23 September 2016

See It Again September Femininity Friday: Traditional Labor = Stable Marriage

First Steps - Vincent Van Gogh - Public Domain Image

Dear Ladies, 
 
I hope that you enjoy this "See It Again" from September 28, 2012.  Please continue to pray for us, and I beg you to consider a making a donation or taking a class

Agape always,
Cynthia

*~*~*~*~*

A recent study in Norway suggests that married couples who split the household duties evenly are more likely to divorce.   But why is that the case?  

In this article published at NorthwestOhio.com, study co-author Thomas Hansen posits, "Modern couples are just that, both in the way they divide up the chores and in their perception of marriage....In these modern couples, women also have a high level of education and a well-paid job, which makes them less dependent on their spouse financially. They can manage much easier if they divorce."  How interesting I find it that Mrs. Andelin wrote essentially the same thing as far back as 1963, which can be found on pages 316-20 in the latest version of Fascinating Womanhood.  

I have my own humble little theory to add to that of Mrs. Andelin and Mr. Hansen.  Please let me explain.  I could be completely mistaken, but I believe that when women become less invested in their homemaking, it's easier for them to walk away.  After all, if the husband can do the job just as well, why couldn't a maid service or the children or some long-suffering relative?  The home doesn't need her special touch, her unique style.  Taking care of the home becomes utilitarian (one of the great downfalls of our world, I believe) and, therefore, a matter of mechanics rather than a matter of heart.  Too, when we ladies care for our families and homes, we tend to invest ourselves emotionally in the people and the places over whom and which we exert care.  Breaking up that family or leaving that home becomes even more difficult for the one who has given blood, sweat, and tears to care for a group of people and their dwelling place.

Just a thought ;-)

Agape always,
Cynthia

This and all other posts are copyright (c) 2008-2016 Cynthia Berenger.  All Rights Reserved.




16 September 2016

See It Again September Femininity Friday: Romance Novels?

Fragonard ~ Woman Reading ~ Public Domain


Another blast from the past comes to us from April 2010...

This past week one of my Fascinating Womanhood students asked about reading romance novels, so I thought I would blog about it in addition to answering her question as part of our class.

First let me say that many classic novels can be classified as romance novels: The Betrothed, Pamela, Pride and Prejudice (indeed, the entire Austen oeuvre), Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, etc. These novels center on the development of a love relationship between a man and a woman and are told primarily from the perspective of the woman--to me, the essential definition of a romance novel. I can recommend all of the aforementioned books to anyone over the age of, say, fourteen.

Over the years, I have read hundreds of Barbara Cartland's romance novels and learned many interesting historical tidbits from them. The novels are relatively innocent and make for light, attractive reading for teens and up. I have also read several Janette Oke novels, and they are enjoyable and relatively innocuous. I can--with some reservations (see below)--recommend them.

Problems may occur, though, if one reads romance novels that encourage unchaste behavior or create overly materialistic desires or if one becomes wrapped up in romance novels to the point that real life is neglected.

The problem with some romance novels' encouraging unchaste behavior will be obvious to ninety-five percent of the women who read the blog, so I won't bother addressing the issue.

The glitzy romance novels introduce women to a lifestyle that only the truly wealthy can achieve. An excellent writer's description skills enliven the details of this lifestyle and create a desire for it. However, most working men cannot provide a ritzy lifestyle, and I know from having been raised on the borders of such a lifestyle that most of the people therein lack basic morals. Too, as Christians (and every religion I know of embraces this concept to one extent or another), we are called upon to live simply and to emphasize spiritual, rather than material, values.

The romantic hero can be problematic, as well, for a similar reason: he only really exists in the imagination--thank goodness! Most romantic heroes are borderline nasty men! Think of the hero of the Twilight books: Edward the Edwardian vampire. (Couldn't Stephenie have come up with a more original name for a vampire from the Edwardian period? Our English profs must be enjoying a giggle.) The problems with Edward are many: he encourages Bella to deceive her father; he engages in emotional abuse; he exposes Bella to lethal danger. And all of this is taken as being, somehow, evidence of his love. WHAT?

Finally, romance novels may become an obsession, just as video games, Internet time, TV sports, or other common escapes. This problem is likely the most frequent, given human beings' tendency to obsess. The key here is moderating one's "escape" time. If reading romance novels keeps one from completing one's daily duties or keeps one from engaging in social activities, then it has become too much.

Agape always,
Cynthia


Thank you for reading!  Would you be interested in having a life that mirrors a romance novel?  If so, a Marriage Enrichment class centered on the teachings of Fascinating Womanhood may help you to do just that.


15 September 2016

See It Again September: Fascinating Womanhood Success Story by Dr. and Mrs. A

Seaside Promenade - Michael Ancher - Public Domain


Please enjoy my number one visited blog post from 2008:

Through one of those research happenstances that only occur on the Internet, I came upon this article about Fascinating Womanhood, which includes a fairly extensive interview with Dr. and Mrs. Andelin as well as an attractive photograph. The article continues on a second page of the newspaper. I chuckled as I realized that people still have the same misunderstandings about some Fascinating Womanhood teachings.

