Friday, February 27, 2015

Already Cleaned

(Picture from Pinterest)

Good Morning Dear Ladies at Home ( or hoping to be one day!)

I am so happy you have come to visit my web-log and hope it is a pleasant experience.  

As I have a big day ahead of me getting my house in order, sewing, and painting a piece of furniture, I want to start out by featuring pictures of rooms that are already clean and orderly.  I think that is one good reason for ladies to visit showrooms and tour of homes or see pictures do not show the dishes and laundry and ironing that is awaiting attention, and they give me a nice goal towards which to work. 

 The pictures today come from an online catolog called "Touch of Class."  My home is far from this classy look but the pictures are an inspiration.  Note: not everyone is inspired by this, so if you tend to be discouraged by looking at rooms that are finished, please do not read further. This post is not intended to stir up envy or wants, but to give examples.  Books with pictures of houses and furnishings can be helpful if you use the ideas and photos to give you ideas of how to use what you have to achieve the kind of atmosphere you want.  Sometimes there is an attitude that "if I cannot have that exact house with the exact decor, I do not want anything to do with it." A person who needs inspiration and ideas and refuses to seek knowledge and look at examples will still end up with no ideas.

In former days our catalogs from which we ordered our household furnishings provided pictures of orderly rooms as examples. Many of us got our ideas these catalogs even when we did not have the products.  Girls used to create scrapbooks using catalog pages or advertisement pages in magazines. It helped them formulate ideas for order and beauty in the home.

If tempted to envy anyone for their nice home, remember they probably went through a lot of work to get it that way.  Lack of personal contentment can cause envy. 

Now on to the pictures, with more musings:

           This is interesting: a fold-away table and chair set. It would be a great "extra" when you need more than one dining area. Then it can all be compactly stored and still useful. 

Even the chairs fold for compact storage.

A lady's home desk all organized and ready for correspondence.

                                                 A bed already made!

Today I would like to leave a few notes of my thoughts about envy.  From my earliest days I could never understand how a woman could become envious. I was taught that when other people seem to be doing well, have a lot of things, money, achievements, success in the family, etc. it always came with added responsibilities and expenses and stresses. So, to envy someone would mean there was a possibility you would acquire some of their problems.  

Sometimes people envy those that do not have anything of value or anything obviously enviable. There are those who would envy a lady's personal life: the fact she is happy or content. Maybe she has a good life at home and is a good cook. Maybe she has talent for sewing or music or art. People envy the strangest things. Sometimes ladies have been a target of envy for no other reason other than the fact they exist!

There were things I always wanted to do or have. When I see others accomplishing things I always wanted to do, I have no envy for them. They are to be congratulated.   Now when I see something "I always wanted" it is not as interesting to me and I do not feel anxious to have it.

 Over time, a homemaker learns that acquiring one more thing is one more thing to wash, dust, find a place for, and protect.  However I do think the homemaker needs some basic things that provide a home some comfort and convenience. It is not very sympathetic to tell someone who is starting out her young life in an unfurnished home to "be happy with what you have" especially if all the rooms are bare and there is no table for dining and no couch to sit on.  There has to be a proper perspective of every situation.

Younger  ladies may be in the acquiring mode as they prepare their nests and get everything that is needed.  Older women have possibly accumulated more home things and should not be frowned on if they have more, because it did not all come at once and it is not a sign of greed or a point of envy.

Sometimes ladies who have been given gifts or win prizes are the target of envy and it shames them into giving things to envious people.  It is important not to feed envy.  The gift given to you was for you, for some reason, and no one should be shamed into giving up something just because an envious person thought it was not fair.

The Bible warns about the problem of envy. If you do a word search on your e-sword or an online Bible search, you can see all the verses with the word "envy" in them.   We should never envy but we should also not allow the envious to demoralize us or make us feel less than Christian if we have posessions. A Christian knows that he takes nothing out of this world and that posessions are for serving The Lord through care of the family and hospitality.

These days there is not much clout in the clothes, jewelry, furniture, and cars we own, for it is now possible to get it all so cheaply or second-hand and holds no "status" above others.  While it may be tempting to envy someone's nice house, you have to remember the cost of acquiring such a house, and even those who live in cheaper or free housing (such as apartment caretakers, trailer-park managers, camp maintenance personnel, live-in care-givers) it can be costly and is not always the advantage it appears to be.

A good verse to consider regarding envy, and a lesson to teach to those who are trying to avoid envy:

Eph 4:31  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

I would like to hear your comments on this subject.

If you think this tilting mirror might be nice to own, I would like to tell you one thing about it that is not an advantage.  I have one I acquired about 20 years ago that I had to put firmly inside a closet so it would not move. It is very easy to get your fingers pinched ( very painful, as I found out!) between the mirror and the frame.  I have opted for the over-the-door mirrors for everyday use and have put mine in a place that it cannot move. There are screws on the sides to tighten the swivel aspect but they do not stay tight.  This mirror also easily falls over.  Although I will be keeping mine,  I can't have it in a place where anyone will get hurt.

