Monday Meditation ~ May 20

I'm starting a new Bible study, the Proverbs 31 Woman. When you read this passage in the Bible it seems quite daunting. What a paragon of a woman, but we have to realize this passage was about King Lemuel's mother advising him of what to look for in his search for a wife. She wanted him to find a woman who esteemed him greatly, (to put it in Jane Austen vernacular), and for him to esteem her in return.
Even though the intent of these verses were to instruct a son, all Scripture is given for the edification and instruction to man (as in human kind). I've read, and agreed with, that God allowed these verses to be included in the Bible for two different reasons.

TO INSTRUCT MEN in general on what to look for in a godly wife.

TO INSTRUCT WOMEN on how to be a more Biblically-minded woman.

Both are important to the Body of Christ - his church. So... here I go, diving into a Bible study that will help me esteem my husband more while at the same time, bring me closer in my walk with God.

First Page Friday ~ CAROLINE


I'm thrilled to share with you CAROLINE. She was my first Jane Austen Fan Fiction and the whole premise of the book began with one simple question.

Whatever happened to Caroline Bingley after both her brother AND Mr. Darcy became engaged to the Bennet sisters?

The concept of what she felt and how she dealt with this crushing blow to her long held dreams galvanized me into who Caroline was when no one was around. And I delighted in presenting her with a man who saw beneath her calculating facade and actually liked her for who she was and what she could become.

Blurb:

Caroline Bingley, beyond frustrated with her brother, Charles and Mr. Darcy both proposing to the Bennet sisters, dreads their upcoming nuptials. For three years her sole focus has been on attaining a marriage proposal from one Fitzwilliam Darcy of Pemberley, only to be foiled by a country miss with ‘fine eyes’. Adrift and not sure of her place in life, she meets the mysterious and devastatingly handsome Lord Nathan, who equally vexes and intrigues her.

Lord Nathan Kerr, third in line to a Dukedom, had a well-earned reputation as a Rake. He cast all that and his noble title aside to become Mr. Darcy’s vicar in Kympton, finding contentment in leading his small flock and doing the Lord’s work. His plan for a quiet, country life is thrown into upheaval when he meets the fiery Miss Bingley. Can he reconcile his rising desire for the spoiled miss with how a vicar’s wife ‘should’ behave?


First Page:

One
Caroline Bingley descended the grand staircase and proceeded toward the breakfast room, barely acknowledging the footman who efficiently pulled a chair away from the table for her. With a soft swish of silk, she settled on the seat. When the second footman poured some tea, she deigned to give him a slight nod of approval, but that was because she was in a fine mood.
She noted through the window overlooking her sister’s favorite garden that it was a beautiful fall morning, the leaves of the oak trees a riotous flame of red and orange. October was just around the corner and her good mood, which had been in evidence since late August, showed no sign of wavering. She’d even gone to church the day prior for mass and enjoyed the hymns, although the bishop nearly bored her to tears.
As she fussed with her morning meal, she mentally ticked off plans she and her brother had for the upcoming week. Charles had papers to sign with their lawyer to quit the lease at Netherfield Park and she had a fitting with Madam Beaufort before the much anticipated Annual Michaelmas Ball at Lady Addleworth’s mansion.
Mr. Fitzwilliam Darcy was sure to attend the ball. He and his cousin, Colonel Fitzwilliam, who’d arrived in Town the other day, were spending an inordinate amount of time with Charles. She hoped it was because Charles finally decided to pursue an arrangement with Miss Georgiana Darcy. Darcy and the good Colonel, as her guardians, would finalize the articles of marriage as well as details of the dowry. With luck Charles would announce their engagement before the ball and with his shy little sister taken care of, Mr. Darcy could finally concentrate on his own happiness.
 There you have it. I hope you enjoyed. Until next time,


1950's Housewife Challenge

Have you heard of this? Now, before you raise your suffragette bra in the air as a rallying cry, I'm not here to say women belong only in the kitchen and has no place in the boardroom. Women should go/do what makes them feel fulfilled.
The list below was taken from a 1950's Home Economics textbook intended for High School girls in preparation for married life. Apparently Snopes has discredited this claim, but I've read this in a few places and watched some YouTube programs (circa 1950's) which spout the same ideals. So... I think it's quite authentic.

