Thursday, July 31, 2014

Queen Anne's Lace



.

(Today is Friday, August the 1st)

Queen Anne's Lace is a fluffy flower that grows in poor soil, on roadsides, empty lots, fields and hillsides.

As I am trying to figure out a different blogging program, I have had some trouble getting a post up lately. The pictures I want to show are appearing at the end of the post, so you will have to scroll down to see the Queen Anne's Lace embroidery and crochet pictures.

  Queen Anne's Lace is also pictured on teacups and fine china.


We picked massive bouquets of this lovely lace when we were children, thinking it was the most luxurious blossom.






There is a little purple blossom in the middle of the flower.




I have been getting an outdoor area set up for a Queen Anne's Lace Anniversary Tea, but was waylaid by thunder and lightening, so I will post more pictures later. That reminds me of an old joke. When one of my cousins was getting married, he remarked that marriage was made in Heaven, to which his friend replied, "So is thunder and lightening."  I have come indoors quickly to view the lightening from the window.  It really is spectacular but I would rather be on this inside looking at it than out in it. 


My own Queen Anne's Lace bouquet on the table outside.




As I am getting used to yet another blogging program and have not mastered it completely, the pictures are added at the end of the post rather than exactly where I want to put them. You will have to scroll down to see the sky-scene, and the Queen Anne's Lace with the purple flower in the middle. Also I added the Folkwear Garden Party Dress, which I made 22 years ago and wore for an anniversary.  I am hoping to make an anniversary dress today, using a much easier pattern, with flocked muslin, that looks like Queen Anne's Lace. (Picture of fabric will appear at the end.)



This is a common scene around here. Queen Anne's lace thrives in the minerals provided by roadside gravel and sand.


Here it is in a bridal bouquet.  It is also available now in artificial bouquets, made of latex and silk.  I have seen it in stems and wreaths at craft stores.


I can hardly understand how I missed getting the Embossing Arts rubber stamp, above, and the Personal Stamp Exchange stamp, below, when they were in all the catalogs back in the 1990's.  At the time, they were quite an expense, but now are appearing in some of the thrift stores.


Below: the sky before the storm.


I hope to see you later when I finish the Queen Anne's Lace Tea.  This is our 42nd anniversary, and I know there are many of you ladies reading this who are also in your 42nd year of marriage. I am sure you all think they broke the mold after you got your husband!   









A sample of Queen Anne's Lace embroidery.


Pretty bridal bouquet of Queen Anne's Lace.  This is exciting because it is not expensive when you can pick your own from an obliging field.





Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Little Trip


                         

                                                       Morning Light by Susan Rios

Today I am going to visit a Hobby Lobby that  has just opened.  It is 40 minutes away so I am making a day of it.  I have never been to a Hobby Lobby.  I was just thinking how nice it is to have had something "saved for later" in my life.  There are still a lot of things I have never done.







                                    

Here are two pieces of fabric I bought at Hobby Lobby. They were marked down 30 percent from the original price.  When I got home I thought better of buying such small quantities, because it took 45 minutes of travel to get there.  

On the way home, we got stuck behind a farm tractor we could not pass, so it took us a lot longer to get home.  We took the scenic route instead of the expressway to reduce the stress, and it really paid off in terms of a general feeling of well-being today.


                                    

I appreciated the music at Hobby Lobby.  When I walked in, A Mozart piece was playing. After that, familiar old hymns.  Everywhere I go to do my marketing or errands I have to listen to trashy music, so this was a great relief from the usual assault on my ears and my mind.



I also bought a fancy button using a discount coupon from the web which br out the price down to $1.79.  That is still a lot to pay for a button, but this one is special.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Home Scene



         
                                                       A Sunny Corner, by Susan Rios

Some of the programs that I use for blogging have not been serving me well in the past few days so I have been posting lovely paintings instead, hoping that they send out the message of homemakers who love their homes.

