Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Gardens of Peace

Today I have enjoyed finding pictures of cottage gardens, as you see here. The style of a flower garden filled with color and shapes is what I am aiming for in my own flower garden.
As I was going through these pictures I wondered what the owners of the beautiful gardens would think of someone deliberately planting thistles or noxious weeds (which are injurious to a garden), claiming that the weeds needed to be accepted and understood, even if it ruined the lovely appearance of the garden.
I imagine the gardeners would keep busy keeping the weeds at bay, since so many of the noxious weeds actually hinder the healthy proliferation of the flowers. I can walk past any front flower garden on my road and view what other people have done in their gardens but if I do not like what they are doing, I never would say anything. It is their business, even though the garden is in the public eye. I do compliment the ones I like.
This is the way I feel about the influence of the homemaker. Her house and home may be visible to the public and therefore be an influence, but it does not give others the right to destroy her property, steal her plants or plant voracious weeds that destroy her setting. A woman is an influence but being in the public eye when she is out, or having her house on view from the road, does not give people the right to throw stones at it.
There is an old saying, that "some people will knock happiness off a post if they see it sitting there." The old McGuffeys Readers had stories in it about the occasional naughty child who would destroy property or tell a fantastic falsehood about a neighbor, and the ultimate consequences. The stories always ended with a warning that sounded something like: "Boys and girls, you must never cause harm to anyone's property or reputation. You do not know the harm that can come of it, both for them and for you." Nonetheless,some people have practiced being contradictory and negative so long that they are comfortable being that way, no matter what discomfort they cause others.
The Bible says to seek after the things that create peace: Rom 14:19   " Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another."

When we are young we have to learn not to contradict and argue all the time. At first it might seem very entertaining to be objectionable at every turn, but as we mature, we find it is foolish and unprofitable and very non-edifying. It starts to create personal tension and stress, both which are very unhealthy. In later years, ladies prefer peace.

Many ladies look back on a youth of constant debating and arguing and regret it. They wish instead that they had been guided to be wise and not to engage in arguing, contradicting, objecting, setting people straight, bossing people, or cross-examining every little thing anyone says. This habit is a way of trying to make things "interesting" and also showing that you are smart or intelligent. Constant arguing is not a sign of maturity or refinement. The Lord says he values a quiet and gentle spirit in a woman, which is precious in his sight. (IPeter 3:4). This is a hard thing to learn, because our culture teaches us to let out every feeling, every anxiety and every hatred. Restraint has to be practiced, until it becomes natural.

There have been, in the past, young ladies who were taught a different way of speaking, who learned the art of pleasant, refined conversation, so it is possible to learn a different way.

Argumentive people attract other argumentive people, and that is one reason I do not publish every single comment that comes to my blog. If the person has an email, I will discuss it with them first and I try not to air our differences in public. A rude comment is like a weed. It seems to say "come over here" to other weed seeds that are flying around, looking for somewhere to land.

I am no fan of the new marriage and child-training books or some of the homeschooling books that are going around, (even though I was a homeschooler), so I have not mentioned them on my blog. Instead, I write about what I believe, like and observe. There is no need for me to write that on someone else's blog, since they can read it on my blog, so that is why I do not go to other blogs to raise an objection about something a homemaker wrote.

Like a garden that I do not particularly care to see, I do not have to pass by it or look at it. I do not go to their blogs to object and if their false teachings have effected me personally I will try to find an email so I can contact them personally, as I do not want to leave comments on people's blogs that will bring misgivings. To confront them means I will have to bring up the extra adrenalin needed to prove my point or debate. If you have ever looked up the purpose for adrenalin in your body, you will understand the value of it and why it is important to conserve it.

As we ladies get older, we have to retain composure and peace in our lives. Arguments and confrontations can cause ill health and depression. The Bible warns about deliberately creating disturbances when it says it is foolish to take a dog by its ears: "Pro 26:17    He that passeth by, and meddleth with strife belonging not to him, is like one that taketh a dog by the ears." In other words, it is better to let a sleeping dog lie.

There is wisdom in reserving your energy for your home. If you get upset by something, it becomes next to impossible to concentrate on the tiniest thing that needs to be done at home. Christ freed Christian ladies to be devoted to home things, as indicated in Titus 2.

