Monday, October 30, 2017

Preparing for a Social

Hello Dear Ladies, and everyone else,

I found this painting among my husband's parents posessions. I even took it around the area where they lived to see if it had been given to them by any local artists. The relatives might like to have it back, if it was painted by one of their own.  No one knew who the artist was, and So I kept it. It is signed simply "Sylvia." This is the first time I ever thought of using it, and it was inspired by a photograph in this new publication:
I rarely buy books or periodicals anymore unless the paper quality and the contents are high. This one has no ads and the pages are thicker. I like the new magazines like Jeanne d' Arc (published in Denmark) because the pages are like linen or parchment paper.

Inside this special issue (it isn't a monthly publication) was this photograph:

I wanted to have something like this using only natural, disposable greenery, squash and gourds. My farmer neighbor grew these from the pumpkins I grew last year. I have to return them after the Tea, because she cuts them up and feeds them to her cows and sheep, but I am going to get some seeds and try again. What a pretty sage green one that is in the back of the display:

I will be growing all of these next time!

The ladies annual tea and singing is scheduled for Friday, so I only have a few days to prepare. While they all contribute to the food and song selection, I try to have a back-up plan, so I am busy planning a menu, song selection and preparing the house.  

I had to get a stem of leaves from Dollar Tree, but There are plenty of these outside. They have to be used the day of the event, as they don't stay fresh in the house for long. I will be substituting these n Friday in my mantel display.

Since I am trying to get everything ready Monday, I might be able to devote more time to the previous subject of handling difficulties with disgruntled and discontent people. I got a very good email response to this, so I do want to share some ideas on the subject.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Less Anxiety for You

Rom 14:19  So then let us follow after things which make for peace, and things whereby we may edify one another.

Hello Dear Ones,

Less anxiety for you!  How does that sound? 

I have heard a lot about personal anxiety lately and how it can accumulate.  The Bible has the answer to decreasing anxiety and increasing peace, and that is what I am posting about today. It is a subject that is better taught audibly, as in writing, my thoughts race a lot faster than my hands can type.

Home should not be a place of conflict and criticism.  When this occurs, it can result in family members having a consistent level of tension in their minds and bodies all day and night.

Children should feel at home in their own homes, and so should the parents, but when one person, (even a parent) disturbs a peaceful scene by bringing up a problem that is not urgent, or does not edify and build others up, they can create unnecessary conflict. 

People at home enjoy small moments of joy, and sometimes there are one or two family members that are jealous and try to disturb the peace that others are having.

We have all probably experienced this at home, and wish that we could just be allowed to relax, be creative and happy minding our own business. Someone, a parent or sibling, sees the cozy family scene where no one is fussing, no one is upset, no one is causing trouble, and decides to break it all up. He creates a scene, starts turmoil. 

His or her goal is to mobilize everyone from their quiet places and get them all concerned about something in another room, or something that was said earlier in the day.  This is not always a problem started by immature children, but can be instigated by adults too.

In part, it comes from a belief that there is no progress in life unless someone is complaining about something.  Some people cannot stand peacefulness. And while we parents have God given authority, we should never use it with a heavy hand just because we can. We have to behave in a way that is right, not on a way to get our rights. The two will bring completely different results.

Learn: Just because you have a right to do something, does not mean it is the wise thing to do at the time.  Think of the future results of a moments rash behaviour. Think of having to live with the consequences and memories of mistakes you cannot undo years later. This seems like a sentence out on the air but you will see how it connects with the rest of the lesson as you read it.

Teach: Substitute the disturbing, accusing talk, for complimentary remarks.  

Practice: Replace an anxious thought or a resentful feeling with thoughts of creating something or something constructive.

Another reason may be a type of pay-back for a misery experienced. A man may have been unfairly corrected or criticized at his workplace, and does not dare create a problem over it, but, seething in resentment, he arrives home determined to give his wife and children the same mean treatment he got at work.

I am sure many of us have seen the resentful parent or child who just cannot be happy at home and resents the happiness of the others at home. 

In our home, the advice was, to do what you could to enjoy one another and to build one another up. You could not wake up and criticize or blame someone. It just wasn't a wise way to begin a new day.

Speaking of blame, that is a problem we are seeing so much.  Westerners used to be problem solvers who learned to fix things. Now, many families waste time blaming and nothing is ever changed. Every day, for example, a father may come home and find fault, and blame. Mother's do this too.  Blame doesn't make any progress.  This is the problem with many countries where things don't work. The traffic lights are never fixed, the electricity and water is often off, phones don't work, bridges are broken down, roads are crumbling.  They try to find someone to blame, instead of finding how to improve things.

Often when there is trouble in churches it is because one or two people start criticising and blaming and complaining instead of building one another up.