Here is the list:
  1. Have dinner ready: Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal — on time. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him, and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospects of a good meal are part of the warm welcome needed.
  2. Prepare yourself: Take 15 minutes to rest so you will be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a lift.
  3. Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the house just before your husband arrives, gathering up school books, toys, paper, etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift, too.
  4. Prepare the children: Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces if they are small, comb their hair, and if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part.
  5. Minimize the noise: At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of washer, dryer, dishwasher or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and be glad to see him.
  6. Some Don’ts: Don’t greet him with problems or complaints. Don’t complain if he’s late for dinner. Count this as minor compared with what he might have gone through that day.
  7. Make him comfortable: Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest he lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soft, soothing and pleasant voice. Allow him to relax and unwind.
  8. Listen to him: You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first.
  9. Make the evening his: Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or to other places of entertainment; instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure, his need to be home and relax.
  10. The goal: Try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can relax.
No. 6 was my bug-a-boo early in our marriage. 

My husband was with the Air Force, now retired and flying commercial aircraft.  When the boys were little and he'd call home, I'd launch into a diatribe of what they'd done, how tired I was, etc., etc.. His frustration levels grew along with mine because, as a guy, he wanted to 'fix' my problems and couldn't. He was not physically there. He finally asked me to NOT tell him my issues. Not that he didn't care, but that he couldn't help. I learned early to bite my tongue and take care of things and keep things pleasant. He didn't need to worry about the family back home. Keep in mind, when in the military he was gone for weeks/months at a time.

Even now, with commercial aviation, he's away / out of country for days. When he arrives home, I greet him at the door with a smile and kiss (not because of the list above but because I want him to know I'm glad he's finally home). I DO offer him a drink. Sometimes it's just a coffee as he's flown all night and it's 0600 in the morning, and sometimes it's a nice cool glass of wine, and we enjoy it on the front porch together.

Do I HAVE to do all this? Short answer: No

Do I WANT to do all this? Short answer: Yes

I truly want my husband to know that I treasure him. He is my best friend, lover and loved one. He was with me before we had children and he is by my side now that they are married and gone. And the one thing I've noticed, after 37+ years of marriage.... The more I show him how much I love him, the more he shows me how much he loves me. It's a mutual admiration society in the Barr household.

There just might be something about those 1950's housewives and their quaint ways that strike a chord during these turbulent times.


Monday Meditation ~ Choices

May 13, 2019

There are times, as you journey through life, where you have to make hard decisions. Choosing to follow Christ is one of them. I struggle daily with choices. Television programs are one of them. While I enjoy the creativity and inherent intelligence writers have, I find the content leaves a LOT to be desired. My family's favourite show, ending an eleven year run this month, is riddled with sexual content. When my husband asked why I didn't want to watch the program anymore, I said as much. He was surprised, until I sat with him and pointed out how every scene (rarely no exception) had implied or direct sexual innuendo. He truly had never thought about that. He just enjoyed the comedy.

This is how the enemy sneaks behind our borders. It's fun. It's comedy. What harm is there in watching a show on TV. The sad truth is you become inured to the oily tentacles of sin. Who cares that everybody in that show is having sex outside of marriage, or all they are looking for is to 'hook up' with someone (for sex)? It's only a show, for crying out loud.

We are to be set apart. We are to be the standard bearers for God. We are to shun all appearance of evil. We are to make hard choices. Our reward, when we finally leave this beautiful earth, is to be present with the very God we choose to honour. What do you choose? Only you and Jesus know the absolute truth.
I wish all the ladies a Happy Mother's Day. Mine was wonderful and I now have a Clematis and Lavender bush to plant.