Thursday, July 6, 2017
Yesterday, Little Bear and I were discussing the topic of love. He wanted to be reassured of my love for him. So of course, I assured him that I would always love him and his brother far above anyone else.
"You are my treasures!" I told them both.
"But Mama, you are supposed to love Daddy the most!" came Little Bear's most ardent reply.
Sometimes, it takes a child to remind us of such simple, yet important truths. After all, children crave security. They want to know that Mommy and Daddy love each other deeply. They cannot fathom Mommy and Daddy ever not loving the other.
As a wife, are you in love with your husband? Do you show it in your words, your demeanor towards him, in your actions? Because dear friend, little eyes are always watching. It matters not whether he shows it. That is, your husband should not be expected to do his part before you do yours. No, no, no! You show love, you show respect, you show obedience and honor because that is what Christ asks of us as wives - not because your husband deserves it.
I am reading a wonderful book right now, called Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney. In it, she quotes Shirley Rice, who writes:
"Are you in love with your husband? Not, do you love him? I know you do. He has been around for a long time, and you're used to him. He is the father of your children. But are you in love with him? How long has it been since your heart really squeezed when you looked at him?...Why is it you have forgotten the things that attracted you to him at first?...Your husband needs to be told that you love him, that he is attractive to you. By the grace of God, I want you to start changing your thought pattern. Tomorrow morning, get your eyes off the toaster or the baby bottles long enough to LOOK at him. Don't you see the way his coat fits his shoulders? Look at his hands. Do you remember when just to look at his strong hands made your heart lift? Well, LOOK at him and remember. Then loose your tongue and tell him you love him. Will you ask the Lord to give you a sentimental, romantic, physical, in-love kind of love for your husband? He will do this."
Let's remember our priorities, ladies! Jesus first, our beloved spouse second, and our precious little children last.
May God bless your day.
Saturday, June 17, 2017
Hello, ladies! Forgive me for my absence, but I have been unwell. This past week has been a bit difficult health-wise, but I do believe I am finally on the mend.
Let's talk swimwear!
I am not someone who has ever enjoyed swimming, but I do love being near the water. This summer, my family and I have a few fun vacations planned that require the use of a swimsuit. But what is a God-honoring woman to wear with all of the less than ideal options out there? And is it just me, or have swim suits become more and more revealing as each year goes by? It is truly unbelievable and even scandalous. It seems most women now choose to wear thong-like bikinis! This is the type of swimsuit one should reserve for the bedroom! The saddest part about this is that no one seems to be saying anything! This goes to show how low our society has fallen. Nakedness is no longer scandalous.
The two swimsuits pictured above are both flattering and dignified. But they are also cute and modern! You could wear something like this and feel comfortable walking around the beach/lake/pool area without worrying about exposing areas of your body that should remain private and hidden.
Remember, a woman should always dress with dignity, regardless of the context. This applies especially to mothers. Little eyes are always watching us!
The above swimsuit is the one I will be wearing this year. I love it for its elegant simplicity. The one I ordered is in a different pattern and color, and it is quite flattering. I plan on wearing a plain one piece bathing suit underneath for extra coverage.
If you are interested in ordering a swimsuit like the ones in the pictures, I recommend ModLi.
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Oh, the innocence of babes! As a mother at home, I have been privileged to witness the many sweet little things my children say or do. It warms the heart and brings a smile to one's face!
I am so very grateful my children have always been home with me. I do believe this one factor has made a tremendous difference in keeping their hearts pure. Although my sons are still quite young, I've noticed they have a wholesomeness about them that children of working mothers do not seem to possess. It is very difficult to keep a vigilant watch over one's children when one is not home with them.
Before I became a married woman, I worked as a childcare provider. In this setting, I was able to observe children from many different homes. Sadly, the children of single or even married working mothers were already highly sexualized in their speech and behavior, even at the tender age of four.
In her excellent book entitled, Immodesty: Satan's Virtue, author Rita Davidson writes, quoting Fr. Tanquerey, "How many souls have been turned from their Godly ways by giving ear to impure conversations or words against their neighbor? Obscene words induce a morbid curiosity, excite the passions, kindle desire, and incite to sin; whilst unkind words stir up strife and divisions even in the home, give rise to suspicion, enmity and rancour."
This is why it is so important to be modest even in our speech. Little Bear, my oldest, had not even heard of the word "pregnant" until very recently and he will be five in a few months. My mother, who was visiting our home the other day, asked Little Bear if the penguin he had drawn was pregnant because of her large belly. "Pregnant? What is that?" he asked. I smiled and explained to him that "pregnant" means having a baby in one's belly. That is how I always refer to pregnancy in the presence of my children. Therefore, they understand that when a woman is expecting a child, she "has a baby in her belly." I believe using this terminology also helps to instill a pro-life mindset in the hearts of our little ones.
