Saturday, July 11, 2015

New, Every Morning


I extend a warm greeting to everyone who visits here today.  This is my tea, taken mid-morning, and I wanted to remind you that you can make your own fruit tea by adding hot water to a few berries or slices of fruit, fresh or frozen.  The scones are the Nathalie Dupree recipe which I found online and was featured in the current Victoria magazine. I did not follow it exactly, but instead used half milk instead of all cream.

In a previous post I touched on the subject of women alone at home in their responsibilities.  If you had a life of people and support from your school days, college, or workplace, you will find full-time homemaking can be lonely, and you have to be a self-starter. There will not be any time schedules, bells, regulated coffee breaks, or quitting times!  No is going to give you an achievement plaque at the end of the year and there will not be an honors dinner for the employees.  However, there are many other things that can be done to make sure you have the emotional support and the social contact you need, to make home life worthwhile and to keep your morale high. You can create your own celebrations and family customs, schedule a day off and extend hospitality.  You can also dress with dignity at home and make your home your profession as well as your ministry.

At the end of the day if things have gone a bit awry--such as the scene where you were happily cleaning the kitchen, pulled out a drawer which came off its hinges and dumped the contents, dropped  a plate,  which sent pieces of glass into places far beyond the kitchen, or had to mop the kitchen floor because of an unexpected food spill, it will feel quite discouraging.  Waking up to an ant invasion can throw you off your plans and put you in a sour mood, as well as make you have to play catch-up for the rest of the day. To solve some of these defeating feelings when you have a day like that, or even if you just feel down toward the end of the day, there is a need to look to our forebearers and to Gods word to help us understand how to cope with it all.

One of the things our grandmothers told us was "things are always darkest before the dawn." You may have family problems where one member of the family is determined to upset your happy home, and towards evening it seems that all is lost. All your work and your faithfulness has been tramped into the ground and you feel defeated.  Then comes the morning and burdens feel so much lighter.

You all know these verses, because they were put to music and made into a song that is loved by many people:

"This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.
 It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
The LORD is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him."
                           -Lamentations 3:21-25

Is not this so true- in the morning things are new again.  The light is different, the sounds are fresh and he feeling of a whole day ahead with no big burdens .  Even yesterday's upsets are not so terrorizing the next morning!

Another thing our mothers and grandmothers used to tell us when we felt alone or full of dread or grief, was "Have a good cry."

I don't know why people try to make children and ladies stifle their tears.  Moderns tell them they can't afford to indulge in sentiment or cry about things.  Tearful goodbyes are discouraged and thought to be  emotionally unhealthy, and some people try to put unnatural cheerfulness on to sad things. God gave us tears for a reason, and even Ecclesiastes says there is a time to weep!  

I was studying a little about tears in the Bible and saw several times where God wanted people to weep, and a time when Jesus wept. We are supposed to weep with those who weep, so there is nothing wrong with you if other people's sadness make you cry, too.

 If you have ever been  labelled as a cry-er, then my Mother's story might reassure you:   There were many lonely days in her life, particularly in a dark seasons when the sun rarely appeared.  In those days the men often had to go away to work , sometimes for several weeks at a time, taking the one car the family owned. Women had to stay home and take care of everything there, especially if there was a garden and livestock, and of course, children. Many couples back then left their parents and went to new frontiers, and also  didn't have instant comfort of neighbors. 

 My mother said, "Sometimes I was so sad and lonely I would go outside and cry, cry, cry, til there was not a drop of water left in my eyes. After that, I always experienced a wonderful feeling of peace."

This may seem really primitive to progressives these days, but it is a method of overcoming overwhelming feelings of grief, sadness, loneliness or uneasiness that has good side-effects. In fact, upon further study of the benefits of tears, I found some medical evidence that crying can lower blood pressure and balance the mind, rids the body of harmful toxins, and induces sleep.  You can always look up the benefits of crying and find further information.

Another thing that we have not passed down to the next generation, which was oft recommended by our grandmothers, was, when you feel unsettled or strange inside your own skin (an expression they used) was to wash your hair.  In those days, bathing and hair washing were two different things.  

We washed our hair outside in the summer, using rainwater heated in a bucket on the cookstove.  Rainwater felt different than tap water, and made hair soft, shiny and manageable, even curlier.  The act of bending the head over a sink or outside while you poured dippers of rain water on your hair, caused a change in the mood.  Washing hair in the shower does not have that same transforming physical and mental effect.  

