Thursday, August 30, 2018

Summer Flowers

Today I am posting some pictures for those who for some reason cannot access Pinterest.   I try to look at something pretty every day!

For some of you who need  peace:

For some of you who need optimism:

For some of you who need rain:

Some of you who are trying to have a clean, organized and pretty house:

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Keeping Color in the Garden

Sometimes the flower gardens look wonderful in the spring but towards the mid-summer the blossoms are gone.

 There are several plants that can extend the color of the flower beds throughout the seasons. Hollyhocks,  Asters, "mums", sweet allysum, delphinium, lavender and many others will bloom year round (depending on your climate) and give your garden color long after the spring is over.

It is not necessary to plant only in spring, because it is possible to plant all year around and get fresh flowers in the garden.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Other People Handling Your Baby

Mary Cassatt "Child in Blue"

Dear Ladies,

My subject today addresses the problem of people who touch other people's babies and children.  I do not remember this being a problem when my mother had babies, maybe because so many other people were having babies and had children around them all the time. It also may be that the grandparents were usually near one of their children and had plenty of grandchildren to look after.  Now it seems people are baby starved. They continually reach their hands out expecting you to hand over your child to them.

They get offended if you refuse them when they hold out their arms for the child. They will even try to pry the baby out of his mother's arms.

This is a serious problem because mothers today do not want their babies or children handled a lot by other people, and they are sensitive about their children picking up some kind of virus or bacteria. Having sick children at home is a trial they do not like repeating unnecessarily.

I never had an insatiable desire to handle other people's children. I liked holding my own children, but I did not like it that people expected to hold my children on demand.  Sometimes I saw a sneaky trick: when I gave the baby to its grandmother while I went to do something else, another person not in the family (maybe someone who came over to visit) would manage to get the grandmother to hand the baby to them.  I saw it with the fathers, too, who were unaware of this trick. The mothers did not want their babies passed around but when someone saw the father with the baby, they managed to get him to hand the baby to them.

Mothers are holding 
 their infants quite close to them in wraps and carriers, but even then, people are so rude, they reach around and find the baby's head, foot, hand, etc. and stroke it. The parents get more and more frustrated at this rudeness. One lady had a sign she made that she attached to her baby's clothing, and it read, "Please do not touch my baby. Thank you for your consideration."

I saw one father that caught on to the way people were getting around his rule to refrain from handling his child.  He stopped someone who was reaching for the baby, by putting his arm in front of them as a barrier, stopping them from further intrusion.  Putting your arm between you and the grabby person is a good idea if you want to stop the invasion of folks who just have to touch your baby.

Also, there are people who, though they have been told they cannot carry someone's baby around, will poke the child or tickle them or constantly try to distract them, hoping the mother will give up. This is very rude.

No one has a "right" to hold a baby unless it is their own. Babyhood is so fleeting, and Mothers should cling to their little ones while they are little, and not be eager to let them go to strangers and other people, even in church. Your baby is not part of "the village" but part of the family. No one "owes" anyone the privilege of baby touching or baby holding.

I have seen mothers turn away from imposing people who are aggressively trying to grab their children. They cannot seem to see that the mother has given them the message of rejection by turning her back on them. Because of the sad fact that many people today just do not read your expression or your body language when it comes to the word "no", you might have to explain more forthrightly to a persistent person, that you do not want them to touch your children.   We ladies do not enjoy saying things that upset other people or that ultimately put stress on us, but sometimes, we must, if we want people to refrain from being too bold with us and our children.

If you have anything to add to the subject, please leave a comment.

Also, type in "How To Handle People Who Touch Your Baby" and you will see it is a huge problem.
In case you did not see it, here is the link I posted in the first sentence:

There could be other factors besides health and the welfare of the child, when considering how many people to pass the baby around to: what about that intricate bonding that goes on between the child and its own family---can it be interfered with by too much outside handling?  We do not know everything about this. But one thing that has come to light is that a child who gets used to going with just anyone who holds out their hands, may not have good discernment later on, and may go with strangers and put himself in danger.  Never despair of a "shy" child who just wants to stay with his mother!  That child will be a safe child.

