Thursday, September 30, 2010

Keeping Priorities, Part 2

Balancing ministry and family is a phrase I hear quite often.
"How do you do it?" is the BIG question.
My answer, for a long time, was…I don’t.
I just do whatever comes my way, saying "yes" to everything.
Isn’t that what a good pastor’s wife does?
Well, this philosophy led me to be overwhelmed,
overburdened, and burn out.
Seen it, done it, don’t want to do it again.
It took me 9 years to understand the wise advice from a dear pastor’s wife,
(thanks Pam, I finally get you!)
who said simply,
"I am my husband’s wife, regardless of whether he is a truck driver, mill worker or pastor, 
my job is still the same..to be his help-meet. 
To help raise his children, to help make him great."
Somehow, when our husbands are in full time ministry,
we think we need to become “Super Spiritual Woman -
able to leap small buildings and tackle huge life problems for all who come our way.”

My Biblical job, as I now understand it, is to keep my priorities my priorities.
God first.
That means time alone with him in the morning,
time to pray in large chunks,
time throughout the day to refocus on His purposes.
Second, my husband. 
How can I be a help to him today?
How can I center all that we do as a family around his vision for our family,
his life goals, and making him great?
This gives me structure for managing our home.
My purpose is to do him good all the days of my life.
Three, my children and home.
Our goal is to raise them to love God with all their hearts,
to know God, and to know His specific purpose for them in this life, being skilled to do that thing.
It is not going to happen without a lot of time and effort teaching, mentoring and discipling.
Besides the children, it is very important to be keeping our home.
It is important to my husband, for hospitality, for us.
I try to focus on the atmosphere I am creating in our home,
realizing that “if mama ain’t happy…ain’t nobody happy.
Creating a warm, inviting, beautiful home,
with a loving and peaceful aroma doesn’t happen without good housekeeping,
and good housekeeping is much easier when one is organized.
It is also much easier when one is not hugely pregnant,
but, life is not always easy, and thank goodness I have helpful daughters!
Organization is a key component to keeping a home.
Probably my "Saturday, Large Family Living" posts are the most practical,
and where one would find out how our family stays organized with 10 or 11 people in one household.
THEN, having accomplished those things,
and having energy and resources left,
I can give to ministry outside my family.
For me, that means hospitality,
playing the piano at church,
and my daily email to the ladies in our church.
During this season in my life, I am doing very little counseling,
no Bible studies or Sunday school, or anything else.
I simply cannot do any more than those few things before I start sacrificing my time with the children,
and my emotional energy for them and my husband.
I am perfectly content and happy to have this more back seat role.
I have so much more to give my family, and they will be here for such a short time anyway.
I have had to learn to live within the resources God has given me at this time.
At times, the process of learning this was not pretty, and I am sure I still have along ways to go.
Emotional energy is like a budget. It is dangerous to overspend.
Yet many a good intentioned couple readily do it for the sake of the ministry.
They overspend their emotional allowance, their physical stamina,
and end up burnt, on anti-anxiety meds, and counting the days until retirement.
Meanwhile, their children and marriage have suffered neglect.
I have found out, the hard way, that it is a big mistake
to not run every decision of what to do with your time
(after your first three priorities are taken care of)
past your husband, he is your leader and protector, you guardian, and your spiritual head.
A wise counselor advised me to respond to opportunities this way:
“Let me talk about it with my husband, pray about it, and get back to you.”
This is a good standard operating procedure for every ministry opportunity that presents itself, however small.
Christian culture says what is valuable in a woman is to be super busy,
running here and there, involved in all sorts of volunteer and ministry roles,
meanwhile, taking good care of her home and family, and staying healthy and sweet.
It is an impossible task, and one God himself does not value.
What does God value?
A gentle and quiet spirit. (1 Peter 3:4).
A woman who stays home, minds her own business,
and serves her family with loving-kindness and joy. (Titus 2:4 )
Once you get that down, then, go ahead and seek other ways to minister to God’s people.
Find some way of using your spiritual gifts in the community of believers
that allows you to keep your priorities straight.
We must understand that there must be a flex and flow of how to use your time
through out the seasons of life.
What works for me now will be lots different in 10 years.
A healthy person needs to pace themself though each season,
and not try to do it all right now.
Our goal is to walk in balance, keep a Biblical view,
seek the Lord daily for His guidance in life,
trusting Him for all things, knowing that he will direct your paths.