I am always delighted to see a painting or photograph of a calming interior of part of a house, and this corner with the chair is one of them.  There should be a place for every homemaker in every home that is kept to her pristine standards, where she can feel she has realized her goal of being a good keeper at home.

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted a nice home. It could have been anything from a cabin to a trailer, but it would be a place of beauty, order and rest; a place I could make my own with personal possessions and things that reflected the beauty of the Creation.   This is what many homemakers want.  There are some people who have sought it all their lives and never attained it, for one reason or another: illness, family problems, lack of family cooperation,  lack of time,  lack of knowledge, or discouragement. 

Some women have never wanted a luxury vacation, or beautiful jewelry; not even expensive furniture or original paintings. They never wanted a swimming pool or a bonus room or a fancy new kitchen. They did not desire expensive clothes or shoes --- maybe they just wanted to sew their own.  All they ever sought was a clean and pretty house, kept in repair, with normal and necessary appliances; a house looked after as though the owners had respect for the house, respect for each other and a high regard for the lady of the house. 

I believe our homes should be a reflection of our hearts. Our property should reflect our belief in good stewardship, as the Bible teaches. We should keep our houses as though Jesus were coming to see us. 

 Not everyone around us will practice this cleanliness and neatness, but if the Christian homemakers will insist on keeping their realm in order, it will be a shining light to the world.

If you have been struggling to get your home the way you have always dreamed, but cannot seem to attain it; if you feel like crying over it when you wake up in the morning; if you are angry at the lack of perfection in your home, there might be a few things you can do to change things for good.

1. Remember you are not obligated to pick up after everyone. Husband and children are expected to be thoughtful and not leave work for you to do.  You may have to come on pretty strong in the beginning if you want to establish some good habits.  They will get tired of hearing your voice, but assure them that the constant reminders will stop when you no longer have to tell them to pick up every little thing. Sometimes just a look of disapproval or of being displeased will be the signal they need to clean up after themselves. If you consistently make everyone pick up after themselves and do their share of the work (or more, going the second mile) they will hear less of your voice and will notice how pleased you are that they are not adding burdens to your work.

2. Just because you are a homemaker, and home during the day, does not mean the family can disrespect  your standards of housekeeping. They should not insult you by leaving things all over the place or making fun of your high standards.  This training is very good for them. They should never be adults leaving a trail of trash or lost shoes wherever they live. Good standards begin with the homemaker, and she has the duty to enforce them, for the home is her domain, given by God, and she will be giving account to Him for how she has taken care of it.  She is not obligated to clean up after able-bodied people and is allowed to insist that they take care of themselves. Babies and toddlers are a different matter. The homemaker's job is to guide the home. This means that she can tell other people how to clean up after themselves, to make the home a better place for everyone.

3.In illness, when things are getting out of order, you can still do a lot of praying about it. 

4. In total chaos that you do not think you will ever create order from, you can begin your day with a serious prayer for help from the Lord. He is our aid and our deliverer. Sometimes, cleaning a house can seem like walking through the valley of the shadow of death, but you can fear no failure, because our prayers for excellence will be answered.  If you will pray to get through your housework, you might find you can do more than you ever expected.

5. The New Testament teaches us to be good stewards, and shows a parable of what happens to the unfaithful steward who did only what was required of him and nothing more. We need to fear that being negligent of our homes can cause us to lose what we have. Things will deteriorate if not cared for. Things will cost more money to repair if not looked after properly.  

6. We can cause people to have an unfavorable view of the true Christian faith, when we neglect housekeeping.

7. Do not be intimidated by people who say you are too focused on housekeeping. There has always been the saying that "people are more important than things" but keeping house means you care enough about people to make a clean and pleasant dwelling place for the family and for company.  In order to keep things from getting out of control, you have to develop picking-up habits that never quit. If you  have a messy family, you cannot let one single thing get out of control, or it will slide into an avalanche once the pile gets too big.  Let outsiders mock all they want, but do develop good habits and be determined to keep them.

