Thursday, 30 December 2010

New Year's Resolutions.

I tend to either half heartedly make resolutions most years or not bother at all. Even if I do make them, I rarely keep them. This year is different! This year I know I have God's support and that with God all things are possible. I am a tiny bit obsessed with lists so my resolutions are quite in depth but I feel like this is the best way for me. I feel energised, positive and like these things really are possible. 

My resolutions fall under some broad headings. These are:

God
Health
Money
Appearance
Home Making
Hope Chest
Blogging

It sure looks like a lot of big issues there! To make it less scary each heading has a breakdown. If I achieve half of them I will be thrilled, if I achieve all of them - wow! What a blessing that would be!

The breakdowns ......

1 - God. 
I am going to read my Bible a lot more and I would like a set time to do this to ensure that I achieve a minimum time per week reading God's word. I would like to find a good plan to follow as at the moment I just read random bits! I want what I am reading to sink in properly too so that I really absorb it. I think the best way to do this is by doing little studies - kind of like book reports - so I can check that I am understanding what I am reading and perhaps to make me think more deeply about the messages. I also have a couple of inspiring books that I want to read through the year to boost me up and to help me on this wonderful journey. I want to pray more and to really develop my relationship with God and to make it stronger and to really appreciate how wonderful and generous God is. 

2 - Health.
I really don't appreciate my health or my body enough especially considering what a gift being well and able is. I intend to get fit and healthy in 2011! I aim to develop good habits to carry through into the rest of my life. Also I will focus on eating nutritious food, drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep and getting out into the fresh air. This is something I will have to review often to motivate myself and to check my progress. 

3 - Money.
This year I will have a proper budget (and stick to it!) as I want to stop emotional spending. The kind when I feel a bit stressed and down and, rather than facing my feelings, I buy something to cheer myself up. Not a long term solution! I will learn the difference between needs and wants. My big aim is not to bury my feelings and to face them and deal with them. 

4 - Appearance.
I want to make more effort with my appearance and I want to look more feminine. I have already started wearing skirts a lot more often and I want to carry this forward into 2011 and to build upon this. I don't want to wear lots of make up or to attract attention to myself, I just want to look natural, modest, healthy and (dare I say it?) pretty! I intend to wear more feminine colours and fabrics and I think this will be easier going into Spring as the weather gets better and the beautiful Spring colours burst out.  I also want to work on having a more feminine manner (less clumping about!) and being more considerate of others. 

5 - Home Making. 
This one has 2 parts. The first is finding the joy in home making tasks. I don't want to view housework and serving others as drudgery - I want a servant's heart! I want to see the value of hard work and a job well done. The second part is to learn more home based skills. There are so many that I would love to learn! On my list are to keep baking, to learn cooking, knitting, crocheting, sewing and to continue making cards. I have some lovely DVDs by the West Ladies to help me and I am really excited to learn some practical skills. 

6 - Hope Chest. 
I have a big wicker chest which is going to be my hope chest. I don't think it will be a traditional hope chest with heirlooms and such in it. It will be more somewhere for my learning tools to be, a place for those books and things that I will be using to learn new skills and in developing as a person. So far it has a few inspiring and home related magazines, books and DVDs in it. Plus that is currently where my Bible is stored. I like that it is a big chest and that it is in my room where I can get to it at all times. I want to keep building it up as a kind of reference and inspiration library. 

7 - Blogging.
I am still very new to blogging - less than a month - but really enjoying it so far! I like that my blog is somewhere I can write what I am feeling and what I am learning. I want it to be a record of my progress too, showing the positive steps I am taking. I intend to keep writing blog posts regularly through out 2011. 

Well, those are my goals for the New Year! It really looks like a lot written down like that but there are 12 months to achieve it in. Even if I just make progress towards my goals I will be happy. After all, it is the journey that is the most important. Oh I am excited though! 

Blessings,

Jenny

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Love.


Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

Corinthians 13 : 4 - 8


Blessings, 

Jenny

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Being Humble.