By keeping our priorities in line with Biblical teaching,
we will find life to be less of a struggle.
God promises to bless those who follow Him with humility,
seek His ways, and delight in Him.
His ways are perfect,
His paths lead to peace.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

More than Devotions

Sharla Roby Jost sings a song on her album,  "Be Still" titled,
"I see the Lord."
It is a gentle, beautiful chorus with the words of Isaiah the Prophet.
" I see the Lord,
high and lifted up, 
seated on the throne, of my life.
  And He is Holy, Holy, Holy, 
seated on the throne of my life."

When I awake each morning, my first thoughts,
before I am even out of bed, are directed toward the Lord. 
Suddenly, my mind is restless with the thoughts of the day ahead. 
In years past, I would quickly read my Bible, say a few prayers, 
and check that off my to do list, getting on with my day. 
Recently, this precious time has become more
than just a devotional few minutes.
  I am learning to relax and enjoy my Heavenly Father.
So while I sip a cup of my husband's incredible coffee,  I let my restless mind ramble.
  After about 10 minutes, my mind slows down 
and I can focus on thinking about WHO God is.
  See the Holy sitting on the throne of my life, 
and myself bowed down at His feet.

This picture gives way to me getting out of the way...
laying down my desires and wants, to follow God's plan for me.  
God's plan is for me to let go of my rights to a perfect day,
to not getting interrupted 50 times,
to things going my way, 
to being just plain selfish about life.
  Instead, yielding my way for the preference of others. 
Don't get the idea that I am a door mat, 
I am a very bossy person by nature, 
But I am learning that I must decrease and God must increase in me, so I try to accept things as less than perfect,
and lay aside my to do list
in my romantic, ideal world. 
I picture myself physically getting out of the drivers seat, 
so that God himself can be behind the wheel. 
I would not dream of telling Him where to go,
and I am even beginning to keep myself from telling Him
how I think He should drive, :-)
but passively enjoy His presence as we journey along. 
I am letting go of control issues and seeking a more gentle way.  
These are the thoughts and motives behind my morning prayers, 
as I pray for myself, my husband, my children,
and others that are on my heart.  
Only when I have followed this lengthy process
can I look at the Scriptures in a personal way,
instead of textbook way,
and see them as an intimate letter from my heavenly Father with application meant for me. 
I continue on with thanksgiving and more thoughts about God's goodness and Who He is. 
The very Creator of the universe lives in me?  Whoa!!
Take time to be awed. 
It does take time...just being still,
and letting the thought of God overwhelm you. 
Then you know you are ready for the day,
you know that you have seen God,
and it has changed you.

holy experience

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Menu and Table Matters


       
A house becomes a home when each room is clothed in peace,
       each wall is covered in laughter, and each heart is filled with love.
Of all the domestic activities a mother partakes,
one in particular that I savor is preparing a nourishing
and delicious meal for my family,
then presenting it in a lovely manner that conveys my esteem for them.
  A beautifully set table, candles, cloth napkins, pretty serving dishes, prayer, singing, laughter and conversation are important aspects of everyday dinner at Providence Lodge. 
Not just for company, or for “special,“
for what could be more exceptional
than sitting down with your beloved family every evening? 


Our home life began to take on shape, order, ease,
and beauty as I implemented a simple menu scheme 
that our family enjoyed. 
Over the years, we have altered it from time to time, 
but it is still basically the same. 
   