For centuries, women have been glad to let the men fight the world while they stayed home to create a refuge from the world. Ladies must return to that. There was even a time in the 1800's when young women were warned by their mothers and teachers to avoid reading the papers too much, with all the scandal and war reports. It was known that a woman's heart, mind, soul and body was very precious and that she needed to have a "quiet and gentle spirit." (I Peter 3:4). It would be impossible to cultivate a meek and gentle spirit if one was constantly upset by the goings-on of everything around them. People today make a mockery of the old ways, but they have not found any peace in their lives or any better solutions.

I have covered this subject because I wanted other bloggers to know they have a right to keep their homes and gardens free from harmful things that destroy peace. Just because a blog is being shared with the public, it does not give anyone a "right" to hound the writer and continually monitor her or post negative comments. A person may see a house and a garden from where they are standing but they still have no "right" to destroy it just because "it is in the public eye." A Christian lady should not adopt this popular worldly attitude.

Bloggers have a right to delete a comment if it is disturbing the peace. In Victorian times, if a guest who was invited to a home began to insult the hostess, he was never invited back. For members of the New Testament church, instructions are given to "mark" (take note of) those who cause division, and avoid them. (Romans 16:17). I realize many troll-type comments are not from people living by the Biblical laws, but these rules are good enough for them.

Finally, one photograph of a section of my own garden. I hope to show more, later. I have a visitor who has become my temporary gardener, and so I am enjoying the transformation.
Bicycle planter given to me by a friend, who got it at Costco.
Here is a multi-colored rose bush I saw at the coast a few days ago.
I welcome your comments about the subject of seeking after things that make for peace.


Suzanne said...

" To confront them means I will have to bring up the extra adrenalin needed to prove my point or debate."

Dear Lydia,
I loved what you said above! Haven't you ever noticed that someone who disagrees keeps returning to once again prove their point. Quite frankly, I don't have the time or energy to disagree with an author. If I do disagree I quietly retreat. I would much rather leave a note of encouragement. A very well written post, thank you for making such valuable points for today's ladies to heed. By the way,I did do a post today on a stroll around my cottage showing some of my plants blooming.If you care to visit I welcome you:-)

Lydia said...

I had a look, Suzanne. It is beautiful!

Southern Ladye said...

How true it is that argumentative people have a tendency to draw argumentative people. It reminds me of a sermon my pastor preached recently and in it, he alluded to the fact that if there is a weak hen in the coop, the others will gang up on it and peck it to death. This is true of persons whom seek to argue and complain against points of view given in blogs. I have stopped reading some blogs because the comments left about a post would make me cringe, get angry, or feel sorry for the author as he/she was "pecked to death" because of a post. If I am reading a blog and the author begins to convey points of view that I do not agree with, it is better for me to just not read that blog anymore than to argue or leave unkind comments. I would much rather spend my computer time reading things that I find informative and/or encouraging than going around making my disagreement with someone's writing known to everyone else. Thank you for this excellent post.

amulbunny's random thoughts said...

Thanks to beach dirt we don't have much in the ground, but my 2 ancient Easter Lily's are blooming away in their container. My Meyer Lemon has many little lemons waiting to grow so I check on them every other day.

Lydia said...

Leaving a rude remark means the writer then has to deal with the fact that they are not made to feel welcome after that. You cant make friends if you are always contradicting. After awhile, people will avoid you. So the kind of comments you leave depends on how you value that person as a friend or in the future, a customer, a supporter, a reviewer, etc. think of the consequences of a caustic comment. And when children play together, if one of them throws sand in the faces of the others, they do not want to play with him anymore. So why should a commenter who has left rude comments complain when their comment is not accepted? The other bloggers simply do not want to associate with him anymore.

Lydia said...

I envy you in California, which drips with avocados and lemons!

Lynx said...

This post goes along with the post on not becoming consumed by the daily reports of current events. As I get older I find I want to have more peace and tranquility. I've had to face the fact that I'm the one who has kept things stirred up in my life over the years by partaking in discussions or constantly seeking out the news, and it prevents me from being at peace. It also prevents my husband from being at peace -- a month or two ago he asked me to quit sharing all the bad news of the day with him in the evening because it got him too agitated before bedtime. So, it turns out that I am the one who has been planting the weeds in our garden. I'm making an effort to have a more tranquil atmosphere here, and I appreciate the gentle encouragement I find at this blog.