Being humble is something that I struggle with and fight against. It seems to go against the grain on modern society and what I was taught as a child. At school you put you hand up when you knew the right answer and wanted the praise and attention that came with that. Even now, I see people getting attention for what they do and say and think "Notice me! Look what I can do! Acknowledge me!" Not very modest or humble at all. By seeking outside acknowledgement I am being the opposite of humble and demure. I am looking in the wrong places. I shouldn't be trying to live down to society's expectations, I should be trying to live up to God's expectations. God knows me and I should be striving to please him not seeking to impress my more worldly friends. 

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He shall lift you up. 
James 4:10

Without God I have nothing and am nothing. In order to accept help and guidance I must be humble as if I think that my way is the best way, I will be less open to the knowledge and experience of those that know better than I do. I am too proud, too sensitive and too self absorbed. 

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death - even death on a cross! 
Philippians 2 : 3 - 8

If Jesus could humble Himself so completely, why do I struggle so much? What is it that makes me find serving others so difficult? Jesus faced far stronger temptations that I do and yet He did not fail or sin, He stood strong and true and set such an example for us all to follow. Having a humble spirit and a servant's heart isn't going to be easy and it will require constant, conscious thought and effort. I admit that it scares me as I don't know if I am strong enough. Through God all things are possible and I have to hold on to my faith and be willing to ask for help when I need it and I surely will need it! God is faithful and strong and loves me, even though He sees my flaws more clearly than anyone else. 

Blessings, 

Jenny

  

Sunday, 19 December 2010

A Peek At My Book Shelves.

I do have quite a few books! Plus I must confess to a slight obsession with knick knacks. I don't mind the extra effort required to dust them - I love having pretty things around me. I do think that you can tell a lot about a person from their book shelves!

I have two little shelves above my chest of drawers. 


This is the top shelf. It has little reprints of old books, books on Jane Austen and books of manners. Just cute little books really! The J ornament is my initial with Jeremy Fisher from Beatrix Potter. The flowers are the ones that my Gran wore on her jacket at my Mum's wedding - love those as they are so sentimental. The snow globe is there because I love snow globes and the teddy was a present. Right at the end is a Mrs Tiggy Winkles money box that I have had since I was a little girl. There is a wooden book mark in it with a blue tit and my name on it, I got this on a school trip when I was about 8. I do seem to hang on to things. My walls are quite a bit pinker than in the photographs! 


On the second little shelf there is my angel post card - it is holographic and changes to a different angle picture. This shelf I where I keep my small Victorian books. There is Little Women and Good Wives at the end as well as a book of recitations for ladies, a book on character and a book called An English Maiden from 1837. The three tiny houses are by Lilliput Lane - I have had them for quite a few years. I really like them as they look like such lovely places to live!


This is the top shelf from my main book case. This is where my larger Victorian books live. There is a book for young ladies, the Girl's Home Companion, the Girl's Own Indoor Book as well as modern copies of Emma by Jane Austen and An Old Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott. I love the little mouse ornament and I have another where the mouse is on a mince pie! The post card is from an art gallery and is of one of my favourite paintings - A Summer Shower by Charles Edward Perugini. The hedgehog is something I spotted at a car boot sale and has such a cute little face! 


This is my Georgette Heyer shelf! I think her Regency romance novels are so sweet and lovely. They are alphabetical by title - showing a little bit more of my craziness there! There is a little mouse on cheese ornament and the candle stick one was given to me for a birthday so it is sentimental too. The little chest contains some Victorian coins, some ribbon and random old photographs. The fairy came from Wales when I went there on holiday. I think Wales is my favourite place to go on holiday. The white dove is technically a Christmas decoration but it is out all year round. 

Well, those are the prettiest of my book shelves! My room is just a mass of pink, sparkles and general girliness. Too much for most people but I love it! It is my little nest where everything has a place and everything is in it's place. 

Blessings, 

Jenny

Friday, 17 December 2010

Plans.


Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. 

 Proverbs 16:3 

Blessings, 

Jenny

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Grown Up.

I thought I would post a bit of random stuff about me today. I recently received my new teddies and I am beyond excited!