Monday is pasta.  For each day, I have four favorite dishes, one for each week of the month.
Tuesday is hamburger night, hamburgers, German Buns, meatballs, or sloppy joes.
Wednesday is soup and bread, many to choose from.
Thursday is Chicken, again, four of our favorite dishes from chicken.
Friday is taco night (we love tacos, Indian style, “dirt cheap,” original, and burritos).
Saturday is a miscellaneous day, we may have hot dogs, or salmon, or pork, or ham.
Sunday, I desire to be restful, so this is the day we use paper plates, have sandwiches for lunch and pizza for dinner.
Homemade pizza is incredibly easy to make,
creates very little mess in the kitchen,
and the children love to put on the toppings,
 which makes it all the easier and fun for me.  

This plan not only allows me to know what we are having tomorrow 
so that I can get appropriate meat out of the freezer to thaw, 
but has made grocery shopping a whole lot more simple, 
and saves money. 
Having all the right ingredients on hand 
and knowing what you are serving eliminates costly trips to the store
to grab something for dinner because of lack of planning, 
or needing to purchase just one thing that is more expensive locally.
  I now have a basic monthly grocery list 
that needs little change on shopping day.

 

Order is synonymous with harmony. 
 
Order generates ease and simplicity.

  I am inspired at the thought of my kitchen being a haven 
of harmony and simplicity.

Even the most humble of meals, 
such as macaroni and cheese with a salad,
is served  with beauty and care. 
When the plan, the order,
the creativity and the delicious morsels come together at the table, 
when your family is enamored with each meal,
when you sit down and observe the sweet atmosphere,
the eager faces, breathe in the aroma of baked cheese,
 notice the glimmer of lighted candles, 
then you will know in your soul
that your time and attention were well worth it.  

 “The table should be made the center of the social life of the household.  Every wise-hearted parent will seek to train his household to converse on subjects that will yield instruction or tend toward refinement.  The table affords an excellent opportunity for this kind of education. “ from the book Homemaking, by JR Miller

 

Years ago, a friend offered this advice
that has struck a chord in my memory:
“ Today we are creating ‘the good old days’ 
of our children’s lives.”  
As I contemplate that thought,
I can envision my grandma’s kitchen. 
My brothers and I recall,
Grandma always had a dish of pickles on the table.
Remember the good old days at grandma’s?

      My mother always served dad first. 
           What will my children remember about our dinner table?
 What memories am I creating for our children? 
That is what spurs me on when I begin to think, oh well, 
it won’t matter. 
It will matter.
It is the little extras in everyday things that inspire and enrich.
I am leading and teaching by example.
My children will likely follow in my footsteps. 
I must therefore, walk carefully, thoughtfully.

 God has shown us His example,
He feeds us with abundance,
He lets us drink from rivers of delight,
He shelters us under His wing, 
He patiently nurtures, and gently leads. (Ps. 36:7-8) 

If  I seek to bless my family,
if I take God’s example and follow as best I am able,
if I delight myself in Him and serving others,
then when I am old and gray and wrinkled and frail,
I will take comfort in the knowledge
that I have given my family my best. 

     “The memory of the beautiful and happy home of childhood is the richest legacy any mother and father can leave to their children.”   - B.G. Northrup

Monday, September 27, 2010

Keeping Priorities, Part 1

Several years ago I was teaching a ladies Bible Study 
on The Excellent Wife to a small group in our church. 
The idea of being a Help Meet was a new concept,
and we explored what that may look like. 
From the very beginning in Genesis,
God himself defines a woman’s role as being
a helper suitable for he husband.
 Stop. 
Think that one through.

When I awake each morning is that one of the first thoughts that goes though my head?
  Next to being a child of God,
this is the second Biblical priority in a wife’s life.
  Helping and serving my husband should be
the second most important 
thought throughout my day.
 