My opinion is based upon personal experience and observation. I do not think we owe someone a "blessing" by being forced to give our baby to be held by anyone who is just longing to hold a baby.  Believe me when I tell you there are many teen aged girls who think they have a right to grab children, and they get very miffed when the mothers are tired of it and the baby becomes very irritable and cries because of all the handling.  I do not subscribe to the idea that it "blesses" someone if you let them hold the baby. Taking the baby to its real and aged grandmother is different. I feel I may bless them.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Using a Homemaker Coach

Hello Dear Ones,

Since I'm still putting things back together after the big Summer Garden Tea, I was reminded to tell you about getting a homemaker coach. This is helpful if you are overwhelmed and unable to pull yourself out after an event, travel, family emergency, or years of letting things go, accumulation, etc.

I think laundry rooms, kitchens and bathrooms are the most used rooms and therefore the most time consuming to get back in order.

You probably remember SHE, for Sidetracked Home Executives. I first saw them on a morning television show for women back in the early 1970's and bought their book, which explained how to make sense of housekeeping and how to keep from being sidetracked.  In those days they recommended using a card file to keep track of the upcoming jobs.

You can get good coaching just by reading the Flylady site.  

They had a policy of beginning the cleaning day at the front door and working clockwise around the house, saving the kitchen until last, with the reasoning that it would be hard to get out of the kitchen because when it was clean it would be time to prepare a meal, and then it would become harder to move on.

They also taught two important principles: clean as you go, and pick it up, don't pass it up.  This is so helpful because you never have to save a room for a cleaning day, and when the day comes to clean that room, it is not a grueling, exhausting task.

However the new SHE , which is now called Fly Lady, has really researched and experimented with things that work better, and she suggests cleaning the kitchen first, because it makes you feel better, and it gives you more motivation and enthusiasm for other parts of the house.

I tried this and I agree.

Although I really want the room nearest the front door to be in order, if I begin on that first,  I tend to lose my enthusiasm for the kitchen.  The kitchen is the hardest to clean, so getting it finished first is a real plus for me.

You can read about the housekeeping routines at and go through her site to get some ideas of how to organize your housekeeping. You can print out a lot of things and put them in a notebook to help you along.

Reading the routines will help you get started, and later you might not need the coaching. But I think it will bring back enthusiasm for being on top of things.

You don't have to join the free email but if you do, remember to just keep the ones that are the kind of information you want. She sells a lot of cleaning products and you may not be interested in those emails.  You can delete them and keep the ones that come on Mondays.

She uses the old fashioned way of appointing a day of the  week for a certain task, and that makes it, (if you can imagine) very enjoyable. And we do not want to be miserable, do we. Perhaps there really was a point in those old embroideried dish towels.
Days of the week dish towels from Victorian Trading Co.

By the way, there was some discussion on a former post about how to keep dish towels from smelling so bad, even after they are washed.

The key is to have some towels that are set aside ONLY for drying freshly washed dishes, and bar-towels purchased specifically for wiping up spills and water, etc.  Wiping the stove and fridge, and other things (even the floor) is where that awful smell is coming from. All that oil, dirt, and food will eventually cling to towels and not come completely out when washed. So use a special set for drying dishes, and another kind of towel for drying hands! That is the way we always did it "in the old days" but somehow have strayed from it.

I like the gentle approach of flylady and I also like that she provides coaches online (for a price). Although I have not used them, I have been greatly encouraged by other people who follow flylady and are getting their houses decluttered and clean.

Having a clean and organized house does something good for your mind, too. You think more clearly and feel more stable, less depressed. If you can get organized it will reduce your stress when you suddenly have to go on a trip or accommodate guests or attend some other problem.  I would like to encourage you to at least go to flylady online and read through it to get an idea of what can be done.  I'm glad they do not use the card files anymore, and I like the new system.  It is adjustable according to your needs. For example, I got ahead of her schedule a couple of times so that when the notice came in the email to clean a certain room, I was able to do something extra that I needed to do.

