29 May 2016

May I Ask You a Question - "Do you miss being a housewife?"

Aucassin and Nicolette - Marianne Stokes - Public Domain

Yes, I miss being married and serving God by serving my husband, but "...I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, to be content therewith" (Phil. 4:11).  

I have also learned to concentrate on the serenity-making parts of my life. 
  • I remain a mother and a homemaker.   
  • I have friends.
  • I am blessed to share Fascinating Womanhood, homemaking, and skills I have mastered with others.
  • I can reach out to other women through this blog. 
  • I now live in a relatively safe home.
  • I struggle to keep us housed, clothed, and fed every month; however, through God's providence, it always happens.
After Braveheart died, I went into a downward spiral from which only my faith and my family rescued me. I don't want to make this process sound like a cinch, for my changes were anything but.  Some days, some weeks, I feel as though I just cannot deal with all I have to deal with anymore.  When that happens, I take a few minutes to myself to ask God for the grace of endurance, to review my gratitude list, to shed a few tears.

Agape always,
Cynthia


28 May 2016

May I Ask You a Question - "Co-ed contact sports?"

Camille Pissaro, Children on a Farm, Public Domain


Yes, dear lady from Massachusetts, it has been quite some time since you asked this question, but good old Mrs. B is finally getting around to answering.

In short, I completely agree with your thought that co-ed contact sports are a no-no.  Examples of contact sports include contact football, soccer, wrestling, baseball (think of all that sliding into bases!), water polo, ice hockey, and field hockey.  Co-ed contact sports violate our Creator's intent of difference ("He created them male and female" - Genesis 5:2) and they create situations in which "carnal desires" may be increased ("Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, to refrain yourselves from carnal desires which war against the soul" - 1 Peter 2:11).  On a completely secular level, after the preschool years, boys are almost always more muscular and stronger than girls, leaving girls more vulnerable to physical injury.  Both boys and girls might hold back from full effort due to the fear of inflicting or being subject to injury. 

Lest anyone think I am anti-sports for women, please be advised that I enjoy the sporting life and I enjoy competing in masculine sports with men with whom I have no intention of a romantic relationship.  In my "seeking single" days, I avoided competing in masculine sports with a man if I was interested in him as a possible suitor because I prefer a traditional relationship and it can be difficult for a man to reorient his perspective and think of a woman as his delicate little domestic queen once she has bested him at a traditionally masculine sport, such as Sporting Clays. In my married days, the Beloved Braveheart now of Blessed Memory and I enjoyed sporting togetherness in the forms of jogging and biking (he was such a gentleman not to admit that I slowed him down), swimming, fishing, tennis, and other fun activities too numerous to mention. 

As always, I hope that my little "woman-to-woman" ideas have helped.

Have a fascinating day!

Agape always,
Cynthia



27 May 2016

May I Ask You a Question? - "Is a husband obligated...?"

Courtesy of Two Hearts Design
This question was received as a comment related to the post "Mr. Husband Does Not Belong in a Storage Shed!".  The dear lady asked, "Is he [a husband] obligated to respect [his wife's] wishes and listen to her?"  The bracketed words are mine, added to clarify the pronouns.

The important word in the question is the verb:  obligated.

It seems to me that a husband is obligated to guide his wife and children (if they are blessed) by establishing policies and procedures for the family to follow; to provide shelter, food, and clothing for them; and to protect them as much as is humanly possible from dangers.  All of this is to be done to the best of his ability, whatever that might be.  Those are a husband's obligations.  

So, no, a husband is not obligated to respect his wife's wishes nor to listen to his wife. Is a husband wise to do so?  Almost always, yes.

Please let me explain.

This is a situation in which I believe that carefully cultivated wifely wisdom comes to the fore.  A husband learns to trust his wife's judgement when he sees her successfully living her four feminine roles and being a wise counselor to her children, family members, and friends.  A husband learns to desire his wife's judgement when she does not jabber-jabber-jabber telling him what to do on a nearly constant basis. 

What can a wife do to foster wisdom?  I have a few of my little "woman-to-woman" ideas to share: 
  1. Pray.  The Holy Spirit imparts wisdom.
  2. Read the Bible.  Even if you are an atheist, the Bible overflows with wisdom that has withstood the test of time.
  3. Read other good books.  Read a chapter or two in Fascinating Womanhood  or The Original Fascinating Womanhood Pamphlets every month.  Read a solid non-fiction book and a good fiction book every month.  If that is not possible, then rotate them.  Read a non-fiction book during the even-numbered months and a fiction book during the odd-numbered months. 
  4. Keep a journal in which you record your thoughts and experiences.
  5. Listen carefully to Mr. Husband.  Observe him.  Ponder his needs.
Next comes the hard part:  Wait until he asks for advice and give the advice in a feminine way (see Mrs. A's book for a description of how to give feminine advice).