Beyond the article, I found it interesting to browse through the newspaper. I felt amazed by the relatively low prices of everything--including a condominium for sale at $1699 down and $125 monthly mortgage payment.


Agape always,
Cynthia

09 September 2016

See It Again September--Femininity Friday: Our Feminine Traditions

 
Berthe Marisot - Reading - Public Domain


Here follows one of my earliest Femininity Friday posts from October 24, 2008...
 
Every family has its traditions, those little actions repeated to the point of reliability. Our family knows that on Monday and Thursday--barring emergency--freshly baked biscuits and breads will be on offer at dinnertime. We come together as a family every morning for devotional. You have your traditions, too.

I'm writing today, though, to advocate for Feminine Traditions. A Feminine Tradition is an action that a woman takes repeatedly and that she and others come to associate with her unique expression of femininity.

In times past, it wouldn't have been necessary to discuss Feminine Traditions because girls and young women simply learned to be feminine by observing their mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and other adult females in their lives. With the rise of second-wave feminism, though, femininity became the new "f" word and was devalued by many, if not most, American women.

Feminine Traditions help us to feel good about ourselves as women. They brighten the days of our families and friends--even strangers who pass us at the grocery store find their spirits lifted by our presences.

After we incorporate some Feminine Traditions in our lives, our families and friends come to associate certain sense experiences with us, and this strengthens our ties with one another. When Braveheart deployed last year, he related to me that one night he smelled some jasmine on the breeze and he was glad that it was dark because tears came to his eyes as the scent brought my image so strongly to mind.

We can incorporate Feminine Traditions into many areas of our lives:

  • Greet other people with a smile...your smile could make all the difference in the world to someone
  • Sing while you complete your homemaking
  • Prepare at least one really scrumptious meal each week (Saturday brunch? Monday dinner?) and serve it on your "best"
  • Wear an apron while working in your home
  • Have a few "signatures": a scent; a color; a flower; a saying; a dessert; a special dish you prepare
  • Carry a pretty handkerchief rather than a wad of tissues
Feminine Traditions are easy to start and their influence may last forever.
 
As for life at the Berenger Household today...

What I'm Wearing
Pink "Ballerina" T-Shirt; Black Skirt; Pink and Black Eiffel Towers Apron; Black Ballet Flats; Hair in a high ponytail with a pink ribbon

The Menu
Breakfast: Pumpkin Smoothies
Lunch: Bean Burritos, Spanish Rice from Thursday, Bananas
Tea: Toasted English Muffins with Peanut Butter and Apples
Dinner: Dressed Mixed Greens, Tuna Casserole, Peas and Carrots in the Casserole
Movie Night: Popcorn and Pumpkin Seeds, Cocola to drink as a treat

"To Dos"
Zone: Upstairs Hallway, Youngsters' Room, Upstairs Bathrooms (30 minutes)

  • Rotate Toys; Help Youngsters to Reorganize their Bookshelves and Drawers; Sweep Baseboards
Laundry: Wash and iron Braveheart's shirts for next week (30 minutes) [How I miss ironing his shirts!]Main Task: Biweekly Cleaning and Organizing 2 (60 minutes)

Have a fascinating day!

Agape always,
Cynthia

Copyright (c) 2008 Cynthia Berenger All Rights Reserved. Please feel free to link to or to follow my blog, but do not reproduce any part of it in any way without my express written permission. Thank you.

PS:  Please consider signing up for a Marriage Enrichment class this month; you will receive a special premium early next year if you do.

05 September 2016

An Important Announcement and Request

Courtesy of Microsoft
Dear Ladies,

I have hit a bit of a rough spot.  Several things beyond my control went kerflooey all at once with the result that I am dangerously low on funds.  Please rest assured that I do work both out in the world and in my home as much as I can to care for my family's needs as God provides.  Please rest assured, as well, that I have not done anything wrong to create the situation.  It is a confluence of events that all hit within a few weeks at a time during which I was already struggling mightily.

One of the things that happened during this time is it became evident that I needed to prepare my Marriage Enrichment book for publication and to publish it.  To do so, I will need to pay some relatively small fees to the government, and I will need to hire an editor, which should run about $400.00, and run a few proof copies, which should run about $100.00.  Everything added together should total approximately $600.00.  

A friend suggested a Kickstarter campaign, but Kickstarter requires either a credit card or a debit card to open a campaign.  I don't have any credit cards and my past experience with sharing my debit card information on the Internet has been horrific. 

In addition to the publication costs, this next month, I will not have sufficient funds from my employment to provide for our needs.  I don't have anything left to sell or pawn. The books I have left are selling for pennies on Amazon.  I hope that sales of my book will increase my income and allow me to have a small emergency fund again.

Putting those two circumstances together, I have decided to offer the following: 

Those who sign up for a Marriage Enrichment class in September 2016 will receive a copy of my book when it is published, Deo Volente, in early 2017.  The book will be in paperback. I am absolutely committed to publishing my Marriage Enrichment book.

Please know that I don't receive state welfare funds, nor does my Church or family help me financially.  I have a donation button on my blog, and I am extremely grateful when anyone makes a donation; my preference, however, is to earn the funds we need. 