If you have been a homemaker for a good length of time and your husband is retired, why not get a new lease on life by rearranging your home and adding new curtains or acquiring a new convenience or comfort to enhance your home life?  I like to be creative and imagine my house as a bed and breakfast inn awaiting guests. I like to go outside and come back in the front door as if I am a visitor. This helps me see the house through a different mindset.


Anonymous said...

I grew up in two houses my parents owned, and this is my fourth apartment with my husband. We moved towns because of his jobs. We long for a house, but they are so expensive!! I do not have envy though, just wishing for it someday.

Lydia said...

There are some people who just focus on another person and become obsessed with them. I have been a target of that. People are fascinated with a homemaker or a preacher's wife and become suspicious and envious, even though these ladies probably have nothing to envy except their happiness, their contentment and their creativity.

Lydia said...

Also nothing wrong with wanting a house. I believe God wants us to live in a good shelter.

Anonymous said...

:) I am a homemaker as well and been the target of nosy people pushing me to work...They are just miserable people.

living from glory to glory said...

Evening, I find that everything has a cost to it! I desire to be at peace and have some things that bring joy and comfort to our home.
We were taught to take care of all that we had. I am careful to not look at too many magazines that have tons of things to want and buy.
Envy and covetous really bring harm!
I try to rejoice when others get things that they have wanted!
I still think about what I might do to improve an area in my home quite often!
Blessings, Roxy

Christine said...

Dear Lydia,
I live in a home which was previously my in-laws. It is small, and needs lots of work done to put it to the standard we would like it to be.
I truly don't mind it's humble size, and am always trying to better it by improving on decor, the garden, etc. I am not particularly keen on the architctural look on the outside either, as it was built in the mid 70's which was not a remarkable period for architecture in the UK.
However, I so understand what you mean about envy of someone's home, etc.
We once lived in the house of my dreams, but it quickly became a nightmare for we could not afford such a heavy burden on our finances.
We have downsized and yes, to some extent, "downgraded" to what we are in now, but I can sleep at night knowing we are living well within our means and all being well, this home will be paid off far sooner than the other home.
The peace of not having heavy debt far outweighs any envy I might feel for another's "dream home", and my husband need not wear himself ragged (nor I work full time) in order to live in it.

Amy B said...

The extra table with the folding chairs is amazing. What a beautiful way to have additional space for extra guests. Can you share where you found the photo?

Lydia said...

It comes from a catalog called Touch of Class, also available online.

Blessed Homemaking said...

I have to admit sometimes I have been a tad envious in the past of others' homes that were larger than ours and almost in new condition, while ours is a small starter home that is falling down around us! There are so many repairs and replacements to be done, it is not even funny. But I know that the Lord has provided this home for us, and just have to pray and trust that He will take care of our every need if an emergency arises. What is most special about our home is that my children are there, and that I can be home with them teaching them about the Lord day by day. Blessings to you, Lydia.

Susan said...

I am a previous homeowner and currently an apartment dweller with frequent moving because of employment. We currently cannot afford a home in the area where we live and sometimes I am happy of that because they are so expensive that we would work for 30 years to pay for it. I sometimes drive down the road and think how nice it would be to live in one of those homes, but then I remember the price that has to be paid to live there. Most of those homeowners are off working so much that they can't even enjoy their home. We are hoping in the future to move to a more affordable area and purchase a small house that will be easy for us to maintain and much more practical. In the meantime I make whatever space we are living in as comfortable as possible.

Envy can destroy the way you think about life and other people. It is useless to be envious of how other people live when you can't change your current situation. Make it a challenge for yourself to take what you have and make it as lovely as possible, no matter how awful it might be. Put your energy into creating beauty instead of being envious.

In my home I have simple, easy to move furniture and inexpensive items that I don't have to worry about being damaged in a move. I stick to basic colors in everything and get creative with how I use things. For example a small table becomes a desk and a folding table becomes a kitchen table with a pretty tablecloth. My living room furniture is outdoor lawn furniture done up so I have a garden style living room. In the next apartment I may have a patio and need the lawn furniture so we take it with us and I use it creatively. The things that are important to me are not the cost of the items such as my $2 towels and $1 vinyl shower curtain in the bathroom but the cleanliness and orderliness of my home. The space is usable and comfortable for my husband and I and any company that might come to visit.

Home is where we are right now with our loved ones and any home can be made comfortable and clean even with thrift store and Craigslist furniture. Some communities and social service agencies have furniture "banks" where they allow low income families to take what furniture they need for free. If you are starting out and having a difficult time you might want to ask around. You can post your need for furniture on a website called Freecycle. It is an site where people give away tings they don't need in order to save them from going in the landfills.

The home decorating catalogs are a great resource for ideas and so are online google searches and books at the library. Lady Lydia has wonderful ideas here on her blog. Get creative and have fun. That's what being a homemaker is all about.

anonymous said...

I agree with Susan, better to be creative and have fun.

Janet W.