They are so cute and they even come with names! This is Sophie, Tobias and Betty. In the photograph you can also see how pink my walls are (my favourite colour is pink), the fabric roses in a vase (my favourite flowers are roses), the Disney snow globe ( I love Disney and snow globes!), a shell covered box that I brought home from Majorca (it contains little sentimental things like notes from friends and family) and some of my magazines (these are old Mary Engelbreit ones and my Victoria collection) so basically one photograph is a snapshot of me! My personality represented in one little photograph! 

I am a grown up I promise! I do think it is important to keep the child inside alive and to still feel that wonder at the world and all the things in it. I am one of those people who walks around looking upwards. I try to notice all the beautiful things around me that I might not see if I went through life in a rush. God created skies of blue, pink and gold and the fluffy white clouds, the trees with leaves that change from the bright green buds, sticky and unfolding, to the green canopy creating dappled light below, to the fiery colours of Autumn reaching into the setting sunlight and, finally, to the bare and majestic branches stretching like fingers into the sky. It seems such a shame to run by these things constantly chasing the next deadline when God went to all the effort to put them there to brighten your day and lift your spirit. 

Blessings,

Jenny

Monday, 13 December 2010

Waiting.

I always seem to be waiting. I had a wardrobe clear out at the weekend and I had clothes waiting for a special occasion, waiting for me to lose weight, waiting for me to feel confident and the thing that linked them all was that they were unworn. All of them. Basically this says that I am always waiting for something or to change something without appreciating the day I am currently experiencing. I could wait forever to feel pretty enough. It becomes a punishment issue. I don’t feel good enough about myself to allow myself the pleasure of wearing something that makes me want to smile and twirl about.

For a while I wouldn’t wear skirts as I thought they would attract attention, so I decided to wait until I felt sure enough. Then last week I realised that I hadn’t worn them. They were hanging in my wardrobe waiting for me. Not waiting for me to change but waiting for me to accept myself. I wore the skirts and the sky didn’t fall. I felt feminine and girly and I wouldn’t have experienced that if I had continued to put off wearing them. I will never be perfect! If I got to the weight I wanted I daresay there would be something else that I wouldn’t like about myself.

I don’t make it easy for myself. I buy clothes that are just that bit too small and then beat myself up when they don’t fit. I have resolved not to do this anymore. I want to build my self-confidence not constantly try to trip myself up. I know that God created me and that I should accept who I am and how I look but it is so hard! Society seems so image focussed and people are judged on their appearance so it feels like a big deal. I want to be over this! I always thought that once I got out of my teens, all my insecurities would magically disappear. It turns out that there is a lot more to it than that.

I think that by constantly thinking about the next thing, I am failing to appreciate the life I live.  Will I ever feel like I deserve nice things? I am taking baby steps! I am already wearing my skirts and today I wore one of my “save for best” perfumes. Life is like a “special occasion only” perfume, you wait and wait for the perfect opportunity to wear it, bypassing all the occasions that it would have brightened your day or made you feel pretty, and by the time you finally get around to using it, it has gone off. Never to be appreciated. I don’t want my life to be like that perfume. I want to appreciate every day.

Blessings,

Jenny

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Pretty Dresses.

I read this story today and it fitted so well with how wearing a skirt all week has made me feel and expresses it's message far more eloquently than I could. It is such a sweet story! I love Victorian stories as they are adorable and generally have a moral or piece of wisdom to pass on.

The Young Woman Magazine - 1894

The Moral Effect Of Pretty Gowns.

“I have chosen the adjective “pretty” rather than “elegant” , “costly” or even “tasteful”, because “pretty” is exactly what I mean. The other day at sunset I was on my way home, after hours of absence, and, with the pressure of desire to be beside my own hearth, felt little inclined to stop anywhere. But as I passed a neighbour’s, a girl I know tapped in the window, and then ran to the door, throwing it open so that the light in the hall streamed out on the shadowy street.

“Come in, dear,” cried my girl friend coaxingly; “I have something to show you.”
So in I went, and with real interest examined the lovely water-colour, framed in carved white wood and gold leaf, which Fanny’s friend, a young artist, had sent her for a birthday present. As I said, I know Fanny, who is one of my girls, and I know her John, and they both occupy a warm corner in my heart. One of these days they are to be married, and I think they will be very happy, so congenial are their tastes, and so generous are their sympathies.