8. Beware of the distractions of ministries, charities, social things, too many classes to attend, or things that will take away your time.  Your home is the center of your ministry, your charity, your social life and your creativity. If you become overwhelmed, try eliminating everything outside the home until you get total control of your housework and get caught up with everything.

9. It helps to have a pretty notebook and pen to write down the following things:

     -Everything you need to do in  your home that is urgent.
     -Things that need to be done eventually
     -Things you would like to do that are not necessary but personally fulfilling or interesting
     -What you can do today (dishes, floors, laundry, putting things in order, cleaning off the tops of tables, etc.)

It is satisfying to list the "today" things and check them off, including the start and finish time.

10. Realize that homemaking is not as simple as just doing the dishes.  I almost never get out of the kitchen having just washed dishes. There are always extra things involved, such as wiping around the sink with a towel, cleaning the fingerprints off the stove and dishwasher, sweeping the floor, re-filling the flour jar, straightening a few things in the spice cabinet, etc. There is always the chance you will spill or drop something, which will entail mopping the floor or double-bagging the trash and replacing the bag in the bin.  

Everything task has other tasks connected to it. Sometimes while training children in housework, they will claim they cleared the table after a meal. Certainly, they removed all the dirty dishes, but left crumbs or napkins or other things.  We have to avoid the attitude of just doing enough to get by. We cannot be completely happy at home unless we go beyond what is absolutely necessary.  Of course, a lady has to develop the good sense to do only what is necessary if she isn't feeling well or if she is in a hurry due to some pressing problem.  

If you treat homemaking as a service to a great king and a respect for yourself, it helps a great deal in how well you keep the house. 

The Bible teaches that whatever your hands find to do, to do it with all your heart, as unto the Lord, and not unto men.  This is a good motivation, because if your efforts are limited to pleasing other people, you might find you can never quite get their approval, or they will disappoint you by not appreciating what you do. If you go over their heads and work for the the Lord, you are serving someone who is giving you the ability to do what sometimes seems impossible. 




Saturday, July 19, 2014

Home Scene



                                                                   Hidden Cottage



Friday, July 18, 2014

Paintings of Home






                                 Just dropping by today to share a new painting by Susan Rios.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Making Plans




Today there is a lot to do, so I wanted to quickly put up pictures to share my morning tea scene while I make my plans for the day.


Sometimes I make a special page for my list with a stamp or a colorful sketch to make the page brighter.

I find I am a better worker and in a better mood if I spend some time at the start of the day to organize my thoughts by writing my plans for the day on paper, and things do not get as urgent when I am following a list.

At Goodwill there was a discount on the curtains, so I got two sets of these ruffled curtains. When I got them home I found that one of the sets had a shorter panel and did not match, so I decided to use the one matching set for my outdoor tea.


The air is quite warm and it is going to rain in a few minutes.
I am going to get busy now, with my day, and I hope to post some more of my old ettiquette classes for children . I hope you have a calm and peaceful day.


Remember that the broadcast news is the bad news, full of terror and horror that will occupy your mind and create anxiety, but the Bible is the good news, full of peace and assurance, that will give you a sound mind, especially the New Testament, which is full of light and joy. If you think on the gloomy reports, how can you do a good job at home? Consider this passage:

Gal 5:22    But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith...

I think it is crucial for homemakers to concentrate on making the house pretty (prettifying the home) . To enable the creative senses to function, it is imperitive to think on good things. The media continually broadcasts the darkest side of life it can find, and it is demoralizing and defeating. The Bible likens the followers of Christ to soldiers, and so we much acquire all the positive attributes of good soldiers and keep those in our charge uplifted, and the house safe and clean.