  I am sure I can think of several ways to help my husband on my own, but, since he is the God given spiritual head and leader,
shouldn’t I ask him what would be a help?
We sat down for a nice chat, where I asked him some very pointed questions, and he was pleased as punch to answer. 
This marked a dramatic change in our relationship.
  After several years of marriage, I was for the first time, 
sincerely wanting to  do what I could 
to enable him to be the man God wants him, called him, to be,
instead of looking for him to fulfill me, 
I set out to do him good all the days of my life, 
by putting him in the proper place of honor, 
preferring him above myself,
prioritizing where he was going and purposing to follow and be a help.

Questions I asked:
1.  Please share with me your Purpose in this life.
2.  What do you believe your calling to be?
3.  How can I be a help to you in this calling?
4.What are 2 particular goals in your life?
5.  What can I do to help you attain those goals?

I still have the sheet of paper with the questions and his answers in my Bible today, years later. 
  My role was defined clearly,
and I could check the paper occasionally
to make sure I was keeping on track. 

I would have liked to marry a rancher,
raise horses and live way back on a huge amount of land. 
I could have pursued architecture school and had a great career,
for that was where I was headed. 
But, every day I am thankful that the Lord led me to my husband,
that he gifted me to be just right for him,
and has given me great joy in following and being his helpmeet. 
I do not regret “giving up” my hopes, dreams, and aspirations for life.
 God’s plan is much better. 
It always is, so much more than we could ask or think. 
Because he loves us so, he has our BEST interests in mind,
His plan that will draw us closest to him,
give us the greatest joy and contentment on this earthly journey.
  I am SO grateful I did not willfully set about my own plans. 
I cannot imagine what wonderful blessings I would have missed,
what miseries I would be facing even now,
if I had clung to my way. 
God’s path is best, the safest, most secure, successful road to travel.
  He promises to walk it with me every step of the way, 
and he promises that his ways lead to peace. 
To give up my agenda to follow my husband, 
was nothing short of an  honored privilege.
  I have not lost who I am in the process, contrarily, 
I wouldn’t be “me” without my dear sweet husband.  
I have found my true calling,
the One who made me just for this specific task
has also perfectly gifted me for it,
in so, I am only now living up to my potential,
and enjoying every minute of it.


That they may teach the young women to  be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children.”
Titus 2: 4
Likewise, you wives, be in submission to you own husbands.” 1 Peter 3:1
The heart of he husband does safely trust in her so that he shall have no need of spoil.”  Prov. 31:11

And the Lord God said, it is not good that a man should be alone, I will make a help meet for him.” Gen 2:18

Friday, September 24, 2010

Organizing Your Home With Baskets

Welcome to our practical Saturday post for large family living. 
This is when and where we share hints and solutions to living with a large family,
things we wish we would have known years ago when I was struggling to adjust to a bigger household,
like around child #5.

This next week I will be speaking to a group of young moms.
One thing they asked me to share was how to keep order in the home, 
so I thought we would talk about that today.
Years ago, a friend went to a women's meeting
where a mother of 10 was speaking. 
My friend came home inspired. 
I asked her what the best advise she learned there was, and she said, "Baskets!" 
I have since taken this thought on to nearly obsessive levels. 
Baskets can gather a collection of anything
and keep it in a small confined space, be handy and still look attractive. 
I use them everywhere, for everything. 
I wonder how I could keep an attractively clean home 
that contains many children and their stuff without them.


I do believe that there is a genuine happiness 
and blessing in keeping an orderly home. 
The wife who would make her home happy and permanently beautiful
must work with her hands at housewifely tasks 
which the days bring to her.
These commonplace necessities are the basis for a peaceful home. 
That may sound very unromantic, but truly, 
follow the logic through and discover it is indeed not.

