Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Homemaking, pt. 1

When I first saw today's post on At the Well titled "Why Modern Motherhood Is So Much Harder Than It Ought To Be," I thought "Oh come on, women just need to quit their whining and do their job!" Now, I whine about my job too (although I'm trying to quit, it's an awful habit), but come on here, women have had very tough jobs all throughout history! What makes us so different? We have washing machines for goodness sakes! But the author brought up some very interesting points that I had never considered.

1. Pre-Industrial Revolution, throughout history, families worked together. Dad either farmed or had a shop close to home. He took the boys with him to work alongside him and learn a trade. Mothers worked in the home and taught their daughters how to cook and care for babies. Home was the center of their lives. This isn't to say life wasn't hard, sure it was. But they lived and worked, celebrated and grieved together.

2. Modern women grow up in a 2.1 child household with mom at work while the kids are plunked in school all day working with peers. After school you go to activities or day care. No one is teaching girls how to be home makers. Home is just an in-between landing place to eat meals, sleep, and watch T.V. Same thing when they enter college. Apart from the mindset that women staying at home is a waste of their life they are also taught how to conform to whichever work culture they choose. After college they jump into careers with bosses and deadlines and nasty co-workers. But that's just what you're supposed to do to feel fulfilled in life.

3. So when she does get married and have a baby all of a sudden she's home. Alone. All day. With a crying baby. She doesn't know how to cook or clean or do laundry or go grocery shopping or change a diaper. Her mother did it all for her out of working mother's guilt and didn't have the time to teach her. Now she's counting the days till her kid turns 3 and can go to preschool. She was never taught how to love her husband, her kids, or her home. In fact, she'd rather be working than be stuck at home all day changing poopy diapers and listening to her kids scream at her.

4. Does her husband help? No. He works all day, that's a woman's job, that's what a stay at home mom does after all. They're exhausted after working 60 hrs. a week and are a little jealous that they're wives get to stay home all day. While their wives are a little jealous that they're husbands don't have to listen to screaming babies all day and actually get to come home from work at the end of the day. There is no end of the day for mothers, they're on call 24 hrs.

5. Who can she turn to for help? Her own mother? No. She's busy back at work, she put in her time raising a family and never enjoyed it herself. Besides, she can't take the time off because she's going on vacation with some girl friends next week while father is gone camping with his buddies and she needs the overtime. Get a babysitter so you can have some alone time, she's told. Can she turn to her friends for help? Nope. They're in the same boat.

We do have some difficult challenges to face. If we deny that then we begin to think that we're worthless, just no good at this stay-at-home thing. The problem is that we were never taught properly and now we're hopelessly miserable. No we can't do it on our own, we must have help, someone to teach us what in the world to do. This Modern Motherhood post was just the first part outlining or problem. The second part will hopefully give us some kind of solution. I can think of a few things already, but I'd like to hear what she has to say before I post any more. So stay tuned and maybe we can figure this out together!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Dress Challenge, Pt. 2

I did it! Five dresses in one week! It really wasn't as hard as I had thought it would be. One dress a day for three days, then two dresses on the fourth day. I would have had time to make myself one too, but I got a little stomach bug and didn't feel up to it. (I wasn't really relishing the thought of measuring myself either ;) The coolest thing about this project was that I made all of these dresses ENTIRELY out of what I had on hand here at home, with the one exception of having to buy one spool of thread since I didn't have any that matched Faith's corral colored fabric. Here they are!

Moriah's was made out of satin, which made it a little slippery to sew, but it wasn't too bad. I did have to add a little ruffle around the neckline for modesty since it was a little too low cut, but the style of the dress suits her figure very well. I think this dress turned out the best.

Faith's dress was a lot easier being made out of cotton seersucker. I love the dropped waist on her so we accented it with a white satin ribbon. It turned out a little too short in my opinion, when she grows this summer she'll have to wear white tight pants underneath, she's always running around and playing hard with her friends at church.

Abi's dress was fun to make because I had never done a bodice like this before with rouching vertically on the top center and horizontally on the waist. I also liked the fact that it needed neither zipper nor buttons, but used elastic in the back instead, much easier! I had to make the bodice small and add a couple inches of ruffle at the bottom as she is tall and thin.

Lily's and Hope's dresses were very simple. I had used this pattern several times already to make all of their flower girl dresses. Lily is very small so the pattern turned out to be too big for her. I didn't want to waste the fabric, so I put two pleats in the middle front of the bodice to take it in a bit and covered it with two cute buttons. The wide sash helps to reign in the rest of the looseness. She'll be able to wear it for a long time, I can take out the pleats and loosen the sash as she grows.