So this is my message today. Cleaning house helps your mental stability and even makes you feel better physically. You'll not want to eat and be comforted by some fattening food, and you'll feel young and hopeful. You will find your countenance changes.

I'm sure you remember the story Christ told of the parable of the lost coin, where a woman swept her floor until she found it. You might also find some things when you begin to clean.  

My reasons for trying  to get my house in order are these:

I want to live in the present and have a bright, new looking home, as though I had moved.

I do not want to make it difficult for others if they have to come and help me some day. 

I do not want to always be shifting "things" around, so I want to analyze what is costing me more work time.

I use some essential oils and waters when cleaning, but what really helps is paying attention to window sills, picture frames, the deep corners of bookshelves, and places that sit and collect a stale smell.  I recently cleaned out my china cabinet and found dust in the drawers that I am sure had been there ____years (I wont say) and I come away smiling after cleaning out these things, instead of feeling angry that  housework is controlling me.  

Houses do not break down as easily  and need less repair when they are kept clean. 

I want the house to smell nice, so I can't have things sitting in dark recesses of shelves for years and years.

I want to be able to breathe better and be healthier, and a clean home certainly aids in that.

I also want to be able to have people over at a moment's notice without panic and without too much stress cleaning. 

I want to be able to find things in the day or night. 

There is more time to minister to my family and others when there is less housework, and there is less housework when there are not so many objects to shift around, dust, clean. 

I used to feel quite critical of the older people who had collected so much in their houses, and I wondered how that could happen, since they did not have family living with them. That is, until it happened to me!  Things just got stuck in time, like the bookshelf that stopped being used in 1992 when school was over, and the set of dishes that served 16 people and were never used after 2002.  You really do not notice it and you really do not intend for things to accumulate, gather dust and grime, and take up space.  I inherited a bookshelf with two drawers from my husband's parents, and I remember how those two drawers were so cluttered and my MIL could hardly get them shut . I cleaned them out for her several times, and now, I am at that same stage in life. How in the world does that happen?  I can see how hard it was for her to manage those two drawers full of pens and rulers and tape because now it has come upon me!

What are your reasons for wanting a clean house? Please leave me a comment.

Now For A Serious Post: Handling Those Who Want to Control You and Your Family

Hello Ladies,

My posts are for the most part pleasant, but today I'm posting something I have been working on in my drafts for a long time--several years, in fact. I debated whether I should actually post it, as it is somewhat disturbing and not so pleasant. So if you think you might be upset about it, and that it might ruin your day, please don't read it!

Ladies at home, you may have noticed occasionally there is someone of your acquaintance, who becomes critical, condemning and complaining. I suppose this is what is called the critical spirit. It might be a relative or a friend or someone you see often in a social situation.

I am using scenic pictures to allow you to rest your eyes and think in between the vast amount of script here. Since this is about critics, one thing we might be able to direct them in, is better ways to use their minds and their time, and maybe they need a walk down a long country road. That is why so many of these pictures are country roads.

This is a post about  the complainer and the accuser.  Some possible solutions will be posted at the end.

Sometimes these people consider it their duty to be teachers or bosses over others, correcting their grammar or any statement they make. They are also "punishers" who vengefully find ways to punish their targets. They may give you the silent treatment or find a way to prevent your enjoyment of something.

I once was engaged in what I thought was a friendly conversation about art. It was the first time I realized the subject of the 19th century artists was controversial.. I mentioned how artists sometimes earned their living by being teachers or painting portraits. I also told how some artists that are well known today did not originally paint for a living, but for their own enjoyment; not necessarily intending their art to be sold. The other person began to hotly deny it, accusing me of knowing nothing about the subject. I had nothing to say except what I had studied in art classes many years ago, and my own research. The other person gave no evidence to the contrary but accused me of being "delusional." 

 I notice this is a popular word being thrown around to de-stabilize people.  The other word is "insane" or "crazy."  When my children were growing up I taught them to never make accusations against anyone and never call them liars, crazy, etc. because it generally is a result of rage, not serious research.  Also a fact of life or maybe one of Murphy's Laws is the right after you unjustly accuse someone of anything, you fall into the same fault yourself. So, we just did not engage in accusing in our family life. It was just too spiritually dangerous.