Perhaps some might say that this degree of modesty is unnecessary, but I beg to differ. When the pendulum of indecency and impurity swings too far to the wrong side, we must take action. Sometimes, that means living in such a way that might seem extreme to those who are perishing (1 Cor. 1:18). As Christians, the Lord holds us to a very high standard!
I pray we would be ever diligent in our vocation as wives and mothers, and may we never be found guilty of causing a precious little soul to stumble through either word or deed.
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
"The world looks for happiness through self-assertion. The Christian knows that joy is found in self-abandonment. 'If a man will let himself be lost for My sake,' Jesus said, 'he will find his true self.' A Christian woman's true freedom lies on the other side of a very small gate - humble obedience - but that gate lead out into a largeness of life undreamed of by the liberators of the world, to a place where the God-given differentiation between the sexes is not obfuscated but celebrated, where our inequalities are seen as essential to the image of God, for it is in male and female, in male as male and female as female, not as two identical and interchangeable halves, that the image is manifested.
To gloss over these profundities is to deprive women of the central answer to the cry of their hearts, 'Who am I?' No one but the Author of the Story can answer that cry."
Saturday, May 13, 2017
Isn't the above image just so lovely? Looking at it evokes feelings of peace and tranquility as well as longing - a longing for the olden days; for a simpler, more carefree time.
I love the verse in the Bible that states: Thus says the Lord: "Stand by the roads and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls." (Jer. 6:16 ESV). God's ways are truly best. They bring us peace, rest, and deep inner joy.
I have been grieving lately as I receive news of former friends and acquaintances whose families have split due to a lack of faith in God. The very foundation of their lives has ruptured, leaving a gaping hole. Like the foolish man in the parable Jesus told, they chose to build their house on the sand. Not surprisingly, when the rain and the floods and the wind came, the house fell, and great was its fall.
When our hearts are not anchored on the truth of Jesus Christ, how can we expect our families to survive? How can we expect our families to thrive? They simply cannot. Chaos, disunity, and disaster are the inevitable results of a family whose faith is weak or worse - nonexistent.
As women, we have it in us to change the course of our family's destiny. I have seen it again and again. If the lady of the house allows discontent and unbelief to take over her heart, she will, like the foolish woman in Proverbs, destroy her home with her own two hands. On the contrary, the faithful, pious woman knows her influence is incredible, so she uses it to build and to uplift her family. She is being the feminine woman God created her to be. Great will be her reward in heaven.
A woman's place is in the home. This I believe with all of my heart. When women choose to vacate their homes, in search of self-fulfillment or of a better life, they choose to weaken society. It is in the home where we hold the most power. In the home, we are queens. It is only in recent times that this truth has been trampled and spit on by even those who would claim the badge of Christ.
As women, we are strong and beautiful when we serve and obey our husbands. We are graceful and lovely when we nurture and train our children. We are obedient and faithful when we choose with all of our hearts to submit our entire lives to the Word of God.
Scripture states, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." (3 Jn. 1:4) How can we ever hope to have faithful, godly children, if our feet remain not in the home? Ladies, we must endeavor to have home-centered hearts that refuse to listen to the lies of this wicked world! The fate of our children and even our husbands depends so much on us! What kind of attitude will you allow your heart to embrace? Will it be a spirit of gentleness and humility? Or one of bitterness and discontent?
I hope that, like Mary, the Mother of our Lord, we may strive to have a heart that says always, "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." May we live as servants of the Lord, submitting wholeheartedly to the truth of His Word, no matter how difficult or unpopular it may be.
"Stay, stay at home, my heart and rest;
Home-keeping hearts are happiest."
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Saturday, May 6, 2017
How does one become refined? According to the dictionary, to be refined means to be cultured and elegant in appearance, manner or taste. To me, the women of the Victorian era were the epitome of refined. I've always been drawn to the elegance of their manners and way of speaking. The women of today would do well to learn from the wisdom of the past. It is unfortunate how much vulgarity has replaced the high refinement of old.
The books we read, the music we listen to, the movies we watch, the clothing we wear - all of these things contribute to the making of our person. By choosing to surround ourselves only with those things that are true, honest, pure, lovely, and of good report, as the Scriptures state in Philippians chapter 4, verse 8, we can become the dignified women we were called to be.
But true refinement is an art form we must seek to cultivate daily if we wish to transform our current culture for the better.