What has all this to do with the moral effect of a pretty gown? More than you imagine.

Fanny’s mother died five years ago,  and Fanny has been mother as well as sister to three brothers – bright, sturdy little fellows, rapidly shooting up to tall, aggressive adolescence. Fanny has had a great deal to do, far too much for one so young, if Providence had not ordained it as her duty, and some time ago she began to feel that she had no time to spend on her dress.

“It is as much as I can do,” she told me, “to slip into an old gown in the morning and stay in it all day; I haven’t time to put pretty dresses on, much less to make them, and then John never gets here before nine o’clock. When I expect him I dress on purpose.”

Meanwhile the boys were growing unmanageable. They were bright, loving fellows, but the street was growing increasingly attractive to them. Of their father, a lawyer, absorbed in his profession and a recluse in his library when at home, they saw little. It depended on Fanny to tide her brothers over the critical time when boyhood’s barque slips over the bar into the sea of manhood.

Fanny and I put our heads together and I urged upon her the trial of personal charm as a home missionary effort. I begged her to discard her old gowns. “Let your brothers see you simply but prettily dressed every day, looking bright and neat and sweet, with little touches of adornment about your costume, and observe whether the effect will be for good or not.”

The effect was at once visible in the line of a certain toning-up of the whole house. It is not for nothing that the soldier in service is required to keep his uniform and accoutrements in perfect repair and in shining cleanliness. A profound truth lies under the strict requirements of military discipline, for he who is negligent of the less will inevitably slur the greater.

Fanny’s bright simple dresses made her more careful that her table should be attractively appointed as well as generously provided with viands; it made her intolerant of dust in the parlour; it sent her on a tour of inspection to the boys’ rooms. She found, she could not explain how, that she had time enough for everything, time to go walking with her brothers, time to talk with them over school affairs and over the matches and games in which they took delight. The boys realised that they counted a good deal in their sister’s eyes, that she even thought it worthwhile to dress for them, and they were, therefore, on their best behaviour.

You can fill out the story for yourselves. Perhaps some of you are at work in Sabbath schools and working girls’ clubs and young people’s societies. Do not make the mistake of supposing that there is any merit in going into these benevolent works in a dowdy gown or an unbecoming hat. Try the effect of a pretty toilette; you will discover it to have far-reaching influence on the side of good morals.”

I love that wearing a pretty dress isn’t seen as vain and that the affect it has on both yourself and in turn the people around you is so positive. Simple, bright and feminine clothes! I have had a wardrobe clear out and sent the things that I either don't feel are modest enough or that I just don't feel feminine in to charity. I realised that I wore clothes that I didn't feel good in. Why would I do that when it is just as easy to wear sweet clothes that make me feel confident and that express who I am. It is different for me to think about what impression my clothes give to others as I would rather pretend that no one notices me! I really do have to be aware of the example I set to others and that my clothes and manner accurately show my values. 

At the moment the extra attention at work has made me feel uncomfortable but really I should be using this opportunity to be a good example. Everything in me wants to be modest and not to make myself the centre of attention. I think it is just a balance of letting people come to me rather than going out and seeking the attention. I am happy to go about life in my quiet way not creating or participating in drama!

Blessings,

Jenny

Saturday, 11 December 2010

A Daughter At Home.

What is a daughter’s role in the home once she is past the age of attending school and is an adult in her own right? I have thought about this quite a lot as I am in my 20’s and still live with my parents and work full time outside the home. I sometimes wish I was married and had a home of my own but as life hasn’t turned out that way I am determined to make the best of what I have.  I do find it difficult to see people my age and younger who are already married and having children. I guess it is just another part of accepting God’s path for me and not thinking that I know best.

I don’t believe that learning stops when school does although it can be hard to maintain that level of structure. I know that sometimes I don’t get around to doing things I should but when I was at school lessons started at a set time regardless of whether I would rather be doing something else. It is also hard to judge what progress has been made. Part of this blog’s purpose is to record as I (hopefully) change and develop as a person.