I always enjoyed watching the fictional character, Margaret, in the movie, Sense and Sensibility" getting her hair washed and dried with with towel, by her sister.  We always followed up a warm water shampoo with a cold water rinse and always complained about how cold it was, but the cold water had a nice effect on the hair.

Another thing that they used to ease the mind of racing thoughts and nagging worries, was scrap booking. Even in those days when the scrapbooks were made of brown paper,  and we didn't have the exciting fancy products available as we do today, the act of clipping recipes from magazines or cutting out Bible verses from church bulletins, along with poems and pictures, and pasting up a page, was immensely satisfying and calming.  It left you feeling level-headed, organized and ready to take on life.  

Mothers would insist on a time of quietness and they knew it was not good for us to be always active.  Without being any great professional therapists, they knew how to have a balanced life.  Because modern society is not inclined to follow these old paths, many people become obsessive and compulsive, anxious and restless.

Another often over-looked standard was that of having all the family home at bedtime and mealtimes. When Gwendolyn Web wrote her book, "Training Up A Child" in the early 1970's, she quoted some research that was done about what helps children become faithful Christians and honor parents. Of all the parents interviewed, these two elements were common: the children were in the home with their parents at mealtimes and bed times. Being together at mealtimes and bedtimes establishes a foundation of emotional stability.  The children learn the difference between day and night and also what is common to home living. When a new homemaker feels that wilderness uncertainty,  being home at mealtimes and bedtimes can be a reassuring ritual.

The last ritual of the day was the bedtime prayers.  Each child was encouraged to thank God for all the blessings of the day, which sometimes became quite a long list, as a child will thank God for every detail, and then ask forgiveness where they failed, and ask for a new, improved start the next day. "Help me to grow up to be good and kind and faithful to your word" was a common request.  Following that was a request for blessings on our parents and protection of our home. Upon awakening, we always felt we had a fresh new, forgiven start in life.

These things are sometimes overlooked in overcoming things, but often mankind's solutions bring on more problems and cost more money! 

Before I leave here today I wanted once more to show the fabric Roxy, from "Living From Glory to Glory" blog sent me, and to tell her I still pat the fabric and look at it and think about cutting it.  I have paired it with this old hat, and an old pattern, and it looks just right. Some of you may have that came from JC Penny back in the the day. Yes Roxy, I am going to use this fabric, since I have whittled down my pile of old fabric.  It is is a fabric that is so soft and silky I can't make the commitment to cut it  yet.

I was going to make this post a quick greeting g but then I got out all my old July Victoria's, the first ten years, and decided to share them.  I am missing July 1992 but it is probably misplaced.  I like the picture on the cover of the issue at the lower left because it was after that particular publication the rubber stamp companies began producing the canning jar with the roses and berries picture. Plus, it was something we could all so happily relate to and imitate at home:

Pages from July issues:

There are instructions on the American Girls Handibook for the card stock fans, below.  I have several of them my children made, with the ribbon.


Unknown said...

Beautiful post, thank you for the encouragement.

Lydia said...

Thank you Christina, for your comment. I like the acapella song you posted on your Google page, nd how one man sang all the parts. The song also has a Scottish or Irish lilt to it.

Anonymous said...

This was so comforting...thank you for a walk down memory lane....

Deborah Montgomery said...

Love this good, old-fashioned advice for dealing with stressful days. I will have to collect rain water next time it rains and try it for washing my hair. Sounds wonderful.
The material Roxy sent you is lovely. She is a sweetheart.

April said...

I have not yet seen it, but I've heard that the movie Inside Out deals with the topic of sadness and how it is a healthy and useful emotion. It also addresses the fact that we shouldn't feel that we must be happy all the time. Anyway this post made me think of that movIe. I hope to see it sometime. The review on the Plugged In website (Focus on the Family 's review of media website) was very interesting and intriguing.
Anyway, I enjoyed reading your post today. It is good to indulge in a good cry every once in awhile. :)
p.s. My real name is April but I used the name June when I was thinking of doing a blog and I can't figure out how to change it! Haha!

Finding Joy said...

Last week I wrote a blogpost about "feeling discouraged" and listed some ideas to do when feeling down. Joanne Weaver, author of "Having a Mary heart in a Martha world" suggests setting the timer - allow 10 minutes for a good cry, when the buzzer stops, blow your nose, wipe your eyes and surrender your situation to the Lord (Ecclesiastes 3:4) - I think this is great idea and keeps emotions in check.

