Saturday, April 05, 2014

A Peaceful Afternoon

A Tranquil Setting, by Louis Aston Knight (1873-1948)

Today I took some time to put together a fancy pincushion for a gift. Because did not take step-by-step pictures, I will just tell you briefly how it is made.

I placed a round pincushion made from a small piece of fabric, inside a large artificial flower, using hot glue. The pincushion is a circle of fabric, stuffed with fiberfill. Before the circle is pulled closed with thread, a juice can lid is put inside of it for a backing. There are plenty of free online tutorials for this kind of pincushion, if you want to know more.

The interesting part comes after it is all securely put together and it is time to add a few other little gifts to the pincushion. I chose dressmaker pins with colored heads, buttons, a ribbon rose, and safety pins, that coordinated with the fabric.

I am glad you stopped by and I hope to post more often.

Some thoughts on the role of older women:

There is a false idea that older women should be Mary Poppins types who do all kinds of marvelous things, including cleaning the houses of younger women and looking after their children. Those who think this way have not really read Titus 2 very carefully. If they had, they would see the older women are to be busy making their own homes a priority. This makes them knowledgeable to teach the same things to younger women: home life, marriage and child-training, modesty, manners, and propriety.

Sometimes people want to use older women to put on meals for them and give them a break, or maybe just so they can learn how to do it. There is nothing wrong with an older woman doing this if she wants to and has the time for it. What people need to realize is that this is an older woman. An older woman will likely not have the strength and stamina that a younger woman has. Young women are more able to look after children and do housework.

Older women can be great in an advisory capacity. It is better to teach how to do something and equip a person with knowledge, than to do it for them.
An older woman might want to teach but has no energy to wash someone else's dishes or sweep their floors. I would like to suggest they create a homemaking instruction scrapbook or colorful journal on various homaking subjects, or a blog. A younger woman who might desire to one day teach, could start writing down the things she has learned that she can pass on to younger women in the future.
Not all older woman will be able to teach in a formal way. Some ladies will teach by the orderly and quiet way they live, or by the way they occupy their time.


anonymous said...

I am making an email Homemaking folder to share with the younger girls in my family. Must remember to burn it to a disk or flash drive. My last folder had over 8 yrs of information on it and it just disappeared one day. So frustrating.

Thank you for sharing your pin cushion with us. So pretty and a cleaver idea.

Mrs. J.

April Jo said...

really enjoyed your blog this AM. I am a newbie to your site. The craft was lovely and the write up on Titus 2 women was wonderfully put. That is the journey I am on right now. But as you said, it isnt exactly within the right reasons. I simply don't have the strength. Mentally or physically.

Barbara said...

I love this and it bears repeating, "Not all older woman will be able to teach in a formal way. Some ladies will teach by the orderly and quiet way they live, or by the way they occupy their time."

Your wisdom and practicality are excellent and I always enjoy your blog posts.

Miss Betsy said...

Thank you so much for your wise words. I am in my late sixties, alone and due to health issues I don't have the energy I did when I was younger. In addition to caring for myself I also help to take care of a friend in his eighties, taking him to medical appointments and doing shopping and cooking and helping out however I can. No, I don't get paid for it but I want to help this dear sweet man who in the past has helped me. I feel really sad and frustrated when well-meaning people tell me that I should be "out volunteering in the community" as though works don't count unless they are for an organization like a school or hospital. Reading your blog made me feel so much better. Thank you, Lady Lydia. Your words are truly a blessing.

Katrinka said...

Young women today are in a situation where young men think the only practical value of a wife is in her earning ability. Many modern women have neglected practical and aesthetic homemaking skills because they've been convinced that's going to lead to a better life for them.

Frankly, a young man who has no skills to bring to maintaining a home, vehicle, or grounds is equally less attractive in a practical way. If he can't unplug a toilet or fix a broken window, he better make enough money to pay for experts to do all these things for him.

So we begin to see helpless young couples who can't bring in enough money to live because they can do nothing for themselves.

When the older women are still doing all the things they used to do, day in and day out, and can be found faithfully in their homes and gardens at least people will know where to come when they need advice.

The example that people like Miss Betsy are showing will stick with people. When they're down and need encouragement, they'll remember that wonderful lady of good works and find new purpose for their lives.

Susan said...

I'm in my mid 50's and I definitely run out of energy faster than I used to. I seem to need more time to relax after a long day and I am trying to go ahead and take that time for myself. I find that letter writing has become a good way to communicate. It is a thoughtful way of sharing thoughts and ideas and the recipient has something tangible to read whenever they need advice. Plus these days getting a letter in the mail is a novelty. I try to stick a small gift in the letter as encouragement. I feel that the examples we set in everyday living are the most important thing. Little things we do affect those around us more than we know. The pincushion is a lovely idea for a simple gift.