Fathers and mothers sometimes are more concerned with their own rights and authority than with perpetuating love and kindness.  They should use their authority to show love and kindness, which is good leadership indeed.

Wise parents and children will learn to eliminate the habit of hasty, sharp replies.  I have often wondered what the purpose of a hasty, rude reply is, and one thing it indicates is dismissal. It is a way of shutting down a subject that may have been quite benign, but the person is just impatient and rude enough to make a cutting remark.

Today I would like to ask Fathers especially to practice love and tolerance and kindness at home. Be tolerant of children and their sorrows and and be kind to children who need something. To come home from work and run everyone down, or look upon the wife and children with resentment and suspicion, is not very grown up. 

 Try to outgrow this attitude and you will surely grow in manliness. If you are obsessed with your own authority, you will find your family more willing followers if they know you are kind and will not constantly try to trap them in verbal arguments they can't win, or try to make the family unhappy. Strive for strength  under control rather than lashing out or curt replies.  One thing some of the older women and I discuss, is how a disgruntled parent will sometimes berate everyone, making them all cry, and then sing and whistle and be happy himself.  

There are also those in the family who think everyone should have an excited personality. He thinks  people are dull and unproductive if they live a quiet thoughtful life and have a deep inner faith. He wants to stir them up and get someone crying or upset.

Our rules were: if people at home are being quiet and not bothering you, leave them alone. If you are going to criticise, concentrate on correcting your own faults, and find a way to build up the other person, as the Bible says.

This is one of the things many families have contended with. We tried to have a peaceful family, but now and then an outsider would be jealous and try to disturb us.  I told you in a previous post about dinner guests who created an uproar.   I don't think meal time is a good place to criticise and upset everyone. It spoils the appetite or creates eating disorders by association. There is much harm from criticism in the home.  Gentle guidance is the way God teaches us in his word, and we can't improve on that by inventing wacky ways of conducting family life.

I posted this saying here because it is never good to tell your family they are no good, that they are a bunch of liars or that no one likes them. Always edify, build up.   You might want to do a study on how to build up others or how to be gentle and moderate. Make sure the family knows it is special and created by God and that they are loved.

I have gathered some verses about peace and find there is a lot more depth in this subject than I previously thought.  

Just look for the word "peace" in these verses and notice the results of following things that make peace.

Gal 5:22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Gal 5:23  meekness, self-control; against such there is no law.

In the following verses I notice the command to rejoice.  Often the home wrecker  who disturbs  peace in the home is  not rejoicing in the Lord. That could be a missing ingredient. The peace disturber is also not forbearing or understanding of the needs of those around him. This could also apply to a rude neighbor or a pushy friend. They need to be busy improving their own personalities.

Php 4:4  Rejoice in the Lord always: again I will say, Rejoice.
Php 4:5  Let your forbearance be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.

Php 4:6  In nothing be anxious; but in everything 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 guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.

Php 4:8  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

I like this last verse, which is the one we rarely see: it says of you do all the above, the God of peace shall be with you.

Php 4:9  The things which ye both learned and received and heard and saw in me, these things do: and the God of peace shall be with you.

The critic, the blamers, the peace disturbers of homes, do not have enough to do. They need to be busy and prodictive, not fault finding , sharp tongued.  Gentle forebearance is taught.  

Remember, parents, your attitudes will not go unnoticed. Your children may use them back on you one day, to your great sorrow. Home  memories stick in their minds forever. They don't remember what it was you were so cranky about, as much as they remember your scowl, your harshness or rudeness. 

Remember you are raising future generations with the one generation you are in. They will go on to behave the same way.  Daily renew your mind with these verses.  Add some things to your faith that build one another up.

It truly helps to remember that, to the true believer, Christs blood is perpetual. It's benefits flow continually and can be tapped into through prayer, repentance and forgiving others. Emulate Christs sacrifice by being perpetually understanding, kind and loving, forgiving, overlooking personal resentments and irritations.

Find things that are peaceful and edifying.

Rom 14:19  So then let us follow after things which make for peace, and things whereby we may edify one another.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Add Kindness

(Pictures featured today are my own photographs at home.)

Someone was discussing with me some things I though worth recording here on my blog. One thing that was highlighted by my friend was the practice of kindness.  We discussed what it involves and how to be careful not to neglect it or misuse it, and looked back in our lives to see where we had made colossal errors in either neglect or misapplication. 

In 2nd Peter 1:5-10 there is the word "add".  What a lot of addition we must learn at home!

"...and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love."

I noticed families over the years who said terrible things to each other and parents who were rude to their children, but they treated the public very courteously. This ought not to be. The courtesy at home will eventually, through habit, become courtesy in public.  Keep company manners in the home, first. These children are precious souls who will one day carry on the virtues described in 2nd Peter 1:5-10. If these virtues are not paired with kind and gentle teaching and patience, the message becomes repugnant to the public and the home.

