Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Organizing Happiness

Few things avert the loveliness of a home and simplicity of routine as much as CLUTTER.  We all have experienced this menace and some of you, such as myself, may do battle with it daily.  Piles of paper, strewn toys, piles of books, discarded dirty socks, all littering the beautiful order of Home.

Sometimes, if I allow this clutter-monster to grow too big, I am at its mercy; the overwhelming feeling threatens to paralyze me.  However, I am learning the skillful tricks to combat this menace: small, purposeful steps towards disarming it.

Mrs. Lorie Flem from Eternal Encouragement has written an eBook with just us clutter fighters in mind.  With practical, concise steps, she disarms the mountain of menace one task at a time.  When I read her eBook my highlighter almost went dry!  "Organizing Happiness -Clutter Free" offers insightful advice for the conscious homemaker.  Read and put her advice to use, and you, too, will find Happiness in Organizing! You may receive your free copy by subscribing to her "eternally" encouraging emails. 

Visit Eternal Encouragement and please tell her that Nicol from LOV sent you!
 
Enjoy your homes, Ladies.   And try to stop by in the nest couple of days to see LOV's new look for winter!!!!
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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving & a Woman of Influence

  I have a wonderful idea- I hope that you will think so as well!

The degree for which I am currently studying at the university is a combined degree of English, History, and Women's Studies with the theme of "Women's Influence throughout History Upon Culture."  With that subject so close to my heart, I would like to periodically post articles of Women Of InfluenceTake courage dear woman --your sphere of influence ripples out into the vast ocean.

I have a perfect subject for the post today- the day before Thanksgiving.

Dear Reader,

You may be surprised to learn that we Homemakers of this current generation, can thank the Victorian mothers for the holiday of Thanksgiving.  If it has not been for the influence of one tenacious lady with ideals of steel, we may not have been sitting around the table enjoying our Thanksgiving meal this Thursday.

Our Puritan brothers and sisters -the iconic symbols of the history of Thanksgiving- censured feasting and merriment.  Their religious idea of seeking divine deliverance from trying predicaments was to seek the Lord through prayer and fasting.  After having had their prayers answered, a day of Thanksgiving occurred with the observing of religious services.  The holiday celebrated as we know it today took its form some two hundred years later.

However, in 1789, America's first national Thanksgiving Day was proclaimed by President George Washington.  This observance was set apart to acknowledge the favor of the Almighty upon the newly formed country. The actual day, though, for which Thanksgiving was to be observed was a haphazard placement on the calendar, set as each of the state's governors reckoned it.  The date of Thanksgiving was to continue without national unity for seventy five more years.
This confusion drove Mrs. Sarah Josepha Hale, then editor of the Victorian Godey's Lady's Book to devote three decades of her life to promote a national declaration of a one-day holiday to be observed as Thanksgiving.  She tirelessly wrote to every state governor and ten presidents.  (Talk about a woman with a mission!)  Her plea fell on the deaf ears of male politicians.  At last she realized her efficacious position as editor of America's most influential nineteenth-century women's periodicals.  Mrs. Hale appealed to the women, wives, and homemakers of America.  It is worth to note her appeal.

She wrote over one hundred and fifty years ago:

"I have thus endeavored to lay before my readers one of the strongest wishes of my heart, convinced that the general estimate of feminine character throughout the United States will be far from finding it an objection that this idea of American Union Thanksgiving was suggested by a woman.  The enjoyments are social, the feastings are domestic; therefore this annual festival is really the exponent of family happiness and household piety, which women should always seek to cultivate in their hearts and in their homes.  God gave to man authority, to woman influence: she inspires and persuades; he convinces and compels.  It has always been my aim to use my influence in this womanly ways."

Amen, Mrs. Hale!  And thank you for your tenacity; we all enjoy of your endeavors.

Mrs. Hale expounded on her idea featuring in the periodical elaborate menus of Victorian interpretations of Pilgrim food fare- roast turkey, giblet gravy, creamed baby onions, and cranberry sauce.  She wrote spiritual stories of mercy and redemption which compel our hearts to give thanks.  She advocated, "Let Thanksgiving, our American holiday...awaken  in American hearts the love of home and of country, of thankfulness to God and peace between brethren."