These  three "c's" (complain, criticize, condemn) are often habits a person acquires without being aware of it, but sometimes they are deliberate and calculated efforts to control you.  It may happen in your own home with a relative or friend. It may happen in social situations.

They may have read in the Bible where Christ said if someone offends you, go to him, and they think it allows them to be critical, so they take it too far.

These tactics have always been used on others. I observed it when I was growing up, as there was always a neighbor or a relative with these kinds of habits. I was also highly amused at the way my parents responded.  I think perhaps today some of us are kind of asleep and have no natural response to the critic.

The person takes note of some benign thing to make an issue of; something most of us would overlook or instantly forgive, give the benefit-of-the-doubt, etc.  This could be one of the following things that I have made up, in order to illustrate:

They heard you humming a tune and accused you of being unsympathetic with them.

They noticed you writing in your journal and accused you of being too absorbed in a hobby.

They can be obsessed with accuracy. They do not understand or appreciate figures of speech or witty sayings.

They may be overly anxious about the cleanliness of everything, even though they take the glassware straight out of the dishwasher.  I often wonder why these types don't pack their own dishware.

They accuse you of being thoughtless, lazy or lying.

They tend to side with troublemakers, stating they are siding with "the oppressed". They are attracted to complainers.

They continually blame, rather than change things, improve things, fix things, get things done. They waste an enormous amount of time blaming.  They stand up for hours having long, drawn out interrogations trying to get people emotionally broken down to the point they will admit fault, take blame, or anything, just to get out of the situation.

They thrive on extracting apologies from other people.

  If they are religious they use everything they read in the Bible to prove that everyone else is at fault. We used to describe this person as knowing just little enough in the Bible to make them difficult to live with. A person who really understands the word of God will not make other people around them miserable while they pursue their own perfection. If they are not Christians, they make sure every Christian in the house follow the Bible to the letter, or at least what they think the Bible says( according to their vast knowledge and experience with it).

If you smile, they frown. If you frown, they smile. Their aim is to make you frown. They target happy people because they believe deep inside them it is all a sham and that the happy person is just pretentious.  You can experiment with this to determine what this person is all about by being cheerful or smiling. Most empathetic people will smile when you smile, but the critic will not.

Suppose you placed the lawn sprinkler in a parched area of the lawn, but the wind changed and blew the water on their car, or through an open window of the guest room.. They accused you of deliberately doing it to ruin their day.

Rather than find the source of the problem and perhaps turning off the water or moving the sprinkler, 
they continually blame, rather than change things, improve things, fix things, get things done. 

They waste an enormous amount of time blaming when they could be fixing.

It could be something much less dramatic. Maybe there was some water on the table that no one noticed, and they got their sleeve wet when they leaned on the table. They become personally insulted and then enraged, then  blame. No matter how deeply sorry everyone is, they take it so seriously that they carry a grudge for a long time.

They have not learned to shrug things off.  They believe that even a wet sleeve is designed to keep them from succeeding, and that it is also a sign of disrespect.

This is an unusual connection, but the type of people we are talking about also  seem to be unable to converse while moving around or doing other things. For example, they want you to look at them while you are talking, and they cannot wash dishes together with anyone or get any work done because they spend so much time stopping and talking, while the rest of us are able to converse while getting other things done. They want you to stop and stand still and talk to them, and of course I understand the necessity of the in a meeting or a formal situation, but in daily casual life, most people can talk with one another while they are cleaning house or walking or whatever else they want to do. This kind of disconnected person will insist everything stop while they talk. 

If you tell them there are certain rooms off limits in your house, they decide those are the rooms they will try to get into.  

They live a Pippi-Longstockings backwards lifestyle of being opposite of life. If you are all sitting in chairs, they will stand on a ladder.  They have a desire to be so unique, so different, that they cannot sit in a chair the way most folks do. One example is in a social situation, rather then move to a chair closer to the person they are speaking or listening to, they go to a great effort to awkwardly move a chair from its place, closer to the person, thus rearranging the seating area. They do not care if it is in a hotel lobby or a home, nor do they care about the inconvenience to others. It would be easier to move themselves to a closer chair, but they are the "opposite" people.

