Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Building Faith in the New Year

Inspired by the comments on the previous post, I will share some faith-building ideas, which are things I am attempting to adopt into my own world this year.

*While it is impossible to avoid hearing negative, doomsday reports, it is possible to keep from entertaining them.  Divert attention to Biblical solutions, yet not more religious doom and gloom replies, if you know what I mean.  

*Do not engage in fruitless complaints about things that you can do nothing about at the moment. This is an exhausting, circular discussion based on an indignant response to life. Resist the habit of thinking on the negative side of everything.

*Keep moving around and accomplishing what you need to do, and refuse to waste time worrying and talking about the state of the world. Let God take care of that.

*Don't listen to the bad news all the time. It does not mean you will not be aware of it, as it will come to your attention in other ways (friends, emails, etc) but don't deliberately tune in to the public news to immerse yourself in.  That is the bad news, and the reports are picked by the private companies which own the news stations. Much of the news is designed to demoralize people and make them desperate for changes so that they will agree to certain things just to get some relief from the worry.  The Good News is the Gospel, and the goal of every Christ-One is to use all that negative as a way to focus on that good-news message with all its solutions. Some people think we are supposed to change the world, and in a sense, it is true. We are to change it through our own households. That is something a homemaker has control over.

*Make your home, your life, your attitude and the lives around you better for you having been here.

*Go through one box of storage items, one shelf of books, one part of a closet, and one-of-something each day,. Just one extra cleaning job: One drawer in the kitchen, one shelf in the laundry room, one box of papers each day, one shelf in the kitchen, one scrap paper drawer, one sewing drawer.  

*Each week phone one person that might need some good news or something positive to think about. I phone a young friend who needs housekeeping motivation. I tell her how far along I have come in my progress of the house, even if it is is only getting fully dressed and fixing my hair.  I ask her to call me back when she is dressed.  She calls me when her front room is clean, and I call back when I have finished another task. We sometimes share what we have on our to-do list. We have enormous enjoyment from these things, and then we take pictures of before and after areas of the house.  

*Send something to someone in the mail once a month: a care package with tea party ingredients, or a card and a letter, or just anything you do not want anymore. If it is light weight, it should not be a great expense.

*Make it a goal to get in the habit of cleaning up the kitchen before you retire at night, and going through the house to straighten everything, as if you were having company in the morning. It will do great things for your mood the next day.

*Try not to hit the floor running when you first get out of bed. Get up early enough to prepare yourself and get a shower, dress up and fix up as if you were doing the most important job in the world.

*Realize it is unfair to bring children up in a home atmosphere of gloom and doom, where the negative is the automatic reaction to everything. It will breed in them a negativity that will harm their future mates and children.

*Serve tea regularly. 

*When you get in a mood slump and cannot seem to find any light in your life, go through my blogroll and read the current posts. Then go to their blogrolls and check out what blogs they like. You will most likely never read a discouraging word there. They are showing you the good side of their lives. In the old days, it was not considered "good form" to make anyone depressed by unloading all the negative thoughts and feelings on them. Consider there is a God in Heaven and a Son, the great advocate for us, and spend more time personally talking with Him.

*Listen to my playlist while cleaning the kitchen. I'm trying to eliminate the ads, but can click "skip" if any of the music has a loud ad. I've also added some really good songs that will do your heart good and help you get through your work at a good pace.

*Read the New Testament daily for positive messages to your heart. God does not want anyone to dwell on morose, unhappy things all the time.

*Suppress the habit of complaining in your home about bad things, and do what you can to correct; the rest, leave to God's will. The tendency to complain about the condition of the house, the air, the food, health, and the world, will invest itself in your mind and multiply to a legion of bad thoughts,until you can't stand your life anymore, and neither can anyone else.  For this reason it might be a good idea to limit online reading about every disease and every corruption that goes on and substitute it with intelligent study of some good literature or building knowledge on how to live your best.

*Make sure your house is in order before taking on the troubles of this world. If your mind gets too wrapped up in the fearful and the negative aspects of life, you will lose your ability to concentrate on making your home the best it can be. Take all bad news in stride, realizing that is the way it works, and that a homemaker has a chance to live above it all by creating a refuge at home. It is necessary to discuss the political issues sometimes, but keep a proper perspective of it so that instead of being drawn into despair and discouragement, you lift your family up to higher spiritual levels.

*Increase your skills in things that would benefit you, your home, your family. This is not limited to cooking and sewing, but even those two subjects have limitless learning possibilities. Try something you have not done before. It could be photography, learning how to refinish old furniture, upholstery, writing fiction or non-fiction, art of some kind, interior design and house design, or even learning to repair a washer, dryer and other household items. This kind of positive progress will make the world's bad news have less impact on your mind. Use these new interests as rewards to yourself  for daily work.