Lydia said...

Its hard to give up reading the bad news because we have been told our brains will turn to mush if we just do housework and pursue nice hobbies. But to free your mind of all the junk means intelligence improves because it isn't bogged down with dour sour news reports

anonymous said...

Your post was most insightful. Thank you for sharing.
To relax this evening as I read your post, I opened a tiny bottle of lavender essential oil and held it about 2" from my face and slowly inhaled the vapors just before bedtime. Filling my mind with your beautiful pictures and the fragrance of the lavender makes such a peaceful state before bedtime.
Your garden is beautiful and peaceful. Thank you for sharing the photos and encouragement with us.

Mrs. J.

Katrinka said...

Dear Lydia, this is such a well worded post. I'm sorry that you even have to deal with the negative comments of people posting on here at all... that you can't be free to just share your life and if someone doesn't agree they can move along. Perhaps they will someday see more wisdom in what you're saying.

The saying about some people knocking happiness off a post if they see it sitting there reminds me of something my husband used to say. He said that when a couple is happy, some people just want to destroy that, for no particular reason except they don't want to see other people happy.

With all of the things we're all forced to accept about the rest of the world, I think there should be a little tolerance for those who want to enjoy the beautiful things of life and have a peaceful home.

Thank you for continually bringing the goal of beauty and peace to our minds!

Rightthinker said...

What a wise and lovely post!

Hello Suzanne! It's been a long time!

I no longer blog, after many years of doing so..primarily because I'm a bit of a perfectionist, and I couldn't devote the time to doing it the way I desired, so it was time to let it go. However, I had experienced much of what you covered here..having followers of those who sought to argue and bring discord at ever turn..even weeding out the comments took a long time!

The comments here are also quite wise and helpful.

God Bless you dear ladies!

Denise said...

It is funny that so many people are so determined to disagree with some one and to let everyone know it. I don't have that kind of time and that is not the kind of life I want to lead. The flowers are beautiful (love those cottage pics).

Mary said...

Very wise words. We don't need to be argumentative. WE need to keep our own homes. That's all we have control of anyway.

living from glory to glory said...

Dear Lydia, I really like the allegory you used! Very well written and made more sense than always trying to be right or just combative in nature. We had a little boy years ago that when we ever tried to tell him something he would say I know I know! I don't care that everyone needs to agree with me, just please stop trying to change my mind to YOUR way of thinking.
I love the way you said we tend to draw the same kinds of character traits of others that we have!
I do want to practice peace and tranquility! And I can find it by not being subject to every opinion under the sun.
Blessings, Roxy

MonicasDaughter said...

Thank you for this post. I agree wholeheartedly! I stopped reading the worldly news and even faith related news stories that were focused on all the negative things happening everywhere. I'd gotten so caught up in it, pointing out all the bad things that were happening.

I've done this for years and I realize now my fault. It's been bad for my family and for me.

In addition, we're told we have to be "informed" to be good citizens. That's just not true. How much of what we read is 1) true, or 2) something we can actually do anything about?

It's actually a huge relief to know I don't have to be in on every little thing that's happening around the world and all the scandals and crimes and the constant barrage of voices clamoring to be heard.

Thank you so much for your blog. You've helped me many times to get the proper perspective on what matters.

Gail said...

I think we can feel that if we aren't ever aware and vigilant concerning every tidbit of news and activity in the world, that we are somehow abandoning our post. That it is somehow our responsibility to keep up on things so that we don't miss something important by willful ignorance. Its just weird, but I have felt guilty for minding my own business, essentially. I know that needs to change.

Lydia said...

It is also alright for a blogger to remove any posts she wants to remove or retire into her draft folders. Just as a woman might wanton move her furniture around, or change her garden and put some of her plants and garden furniture in another spot, she has a right to do as she likes on her own blog, and the public has no right to screech about it or level accusations against the blogger or accuse her of a crime. These sort of things are used to intimidate bloggers and squelch truth, peace and beauty. Bloggers are not obligated to accommodate every crank that comes along, and they are not obligated to be "fair" to them and allow them to be "heard". Critical remarks on your posts have a bad influence on people, and can lead some astray into thinking that Christians have to let people walk all over them,nor believe that Christians have to mingle with people who live unwholesome lifestyles ,mor let them come into their homes and spread their bad influence. This is the sort of thing that has been allowed in public schools in the name of "fairness" and "diversity" but Christians are not obligated to allow it in their homes or on their blogs. To allow your blog to be sullied by the "diversity" of the prevailing culture is to take away its purpose and distinctiveness.