In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the first national proclamation that the observance of Thanksgiving should be the last Thursday in November which we still enjoy today.


I am thankful for the influence of women.
 
Have the most blessed of Thanksgiving days!

Sources: http://www.womenwriters.net/domesticgoddess/hale1.html
http://www.misconceptionjunction.com/index.php/2010/11/the-pilgrims-did-not-celebrate-the-first-thanksgiving-in-america/

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

His Presence

I ponder this week about "Thanks" and "Thanksgiving".  What am I thankful for?  Family, friends, health, so many bountiful blessings.  But as I consider the things that I am thankful for I remember the Giver.  He is so good; all that is good.

"God's quest to be glorified
and our quest to be satisfied reach their goal in this one experience:
our delight in God which overflows in praise."  -John Piper

I love getting lost in God's presence......"Your grace has found me just as I am, empty handed but alive in Your hands.  Forever I am changes by Your love in the presence of Your majesty."

All of the problems, annoyances, stresses, and worries all melt away in His presence.  Take a moment today and listen to the song  below and get lost in His glorious Majesty.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEfD93Ci-U0&feature=related
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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Liebster Blog- Friends

Celebrating the

AWARD!  Yeah!

This was new to me; I love the idea. 
As Jennifer from "Renewing Housewives"
so graciously bestowed the Liebster Award to me,
I in turn choose five blogs that are as the German word "liebster" means
"dearest, friend, or love".

 This award is shared and given to up-and-coming blogs that have less than 200 followers.
To be honest, the five blogs that I chose to bestow the Liebster Blog Award to, may have more than 200 followers.   However, they are each "dear" to me in different ways and worthy of your visit.  Please let them know that Nicol from LOV sent you.

My five chosen blogs are~

Makingajoyfulhome.blogspot.com - Amy has a very blessed way of finding joy in the journey.

angietolpin.com/category/blog- This Amy has the heart to Leave a Legacy Purposefully.

TheCrimsonCoveredFarmLife.com- And this Amy- a pure coincidence! has a safe haven for encouragement, especially reaching out to victims of assault and rape.

BeTwixtandBetweenblog.com- Shelley's vocation is to encourage mentoring for Moms and young ladies.  Visit Shelley's home page then click on the top bar for the blog- you and your daughters will love it!

DeepIntoLove.com- Craig has incredible spritual insight and writes about it in a most creative, vulnerable, and intelligent way.

All of the above blogs are kindred spirits; they all promulgate godly living, homemaking, mentoring, and loving Jesus- all subjects close to my heart.  Visit them and I am sure you will be as blessed as I am.
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Friday, November 18, 2011

A Growing Award!

Wow! Oh my goodness!  Ladies Of Virtue Blog has received her first award!  Thank You!  What a wonderful surprise and encouragement!  God is good.

                                              
The "Liebster" is a German word meaning "friend, love, or dearest".  This award is shared and given to up-and-coming blogs that have less than 200 followers.  THANK YOU Jennifer from Renewing Housewives- I do so appreciate it!  Tomorrow I will discuss this "dearest" award and my five picks with you.

Today, I want to incorporate The Gypsy Mama's prompt of GROWING to share my heart with you.
This writing exercise is only to last for five minutes, so I will undoubtedly run  out of time.

GO.

When you are passionate about something you want to share it with the world.  Or at least influence as many people as you can.

A message, a topic, a vision which can change lives- "the Goodness of the Lord and the radiant life He gives us as Women."


So I pray, I write, I share, I ask for encouragement for myself through all of my life's blunders, I seek out wise women, I study, I live, I experience, and the passion grows stronger.

The numbers are small.  My reach could seem insignificant.  But YOU are reading (and I pray that you are encouraged).  I read YOUR words and I am encouraged.  Keep writing. I will too.

We water and we will grow as He adds to us.

STOP.

Have a blessed day dear friend.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Blessed HOUSEwife

Oh dear housewife, do you know that you -yes, YOU- have the power to influence the world? 

For more on "housewives" read yesterday's a post below.

Today I want to encourage you concerning the most holy and sacred of vocations, that of Motherhood.  The poem here says so eloquently than my words are unable to paint.  The poem is over 100 years old written by a man.  When first published it was titled, "What Rules the World."

