moments of delight.

Barbara Neubeck said...

Hi LadyLydia,
Thank you for this wonderful post full of helpful guidelines and suggestions.
Have a good week
Barb from Australia

Lydia said...

Hi Barb, Wonderful to see you.

Mimi said...

Do you have any suggestions for lovely children's books that promote faith?

Lydia said...

Iwould suggest you find all your favorite paintings and graphics and write your own stories and add scriptures, or else write out Bible stories for children, and write your own book. You dont have to publish it to the world if you dont want to but there are plenty of free programs online that only charge you for the cost of the book and a small fee. I use but there is google and also your own and other programs.

Katrinka said...

I don't think we always appreciate the effort it takes for some ladies to establish and maintain a peaceful home atmosphere! They make it look easy, but in fact it takes a bit of self-control in their own thought life. I like what you have to say about actively working at replacing our own negative thoughts with good ones and by just sheer will refusing to dwell on grim or discouraging things.

I like the way you emphasize that our homes are ours to do with as we please and am encouraging my daughter to look forward to creating her own little home of peace when she gets a place of her own. It's a form of taking serious Jesus' words to occupy until He comes. Sometimes we tend to give over more ground than we ought in the attempt to be a good Christian influence.

Thanks for this post!

Finding Joy said...

My mother always created a peaceful home and taught us the importances of creating our own - you never walked into her home and felt anything negative or gloomy. It always had a welcoming air to it and one that you wanted to enter. Once your house has that feel, it isn't hard to maintain it - I do hope I have been able to create that same happy environment as my mother did - I do not like gloom and love the sunshine spilling across my rooms. I do it with lots of bright colours and cheerfulness:))))

Anonymous said...

"Women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, too absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer; and it is narrow-minded in their more privileged fellow-creatures to say that they ought to confine themselves to making puddings and knitting stockings, to playing on the piano and embroidering bags. It is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex." (Charlotte Bronte-Jane Eyre, ch. 12)

Lydia said...

Anonymous who posted the Jane Eyre quote by Charlotte Bronte. Why did you post it and what connection does it have to this article I wrote?

I can see by the quote that the author had one of her characters voice a dim view of women who played the piano, knit socks, made puddings, and embroidered bags. Today the embroidered bags those patient women of past days made go for hundreds of dollars, as you see here with this embroidered bag from the 1800's

Not that it was made entirely because of its commercial value, but for the use it provided for a loved one perhaps, or for oneself.
People pay high prices to collect these things just because they like them. And some careful, calm, thoughtful and skilled woman made the bag.

The Brontes wrote of despair and tragedy, and their novels were depressing and left the reader hanging as to a conclusion.
We do not live by the quotes of authors, but by the word of God. It would have been better if Charlotte Bronte quoted Titus 2 or Proverbs 31:10-30. Her quote seemed to be disdainful of women who lovingly knit socks for their families, took the time to play the piano to add soothing notes to the atmosphere of the home, embroidered bags, and made puddings.

In every century there are two kinds of people. One kind believes women are "confined" to the home and another kind use the freedom of the home to do many things. This is 2012, and most women have adequate transportation and they can come and go as they see fit, when they are homemakers. They can make pies and puddings when they want, or if they don't want to, they don't have to.

Today women are so rushed and so burdened with work, that they have no time to indulge in the quiet pleasures of knitting, as their foremothers did. What a shame to come so far and leave so many nice things behind that would not only soothe them but leave something for future generations.

It actually does not matter what Charlotte Bronte wrote in her novel concerning the mission of women, because the Holy Spirit, speaking through the Word of God, is our guide, not feminist writers.

Katrinka said...

It seems that, generally, we can get in the habit of thinking little of the atmosphere that the lady of the home provides until her influence is removed. We can take for granted the importance of always seeing a light on in the house when we come home after dark, hearing the quiet tinkle of glassware and silverware coming from the kitchen while working in another part of the house, or, my favorite memory as a child, the murmured conversations between parents after the children are in bed.