Thank you for visiting "My Fascinating Womanhood Life" and for considering taking a Marriage Enrichment class or making a donation of any amount.  Especially, I thank you for your prayers.

Agape always,
Cynthia

For those who feel uncomfortable with clicking on links, information about my Marriage Enrichment classes can be found at CynthiaBerenger.com on the "Classes" page.  


02 September 2016

Femininity Friday: Helping Your Daughter, Part Two

Summertime - Mary Cassatt - Public Domain
The physical presentation of self changes quickest and easiest, but ultimately, the persona is not nearly as important as the spirit and the feminine temperament.  

I have a few “woman-to-woman” ideas to share, certainly not those of a theologian, clergy member or psychologist.

  • Does your daughter enjoy a relationship with God?  I don’t know about other people, but my relationship with God has carried me through the many deep valleys of my life.  
  • Do you pray as a family every day or most days?  If not, perhaps consider chatting with your husband and letting him know that you would like to have a short family devotional at least a few times a week (the days that end in “y”?).  
  • Does she read the Bible or the writings of your religion?  I suggest that you help her to do so by giving your daughter her own copy of the scriptures, either in print, as an Audible, or as an app. 

I also suggest, no surprise, a copy of The Fascinating Girl by Mrs. Andelin.  The Original Fascinating Womanhood Pamphlets are, it seems to me, a bit mature for the teenage girl of today, unless she reads them and discusses them with her mother or another able teacher.  These books give young ladies a balanced role model of femininity to follow.  I believe that most popular role models for young ladies today lack character and give too much too soon to the men in their lives.


Agape always,
Cynthia

01 September 2016

See It Again September: "What Makes a Woman Beautiful?"

Courtesy of Dover Book



A "Best of" from 2015...

I suppose everyone would have his or her own answer to that question.  From my perspective, the most important requirement for true beauty would be a woman's relationship with God.  Others might say that physical perfection is the most important requirement.  From the page fifty-three of my transcription The Original Fascinating Womanhood Pamphlets we can learn the following answer to the above question (italics retained from the original):

We will begin with Thackeray, and determine, if possible, just exactly what it was that made him consider Amelia beautiful, both in appearance and in disposition. In the quotation already given, you will notice, he indicates that she is a “kind, fresh, smiling, artless, tender little domestic goddess.” A
few pages further on he calls her “poor, little tender heart.” At another place he attributes to her “such a kindly, smiling, tender, gentle, generous heart of her own.” He admits that others might not consider her beautiful: “Indeed, I am afraid that her nose was rather short than otherwise, and her cheeks a great deal too round for a heroine; but her faced blushed with rosy health, and her lips with the freshest of smiles, and she had a pair of eyes which sparkled with the brightest and honestest of good humor,
except, indeed, when they filled with tears, and that was a great deal too often; for the silly thing would cry over a dead canary or over a mouse that the cat haply had seized upon; or over the end of a novel, were it ever so stupid, etc.” Elsewhere we learn that the “sweet fresh little voice went right into the Captain’s heart, and nestled there.” Her manner, her attitude toward events, her actions, contribute materially toward making her winsome. She is subject to “little cares, fears, tears, timid misgivings.”  “She went fluttering to Lieutenant George Osborne’s heart as if it was the only natural home for her to
nestle in.” She trembles when anyone is harsh. Altogether she is “too modest, too tender, too trustful, too weak, too much woman” for any man to know without feeling called upon to protect, to cherish, and to fondle her.

The idea of the Domestic Goddess (change the word goddess to something else if it offends you; I prefer Domestic Queen), which Mrs. Andelin--now of blessed memory--expanded upon from The Original Fascinating Womanhood Pamphlets, first came from William Makepeace Thackeray, a mournful and romantic man.  I believe that Amelia was a tribute to his mother as well as his beloved, but severely ill, wife.

The above paragraph contains, I believe, the essential nugget of the FW philosophy:  beauty is primarily spiritual.  It also subtracts credence from the idea that being a Domestic Goddess is primarily about keeping a clean house.  Rather, I perceive that outside of one's relationship with God, finding joy in everyday life remains key to beauty and to becoming a Domestic Goddess.

September is a great time to concentrate on our families, our homes, and ourselves.  I have planned a series of thirty ideas to help us to become more joyful in our everyday lives.  I hope that you enjoy them.

Today's idea is easy: take a few minutes to write your own answer to the question, "What Makes a Woman Beautiful?"  You can even make a list if writing prose isn't your cup of cocoa.  That's what I did...

What Makes a Woman Beautiful?  ~  Cynthia Berenger

1.  A relationship with God
2.  The fruit of the Holy Spirit
3.  Serving God through serving family and others
4.  Finding joy in everyday experiences and sharing that joy with others
5.  Appreciating the simple pleasures of life
6.  Making the most of one's appearance and health
7.  Developing talents

If you'd like to write on  your own blog, I would appreciate a link.  If you'd like to share your ideas via a comment, I would enjoy that, too.

Agape always,
Cynthia
 
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