Monday, March 28, 2016

Lady Resting (Video 10)

Today I am discussing one of the essential ingredients of a happy home life, particularly for  ladies who have become full-timehomemakers.  When you come home to make it your main focus in life, you become self-employed lady, and as such, you may forget to rest.  

(Because I always get requests about the cardigans and blouses in the videos, I will post pictures of the pink cardigan, pink skirt and white ruffled blouse, as well as the shawl, at the end of this post)

We all tend to gear our lives according to the way a business or an industry is conducted, but life at home requires more attention to your rest . Rest affects your mood and feeling of well-being. When this is neglected, home is not a pleasant place.

Here is a technique of rest that you can do even when you have small children, or when you are older.  There is something about it that revives you spiritually and physically. Rest restores you.

You can prove the marvellous benefits of rest by doing this:

Set aside the hours between one and three o'clock in the afternoon.

Prepare a comfortable place with cushions and blankets and lay down.  Bring whatever you will need to keep you content there, such as your reading, music, needlework, or nothing.

Lay there until you feel you really want to get up.

Get up and do some simple thing for about five minutes: take the clothes out of the dryer, straighten up something, clean the sink, etc.

Lay down again until you are tired of it and really want to get up.

Get up for a few minutes, make a cup of tea, and then go lay down again.

Repeat for a couple of hours.

You will find that little children sometimes like having you in one place. Sometimes little children want their mothers to sit down and not move around all the time.

For older women may find when the three hours are finished,  they feel younger  and revived. Ladies have told me it gives them a feeling of refreshment and health.

The one who creates the atmosphere at home is the homemaker, and without rest, she has no working tools. 

Rest is right up there next to laughter as "good medicine" described in the Bible. Remember this phrase in Isaiah 30:15 

"... in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength..."

Take some time to be quiet and rest, on purpose. Do not wait until you become tired and ill. Restore yourself. Teach your children to do the same. 

Mat 11:29  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.

Example of the apostle Paul's experience with restlessness and trouble:

2Co 7:5  For, when we were come into Macedonia, our flesh had no rest, but we were troubled on every side; without were fightings, within were fears.
2Co 7:6  Nevertheless God, that comforteth those that are cast down, comforted us by the coming of Titus;
                                                           Lady. Resting
(A reader suggests you print the picture and put it on your fridge or somewhere to remind you to take a rest time)

Saturday, March 26, 2016


1 Peter 1:18-25

"Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

"Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

"For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:

But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you."

This is a not-so-familiar passage about the sacrifice of Christ, written by the apostle, Peter. If you remember, Jesus gave him the keys of the kingdom. One of these keys was used by Peter when he preached the first gospel sermon, which opened the spiritual kingdom of Christ which exists today, and of which we can be part of when we obey the gospel.

It is good that we can trace this event in history to the time of year it happenned.  Also, we in the churches of Christ who take communion each Lord's Day throughout the year are observing the death, buriel and resurrection until He come. We enjoy that privilege each week when we participate in the memorial ceremony instituted by Christ shortly before his crucifixtion. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

A Rest Stop (Video 9)

(Thank you to my friend Lisa Anne for makinf this video!)

It was noisy in the background with the cold storminess, so I will relate what I said in the video:

I would like to share something I have believed for awhile: the practice of not waiting for the sun to shine before doing anything special, even a beach trip. We do not know whether we will have tomorrow, especially with loved ones, so we should not wait to do things that are available to us right now.

One of the things our parents would say when they planned something was, "Rain or Shine, we are going to do this!"  They were good at not waiting for things to get better. They always had a little fuel in the car to take short trips from home to have a change of scenery, which they thought was so important to keep life interesting.

For the homemaker I think it is extremely important to plan a few things, and do them, rain or shine. When you come home after some recreation, (if you understand how to do this and the purpose )you have a fresh new outlook on your home life.

If I were to give any advice to the lady just beginning her life as a home maker, I would say to make time each week for a half day away for rest and renewal, whether or not you think you need it.  If you get in the habit, it will pay you healthful dividends throughout your life.  You might think you can burn the candle at both ends while you are young and not see any poor effects, but you may end up paying for it later in life.

Please do not buy into the tension of the prevailing culture. Do not think you have to keep up with worlds demands on your time and talents.  Doing what is necessary for your family's well-being is taxing enough on your mental and physical abilities. Do not try to save the world on top of that by taking on extra responsibilities.