A good soldier does not believe the enemies taunts and does not allow the propaganda to penetrate his mind. Look around and see how much there is to do at home, and concentrate on that. Remember that you are glorifying God when you offer your best service at home. I pay scant attention to the news these days because all my life it has broadcast nothing but doom and gloom and disaster, and yet, I look around and see that it has not made a bit of difference in my life, and worrying about it never helped me clean my kitchen.


Friday, July 11, 2014

Refined Speech for Christian Ladies


We love to have serenity in the home, so we clean and beautify and add all kinds of elegant touches. We are particular, or "picky" about where things are placed or what color they are because we want everything in the house to have a harmonious feeling. We want our homes to be places of peace and rest.


Our speech should be as refined and as beautiful as the things we value at home. When something is refined, the dross, dirt, and impurities are removed so that the product is pure and clean. Our speech should be free of impurity.


Before I can suggest the elements of edifying, pleasing conversation, it is necessary to discuss the harm of corrupt communication.


Improper speech is offensive and destructive.


Rude, critical remarks and spoil the sweet atmosphere.


Crudeness is a lack of completeness, unfinished, lacking in perception, and lacking in culture.


No lady in her right mind would dare to serve her guests a cup of tea in a dirty teacup, and a guest would not even think of bringing her personal trash into a house where she was invited. We all want to give our guests our very best, and mature guests do not want to leave a bad impression on the hostess.


It seems though, that there is a big disconnection of this principle (uncleanness or filth) regarding the way women talk these days, and they especially tend to be unrestrained in what they talk about when in a group of other women at a tea party or a ladies class. This is particularly sad because they are usually dressed up, wearing a hat, and there is a dainty table laid out for them.

 There is no greater blame on the young, than on the old. While we might expect filthy talk from those "who never knew our God," we are in real trouble when ladies of the Lord's church become careless in their manner of speaking. They understand why they value their lovely furniture and their well-appointed homes, but they fail to view their speech in the same way.


In days gone by, especially in the home, parents guarded the speech of their family carefully, not just to avoid rudeness, but to keep corrupting talk from tainting the family and making home life unpleasant.


 While Christian women generally agree that swearing and cursing should never be included in their conversation, there are those who do not realize that subject matter, such as talk of bodily functions, private husband-wife relationships, jokes about private parts of our bodies, references to physical desire, and innuendos about such things, are included in the Bible's admonition to have pure speech. (Colossians 4:6 and Titus 2:8)


Women may reason that as long as they are not using foul language and uttering curse words, that it is okay to talk about anything and everything. However, even without filthy language, there are some things that are not appropriate to talk about.


There is an erroneous, worldly and unBiblical practice to talk about everything from underwear to intimate relationships in detail. Some women believe that as long as they are not gossiping or criticizing, that any subject is safe to talk about.


Ladies always need to be careful around little ears and not violate their innocence with talk about grown-up things they are not ready for.



 Discerning women also have to understand that it is possible to offend the purity of anyone, any age, whether married or not. The more a Christian lady strives for pure thinking and pure living (unblemished by filth), the more she would be aware of how speaking of things which are "done in the dark" can harm the pure in heart, no matter what age they are.



Lectures on pure speech often bring up questions about things that are recorded in the Bible, and whether or not it is okay to discuss them. This all depends on how such situations involving sin are discussed. Just because it is in the Bible, it does not give ladies leeway to indulge in impure curiosity or speculate on sensuous details of sin.



I have observed many mothers over the years who were very successful in teaching their children about the sin that is described in the scriptures and still not indulge in describing the corrupting details.



Sincere ladies can develop sensitivity and a sence of shame regarding the kind of talk they engage in.



Nonetheless, there are still some women who may find it hard to discern what should and what should not be spoken out loud, so I will suggest some guidelines to abide by. That way, if a situation comes up and a person is tempted to join in an inappropriate discussion, they can think of these rules.