My own belief is that, like Paul, although I am a citizen of the country in which I live, I am also a citizen of a different country, with a different passport, a different ruler and different code to live by. Yes, we are here in this world, but God gives us His will to follow, so that we may endure, and have abundant life.

If you even put one of these items into practice, you will find that you see more of the ways in which God is helping you, protecting you and working in you.

Of course it is important that we know what things to avoid and what things to embrace, so naturally it is good to talk out political and religious things in the home. However I do think we have to have a proper mind-set about it and not be drawn down into the morose, defeating talk.  It is, for example, important to know what they are teaching in public schools, how to help your children avoid things harmful to their spirit and body, hype about the economy collapse (how many decades have we been endangered with that?), the over-population "threat", the lack of jobs projection, the "you can't survive on one income" fallacy, the end-of-the world predictions, and shortages on food and necessities threat.  These kinds of things are designed to keep us in a constant state of unrest, so that we cannot concentrate on being inventive, resourceful and successful, and will always be dependent on the government news.

Anyone who would like a phone call this year is welcome to email me and set up a time.   I also have a personal email update that I send out privately. If you would like to receive that, please let me know. It is just about things going on around my home and in my life, including sewing projects and hospitality events, room re-painting, and things I do not put on this blog.

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jackie from nyc said...

What a wonderful post, yet again. And the photos you attached are so lovely. Yours is my favorite blog!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for linking to my post, I feel honored that you thought it was worthy of linking to.

And thank you for more great thoughts and ideas....I really liked how you said that while we can't always avoid hearing about bad news, we don't have to *entertain* them in our mind. It reminds me of that old expression that goes something like..."You can't keep the birds from flying over your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair."

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this post which lifted my spirits and opened my eyes. He does have the whole world in his hands.

Lydia said...

That saying has been imbedded in me from youth. Of course all those atrocities continue in this world, but we do not have to internalize them to the point of being immobilized.

Anonymous said... bird nests to rest in our hair nor our minds. That was a good reminder, Mrs. B.

Anonymous said...

I am so glad I no longer have tv for viewing the nightly news shows...even my cat is more at peace!

Lydia said...

Sour, gloomy talking just does not get anything done.

Anonymous said...

Excellent advise Lydia, thank you for sharing. I've been implementing many of them myself and they do work.

Mrs. J.

Housewife59 said...

This post is so uplifting. I am keeping it for reference. I think I will add it to my book of good cheer, which I keep on my side table. When I have cleaned my kitchen then I'll read it through again. We need to hear this over and over, and speak it to each other and to our families. What a privilege to share cheerfulness and the security of knowing that God is in control. 'Be careful for nothing' Thank you Lydia PS. I like the snippet 'serve tea regularly' too - very wise!

Finding Joy said...

Its a beautiful list and your ideas can make all the differences in a home.

I have started a "gratitude" list - each day I plan to write down one thing that has made me feel blessed and I am very grateful for. I have decided to use a little diary that a friend gave me, some people place these into a jar. It makes you look back and reflect over the day and its a time to thank the Lord for a blessed life.

And, colour and flowers in the house can lift gloom and doom!!

Rosemary UK said...

What a lovely uplifting post for the New Year ! In these stringent times I think a lot about my parents,and how they brought us up in the 1940's and 1950's.They worked so hard to give us a good life in spite of the rationing and lack of material things.They grew all of our vegetables,sewed,knitted,made or repaired toys,furniture etc.We were also given a great moral grounding for life,attending church,Sunday school and many church related social gatherings.

Becky said...

Thank you so much for this wonderful post, I am bookmarking it for future reference. Positive thinking and renewing our minds with the Word is so important. I love your idea to send a surprise to someone in the mail each month, I'm definitely going to start doing that!

sunnyskiesandsweettea said...

Lady Lydia,

You do not know how encouraging this was to me this morning... I have had a ton of emails sent to me about dooms day and the end times being this year. I can feel a tightening and sickness come over me when I focus on these things. I had made the choice not to watch the news or read anything along these lines but instead to focus on whatever things were lovely. I am glad you wrote this article. So encouraging!!

Amy Jo

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful post. It is an important reminder, and one I needed this cold winter day. After reading your post, I was able to see past the bone-chilling cold we are enduring here today to the bright blue sky. The days are already getting a little longer and we have another minute of sunlight at the end of almost every day now!

Alex said...

I was so pleased to read this post as, coincidentally, I had just decided TODAY that my word of the year is FAITH! My faith has been growing (after a period of confusion) and I loved having these calm and sensible ideas to help. I feel so glad that finally I have my priorities right.
I am so glad of our desr Lord and the sweet opportunities we as home - makers are given to be quietly in His prescence in the days.
Happy New Year, Lydia!
xxx Alex

Anonymous said...