Miss Betsy said...

Katrinka, thank you for your kind words...God bless you.

SharonR said...

I can't agree with you more, Lydia. Young women should not use their mothers to do their work for them. I overheard some grandmothers talk about this very thing when I was young, and realized what an imposition it is for us to use our mothers as a substitute wife and mother for our families. I've never lived close enough to my mother to test myself if I'd do this to her. I hope I wouldn't. My mother now cooks too often for my brother while his wife gets an education for her career. I love them, but I do worry about my mother doing too much. My sil says she is okay with it, which also makes me worry. {:-/

Kentuckybranch said...

I found your posting re the expectations put on older women to be true for my dilemma. I love my daughters very much and they are wonderful Christian young women and their husbands are the same. However, I am in my 60s and cannot always keep up with the need to grandchild watch (there will be five under five and another daughter will also have one soon),help during sicknesses or at other times and even advise which they often request if they are having difficulties. My health is not terrible but my stamina is not the same and I still have two young adult sons at home. I just assumed this is what I was supposed to do as an older woman but I have found it hard trying to do those things and do what I need to do, including beginning to downsize and other projects plus daily responsibilities.

They are not unkind but there seems to be an assumption that I can keep going and going though they may be exhausted by whatever is going on in their lives (with good reason). I have declined at times but their needs are so pressing at times that it seems hard to turn them down. It seems hard for them to accept that I am getting older,that I have things at my home that require my time and energy and that I am neither decrepit nor full of vim anymore then they can handle everything full steam all the time.

Older posts on the importance of resting,taking breaks and infusing creativity and beauty are very valuable and encouraging to me. I have tried to pass this along to my daughters and the push to add supposed value to life by staying busy every moment inside and outside the home is very strong on them.

Kentuckybranch said...

May I respectfully add a comment to Katrinka's about the lack of preparedness for young women and men for the practical side of marriage.

I would like to add my opinion based on longtime observation that a lack of home running skills from either the man or woman leads to frustration and dissatisfaction. This in turn leads to money wasting,less time to relax with spouse or children,a decrease in mutual respect and sometimes a decline in intimacy. I have seen mother's unable to enjoy their children or home because they feel they are always behind and have no idea how to make things better .

I have seen frustrated husbands who try to help but end up confused as to why that doesn't always translate to a cozy home or serene wife.

I have seen women who have no joy at all in their homes seeing it as just work and more work and endless work. They may love their children but see raising them in the same way.

It is work and lots of it. If ,however, one is willing to learn basic homemaking skills, become more organized, have a seasons of life perspective and a sense of humor with a dash of creativity and joy the atmosphere in the home will change and attitudes will change. Titus 2 takes the yoke off our necks.

Mary said...

So true, Lydia. I was shocked recently when I asked younger women what they expected from *aged* women. Listed were: babysitting, making meals, house cleaning, giving money,and being a gentle cheerleader. So different from the Biblical list! They say that older women have no children at home so have fewer responsibilities. This is not necessarily true. I am 61, and just taking a shower and dressing leaves me exhausted. (I have taken care of myself and am not fat.) Plus, since my husband is not well, I must do things he can no longer do, such as take out trash or fix things. I must also help him dress and watch after him. Young women who need help with their children and taking care of their homes and meals need to hire a mother's helper if they can.

OzzieLiz said...

Hello all from Australia. I find very often, my desire to help with grandchildren exceeds my energy levels now! It's come as a bit of a shock, especially as I have my last child at home (16) who is finishing her homeschool studies as well. I'm only 52 but I definitely notice I get tired much more quickly. Thanks for your blog I really enjoy it.

Katrinka said...

Ellie Rae, I take care of my husband, too. Just being pleasant and sweet to him and doing a few normal things feels like a full day. Taking a shower is a treat! :)

I sometimes do our daughter's laundry when she's working 12-hour shifts. Her boyfriend teasingly said that when they marry I should move in with them and do his laundry, too. I told her 'That's what a wife is for.' ... He was raised with the notion that it's the woman's place to help out by working; our daughter was raised to be a homemaker and care for her family, and that's still where her heart is at.

This will be interesting...

Stephanie said...

Hello dear Lydia! Your pin cushion is simply lovely! I like the idea of placing it inside of a flower - so clever :)

Thanks for this post and the wisdom you have shared - I always appreciate your word and encouragement. Thank you for sharing God's Word!

Enjoy the remainder of your week.