1. Avoid talk about personal bodily functions. Even discussing your digestive tract can be a problem when other ladies just want to have polite, cheerful, uplifting conversation. Keep your monthly cycle totally private and never mention it in a sewing circle or a ladies Bible Class. Most people agree that the subject of intimate, private things CAN be discussed privately with a trusted friend. 

Bear on mind that not everyone in a group will be comfortable talking about private things. You just have to be careful that the people you are with approve of it and do not subject your hearers to things they are not comfortable with regarding private things.


2. Speak not of things that create pictures in the mind of immodesty of any sort, or any graphic description of anything to do with physical privacy or private parts of the anatomy. Conversation alluding to bathing can even become embarrassing, even if it is about cleanliness.



3. Really refined Christian ladies never discuss their womanly cycle or details of childbirth except with a mother or close friend privately.



4. Do not talk about the details of your family finances to anyone outside of the family and be careful not divulge such private things to your children. 


5. Bringing up past bad experiences and telling them in detail, time after time, is not polite conversation.



6. Begging. Edifying conversation will never manipulate anyone into giving them something. It is not good form to whine about your financial setbacks.


7. Avoid the bad conversational habit of one-up-man-ship or "I do it better."



8. Coming in late to a conversation that has already begun and adding your opinion without having heard the whole matter.



9. Correcting everyone every time they speak, on their grammar or the things they are saying (unless you are training your children).



10. Always asking "why?" Or "Why is that?" In response to every thing anyone says.



11. Walking into a conversation between people and blurting out "Now what??" or just demanding to know what someone is talking about.



12. Not discerning when you are not included in a conversation.



13. Rudely excluding someone in the same room with the same company, by talking about something experienced by the two of you (wasn't that tea party we went to fun?") that others cannot relate to.



14. Never being interested in the other guests and only wanting to tell your own plans and your own experiences.


15. Silly talking with no point.



16. Doting about words and strifes. (1 Timothy 6:4)



17. Great swelling words of vanity. (2 Peter 2:18)



18. Hasty, sharp responses.


Some of the above subjects can be covered in another lecture.



To prevent inappropriate talk, you first have to be careful what you think about. Watch out for where your mind goes and turn your thoughts back to whatever is lovely and pure and good. Your thoughts will guide your tongue. James explained that when he used the bits in the horses mouth as an illustration to the problem of controlling the tongue (meaning your words).

An article that explains it well is here.https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/119-plague-of-profanity-the


To halt inappropriate talk, learn to find something in the conversation that can be used to change the subject. Catch on to a word or idea that is being discussed and say that it reminds you of something, and see if you can ask a question about it, that will get people off the other subject. Note that sometimes people with bad habits and impure thoughts will use the same tactic to talk about things that are untoward or vulgar.



To get conversation back in control, you might have to use drastic measures and tell the ladies that they need to move on to more decent subjects. If you have children within hearing, it will be important to stop people before allowing corrupt talk to offend their ears.



There is something else you need to know, that is very important, about listening to silly, unregenerate talk. It puts a bad taste in people's mouths (a figure of speech meaning a bad memory) that they cannot get rid of.


 I once was a guest at a ladies gathering where one of the other guests began talking about her anatomy "in the vernacular".


The other ladies were embarrassed but never said anything and some of them got up and went into the kitchen, while others bravely tried to change the subject. It was even more serious that there were some little girls sitting politely by their mothers. The words they heard would be replayed in their memories and pollute their minds with thoughts that would crowd out innocent childhood thinking.


The older ladies were so disturbed by such foul talk (including bathroom and bedroom talk) that some of them departed with deeply glum expressions. I heard later that a couple of the more refined guests went home and wept for their sister in Christ who had been so thoughtless. Although she was eventually enlightened by a very kind lady, the damage had been done and could not be undone.