I hope to speak more about this later and include quotes from older women about how detrimental it is to allow extra demands on your time.

Until then, remember to have some quiet recreation in the creation every week, or a few minutes each day to rest your mind.


(All personal photographs are copyrighted. Do not use without permissiom.)
It was so cold I had trouble speaking with ease :-) but it was not cold enough to ruin my enthusiasm.
That is the lighthouse keeper's home in the background.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Effect of Costume on Performance

In the previous post I presented the relationship of the setting or location to your role at home. I compared this to an historical re-enactment, something many of us have participated in. When we go to a tea room here, we usually wear hats and gloves like we are playing a part.

The painting, above, shows ladies at home in nice clothing yet not too dressy for homemaking.

When the setting and props are in harmony with the era being represented, the participants find it all more realistic and believeable. The performance becomes natural and easy. Every performer is quick to say that costume plays a big part in making them feel like they are really in the role they perform.

Today I had hoped to make a video about how the clothes we wear at home affect us in our role as wife, mother, caretaker, guard and guide of the home.  My camera has not been working for several weeks. The corner I have created for a setting is waiting, and the costume is on a hanger. I expect the camera problem will be taken care of soon.

In a performance, costumes are carefully designed to harmonize with the setting and location so that both the performer and the observer is convinced of the story. The costume says something about the person before you hear anything the performer says. The one playing the role feels it is more real when he is in costume.

Great skill is used in creating costumes to depict an era in time, a mood, an event, and relationships of the performer with other performers.  Using color and style, a costume designer can create friction or harmony between people, or show who is in authority, who is successful, who is in trouble, who is helpful, who is in sorrow, and who is happy. There is so much in costume design that we never notice, because it all harmonizes with the setting, to help with the over-all performance.

The homemaker today can use clothing to support her role at home. Let me give you an example of the way in which clothing can effectively support you in your many different roles at home:

When the costume designers of the movie, "Gone With the Wind" wrote about the way they dressed each performer, they said they sought to be authentic to the time in history in which the story was set. Everything, including the men's socks and the ladies lace caps under their bonnets, were authentic to the time-period.  The petticoats, gloves, and even the the little bags carrying coins, were chosen to conform to the era as exactly as possible.

When a critic pointed out to the designers that the men's  socks of the 1800's or the women's caps under their bonnets would never be seen by anyone (the audience or the other actors), one designer replied:

"Although other people will not know the actors are wearing these things, the actors WILL, and that will have an effect on the way they walk, talk, sit, move, and in general their entire performance will be more convincing. They will be convinced they are the person they are depicting."

This is also true at home. If you have been a homemaker for even a short while, you know how your appearance affects the way you behave at home.  When you think that no one else notices you or that it does not matter what you wear, you will find that the home and homemaking becomes less exhalted in your mind.

Above: Molly's berry-picking print dress in Wives and Daughters.  I Once had fabric like this, with various berries printed on it.

This is why homemaking books in classes of the past stressed dressing well. Appearance was taught as the first order of the day. I realize there are exceptions during various stages of life, but for the most part, dressing well at home is good for your mind and your mood, and affects your performance in a positive way.

Above :This Is a costume I made for a future "Tropical Holiday Tea" in which the food, settings and decor will all be tropical with a holiday mood.  

Since there is no uniform for the role of homemaker, each lady is free to choose what to wear, and this is a great advantage over the rest of the career world. We do not need labels on our pockets saying what company we work for, and we do not have to wear hats in the house, but our clothing should first of all give the role we have a lot of dignity by being well-made, clean, neat (maybe  ironed), comfortable and pretty.  Aprons provide variety in color and style, as there are limitless styles to suit all activites.

More importantly, there are other members of your troupe that can be inspired in their own functions at home, by what you wear. 

It is up to each lady to decide what to wear at home that will make the performance of her tasks joyful and successful. It isn't good to assume that because you are at home, no one will notice your clothes, so you can slouch away the day in pyjamas.  As the costume designer emphasized:  maybe no one else will see what you are wearing, but YOU will know what you are wearing, and it will make a difference in how you approach home living.

In creating a costume of sorts for yourself at home, imagine how discordant it would be to your mind and to others if you walked around all day in prison clothes, aeronautics clothing, law-enforcement uniform,  athletes outfits, dramatic stage costumes from the tudor era or coal-miner industrial clothing.  These things would not harmonize with the setting or the role.