A quote from the 1893 Girl’s Own Annual:

“Shun what has been called the “Fiend of Idleness.” In nine cases out of ten, in family life, idleness means quarrelling. Being busy means being happy. To look forward to having nothing to do, as though such a condition were an advantage, seems to me something despicable. To waste the years from, say, sixteen to twenty-five in aimlessness and self-indulgence, instead of in vigorous systematic self-culture, is absolutely wicked. God gives work to those who fit themselves for it, and He rewards work with more work, and thus, as we render ourselves more apt and capable, greater opportunities come to us.”

I think a big part of being at home is helping my mum. If I can relive some of the burden of caring for the home and garden from her I will and it is good practice for me, both in the actual tasks and in learning to put other people’s needs before my own. It is so easy to fill my time with meaningless things like television or magazines, things that take your time and leave you with nothing worthwhile for the missing hour or two. I am working on conquering this fault in myself by not buying gossipy celebrity magazines and by just watching the actual programme I want on television rather than flicking through all the channels. 

I have read about stay at home daughters in various books and on the internet as it wasn’t something that I knew even existed. I am not sure that it does exist in England to be honest! I think it is a lovely idea where it is possible. What a wonderful chance to learn all the skills needed to raise a family and look after a home without being pulled in different directions when studying for exams or working outside the home. I know that it isn’t financially possible for many families but what an opportunity for those daughters who do stay home until they get married.

It is hard to explain to others the value I see in learning home making skills. Most people I know already think I am very old fashioned especially if we get talking about what sort of marriage I would want. Traditional values don’t seem very popular! Maybe I was born in the wrong era!

Another quote from the 1893 Girl’s Own Annual:

“Don’t ape the man. Keep to woman’s kingdom; it is a domain large enough for any queen. Men may pretend to admire the loud talking, the slang phrases, and the forward manner of the “mannish” girls, but it is not among them that honest sensible men desire to find their wives."

Blessings,

Jenny

Friday, 10 December 2010

Give Thanks.




Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.

Psalm 118:1


Blessings,


Jenny

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Ice and Control.

Walking to and from work these past few days has been pretty treacherous as there is so much ice on the paths. I hate walking on ice! I get so tense and scared of slipping so I start taking baby steps which makes it even more likely that I will slip.

It made me think about faith. Trusting in God and trusting that His path is right for me is so hard! I think it is like walking on the ice, I am scared of falling and want to be in control and the more I fight the worse off I am. I have become so used to being in control of my life that it is hard not to keep struggling for power. Really it is silly – who could ever win a power struggle with God and who would want to?

I keep trying though, just like on my walk to work. I slip a little and get scared but I keep going as stopping and giving up just isn’t an option. I find it difficult to keep going when I don’t know where this path will take me or how challenging it will be.

In becoming a Christian I think I have become a better person. I wasn’t awful before but now I am far more aware and considerate of other people. I have always been the old fashioned one, the responsible one, the moral one and it is so nice to have my thoughts on life validated. Traditional values aren’t bad!

I don’t really know anyone who believes in God. It may be the people I know or it might just be how it is in England but no one talks about what they believe in. Either they don’t believe and are quite hostile or they are just no open about it. The lack of support and just not having someone to tell me that what I am feeling is normal is hard. It hurts when I feel shaky as I feel like I shouldn’t have doubts as God is true and loving.

I love God, I truly do so I hate when I doubt Him and His will. I think it is one of those things that I will get better at dealing with other time as my faith gets stronger and stronger. I still find it hard to believe that God cares about me and that He would bother to have a plan for me. I don’t feel like I deserve His love and I strive to be worthy.

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 27:1

Blessings,

Jenny

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

The Heart of the House.

I think of the kitchen as the heart of house. I am learning to cook and bake and I just love to put on a pretty apron and bake treats for the people I care about. My favourite thing to make so far is bread as I love kneading it by hand and the anticipation while waiting for it to rise. Warm, homemade bread, straight from the oven – such a lovely treat!

The kitchen isn’t very big but it is bright and cheery. I sing along to the radio and dance about! There is something about putting on an apron that makes me feel all domestic. It feels natural to me. This weekend I made cherry scones and, as I was also wearing a skirt, I felt like a proper little home maker!