People who let-loose their tongues do more than let out words that will be forgotten. Such words also bring up images in people's minds that they play again, and will not go away for awhile. Furthermore, it is just as bad to pollute the mind of a child as it is to pollute the thinking of anyone else, whether they be the age of 18 or 80. This is because The Lord has told us in his word to have pure minds and think on pure things . (Philippians 4:8)



Crude talk of those things "done in the dark" (1 Timothy 4:7) make you appear to be less refined and less of a lady. Corrupt communication is bad for your future influence on those who might be guided by you.


We can reason and talk and try to convince ladies to guard their speech, but if their hearts are not convicted that it offends Christ and affects their standing with Him, they will be forgetful hearers. They need to know that when they let foolish talk escape from their mouths, and do not bridle the tongues, (James 3:2) that they violate and corrupt other people. It is also disrespectful.


Ladies need to train their consciences to be sensitive enough to blush at corrupt communication. The ability to cringe or blush is developed when you pay attention to and dwell on whatever is good, lovely and pure. Then, the impure will stick out like a sore thumb and be immediately recognizable.


 You should abhor the thoughts and sounds of corrupt communication.


Your speech reflects your morals and your religious views. An unbridled tongue can cause another person to have impure things on her mind. Be accountable for every word you speak and know the harm or the good that you do with your words.


 Language can be used for good or for ill, and you need to be remembered for speaking whatever is good, lovely and pure. What God has to say should be the final word on our language, so here are some verses to think about:


Eph 4:29    Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.



Col 3:8    But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.



Tit 2:7    In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,



Tit 2:8   Sound speech that cannot be condemned; that he that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed.



.Eph 5:12    For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.



1Ti 4:7    But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.



Psa 19:14    Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.



There are so many things to talk about, which are interesting, stimulating, encouraging and beneficial,that it would take a life time to relate them. There is so much untapped glory in beautiful, edifying, or instructive words, one cannot tell it all.  there is simply no time to indulge in corrupt and fruitless talk.


Corrupt communication is limited and amounts to saying the same stupid things over and over. If you engage in it, you do not appear to be very bright or wise.

A visitor to a ladies Bible class once remarked, "I would like to come back each week to the ladies Bible class, but the ladies indulge in too much bad news and too many 'organ recitals' describing surgeries and health problems with all the details of blood and gore."  We all need to be careful that our group conversation does not center on things that are revolting to others. While we may talk personally to a friend about these things, they are not edifying for a group.



I know people who have handicapped children with mental imparities that still are able to train them to avoid filthy talk. If a mentally-challenged person knows the difference, then any lady can master the art of polite and clean conversation, both at home and in public. It is better just to forget you ever knew any of those words or subjects and get them completely out of your mind. Then, the next time you hear them, they will jolt your senses and you will see clearly the difference between light and darkness.



When polite ladies refrain from vulgar talk, it has an influence on the society around them. Refined speech is a bigger influence than people realize. As you refine your speech you will begin to notice that you are reducing you own stress. Foul-mouthed people will not feel comfortable around you and might keep their mouths shut. If you try to be a real lady and speak only what is sweet and nice, you become a great influence and you keep a right relationship with God.

Just as any woman sincerely following the Lord's admonition in Titus, chapter 2, wants her home to be clean and orderly so that it may comfort and edify the occupants, Christian ladies ought to keep their speech pure and lovely in the temple of the Holy Spirit, (the tongue, in the body, which is he temple, should be well-regulated and disciplined), so that hearers may be taught the greater issues of the Kingdom of The Lord.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Manners at Home: Refined Speech



We love to have serenity in the home. so we clean and beautify and add all kinds of elegant touches.

 Our speech should be as refined and as beautiful as the prettiest things we value at home. 

 Rude, critical remarks and crudeness spoil the sweet atmosphere.

 No lady who was  in her right mind would dare to serve her guests a cup of tea in a dirty teacup, and a guest would not even think of bringing her personal trash into a house where she was invited.  It seems though, that there is a big disconnection regarding the way women talk these days. There is no greater blame on the young, than on the old.  While we might expect filthy talk from those "who never knew our God," we are in real trouble when ladies of the Lord's church become careless in their manner of speaking.