I do so love to take a tea break during our homeschool day! It is a nice time to pause and relax for a few minutes. Collecting pretty tea cups is a hobby of mine. Beauty is so important to the soul! This afternoon, I chose to have a nice cup of English Breakfast tea with a bit of creamer and stevia, along with my favorite cookie-in-a-mug.
Here is the recipe, as shared by a friend:
Chocolate Chip Cookie in a Mug
1 Tbs. butter, melted (I use kerrygold)
1 1/2 tsp. truvia (I prefer pyure)
1 Tbs. brown sugar (or coconut sugar)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup gluten-free flour (I like Bob's 1:1 or Pamela's)
2 Tbs. chocolate chips
Mix all of your ingredients together in a small bowl. Pour into a mug or ramekin and microwave for about 50-60 seconds. Eat and enjoy!
Thursday, May 4, 2017
"St. Francis de Sales tells us that pious women should be well-dressed, but this doesn't mean they must become slaves of fashion. There's a way of dressing which is attractive, even elegant, but at the same time modest and simple. More importantly, attractiveness shouldn't be reserved for guests and those you meet outside the home, while you 'let yourself go' when you're at home. The moment a couple marries, they should begin to try always to be at their best for each other, physically (and above all) spiritually."
-Dr. Alice von Hildebrand
I love being a woman, therefore, I love dressing in a feminine and attractive manner. I do not understand women who willingly let themselves go or who do not take the time to mind their appearance. Do they not love their husbands? Do they not love themselves? Do they not care about the example they are setting for their children, especially their daughters?
It is not difficult at all to take the extra time needed in order to curl one's hair (or pin it up with a pretty clip) and put on a little makeup before beginning the day. Even with little ones it is quite possible. Putting on a pretty, yet practical skirt and blouse is another wonderful way to add beauty to your overall appearance. As you go about your duties, you may wish to protect your outfit with a lovely apron of your choice, as the women of old were known to do.
My little boys love that I wear beautiful, long flowing skirts. They think I look like a princess. Little Bear prefers it when I wear my hair down in waves. As a matter of fact, if ever I tie it up in a messy bun or a pony tail, he will ask me to promptly take it down. It is quite humorous, but I am more than happy to oblige him. Even little boys at his tender age have opinions on feminine beauty.
I believe beauty is needed now more than ever. Our modern age seems to prefer bare, plain, and simple design/art that is stripped of any real meaning. Gone are the days of breathtaking cathedrals, stunning paintings of beautiful men and women in exquisite clothing, and music that moved one to tears of awe while lifting the spirit to that which is beyond ourselves.
By me choosing to take care of my body - thereby preserving my health and youth - and taking the extra time in the mornings to dress attractively and femininely, I am declaring to my family that they matter to me. They are most important. My husband, especially, deserves a wife that desires to look her best for him. After all, he is the king of our home, and I, the queen.
But I am also declaring to the world that I love being a feminine woman. In a world that seeks to blur the lines between the genders more and more, thereby eradicating any differences, I believe seeking to combat this demonic trend is of most importance. That is also why I choose to wear skirts and dresses on an exclusive basis.
Embracing my femininity is to me a sacred duty - a very serious obligation. How we dress, how we think, how we act matters tremendously. It is a way to preach the good news of Christ without saying a word. That is why this seemingly superficial topic matters so much to me. It is much more than just seeking to be beautiful for the sake of beauty.
I will write more on this topic later, but for now, I will leave off here, my dear readers. If you have any additional thoughts, please feel free to share them in the comments down below.
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Welcome, dear readers!
For a long time now, I have greatly desired to have a blog of my own. I love writing, almost as much as I love reading, although my time spent in each pursuit is quite limited (with good reason).
I am the happy mother of two rambunctious little boys whom I affectionately refer to as Little Bear and Baby Bear. They are my treasures, and I tell them that often (smiles). They fill my days here at The Cottage with joy and sunshine. Of course, we have our difficult days too. But for me, motherhood is the highest calling a woman can have. It is a God-given, God-ordained vocation, and I seek to embrace it fully.
As Nancy Campbell says, "Motherhood is not temporary as other careers. It lasts forever. Each child God gives to you is an eternal soul that will live forever."
I hope to fill this little corner of the web with amusing little stories from our day, encouraging thoughts on mothering, marriage, and homemaking, as well as the occasional recipe or two (for you see, the kitchen is my happy place!).
Being a full-time Christian wife and mother at home is most fulfilling! To me, there is nothing I'd rather do in this life.
I look forward to sharing my thoughts with you, my readers. Please make yourself at home.
Mrs. Jane Adeline