We had large water tanks growing up and I would often wash my hair using water from the tanks as it made it much softer compared to the bore water which was a harder water.

J♥Yce Burrows said...

As always, Lydia ~ such an encouraging post(good memories it invokes along with being encouraging as ideas were taught me and still practiced, too. Oft, my hair is washed separately from shower/bath...laundry room sink! My mother captured and saved a picture of me offering prayer on bended knee at the bedside as a little girl. Good "old paths" to share anew.)! The pattern is recognized as being one in my filing cabinet. What a lovely fabric you have been given to work with and a perfect hat to top the ensemble! Victoria magazines are wonderful, as is that fan(must find the pattern and make). Just last night I was thinking of the church attended as a little girl with no air conditioning other than cardboard fans nestled in the pew backs by the ushers in warm weather for member comfort. Good old days bear repeating! :-)

April ~ when Blogged logged in, go to your profile, , and click "edit profile", upper right corner. Once there, look to the "Identity" category with the "Display" option where you can delete "June" from the box and type "April", then scroll to the bottom of the page to click "Save Profile". Hope this helps! :-)

Lydia said...

We still have the cardboard fans in the back of the pews here. My children and I made them twenty years ago or so.

quakerhillfarm said...

A timely and beautiful post! Thank you and blessings to you this day!

Anonymous said...

Lydia...I would like to thank you for all of your posts! They encourage me so much to enjoy the vocation of been a wife and mother and been able to stay at home daily! :0) Also, you have inspired me to sew more dresses this summer than in years past. I am perusing Etsy to see if I could find the patterns you share here in your blog. I don't particularly like modern dress patterns, so looking for the older ones is a fun way to become inspired to dress like a lady.

Thank you dear lady, for heading the promptings of Our Lord to share yourself in this manner.

Blessings to you...


ladypinktulip said...

What a wonderful many things to think about. I agree that we sometimes need to have a "good cry". I often go outside to sit in my little backyard sanctuary and pray and cry when needed. I do think this younger generation who have been raised in the electronic age often do not know the value of quiet and alone time. They are used to being connected constantly which I do not think is a good thing at all. Taking time for tea and scones is a wonderful daily ritual that helps break up the day while homemaking too. Blessings dear sister - Mrs. Kelly Thompson

anonymous said...

Mom and I were labeled "Criers". We would cry at sad, heartwarming and other movies that stirred the emotions. We even cried when we laughed at hilarious movies. The old time movies with tear jerker stories were a good outlet for pent-up emotions.
Sometimes I cry when angry at someone or something. Then the Lord helps me deal with the reason for anger and we have a good talk. Mostly I listen.

I really like your pretty fabric. It was so kind and generous of Roxy to give you the fabric. She really is a sweetly.

Nice pattern also. You really must make that dress.
Thank you for sharing another timely post and encouragement.


anonymous said...

Mom and I were labeled "Criers". We would cry at sad, heartwarming and other movies that stirred the emotions. We even cried when we laughed at hilarious movies. The old time movies with tear jerker stories were a good outlet for pent-up emotions.
Sometimes I cry when angry at someone or something. Then the Lord helps me deal with the reason for anger and we have a good talk. Mostly I listen.

I really like your pretty fabric. It was so kind and generous of Roxy to give you the fabric. She really is a sweety.

Nice pattern also. You really must make that dress.
Thank you for sharing another timely post and encouragement.


Unknown said...

What a wonderful post-so rich in practical ideas for dealing with life's struggles! Prayer is also very calming and restful!

I love the old Victoria magazines, too!

living from glory to glory said...

Dear Lydia, you once again have touched our hearts. We all need a good cry at times. It helps wash away the hardness of difficult things. I think your words in this post helps the ladies feel treasured and special. You help me to bring a balance to a lifestyle that is precious in the Lord.
Thank you...
Roxy Hugs

Laura Lane said...

Sounds wonderful.
Lovely post.

Go ahead, cut the fabric! Roxy has beautiful taste and I think that pattern will look fabulous with that fabric and hat. Very ladylike.

Blessings from Harvest Lane Cottage,

anonymous said...

Just wondering if you have a tutorial on those folding fans? Might be something fun to make with my granddaughter.


Lydia said...

I may do that, Janet.