JR Miller said,
"Bad housekeeping will soon drive the last vestige of romance out of any home.
Oh my, we would not want that. 
So instead, a wife needs to find joy in the menial mundane tasks
and delight in the fun and creativity of keeping a home.
  I think it is just a matter of perspective,
and it can be done with great enjoyment. 
Baskets are a case in point. 
Using some ingenuity,
one can figure a new purpose for almost any basket she can find. 

We have school books for 7 of our children, 
and a bushel of color books and "how to draw" books to boot.
  I was thrilled when we came up with the idea to gather large baskets
on a bench to organize our school supplies for the year. 
They are now handy, not messy, and at little tike height.


My stairs basket is an essential,
as it is the place where anything that does not belong downstairs can get tossed to go up
next time a reliable sized person goes up 
and can put things away.


How can a mama possibly keep 43 pairs of shoes
plus slippers
maintained in an average coat closet, or even a large entry way?  
Baskets.


So what is a mess at your house? 
Find a basket and toss it in by category: 
papers to be filed, mail, color crayons and pencils,
board books for the little ones, safe toys for babies,
bathroom supplies, and, don't forget,
the everything-I don't- know- what- to- do- with basket. 




Every peaceful, beautiful home must have order. 
The two cannot exist without it.  
Therefore, a wife needs a substantial basis of good housekeeping
for the realization of her dreams of blissful homemaking. 

When everything in your home has an efficient place, 
the order, beauty, peace, and ease of keeping it all up 
will be attainable. 

 Baskets aplenty have really helped me maintain order amongst
lotsa people with their stuff going every which way. 
They have also made a family "5 minute pick up"  
work smoothly in our home,
 since you can toss together a whole menagerie in a basket in but a few seconds.

I hope you are now inspired today as you go about making your home
a lovely place to be. 
Happy housecleaning!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Wife's Part


Every wife and Mother celebrates great joys in life as well as facing challenges of every kind and size.  
Often times, no sooner does every thing come together, than everything seems to fall apart, 
and you find yourself at ground zero...again.
  Some days you may just get tired of picking up the pieces, and feel like running away. 
 Such was my story for years. 
 When my hard working husband did finally get home,
 I was ready to throw the children at him and disappear for a good long while.  
I hated that fact, but it was real and I did not know how to get past it,
 until an honest friend came along and told me what the problem was. 
 It wasn't that I had my hands too full, 
or that my husband expected too much,
 or that I wasn't capable of raising children and homeschooling,
 it was just that there was way too much of ME going on and way too little of Jesus.  

About this time I read a quote in an Above Rubies Magazine that has stuck with me like a burr, 
yes, a painful burr.
  Serene Allision said, "When I think too much about myself, I lose my joy."

My honest and loving friend basically gave me a kick in the rear end 
and told me to make my home what I dreamed and fantasized it to be,
 a happy and loving home,
 where the mama is not yelling or frenzied,
 where the children get along and obey,
 and a haven where my husband wants to be.  
I began to see that the only thing getting in the way of those ideals 
was my selfishness and slothfulness to do what I knew was right.


Every day, a woman has the choice to make; 
whether she will lay down her desires and serve her family, as unto the Lord. 
 She must will to do the necessary whether she feels like it or not. 
 Her priority must become the eternal result of her children's souls 
and the accountability to stand before God and give account for her days. 
 Sounds awful, doesn't it?
But it wasn't. 
 It was the most freeing, joyous, satisfying thing I could have possibly done. 
 Difficult, yes.
  I had to continually lay down my selfish desire to want to do what I felt like,
 instead of what I should do.  
It was just plain hard... at first. 
 And then it began to be easier. 
 And one day, I awoke and was glad, 
instead of my usual: "O GOD!!! Help, it is another DAY!!!"

I am looking at that time now as the proverbial transition of labor to which birthed a gentle and quiet spirit.  Just like a sweet new bundle of blessing from heaven, it was so well worth it,
not just for me, but for the whole family.