"I was happy before you brought this up" is another one of their typical accusations. "I woke up and was having a wonderful day.  Then you turned on the washing machine and made noise." You may have had a guest or two like this!

In what you thought was an insignificant conversation, you added another reason to the one they were concluding, just for conversation sake.  You said "or, maybe it was..." They became hotly offended, thinking you disagreed with them,  although you said it was not a disagreement and you were not contradicting them; you were just adding to the ideas they were presenting. They have not learned the art of give-and-take in conversations.

Then later they observed you talking to someone on the phone in a friendly way, or humming a tune while you were doing something useful around the house. They became upset that you had the audacity to be upbeat, after offending them 6 hours ago.

Maybe you did not have much appetite and declined to eat at one meal.They accuse you of being unsocial.

They noticed a messy collection of papers you had not sorted out. They accused you of being lazy and now they  call you a hoarder.

Maybe you and your husband were joking about something together. They accused you of not being respectful to your husband. They try to get your husband to boss you and lord it over you like a task master. They can't figure out why he doesn't control you. They then become critical of your marriage, and even go to your husband with complaints about you, demanding that he correct you.

It could be a complaint about anything you did not expect, but here is what might happen.

They may be watching your movements in social situations, at church, at the garden club, in shopping areas where they see you. Then they criticize you because you were pushing your cart too fast, ignoring someone, talking to long with someone. They often accuse you of gossip. They are focused on how you earn a living and how you spend your money.

This person has "targeted" you.  What I mean is, they have begun to police you and regulate you to change your personality to  their requirements.   They want to mold you into a person that is pleasing to them; or, maybe they need you to stay as you are, for a "supply" for their criticism.

It is not so much about your imperfections as about their need to accuse and blame you for something. They have a type of "angry god" complex that needs to condemn people. Proverbs describes the person that lays awake at night thinking of how they can disturb someone. (Proverbs 4:16).

They might even hang up the phone while you are talking together, stating they want to "make a point." 

They will watch everything you do and take up an offense over any small  habit they notice, even the way you wash a dish.  

This may not always occur in a home. It may be in public places or social gatherings, but I'm mainly using the home scene as an example right now.

These types of people I call controllers.  They seem to wake up in the morning with an agenda to control someone or to accuse someone of not showing respect to them.

Sadly I have seen people who use friendship, marriage, church associations, and any human connection as a vehicle for their own agenda: to control someones every move, or to be a critic and a commander.

They are fond of extracting apologies from people and have developed a technique of doing it regularly.  If they do not get apologies from a variety of people they feel their battery is drained. 

Some people will be very friendly and nice to you until they have gained your confidence, and then they "go for your throat" with their condemnation.

They may be overly focused on lying. They are concerned about how often people tell a lie. They are squinting their eyes in suspicion that  you are lying and they may label you a liar. They ask you questions so that they may find some flaw in your answer and accuse you.

Sometimes the person is so obsessed with their own authority they accuse you of "not respecting them".  This is interesting, because there are so many nice people that are respectable and respected by others, who never demand respect.  The "you don't respect me" people (also the "you don't support me" type) look for every tiny infraction of their need for respect, and keep score of all the times they felt disrespected by you. It could be the time you added an alternative idea to the conversation,  or the time they visited and the wind changed and blew the water from the sprinkler on their car, or maybe you were up early in the morning and they felt their sleep was disturbed. 

In cases like this, you can waste a lot of time explaining yourself, which is what they want you to do,  (so they can catch you in an inaccuracy) and in fact, this kind of person believes that anyone who defends themselves against an accusation is automatically guilty. (That is the popular psychology that is going around now.)

The problem solved:

People who are confident and sympathetic are not quick to accuse others.

Knowing they have a log in their own eye, they aren't eager to take the speck out of someone else's eye.

Knowing that whatever they condemn others for, they might be guilty of themselves, they refrain from condemning.

Knowing they are not God, they don't put people on trial all the time, to extract confessions and apologies.