In days gone by, especially in the home, parents guarded the speech of their children carefully not just to avoid rudeness, but to keep crude talk from tainting the family and making home life unpleasant.  While Christian women generally agree that swearing and cursing should never be included in their conversation,  there are those who do not realize that talk of bodily functions, private husband-wife relationships, jokes about private parts of our bodies,  references to physical desire, and innuendos about such things, are included in the Bible's admonition to have pure speech. (Colossians 4:6 and Titus 2:8) 

Ladies need  to develop a sense of shame, and be able to blush when such descriptions are spoken, and be aware of the harm they cause.  I have heard women say that as long as there is no one "under the age of 18" in a room, that it is okay to talk about everything from underwear to intimate relationships in detail. 

 While we always need to be careful around little ears that we do not violate their innocence with talk about grown-up things they are not ready for, we also have to understand that it is possible to offend the purity of anyone, any age, whether married or not.  The more a Christian lady strives for pure thinking and pure living (unblemished by filth), the more she would be aware of how speaking of things which are "done in the dark" can harm the pure in heart, no matter what age they are.

Lectures on pure speech often bring up questions about things that are recorded in the Bible, and whether or not it is okay to discuss them.  This all depends on how such situations involving sin are discussed.  Just because it is the Bible that is being discussed, it does not give ladies leeway to indulge in impure curiosity and talk of a sensuous nature regarding the Bible characters of the tiniest details of sin.

  I have observed many mothers over the years who were very successful in teaching their children about the sin that is described in the scriptures and still not indulge in corrupting details.  

Nonetheless, there are still some women who may find it hard to discern what should and what should not be spoken out loud, so I will suggest some guidelines to abide by.  That way, if a situation comes up and a person is tempted to join in an unwholesome discussion, they can think of these rules.

1. Avoid talk about personal bodily functions. Even discussing your digestive tract can be a problem when other ladies just want to have polite, cheerful, uplifting conversation. Keep your monthly cycle totally private and never mention it in a sewing circle or a ladies Bible Class. 

2. Speak not of things that create pictures in the mind of immodesty of any sort.




Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Refinement in Daily Life


Stone Bridge Cottage, by Sung Kim, (American)

 

A lot of depression and discouragement can be alleviated by having a daily observance or quiet celebration. A time set aside each day for taking tea in a special cup, or just sitting still for a quiet hour restores the mind and regulates jumbled, racing thoughts. I have worked at making the morning tea a regular ritual, and have noticed a difference in my health and presence of mind when I skip the ceremony, as small as it is.

This morning I have got out an old cup for morning tea.

Now I am ready to restore order in the house and plan some extra things to do, which I plan to feature here in a few days.

I am always on the lookout for rose-themed cups like this at Goodwill and garage sales. The price is almost nothing at thrift stores, but teacups are getting harder to find. I use my teacups and give them a regular workout by having guests for tea.

 

And now I am on to another subject; that of polite behaviour with your whole presence. This is from an old lesson I taught many years ago to children, but its message needs to be revived for grown children, young ladies and a few older ones.

 

 

In the home it is not polite to block someone in a hallway. It is rude to crowd up too close to a family member in the kitchen or put pressure on someone by getting too close to them, crowding them, especially if they object. In our country, people believe in minding their own business , as the New Testament teaches, and so it is considered rude to look over someone's shoulder to see what they are reading or writing or doing, unless invited. It is also rude to be too inquisitive about personal, private matters, the exception being parents with their own children.

 

 

Politeness in public requires us to avoid being too curious about what someone is eating (peering closely at their plate or their beverage) and it is rude to try to get involved in a conversation to which you are not invited, especially with people you do not know well. This all begins in the home, where family members should not hover over someone who is eating or writing or reading.