The Hand That Rocks The Cradle
Is The Hand That Rules The World

 Blessings on the hand of women!
                                                       Angels guard its strength and grace,
                                                            In the palace, cottage, hovel, 
                                                         Oh, no matter where the place;
                                                       Would that never storms assailed it,
                                                         Rainbows ever gently curled;
                                                        For the hand that rocks the cradle
                                                         Is the hand that rules the world.

Infancy's the tender fountain,
                                                           Power may with beauty flow,
                                                       Mother's first to guide the streamlets,
                                                       From them souls unresting grow--
                                                           Grow on for the good or evil,
                                                       Sunshine streamed or evil hurled;
                                                         For the hand that rocks the cradle
                                                         Is the hand that rules the world.

                                                      Woman, how divine your mission
                                                           Here upon our natal sod!
                                                   Keep, oh, keep the young heart open
                                                        Always to the breath of God!
    
                                                         All true trophies of the ages
                                                    Are from mother-love impearled;
                                                     For the hand that rocks the cradle
                                                       Is the hand that rules the world.
                                                     Blessings on the hand of women!

                                                      Fathers, sons, and daughters cry,
                                                      And the sacred song is mingled
                                                        With the worship in the sky--
                                                    Mingles where no tempest darkens,
                                                       Rainbows evermore are hurled;
                                                             
                                                        For the hand that rocks the cradle
                                                          Is the hand that rules the world. 

                                                                  published 1865
                                                   William Ross Wallace

Oh that our country would esteem Motherhood the same way!  Perhaps the morality of our culture would be so much for the better if that were so.  But we know.  And lest when dirty diapers, snotty noses, fights, and wining make you forget your sacred calling- look into the eyes of that dear one and consider the influence that you have upon that one life who will in turn influence countless people.

Print this poem out and keep it somewhere noticeable.

Have a great day -you house wife- who has the world in her hands.
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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Housewife

Are you a house-wife?  Apparently, this can mean many different things to many different people.  Also, the compound word -housewife- can conger up just as many different visages.  What comes to your mind?

Housewife.

I usually do not get upset by what secular people say or write.  I expect them to have a secular view point, what else can they?  But I admit this article got me under the skin.  Perhaps because it is about a subject that crosses from our spiritual lives into the mundane and vice-versa.  And I am so passionate about this subject of HOUSEWIVES!

I was going to begin my long awaited study of Ladies Of Virtue (awaited by me, who has been procrastinating in writing it) but this article takes precedence.  If you would like, you can click to read it now (just remember to come back) or wait until after you finish this post. http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2011/11/14/the-evolution-of-the-housewife/?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl25%7Csec1_lnk3%7C112411

real housewives
Volumes could very realistically be written discoursing the various aspects of the house wife.  I will try to be succinct.  You, Christian woman -who live in your house with your husband and perhaps children- are you content in your role?  Or would you agree with the secular media that you need liberated from the demeaning title of housewife?

Whatever the other work that we may do outside of the home, ministries in which we serve, or ventures that we partake of, scripture is clear that the home is the domain for the family with the wife being the overseer of its affairs.  (See Titus 2 and Proverbs 31.)

                                                       Home allows us women to flourish-
We are managers
-accountants
-administrators
-counselors
-coaches
-judges
-law makers
-nurses
-cooks
-cleaners
-chauffeurs
-teachers
-communicants
-creators
 to name some of our tasks and opportunities.

As for "wasting" my talents while being at home -I garden, paint, love decorating, and hand crafts (that I use to beautify my home); I have teaching opportunities through bible studies, book clubs, and homeschool co-ops; I do graphic art for the situations named above, plus for my own managing tools.  I love to plan a meal, prepare it, and show hospitality to those who enjoy those efforts. I write on this blog (from my home) reaching women all over the world.  My home is my realm where I can grow and flourish, not to mention providing that same disposable to others.

What are your talents and skills that you are using from home?

Dear Christian sister let us REVEL in our vocation of being a house wife.  It is God's wisdom to confound the wise.  Let us be HAPPY in our homes, not discontent and grumbling like the daughters of the world.  Let us not be ashamed to be called "housewife" for to the discerning that word is a definition with infinite possibilities.