Peace of mind is so vital to maturity and growth of our young people and to the mind of the husband who labors away from home all day... he can focus totally on his job, knowing that all is well and well cared for at home.

Thank you, Lydia, for helping provide the encouragement to continue doing the things that are so important to our families!

Lydia said...

Katrinka: a very wise comment exhibiting the softer things that give us comfort and yet increase our stamina for the hard work of homemaking. It is those touches that people long for--not the striving after fame and acclaim. So often the role of the homemaker is disparaged, saying it is just too feminine and that women should not care what they wear,or whether or not they put feminine elements in the home. I'm much afraid that this lack of normalcy in the home will produce an institution like atmosphere.

Elizabeth said...

Thankyou for a lovely post! May I share my little delite of the day? I heard a bell ringing outside my house, and I ran to see what it was, because it sounded very familiar in the back of my mind but couldn't place it. It turned out to be the little old italian knife grinder who used to frequent our neighborhood when I was a little girl! He was driving his original truck! I grabbed some knives, and ran out to greet him. We talked for awhile about how people don't care about things like that anymore, and the days of 'milkmen' and other services like his. I told him he made my day, and he certainly did! I still have a warm feeling because a snippet of my childhood returned with him that day!

Elizabeth said...

P.S.....if I were out in the world working, I would have missed the old knife grinder and missed a lovely memory!

Lydia said...

Elizabeth, these are delights that used to be made into songs which added to the shape of our culture. Sadly today the neighborhoods are so empty that a woman at home might not see any thing like that. However we still have the birds, the bees, the florals, and things we can surround our homes with to make something happen. And you are right that if you had been gone all day you would have missed that man. I like keeping my apron on all day and when the mail truck comes, sometimes they beep for me to come out and retrieve a package too big for the mail box. They always know I am home.

Lydia said...

I wanted to make one more comment on the Jane Eyre quote that someone left: this is the type of novel that is morose and full of disappointments showing only the futility of life. I am trying to portray something higher and nobler here, by referring to Philippians. Even though Paul was a prisoner when he wrote it, he did not write in detail of the terrible way he was treated, or of his own anxiety over it. There are books you can read that, though set in tragic settings, bring the reader up into an optimistic can-do attitude. And though the Brontes reportedly grew up in a minister's home, their writing did not reflect much of the goodness of God.

Katrinka said...

There is plenty of negativity in the world and there are plenty of places we can go where we are torn down and torn apart... I always tell my daughter that home is the one place you should be able to go where people think the best of you and courtesy abounds and sweet words are spoken. There are plenty of places who want to speak words like those by Charlotte Bronte. The world is a hard place for young people to find hope today.

I like how you occasionally mention the things about living today in America that you enjoy, Lydia. Like so many choices in the grocery store, plenty of inexpensive decorating touches to choose from at the Dollar Store, freedom to worship, all the things that we can forget to enjoy if we focus too much on the economy. I think we can kind of insulate ourselves from some of the gloom of today because we are at home more. My mother was a farm wife during the depression, and we were once touring a museum with items from the depression and I asked her what she remembered from that time. She said she hardly knew there was a depression because they farmed with horses and grew nearly everything they needed and they always had plenty.

Lydia said...

Katrinka, I agree with you. My mother was so innovative and had such an optimistic love for life that I was not even aware when there was a war going on or poverty was upon us. I just thought she liked to make potato soup, and enjoyed making clothes out of flour sacks. This is one thing that women have to remember: you pass on attitudes to your children that will harm them when they start raising their children. It is not healthy to raise children in an atmosphere of gloom and "life sucks" sort of thing.

Leanne said...

Thank you for this post in particular, and your blog as well. I was "zapped" with the negative at church yesterday and came here to recover some joy! I have decided to need to more jealously guard my mind and my home, even from Christian women, who do not value homemakers, and to spend more time with those who do.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful words, thank you. xx

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. I have been stuck in negative moods lately and have been horribly grumpy but this has given me not only good things to think on but things I can do to make my home happier and more peaceful too.
Thank you,