 

 

One of the very first lessons many of us were taught by our parents was the value of minding your own business. This is more of a principle than a rule, since it has far-reaching results. If you as a young lady will always be reticent with people and keep a polite distance, not nosing into other people's personal things, you can never get a bad reputation or be labeled as a nuisance.

 

 

In shopping situations, do not walk in front of people while they are looking at merchandise, nor try to look at the same item or get too close to something they are buying. Shoppers do not like people to see what they are buying. Even though shopping is a public activity, people's purchases are private, and the amount of money they pay at the checkout is private, so it is polite to stand back and at least not look as if you are too curious about their transactions. It is best to stand a little distance and not look at what they are doing, that is, if you are really trying to be polite.

 

In any social setting, never stand up in the middle of two people talking so that they cannot see each other. That is as bad as having too large a centerpiece on the dining table which blocks everyone's view of one another. Also, be careful when in a group not to sit with your back to someone (this does not include church, where everyone faces the speaker or song leader). Children are not actually as guilty of this as are adults. I have been to baby showers and wedding showers where I have seen ladies place a chair right in front of someone blocking them from the conversational circle. (Classes are valuable to demonstrate what these sort of things really look like.)

 

Sometimes people use their bodies to be over-bearing with others in public. In Church, there is often a time after the worship dismissal to converse with people, and it is necessary to be aware that you can block other people from visiting with certain ones if you stand too close and monopolize anyone. Socializing is like a dance, in that you have to allow others to cut-in when you see they are politely waiting on the side to talk to the one you are near. When they do that, assume they have tapped you on the shoulder and are wanting their turn with the guest.

 

 

 

I observed once that a couple had come to church from another state, and after the meeting was dismissed, one person seemed to "swamp" this couple, blocking them from meeting anyone else. Only when everyone had given up waiting to welcome the couple and gone home, lights were finally turned off and the preacher said he needed to lock the meeting house, did this couple escape the rude, over-bearring person who stood in the way of others greeting them.

 

 

Another problem that you need to be aware of is that of engaging in troll-like social behavior in the church and other social situations. A troll is someone who follows you around. Sometimes in a church fellowship, when a person sees someone talking to someone else, they immediately go over there and take over the conversation. They may follow the person around and discourage her from socializing at all. This is not the same as watching your children or staying close to your mother, which is appropriate in social situations. I am speaking to young ladies who may be forgetting to be polite and neglecting to respect people and keep a little distance.

 

 

In Victorian times, young ladies were deliberately taught not to be too forward or too imposing, and to be quiet and discreet; to "know their place". In this day and age, such teaching sounds too formal, but whatever is good about society, particularly church, becomes miserable when someone trolls other people and will not sit quietly and mind their own business. Several times I have seen rude women, young and old, cause people to physically stiffen, retreat and shrink back from fellowshipping, because they felt they were being trailed or monitored in their personal conversations with other people. That is not the same thing as watching that someone does not get lost in a hallway or helping someone to find their car in the parking lot, or making sure people are safe. The personal monitoring I am describing is a rude, in-your-face snooping.

 

There are probably many more things that can be said about how you can be polite with your personal presence around other people, but it would take volumes to explain every detail. A really discerning person will learn to detect the reception they get and read people's body language. If they are not real receptive to you, learn to take the hint before you cause verbal anger in the other person.

 

The New Testament, the spiritual law of Christ for this age, makes behavior very simple to understand by the admonition to be courteous in 1 Peter 3:8. Courtesy is the act of making sure others are respected and not offended by what you are doing. It means putting the comfort of others above your own and not aggravating them in any way. As a young lady, you need to be grown up enough not to have every little thing spelled out for you down to the tiniest detail, as when you were a toddler.


Being grown-up means to pay attention to your own behavior and restrain yourself in order to be courteous and non-threatening to others. When you are out-of-control in your social life, people will be correcting your or avoiding you.The mark of a mature lady is being self controlled so that others never have to control you.

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