Baking something from scratch for someone says to them that they are worth the extra time and effort that you have taken. That they are special and that you want them to feel cared for. You add the ingredients like flour to your baking but you also put in a big dollop of love!

I am learning that doing things for the people that you love (like baking and cleaning) isn’t drudgery. These tasks are a physical, tangible expression of your love and affection for them when done well. Housekeeping may be a duty but, with a positive attitude and a sunny spirit, it can be a pleasure too.

 I am changing my thought processes to view even the tasks I don’t like as a blessing. I generally don’t like ironing and will put it off for as long as possible but I should be thankful that I had clothes to iron and, likewise, I am thankful to have a home to clean. My aim is to find the joy in every task! In that way I am putting my heart into my work and home. 

Blessings,

Jenny

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Prayer.

When is the time for prayer?
With the first beams that light the morning's sky,
Ere for the toils of day thou dost prepare,
Lift up thy thoughts on high;
Commend the loved ones to his watchful care:
Morn is the time for prayer!

And in the noontide hour,
If worn by toil, or by sad cares oppressed,
Then unto God thy spirit's sorrow pour,
And he will give thee rest:--
Thy voice shall reach him through the fields of air:
Noon is the time for prayer!

When the bright sun hath set,--
Whilst yet eve's glowing colours deck the skies;--
When the loved, at home, again thou 'st met,
Then let the prayer arise
For those who in thy joys and sorrow share:
Eve is the time for prayer!

And when the stars come forth,--
When to the trusting heart sweet hopes are given,
And the deep stillness of the hour gives birth
To pure, bright dreams of heaven,--
Kneel to thy God--ask strength, life's ills to bear:
Night is the time for prayer!

When is the time for prayer?
In every hour, while life is spared to thee--
In crowds or solitudes--in joy or care--
Thy thoughts should heavenward flee.
At home--at morn and eve--with loved ones there,
Bend thou the knee in prayer!


Burnet.

I read this poem in a book called “Things a Lady Would Like to Know” by Henry Southgate and really liked the idea that there is no right time to pray. Any time of day is perfect to take a minute and thank God or just spend a little time with Him in prayer. 


Blessings,


Jenny

Contentment.

I have been thinking today about contentment and how a person can seem to have so much good in their life and still not be satisfied. With all the advertisements on television and in magazines, especially at this time of year, I feel like the standard of living that is being sold to us gets higher and higher and is an unreachable goal. Even if I buy the next “essential” item there will be a new thing to want and desire and to feel lacking without. It isn’t just material things, the image of a woman with the perfect figure and a perfect life is everywhere. I feel inferior when I compare myself to the models and celebrities in magazines! I feel lacking and less interesting so why do I do it?!

The constant striving for more and more can’t be good for the spirit. I started thinking about what really was important in my life and it was the people that I love and the experiences that I have had that first came to mind. Not material things that had been purchased and probably soon forgotten or replaced with a new “in” thing. I have possessions that I care about for their sentimental value but nothing that compares to the importance of my family. The common thing with advertisements is that they try to convince you that to be happy you need to look away from the home when in reality home is somewhere to feel truly secure and loved.

I am working on appreciating what I have, my faith, my family, my health and my mind, rather than spending my time thinking about what I don’t have. Compared to what I have the fancy clothes and expensive make up pales in comparison. I think it is possible to train myself out of the bad habit of constantly comparing myself and wanting the next new “must have” item! Like any habit it can be broken with a bit of perseverance and just remembering how good my life is.

I feel more content now compared to when I didn’t have my faith. For a long time I felt called towards God and Christianity but fought against it! I didn’t want to be different! God didn’t give up on me though and I kept feeling this emptiness, like there was something missing. God was missing! He was there the whole time, He was just waiting for me to grow up and stop being silly and just to accept Him. I am by no means there yet but I feel much more secure now that I have accepted that God is in charge and that He has a plan for me.

Blessings,

Jenny

Monday, 6 December 2010

Who do I want to be?

I think that everyone has good and bad traits in their character. I certainly have quite a mix! Some traits you have to work on and develop and others you have to work on and conquer. I feel like my feminine side is a bit battered after I have squashed it away when I was scared of being different or viewed as weak. Perhaps it is like a little seed that needs protecting and nourishing to grow and flourish. To fulfil its potential this little seedling needs sunlight from God and dedication from me.