Dear wives and mothers, saying "no" to the flesh is more rewarding than you can possibly imagine,
 worth the brief battle,
 worth the peace and joy you now long for,
 the serene home that eludes you. 
 Lay down your flesh, it is not doing a very good job anyway, is it? 
Let the Spirit of God fill you and flow through you. 
 You see, you do not need to become more patient,
 you need to get out of the way
 and let God's perfect patience flow through you to your family.  
Lay down the anger,
 rebuke it,
 rid yourself of it once and for all. 
That anger is not God working in you, but the enemy. 
Cast it off like a coat full of lice.
  Every morning, dying to the ugly self
and filling up with a fresh dose of Holy Spirit is the only way to become godly, to live a holy life.

 My prayer is that you will humbly begin today,
 even now,
 and experience the fullness of life, motherhood, and marriage
 that God ordained for you and those you love.



"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly ." (John 10:10, KJV)


"For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." (Romans 8:6, KJV)


May God led, guide, and affirm you in the sacred calling of motherhood and help-meet.



"I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20, KJV)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

We Go Camping

Every fall we go camping at the state park on the reservoir. 
The quaint little cabin does not even come close to housing all of us, 
so we pack tents for boys and girls.


The deer come in close, curiously watching us and hoping for apples. 
They have gleaned all the ones they can reach off the trees,
so the children climb and shake the trees,
filling up a box so that when the deer come in, they can roll apples to them,
like bowling balls, across the meadow to the waiting deer.





Skiing and tubing on the water in a friend’s boat is a highlight, 
as well as swimming and hide and seek at night. 
There is always the delight of mud to play in, for all the redneck types,
and plenty of marshmallows and cocoa to sugar glaze all the children.




On Sunday we celebrate the Lord’s day together with friends around 
the campfire with scripture and song,
flannel shirts and dirty fingernails. 
I find it all very appealing and romantic.




Ben has been begging to go “pluming.” 
There are plenty of blackberry bushes,
plum trees and apple trees near the campground
to make for a picturesque outing foraging together. 
The cool weather adds to the glory of  atmospheric ideals.  




Our family adores the outdoors, even in bad weather.
  For the little ones, they are at home as long as daddy and mama are there.
The older children relish the adventure, which is a good thing,
since we endured a violent thunderstorm one night.
  I personally love bad weather,
but I did feel some apprehension over the younger boys in their tent,
until daddy ventured out and found them all sleeping soundly
to the booming thunder, pelting rain and frequent lightening that crashed about
for a good portion of the night.




 We had a wonderful time, very relaxing and enjoyable. 
There is something about living outside
that just settles me and revives me at the same time.  
Alas, the time came to return home. 
Even the 19 loads of laundry awaiting cannot remove the smile from my face. 
The lasting memories will carry us along for many days. 
Then, there is always the hopes and plans for next year already in the makings.
 In the meantime, I will be thankfully enjoying my own cozy bed,
after all, camping is wonderful,
but there is still no place like home.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

simply lovely



Rose has an eye for the simply lovely things in life.
She captures them with her lens, 
delighting us, 
enriching our memories.




 



 



Photography by our daughter, Rose,  age 15.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Passing On Convictions to Your Children

We have been abundantly blessed as together 
we work our way though Kevin Swanson’s Proverbs
It is our core curriculum.
I have come to believe that the study of Proverbs should be
a standard requirement for God-fearing parents. 
It is so good, like real chocolate cream pie good.
Why?  Because Proverbs is the book of wisdom.  
It explains the why’s of our foundational beliefs. 
This is surely the optimum way to teach our children our convictions.

Recently, we were in Proverbs 3:21-26, 
and I was so awestruck by the repetitive message king Solomon used 
to teach his son. 
Such a godly, wise example, right from Scripture,
and I have never used it before in all our years of homeschooling. 
Oh the time and wisdom that has been lost. 
May God be merciful.  
Forever more, the study of Proverbs will be a standard practice in our home,
in our school.