Hope's was the easiest by far. It's a yellow striped seersucker. I had just barely enough fabric for this one so I had to measure twice, cut once! Fortunately it fits her perfectly. For both Lily's and Hope's dresses the pattern called for a zipper, but I didn't have any more after Moriah's and Faith's dresses so I extended the backs an inch on each side and put in buttons instead. You can't see it so well, but I found a little daisy button in my stash and put it just under Hope's strap. So cute!

Here's a pretty pic of all the girls together with cousin Ava. She looks like a little baby doll!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Easter Dress Challenge, Pt. 1

My girls need new Easter dresses, their old ones are falling apart. The problem is I don't have the cold hard cash necessary to buy 5 new dresses from the store. What I do have though is a craft room full of miscellaneous fabric, a few old patterns, and a week to work on them. Let's see what happens shall we?

Monday, April 6, 2009

At the Well, Older Woman

So here's the questions for this week:

How are you doing as an older woman?
Do you live in a way that is appropriate for someone serving the Lord?
How is your speech, your attitude?
Are you producing the fruits of the Spirit in your life?

Well, I guess I am an older woman to some, but I know others who'd slap me silly for considering myself in that category as I'm only..... shoot! me out here.....anyone?..... 31? 32? Let's go with 31. Wait, I have guilt now. I was born in Sept. of '77, you can do the math if you care, I was never good at it (math and/or caring). But I am in the position of an older woman. I am a pastors wife, and mother of 5 girls. So here's my answers to the best of my limited abilities.

How am I doing as an older woman?
Um... I taught a Bible study once or twice. Does that count? I try to be nice and gracious when people come to me with issues, and give them Scripture. That's the important part, directing women to the Word, that's the only thing we have to direct us as believers. (Of course we have the Holy Spirit within us to guide us as well. But some people can't tell the difference between the Spirit leading them to do something and the pizza they had the other night for dinner that's not agreeing with them. So I'd rather stick with Scripture for most people. The Holy Spirit isn't going to direct us against God's Word anyway.)

Do you live in a way that is appropriate for someone serving the Lord?
For the most part. I love and serve my husband, care for and teach my children (I must admit there is some yelling involved though). I don't watch T.V. more than say, 2 hrs. a week. I don't smoke, or drink. Well, only when things get a little crazy around here... kidding! (mostly). I do listen to ABBA, but hey, they're good. And I've even taken our churches' resident elderly woman to the grocery store. Can't beat that!

How is your speech, your attitude?
Dang! You got me there! I might as well quit now. Especially after yesterday. Let's just say that I shot daggers at my husband while he was preaching. NOT GOOD! But hey, we're keeping it real here. The only thing about my speech is that sometimes things pop out of my mouth before I have time to consider them. That can be pretty embarrassing at times, more for my husband than me. As for the attitude, well, I'm not a very nice person. I don't like to go outside of my comfort zone much. I will if I don't have a choice, but it's not a pretty sight, Patrick is the only one who has to deal with that side though, (God forgive me!) For everyone else I can smile my way through pretty much everything, but I know the Lord isn't pleased with that. I'm working on it.

Are you producing the fruits of the Spirit in your life?
As for the fruits, well, self-control is probably the only one I can manage at this point having come from a church where only the outside matters. But it only works with other people, not myself (as my extra 80 lbs. can testify to). The rest of the fruits either don't exist for me, or are hard, shriveled up little things. And no, I'm not making myself sound worse than I really am. Remember my bad attitude about everything? Yeah, let's leave it at that shall we?

So all in all, God really could have picked a more qualified person for my position. I don't understand why He did what He did. The only thing I can do at this point is to keep on trucking and trust that He will will enable me to do all He's called me to do. All He needs is a willing heart, but though I don't even have that most of the time, I can pray that He'll supply me with one and know without a doubt that He'll accomplish His will in my life regardless of all I do to sabotage it. Isn't He good? I am oftentimes completely overwhelmed to the point of tears over His grace towards me.

"Guilty, vile, and helpless, we;
spotless Lamb of God was he;
full atonement! can it be?
Hallelujah! what a Savior!"
Man of Sorrows! What a Name
-Philip P. Bliss

Thursday, April 2, 2009

I Knew It!

Your score: C

O ye simple, understand wisdom: and, ye fools, be ye of an understanding heart. – Proverbs 8:5

Dangit all!