I have never really thought about the sort of person I want to be. I sort of assumed that the way I acted was the way I was meant to act. What I am coming to realise is that I have to make a choice. Either I can hide in the background and blend in by supressing the things that make me different to my peers (my faith, traditional values and thoughts on modesty and morality) or I can be brave and be the real me even if it means being different and standing out. 

I am a work in progress. I truly, hand on heart, want to be a good person and I am willing to put time and effort into improving myself. Being the type of person that I am I wrote a list! 

Characteristics I want to develop:

Honesty
Modesty
Humbleness
Patience
Tenderness
Conscientiousness
Cheerfulness
Thankfulness
Warmth 
Obedience

I have probably missed a few from that list! I have a copy on paper too which I will be adding to as and when I think of another.  

Characteristics I want to conquer:

Selfishness
Procrastination
Laziness
Sarcasm
Pride
Vanity
Gossiping
Stubbornness

Some of the big, bad ones in there! It is quite scary to see my faults laid out like that in black and white (or purple and pink on here) for the world to see. Honesty in facing my flaws is the first step and an essential one!

I have a lot of work ahead of me! I have made progress already but there is certainly a long way to go.  I have faith though. I won't achieve perfection, I know that, but I have somewhere high up to aim for. 

Blessings,

Jenny

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Skirt Wearing.

Lately I have been thinking about wearing skirts more often. Normally I wear trousers every day for work and then jeans at the weekend. I suddenly realised that I could go for weeks without wearing a skirt! Just knowing that made me feel so unfeminine.  My only excuse is that trousers are easy! I wore a skirt for four days this week, three of which were at work. I thought that skirts would be hard to match up with tops and that they would feel restrictive.

I was wrong!

My skirts are mid-calf length, flared and in neutral colours. I found that the tops I normally wore with trousers worked just as well with my skirts. Plus the skirts felt much less restrictive than trousers and they were so comfortable too.  I felt so girly walking around with my skirt flaring around me!

The downside of wearing a skirt was that it attracted more attention at work. Generally I try to avoid being the centre of attention! Hopefully people will get used to seeing me in a skirt and it will become normal and not worth commenting on. It is strange that dressing modestly attracted so much attention. I don’t want people to see my clothes more than they see my character.

 It is a struggle to dress in a feminine way without spending too much time thinking of how I look. I don’t want to become vain but at the same time I really want to make the effort to look like a girl. 

I will be wearing skirts more often from now on and may even try to sew my own as I have the Homestead Blessings Sewing DVD. I can’t even use the bad weather as an excuse as this week we had upwards of 6 inches of snow! It was warmer in a skirt, leggings and snow boots than it was in trousers.  I just need to find a nice denim skirt for the weekends and I am all set!

Blessings,

Jenny

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Introduction!

Welcome to my blog! I thought that my first blog post would be the ideal place to introduce myself and to explain who I am and why I am writing a blog.  So let’s get started!

My name is Jenny, I’m in my early 20’s and I live in England. I am starting a little late but I am trying to learn all sorts of home making skills. I know, I know! I am really behind and should know all this by now but I am playing catch up. I am looking for inspiration in various books and magazines and in the world around me. I have always been old fashioned but recently I have felt called to truly embrace that side of me.

I chose the name of my blog after reading a book called Fairest Girlhood by Margaret E. Sangster

"Only in home life does a woman attain her best development, and that whether married or single, home-keeping hearts are best. Nothing on earth is so divine as a home. It is four walls and a roof, with windows to let in the sunshine, and a door to bar against the outer world, and to open to one's friends. It is a nest full of sweetness and peace. It is an asylum and a refuge and a shelter and a place of withdrawal from storm and tempest. It is a place of dignity and repose."
 

This blog will probably just be a random outpouring of thoughts as and when they occur to me. Hopefully not too random but I do think in squiggles rather than straight lines. Mostly I will write about home making skills as I try to learn them and various books I am reading. Possibly just some utter craziness too!

Blessings,

Jenny

(Comments and questions welcomed!)