All of this together may aid a husband to respect his wife's wishes and to listen to her.

As always, I hope that my "woman-to-woman" ideas have helped. 

Have a fascinating day!

Agape always,
Cynthia

16 May 2016

May I Ask You a Question: "How do you get it all done?"

Courtesy of Microsoft
The dear lady who so kindly sent in this question mentioned two aspects specifically:  homekeeping and homeschooling.  Here follows what I do and have done to help my life to be more manageable:
  1. I pray almost constantly and have memorized the following Bible verse:  "I can do all these things in Him who strengtheneth me" (Philippians 4:13). 
  2. We have family devotional time each day.
  3. I have prioritized my work
  4. I have streamlined my work as much as possible.
  5. I have streamlined my and my family's possessions as much as possible.  We remain overly attached to books. 
  6. I have taught and trained myself and my children (in that order) to pick up after ourselves.
  7. Except for the McGuffey Readers, Latin, and Mathematics, the youngsters self-select their school work.  I am fortunate in that they are naturally curious about the sciences and the humanities.
  8. I follow routines, but doing so took several years of changes, streamlining, and self-training.
  9. We all have some quiet time each day. 
Somehow, all the "musts" are done, unless (Heaven forbid) disaster strikes.

I hope that my little "woman-to-woman" ideas have helped.

Agape always,
Cynthia

08 May 2016

May I Ask You a Question: "What is your philosophy of motherhood?"

Courtesy of Microsoft
Hello, Everyone!

I wish all my fellow mothers a Happy Mother's Day!  I have enjoyed my day so far, in particular the delicious and lovingly prepared brunch that featured Reese's Peanut Butter Cups because--dontcha know?--they have protein!  

My basic philosophy for all the "doing" in my life is from the Christian scriptures:  "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him" (Colossians 3:17).  

I pray with and for my family every day, and we have devotional time every day.  

I make sure that I do my best for my family members every day, meeting their spiritual, physical, intellectual, and emotional needs.  

I believe that one of the best things we mothers can do is to learn what motivates our youngsters and to incentivize that motivation.  In so doing, we help our youngsters to learn to incentivize themselves, which helps them after they achieve independence.

I try to have at least some fun every day.  Even though I work and have a small business, we live in near penury, so I have learned to be creative and to look for free activities that my family can enjoy.  I am grateful to have learned to enjoy the simple pleasures of life and hope that I am passing on that ability to the youngsters.


Agape always,
Cynthia

05 May 2016

May I Ask You a Question: "Why do you think homemaking is so great?"

Woman Hanging Laundry - Camille Pissaro - Public Domain
From a purely "me first" standpoint, I live in a home and I want to live as comfortably as possible.  I am a woman and, therefore, want my surroundings to give me as much pleasure as possible.

God, in His infinite wisdom and/or sense of humor, decided to bless me with a family whom I love.  I want them to be happy and healthy and to achieve their best potential.  My homemaking supports those goals.

The most important reason that I make my home as lovely as possible is my belief that homemaking honors God.  Now, of course, the Almighty, the Creator of the universe does not need in any way the homemaking of one Cynthia Berenger.  Homemaking, I believe, can be a form of prayer, a way of expressing my gratitude to God for all He has given to me. 

02 May 2016

May I Ask You a Question? Day One: "Are you doing the question thing again?"

Courtesy of Microsoft
The short answer to the question noted above is in the affirmative.

The long answer is in the affirmative, with the proviso that I probably won't be able to write every day, so I have changed the name of the feature to "May I Ask You a Question?":  a little pun action here on LFW.  

I wasn't going to do the feature this year because I thought I would have to move again, but just this past weekend, I received a new lease offer with a rent increase so low that it doesn't make financial sense to move.  Yay!

If you have a question that you believe my little "woman-to-woman" ideas might help, please leave it as a comment on the blog or e-mail it to me.

Not having to move means that I can go forward with offering new classes that have been on hold since January because I didn't know if I was going to have to move.  

Have a fascinating day!

Agape always,
Cynthia
 
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