Those who are absorbed in some interest in life are not likely to take time out to critique someone or stir up trouble. They just want to get their work done.

People who are aware of their responsibility toward God will not be targeting other people in a controlling way.

Those who are really balanced, emotionally, will not be overly concerned about having other people approve of or support what they are doing.  They will not waste time accusing anyone of disrespect.

Most people that we really do respect have never ever demanded respect. They just live their lives without expecting any kind of honor.

Really whole, unselfish people are not absorbed in getting respect. They are busy achieving something and are fulfilled with their own business.

Confident, independent people do not practice things like "verbal entrapment" or silent treatment with others. They are too excited about having success with their own abillities and are too busy learning and developing talents and skills. They are too busy improving the house and the financial situation for themselves and their families.

The people who are targeted by these pushy, self-righteous, overly authoritative people, are usually the most accommodating and hospitable, helpful and kind that are easy to push around. There may be nothing wrong with you, at all, but the pushy person is going to try to get you to admit some fault.

You have to be careful not to allow your personality to be changed by such people. They can change your reality by telling you things about yourself that are not true.  

For example, a friend of mine grew tired of a lady who accused her of "having no friends."  There is nothing in the Bible that commands that we have a lot of friends, but there are some people who will use that phrase to demean and hurt and discourage. The accused woman invited the critic to her home for tea, to which 30 other people were also invited.  The accuser never talked about the woman "having no friends" again. She lost her "supply" and her "target." The point is, the accused did not allow the accuser to change her perception of herself or give her any feelings of inadequacy, and instead, showed her it was not true.  

My parents usually laughed at these critics and said things like:

"It takes all kinds."
"Well, that's your opinion."
"I am not fat. I am thin."
"I am not ugly. I am beautiful. I once entered a beauty contest and I won." (you were the only contestant but you do not tell the critic).
"I didn't ask for your criticism."
"We will do as we please."
"Mind your own business."
"You take care of  your faults and I'll take care of mine."
"I'll tell you what: you ignore me, and I'll ignore you, and we will both get along."
"live, and let live.."
"How did you know we have no friends? Did you ask everyone?"
"We do not need friends."
"We have never had any complaints before this."

These were just some of the witty responses in past times.

As I mentioned in a video, the movie, "Gigi", when Gaston criticized her new dress, she looked in the mirror and  at her dress and said, "There is nothing wrong with this dress. I think it is a beautiful dress. In all the things I read about you in the papers Gaston, it has never been said that you were an expert in ladies fashion."

With this kind of answer, you show confidence in your own judgment, and question the critic's expertise.

The overly critical, blaming, punishing person is not well balanced emotionally, but there are ways to overcome it if the person wants to. They do not have to be stuck in that mindset for the rest of their lives if they do not want to be.

These types are mentioned in the Bible. One in particular, was named Diotrephes . I pronounce this:

Diotrephes,  was mentioned briefly in one of those three little books of John near the end of the Bible; 3rd John. He wanted to be first and to control people by not welcoming them in the church:

 “I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence, will not welcome us. So when I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, spreading malicious nonsense about us. Not satisfied with that, he even refuses to welcome other believers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church” (3 John 1:9–10).

In regards to the type of controllers that I am writing about today, I would say Diotrephes created a very uncomfortable atmosphere in his social circle, Today, those types of people, who need social interaction in order to control others,  put themselves out of business because most people will avoid them and they will lose their "supply".

Now, here are some of my own answers that I have found effective over the the years. 

To those who go to my husband to demand he boss me about something, I say:

"I don't believe in marriage by proxy." Usually they are unhappy because they cannot manipulate me or extract an apology for something or other. This may have happened to you: Someone demands your husband tell you to do something. Your husband tells you to do it, then you find out the command came from someone else. That's what I call a marriage by proxy; when someone else is controlling the marriage.

The "husband should boss" is not in the Bible, by the way, so such controllers are operating on a falsehood. It would be better if such controllers would encourage husbands to love their wives sacrifically, but almost all of the time they want the men to be critical.