2Pe 1:5  Yea, and for this very cause adding on your part all diligence, in your faith supply virtue; and in your virtue knowledge;

2Pe 1:6  and in your knowledge self-control; and in your self-control patience; and in your patience godliness;

2Pe 1:7  and in your godliness brotherly kindness; and in your brotherly kindness love.

2Pe 1:8  For if these things are yours and abound, they make you to be not idle nor unfruitful unto the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2Pe 1:9  For he that lacketh these things is blind, seeing only what is near, having forgotten the cleansing from his old sins.

2Pe 1:10  Wherefore, brethren, give the more diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never stumble:

One major hindrance to happiness in a family is the practice of hasty, sharp replies, especially when answering a question or in normal, trivial conversation. To be constantly corrected and argued against in the most innocent, casual conversation, is very demeaning and depressing, even deeply grieving.

Learn to answer as politely as though you are talking to company.

My housekeeping needs much attention today, before I return to sewing, but I will surely post what I make, this week.  Today will be a getting-back-in-order day where I clean up the sewing room, gather the threads and fabrics and clean house in general.  Slow-cookers are great for keeping a hot meal, and we have a tiny one, cooking for two or three. Soups are also great to keep the body healthy and when made at home you can avoid all the unnecessary additives.

Thank you everyone for taking the time to visit here. It is just wonderful and I also hope you know that I have received some letters and will try and answer them before the year is over!


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sewing With "Elizabeth Lee" Pattern

Results of sewing from this Elizabeth Lee pattern are in. These four garments were made using Design 204.

The lady I sewed these nursing dresses for claims they are comfortable and very slimming. All fabrics are different weaves and finishes of cotton, including polished cotton (or similar) and cotton flannel.  I am looking forward to using more bamboo fabric, which I have discovered recently for clothing.

I met a lady who knit sweaters out of bamboo yarn.
In reality they look very much like the pattern drawing.

As there were a few seams and inserts that had to be carefully matched, I benefitted from consulting with someone who had sewn their pattern before. Sometimes I needed more detailed instructions than the pattern provided.

This one has the look of some of the dresses I have seen on Pinterest.

Fabrics and trims  from Hobby Lobby.
You can tell my iron was not available for pressing. All seams were hand-pressed or mashed by hand 😊. I noticed what a time saver it was not to pin everything before sewing. I had no pins but was able to fit everything together without tediously pinning sleeves, bodice pieces, waist, etc. and it also saved time.

Note: these four garments look a lot better in person, but are a little frumpy the way I displayed them. 

I tried them all on and they are just the most perfect style in my opinion and so I am going to make some for myself, without inside front bodice inserts.

These dresses were a gift to the mother of the preemie  who was staying at the Ronald MacDonald House I mentioned before. She is home now and the family is functioning normal and noisy.

Thank you to such kind friends who sent some donations. I had quite a nice time getting this fabric at Hobby Lobby.  I truly wish you could see these dresses on the young mother. She looks like a princess.

God Bless you all.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Before It Snows

We have gone for a day drive to see the seasons colors before the scene dims through rain, sleet and snow.  It was lovely. 

I will be stopping here later to post.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Tour of a Ronald MacDonald House

Yesterday I was treated to a tour of a Ronald MacDonald house near a hospital where a family of a "preemie" was staying.  I thought you might like to see how nice it is!
Situations like this are so traumatic for the families, that every comfort has been afforded!  I see why so many individuals, private groups and organizations continually contribute to The care and maintenance of the Ronald McDonald houses.
View from dining to one patio.
View from dining to other patio.

Kitchen: each side has the same thing: dishwasher, sink, fridge, stove, etc.

Small corner sitting room next to inside play area.
Quilts donated to the babies and families of the preemies:

Inside one of the bedrooms: extra daybeds, trundle beds and fold out couches.

Very nice arrangements done by different decorating companies:

Laundry room: when the preemie is discharged from the hospital, the family has to wash all the bedding and towels from their room, clean the room, and check off the list of chores.

Another very comforting room. Each room is done up by a different decorator and all the furniture is new but donated.  I could live here!
The coffee table centerpieces are seasonal:

Hmmm..  It looks like Papa has moved in!  He is taking his nap so he can drive back home.

Stan says he doesn't mind if his picture is on the web, because he has already "been insulted by experts over the last 50 years" and doesn't think much more damage can be done. 😉 He was surprised there were no fries in the kitchen.  He wanted to know how it could be a Ronald MacDonald house with no fries.

The family and the preemie went home so we didn't get to stay long and get more pictures but if I ever get another chance to visit one of these houses, I certainly will. Everyone is well cared for here.

Toys were also for the taking, many of them hand made.