“My son, let not them depart from your eyes; keep sound wisdom and discretion:  So shall they be life unto your soul, and grace to your neck.  Then you shall walk in your way safely, and your foot shall not stumble.  When you lie down, you shall not be afraid:  yea, you shall lie down, and your sleep shall be sweet.  Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it comes, for the Lord shall be your confidence, and shall keep your foot from being taken.”  Proverbs 3:21-26

After defining Wisdom, Discretion, Understanding, and Knowledge,
a portion of the commentary says this:

“Catastrophes and crises are a part of life. One important and substantial difference between those who have embraced the call of wisdom and those who have not, is seen in how these people react in times of crises.  Typically, the unwise are careless and fearless when things are going well, but in the inevitable day of cataclysm (whether it be an economic crisis, disease, or death), their hearts are gripped with “sudden” fear.  Meanwhile, the wise man who has prepared for a crisis all his life, who has framed his life around the inescapable day of his death, who has feared God all the day long through ten thousand days of experiences, has no fear whatsoever, even as his jetliner careens to the earth.
Note that the desolation of the wicked ALWAYS comes.  This is a theme we will see throughout the book of Proverbs.” pg. 30


Then we go on to  3 questions for discussion. 
The lesson, with copy work, takes us about an hour. 
The impact, however, is eternal,
passing from generation to generation. 
This is the primary thing we parents must be doing with our children
if we are going to further the vision of godly, holy living 
to the next generation. 
They must know our convictions.
  They must understand why we do what we do
in order to grasp the heart of the matter 
and see beyond ritual or traditional or religious activity
and into the very nature and face of God,
and the order He has created within the realms
of society and family, 
for our benefit.

It is exciting for me to begin each school day 
with just such lessons as the one above. 
In my exuberance,  I simply must share
in depth the wonderful resource that has sprung new life into our school, 
into me, and into our children. 
  May God bless my dear sweet husband for choosing this study guide! 
My hope is that you may feel my enthusiasm,
and be inspired and motivated to pursue teaching the Proverbs in your home.
  It is easily the best part of our day.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Apron Femeninity


I am very fond of my apron. 



As my tummy extends, my apron is ever more and more necessary.
  Mine is a classic farm cut that we found the pattern for
in Mary Jane’s Farm magazine, Dec/Jan 20009. 
I had been looking for just such an apron for quite some time, 
and the girls and I promptly bought fabric and made three of them up.
 However, they were not form fitting enough to suit the young ladies tastes, 
but covered my poochy frame nicely. 
I altered the pattern slightly for the girls,
taking seams in on the front,
added some cute pockets,
and lengthened the back, making it three buttons
instead of the one on the original pattern.  
We are not expert seamstresses,
so this was actually quite an easy task if you have a bit of ingenuity. 
The end result is a romantic “Sarah Plain and Tall”  apron which Anna adores.



We found the cutest pattern book for all kinds of fun designs
that had the girls in the sewing room for days on end.  
We highly recommend it.


Even little Bethany wants to wear “a Cook”  when helping in the kitchen,
she has several to choose from, 
as we were trying different patterns and styles out
and having a lot of fun being creative. 
The big Farm apron is an easy 2 or 3 hour project.
  In one afternoon a person could sew up quite a few aprons,
but beware, it is addicting, at least it was for us.

My theory is that when a woman ties on an apron, 
her attitude often changes. 
The importance of domesticity is elevated, 
and one feels more inclined to the task than without an apron.  
A lovely rendition of something she particularly likes,
one that makes her smile, is the perfect solution to kitchen blas.  
We wear our aprons for all sorts of things besides being in the kitchen.
 Cleaning the house, eating something messy,
painting, or gardening,
an apron is a beautiful and practical form of femininity to be enjoyed. 



It may just be the romantic in me,
but I do believe an apron makes a big difference,
perhaps in a subtle way that one may not notice at first. 
But, give a gal an apron anyway, it is worth a try.