The other thing I have used a couple of times is either in an email letter or to their face, where I lay out a constructive plan for them to overcome their critical ways, which I know are making them quite miserable.

These are some of the words I use:

I'm beginning to notice your focus and obsession with my life.  It alarms me because it is taking your mind off Christ and off your own improvement and your own control over your own faults.

I would therefore like to free you of this misguided responsibility.

To do this I would suggest the following:

Keep your eyes on Christ and the prize at the end of your earthly journey, not on me.
Do not criticize me.
Do not complain about me.
Do not condemn me.
Do not watch me.
Let God judge me, because he knows me better.  If I am not committing any sin "unto death" then try to pray for me and try not to dwell on it. It takes your mind off Christ.
Pay attention to your own faults.
Do not think about me so much.
And keep your eyes on Christ and His will for YOU in scripture.
Meditate on that, and become familiar with this verse:

Maybe you could repeat it after I say it to you:

Proverbs 19:11
"It is an honor for  a man to overlook an offense."

Let us say it together:  It is an honor for a man to overlook an offense.
(he word "man" in the original language means "mankind" or "human being." So, it includes women and children).

Now let me say this as respectfully as I can:  Part of your problem with being critical, accusing, blaming, may be simply the need to mature and grow mentally. It also involves self-control. Remember in the Bible where it talks about making "every thought captive"?  Some of those things you say, ought to be kept in captivity in your mind and not allowed out!   A person who says every thing he thinks can literally cause a war. Remember the phrase, "Loose lips sink ships!" What do you think that means? You may think something, but you don't need to say it. This requires practice and maturity and self-control but I have great confidence that you can do it! Will you please try it?

Of course ladies you realize that sometimes I am speaking to adults but it sounds like I am training children!  I might say something like, "What have I taught you so far? Do you have any questions?  Is there some way I can help you learn more about this?"

At this point, ladies, the person may begin to interrupt and talk over your words so they can avoid the facts you are so generously giving them. They may even plug their ears or start shouting.

So here is a good thing to remember:

Suggest that the other person might be relieved of their concern over your faults by keeping their mind focused on Christ, and that they can have peace and tranquility of mind when they do that.  Tell them to pray for you the next time they are tempted to criticize you, and allow God to change you.

Ask them to forgive you for anything you have done that offends them.  They prefer apologies because they can control people by extracting an apology, which they are never satisfied with anyway. (They will always say the apology was not sincere--the result of a demanded apology is never satisfying).

 When they get asked to forgive, it puts a burden and a decision on them. They are used to putting guilt, blame and accusations on others. Asking them to forgive, gives them something better to do. They would rather not forgive, because they want to trouble your mind, and keep you upset. If you are a good person who wants to make things right with people, they will enjoy not allowing you to make things right. They refuse to forgive you because they do not want to let go of your throat.

If you do not put such people in their place, their terrible accusations and condemnation will buzz around in your head and make it hard for you to concentrate on the work God has set before you.  Therefore it is important not to think about them more than you think about your Lord but to formulate a little speech to correct their behavior.

If you are raising children, you need to teach them all about this kind of thing, so that they can be aware of what might happen in their adult life and be able to identify potential problems with people and avoid them.

Should we be concerned about this type of behavior? I think so, because it can disturb the home.  The homemaker cannot focus freely on making her home a delight for others if she is demeaned. Therefore I am presenting some simple ways to show courage and confidence.  I have also concluded that it is not wise to ignore such rudeness or become passive, as these types of people gain more "territory" and it is harder to keep them in their place.

There was one time I didn't respond to the critic. I sensed that she was so enraged that anything I said would make her have a heart attack so I simply thanked her for phoning me and making me aware of something I did not know. This diffused the situation with a critic. 

In each case, you have to consider the situation and think what the best way to approach it would be. These are just some of my thoughts that might be useful.

This link to this post has been added to the sidebar topic "Guard Your Physical and Spiritual Life."

I think it is very important to keep God as your head and keep your mind centered on His Word, and not allow others to guide or distract you from it by imposing their will on you. I think most of us have experienced the know-it-alls that are so pushy we cave in to their advice, against our own better judgement.