  Remember that costumes tell what the character is like, so dress according to what you want to represent to yourself, your family and the world. Clean, neat and tidy garments do a lot to boost your mood and your confidence, as well as help you approach everything with order and optimism.

For myself, I prefer the dresses I make, since I make them especially for life at home. If you do not sew, there are still things you can buy that make nice clothes for the home.  In my videos I have worn white blouses with cotton cardigan sweaters and matching skirts, all from Walmart. These also work well for me at home when worn with aprons. I wear this kind of outfit if I am planning to do any shopping or anything outside the home.  However, each lady can make her own style that suits her personality and mood. Clothing can also be chosen for the type of thing a lady wants to do at home. 

In days-gone-by, denim skirts and jumpers (a dress worn over a blouse) were popular for homemakingbecause  they were so sturdy and withstood a lot of housework.  However, even as early as the 1970's, most of us did our housework in these clothes, and then before our husbands came home from work, would take a shower and change into a clean dress or skirt and blouse.  We did not want to look like 
a laborer at dinner.  The attitude has changed now, and many women find they are depressed at the end of the day, even after doing well at home and a caring for everything.  I do not know of anyone who changes clothes anymore. Perhaps a better way is to dress in something pretty that is suitable for the home, wear an apron, work carefully instead of haphhazardly (like a lady) and then remove the apron for the evening.

So far, I have compared the setting and the costume in a play, to the setting and clothing at home.  You can think about other things that go with the setting and performance, such as the hair, script, the lighting, sound, and the director. I am speaking of drama and reenactments, but it can be applied to the role of the homemaker.

While no one may know how you are dressed at home, you WILL and that will affect your mood and your appreciation of the home.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Anxious About Nothing

Painting: " Wanderer Above the Sea and Fog,"  in the year 1818
By: Caspar David Friedrich, Germany

There is an old saying, that the Month of March comes in like a lion and leaves like a lamb.  I once  thought the reason the winds and rains in the northern hemisphere were so fierce in March, was due to winter's howling protest at being replaced by Spring. Although winter pitches a screeching fit, it limps away as the daffodils and hyacinths appear.

As I was resting and listening to the noise of the weather, I thought how like worry it is. No matter how bad we imagine things can get, the imagined problems often do not materialize.

The scriptures use the word "careful", meaning "full of care, anxious, worried" for both a warning and and an encouragement.

This one says not to worry about anything, and it is followed by a benefit: peace.

Philippians  4:6  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
Php 4:7  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

This one says to have a care, pay attention, to doing good to others:

Titus 3:8  This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These are profitable unto men.

I find both scriptures require a lot of pondering!  They are good for the homemaker who can get distracted  and become "careful and troubled about many things." (Luke 10:41-42)

Much can be written about this, but I want to state it simply: there are things not profitable to worry about or be full of care about, and there are things that we should care about. 

To be worried about everything will rob your ability to rest and be at peace, because worry is like an addiction. Once you allow it to take over your mind, it produces more worry, which uses up the ability to relax. 

Worry is a peculiar addiction because it is not something you get any solace or pleasure from. It has to be controlled mentally by prayer and supplication.

The more you worry, the harder it is to quit. It will not leave until it has broken you down and you cannot entertain it any longer. You will not get anything positive accomplished for yourself, and when you are ready to quit the worry, it will not be ready to quit you! That may be why God addresses it so strictly in these verses.

Substitute the maintenance  of good works, stated in Titus 3:8 . It will diminish worry. Replace a worrisome thought with a positive thought. Get into that habit and refuse to allow worry to control your life.

Women are very good about worrying about everything, and trying to save the world. All the time spent on the worry could be put to much better use.  

Just as I was thinking about this subject, someone sent me a perfect saying on this poster. It is a good description of what is not profitable to have-a-care about, and what is worth caring about that actually brings good results.

Worrying about the condition of the whole wide world will not help us get our homes in order or maintain good works in our families and churches. The home is an ideal place to create the world we want. Worrying about things we have no power over will not get our dishes washed, our laundry done or our meals prepared.  News reports can be so upsetting as to affect our health. If we are sick with worry, we are no good to anyone at home. Pay attention to the things you can do at home, and the world will be a better place, plus, you will be doing the Lord's will.


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