Lydia said...

...however, if someone WANTS to include immature,negative, critical comments on their own blog, or comments with a completely opposite religious view, they should be free to allow it, if heat is what they believe they should do. They just should not insist that others open their blogs up to destructive comments or comments that are not in keeping with their blog. They should not insist that everyone else must be open to every influence, nor should they whine when other blogs do not allow diverse opinions or influences.

Lydia said...

Emmarind! The news media is a privately owned business and in order to get you to pay attention to it, they have to convince you it is your patriotic duty to tune in constantly. Mid that does not work, they will tell you that if you that those who don't vigilantly watch the news, are ignorant, poor, unintelligent. Magazines and other papers tell women their minds will turn to mush if they are only interested in rocking babies or creating centerpieces from their gardens. Also religious people are sucked into paying attention to the bad news because they are told, sometimes by the media itself, that they should watch for signs of the end-times. But when Jesus said "Watch ye therefore, for you know not the hour when The Lord may come" he did not mean to watch the news! He was talking about watching the condition of your souls, that you might keep your lives focused and in line with His will and his commands. The news media picks and chooses what it will report, and often it is designed to create. Mass reaction or mass panic in people, or even mass spending or re-locating or just enough fear that people end up unable to function and have to get under a doctors care , being immobilized the rest of their lives. There is much you can learn about this now, as it has been well-exposed. Do some research about how the news media operates and why they don't report certain stories but do report other stories over and over until everyone is so demoralized and hates their own country. The news media is an indoctrination and a manipulation.

Mrs. White said...

This is one of the most beautiful and important posts I have ever read. Well done!
God bless you!
love Mrs. White

Susan said...

I believe I learned to be argumentative while working in a corporate position. You have to learn to be critical and judgmental in order to survive in the environment you are thrown into. I certainly wasn't brought up that way. I am now unlearning the argumentative attitude to bring peace back into my life and relationships. Your blog has been a great help to me in doing so. I am learning to allow only good news and happy things into the lives of myself and my family. I think that someday we will look back on this time of speedy information exchange as a time of fear and anger. We have to sort the information that is available to make our worlds and homes happy places. I am grateful for your blog because you do filter the comments and I can enjoy reading it without getting anxious but still learn something useful. Thank you for the time you put into it.

OzzieLiz said...

The wonderful thing about the web is that if you don't agree with what you're reading you can shut it down! The wonderful thing about Christianity is we are different but have the same Lord! I love your blog and your call for femininity and modesty, and I love my Catholic Church. If I read something I don't agree I just move on. For me that's the peaceful way. And in the past I have had contentious friends but learned to keep them out of my home out of necessity.
Thanks again for a lovely peaceful blog.

ChristyH said...

I am finding more peace at home and less peace outside my home. It is even just the negative comments, which I have been guilty of myself in the past, but the who lack of encouragement for women staying home.

I work with the youth at our church, or at least I did. (I resigned about a week ago.) Anyway, all of the girls I talk really just want to be wife and moms but all are off to college. My daughter is vocal about her choice to JUST be a wife and mom and not do college, but we still get negative comments. I remember growing up with the saying, if you can't say something nice don't say anything at all. Your blog is so encouraging. The world needs more encouragement.

sunnyskiesandsweettea said...

Lady Lydia,

This post is wonderful! I cannot watch the news or negativity as I find myself stressed and in a nervous state all of the time. My husband doesn't watch it either. It has actually became a joke amongst family members. They ask have you heard about this...and then they say of course you haven't. Y'all have your head in the sand. We say maybe so but we are happy that way!

Amy Jo

Sarah said...

Lady Lydia,

I am afraid to admit that I know I can be that argumentative young woman who wants to prove her point in conversations. My daughter who is almost 3 should not have to see a mother who thinks too highly of herself. Thank you for this post and others like it. I am still in the refining stage for sure and wanting to become more Christ-like is hard because I want to remain as I am. I would love to read more on the topic or even converse with you or other women who have struggled with this. God bless.