Visit tomorrow to read about one of the most important opportunities that we have as house wives.
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Friday, November 11, 2011

Unexpected

Putting mumbled thoughts and words together onto the screen for five minutes today.The prompt from The Gypsy Mama is UNEXPECTED.

GO.

Eight days ago a group of men were living at the climax of their careers.   Their lives full of the abundant fruit of their labors through the years.

Then the UNEXPECTED happened.  Some brave soul spoke up.  They spoke up for the tragedy that had occurred a few years before.  A tragedy, that was so unexpected to them, could not be held back any longer.  The silence is always broken by the sound of truth.

Now eight days after the fallout in the media three men are facing criminal charges.  Two others, whose reputation for their culmination of dedicated work, were tossed aside like yesterday's old newspaper.

Truth always prevails- sooner or later.  And what is expected becomes unexpected.

"Open your mouth, judge righteously,
And defend the rights of the afflicted and needy."
-Proverbs 31:9

STOP.

I have a vested interest in PennState University (I am a student there as well as my sister.)  The shame I felt for the Univ. concerning the actions of this group of men was restored to pride in hearing the decision of the Univ. Board to displace its President. It is good to defend the needy and speak out against the injustice of the afflicted.

Prayers go for the victims and their families.


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Friday, November 4, 2011

Remember

Tapping out words this morning for five minute only with ladies from The Gypsy Mama.  During a breakout session at Relevant, a room full of bloggers got to do this 5-minute writing exercise.  I love what Lisa-Jo told us, "There are no rules in 5-minute Fridays!!"

Today's prompt is REMEMBER.

GO.

The prompt is BECOMING.

I sit in this room full of other writers.  I cannot help but notice the sound of tapping fingers onto key pad letters, getting banged with such velocity that my thoughts are hard to organize.  Thankfully, not every woman brought a handy laptop with them, so most of us are scratching out words onto paper with old fashioned graphite.  Before I know it the five minutes are up.  Unusually I actually finish before the timer is sounded.  I think having had this particular prompt before, the same subject matter comes to mind.
Becoming- each day is a challenge and a blessed opportunity to become more like Him- unto that final day when we see Him face to face.

As a handful of others ladies read aloud their words woven so beautifully, I am amazed by the giftings and talent.  All have hearts to become more like Him.

I am thankful to have sisters encouraging me along this journey.

I will remember their words.  And I pray that they REMEMBER to keep weaving their words into stories and exhortations because I need them.

                                               

The link to The Gypsy Mama.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sisterhood

HI Ladies,

I wanted to write everything that I was experiencing at Relevant as I was experiencing it, but the time was too full.  Then I went home (don't you wish that you could stay on the mountain top a lot longer sometimes?), throwing me in the midst of Life.  Figure that.  And now it is four days and a page-turn on the calendar later!  So I am grabbing a few moments this morning before I take my daughter to co-op to share some thoughts with you.

First, PLEASE- please -please- do not let any one's talk about Relevant or anything else make you feel "out of the circle".  I know that some times when I hear about something great going on and I am missing it , then I can feel very isolated and lonely- or just not part of "it".  But I have to tell you that that feeling of isolation is not uncommon among all women, and I believe that the Holy Spirit is doing a work in Christ's body of uniting women's hearts in the bond of Christ and sisterly love.  THAT is one of the main themes that I had been pondering before Relevant and a recurring theme at Relevant.

The enemy wants us to feel all alone, but God's Holy Spirit is bringing to the forefront of our awareness that He wants His daughters to have an intimate bond of sisterhood.  Imagine relationships without competition, without malice, without self-seeking.  Aaaah- doesn't that sound refreshing?  Imagine joining hearts and hands with your sisters, sharing each other's joys, sorrows, and burdens.  That is what I see the Holy Spirit doing among us.

I am thrilled because that is what I wanted for LOV (Ladies Of Virtue) from the beginning- to create a community of women who are sisters in Christ, joining together on this journey of biblical womanhood, a distinct path with all the delights of living a godly life that is uniquely feminine.  Will you join in spirit?

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This is a picture of my dear friend Angela Dively and I.  We were roomies.  She writes at AltogetherHis.com when a fire is under her bottom.

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