I also wish to thank you for your lovely reminder about keeping on the bright side. Through temperament and upbringing, I tend toward the melancholic view of things.

I am also struggling with an attachment to news and blogs that deal with the cultural chaos that we are living through. We gave up our t.v. about 6 years ago. However, the internet has become habit forming for me as far as reading and communicating about various things.

I am inspired by you, Lady Lydia, Mrs. White at Legacy of Home and Michelle Duggar.

I want to be a sweet, joyful lady who loves the Lord and blessings others with her loving spirit.

Thank you for your blog. It means a lot to me.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful thoughts, Lydia.

Anonymous said...

You mentioned sending a gift once in a while to someone. When I send hand written correspondence I like to include a wrapped tea bag or two
so the other person can enjoy it while reading my letter or note. Sometimes I send photos or include a pressed flower with a scripture. Just something to let them know how special they are and that I'm thinking of them.
However a gift package is what I believe you are talking about here and it is a wonderful idea. Thanks for sharing.

Mrs. J.

Sarah R said...

I bought a yearly planner and made little stars on days that I've decided to mail something to my grandfather. He's 87 years old and lives in a nursing home. He doesn't like phone calls because he is hard of hearing, and has no email. So I'm going to send him a little card every month since he loves getting mail. I was quite lax last year, only sending him cards for his birthday and Christmas, and I want to do better this year. I realize my time with him on earth is limited and I may not have much more time to send him little gifts.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. We are having new floors put in our house, but there was a problem with the laminate, so we have to wait 3 weeks for a new shipment to arrive. We will be living on our subfloors for at least a month. I must have lamented this once too often, because my younger son said, "Should I tell our friends about the family tragedy?" "What tragedy, honey?" "The problem with our floors." I smiled and said, "Sweetheart, we live in a snug, little house with plenty to eat and a solid roof over our heads. This is what your cousin would call a "first world" problem--there are people all over the world who live in huts with dirt floors. We are lucky and this is actually a minor inconvenience, not a tragedy." I was thankful God used my son to give me fresh perspective on the situation. I will concentrate on "doing just one thing" to make things better every day until the problem is resolved.

Anonymous said...

What a timely post! I'm a "news junkie", but it doesn't serve me well, for many of the reasons mentioned in your post.

I find the world situation depressing; the mess in our country frustrating and maddening--and I just need to leave it all alone for awhile and concentrate on more positive and uplifting things.

Thank you for sharing. I've been enjoying your blog for years.


Anonymous said...

HOmemakers and homeschoolers are very involved in the political process and in preventing drastic laws from taking place in the US. Because of this they are more aware of things that are going on. For that reason they are likely to be innundated with a lot of hype also, that does not matter, particularly the end of the world doom and gloom type of news such as: the economy will collapse, there will be a gas shortage, we will have food rationing, there is going to be a climate change, and so forth. These are things that are designed to keep you in a constant stage of fright.

Gail said...

How very fortunate we are to be able to encourage each other as we strive to keep the home fires burning, each in our own little corner of the world. I am thankful to be reminded of all the good and lovely things mentioned here. I was going through an old box of photos lest night and came across this little poem I had written 19 years ago when my children were small. Thank you for allowing me to share it, as it fits into glorifying God as homemakers. (And it was modeled after an older poem I had read) .
A mother of many on a spring day
will try with God's help, the old -fashioned way,
Firmly but kindly her words to say.
Though having no cows or chickens to tend,
there's plenty to cook and sew and mend,
children to guide, letters to send.
And through these plain things, her faith to defend,
fighting evil and sloth and worldly ways.
Keeping her home, through the nights and days.

Thanks for letting me share.

jackie from nyc said...

Gail, that was lovely! I wish i had the same talent for writing poems as good as that!

Lydia said...

I added to the last paragraph in the post that I also have a personal email update with things I do not include in my blog, which consists of current sewing projects, hospitality events, and room painting or house re-design that I'm currently involved in,with some before/after pictures occasionally.

Mrs. W said...

Excellent post and the encouragement was much needed AND appreciated. Thank you dear friend!

Also, I've closed my blog and hope to do a newsletter as you do. I'll be sure to include you in my mailings!


carlotta said...

Sign me up! Carlotta Royce at

By the way Dear Lady, we are up and running and I am ready for our interview.

I am posting this on my facebook, you are always full of loving encouragment.

Lillibeth said...

I'd like to get your newsletter, too.

Anonymous said...

Hello lady Lydia, please if you would,include me in your personal email updates. Thank you much Donna

Anonymous said...

I usually have the news on as I make dinner in the kitchen, last night I switched to the British series Country House Restoration and sat down to dinner much less frazzled. I then watched a news bullletin after dinner to stay up to date.