Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday Afternoon Tea

Creating a beautiful home is a high artistic achievement,
enjoying it is the art of living.
Alexandra Stoddard

Recently I was listening to a political discussion on TV and remembered why I stopped watching such programs.  For they made me depressed.

This particular political scholar was stating that the demographics in the United States have changed in the early part of the 21st Century to the extent it will make it very difficult for someone with conservative moral values to be elected as President. 

I don't know if that is true or not but it had an unexpected affect on me.  Well, it shouldn't be unexpected but my reaction to the changing world is... I feel the need to Nest.

Now, there are those who are the First Responders of Christiandom.   They run into the flames of declining Culture much as brave men and women enter flaming buildings to save one who is lost in the smoky flames.

However... I am at a place in that journey which is Life that my calling is to fight the good fight in my home.  While that challenge has been manifested in many aspects of life such as homeschooling, hospitality, and typing away on the keyboard of a laptop computer... my first thoughts of Nesting are all about creating an atmosphere in my home.

If the wolf is at the door huffing and puffing to blow our house down, we as women instinctively "batten down the hatches" by making our home as warm and cozy as possible.  Such is the way we are designed to bring peace to ourselves and minister to those we love... and the occasional wayward stranger.. or angel unaware.

I found myself walking through each room this past week, just looking and pondering... and pondering and looking... thinking of possible changes both big and small.  You know, little ways to tweak what I already own... inspired by the need to Nest and an upcoming change of season.

I don't plan anything seriously different such as taking down a wall or buying new furniture... but perhaps moving some pictures, finishing a couple projects, re-purposing furniture, downloading music, and planning to use my front porch differently come warm weather.  (Okay, so technically it is outside my front door.)

What else can I do that cost me nothing?  Well, have you ever entered a home where supper was simmering, bread was baking, and something-with-cinnamon sat on a cooling rack?  The scent of bacon frying as coffee perks brings immediate memories of visiting my mother in her house.  There is nothing that says warm and cozy... and safe harbor... as aromas coming from the kitchen.

Of course, such feelings and thoughts send me to the Bible... usually the Book of Psalms... and prayer but there is also that need to create a Sanctuary.  It's just something I can DO!

I can always tell when I feel the need to Nest, as I remove favorite decorating magazines from their places of permanent rest (many in vintage suitcases), pull a manila file folder from the file cabinet in the office, or look through scrapbook journals.  All of which hold a permanent space in my home for such a time as this.

For this is not simply a need to find a place for that cute vintage teapot I found at a thrift store.  No, this is war... I'm in a battle... I'm on a quest no matter how quixotic.

A quest which results in Beauty and Peace and Contentment and a feeling of Safety at home... and as I look at the world around me and sigh... a quest which will continue for a lifetime.

Picture:  Home Making Housewives magazine;


Judy said...

"...enjoying it is the art of living"
I love this quote - creating a beautiful house can lead to discontent - ignoring the beauty that's already been created, in always longing for something more or different, but peace and contentment go together with beauty in the making of a home - it becomes a refuge to be enjoyed.

Cyndi said...

I am a silent reader, I love your columns, tea, books and movies. In many ways we see the world similarly and I am a Christian too.

Saying this gently. Christianity is not conservatism. In fact, many things of conservatism equals legalism and that has driven Christians away, me included. I had to really fight to find my way back to the roots of my faith and it had nothing to do with politics or the extraneous 'stuff' that was part of what was taught in 'Church'. It was hurtful and caused damage.

What I have learned is this. Our Lord God has been worshiped throughout history by people of all nations, colors, creeds, languages cultures and denominations. It looks different, very different from the Anglo Saxon way of worship, but I think the Lord God who created us delights it all the myriad ways of worship.

My God has been co-opted by those in religion or politics to those who want to impose their ways on others. I do not let anyone speak for him, I instead listen to the still small voice inside me which for a long time I have suppressed.

Thank you for listening.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

Cyndi, I personally believe there is a difference between being legalistic and holding to what I call conservative Biblical values.

However, I also know there are readers with all different kinds of beliefs and I don't mind at all when we must... agree to disagree. :)

Heather said...

I have also felt an extreme need to nest and make our home a refuge for our family and for those outside of our home that also need a refuge!

Anonymous said...

Just have to say....legalism is man's way. God's way is grace.

Politics are also of man but I think "liberal Christian" is an oxymoron.

Friend Debra said...

I have come to look forward to your Sunday posts each week.
I believe we are on the same page in many ways.

Anonymous said...

While there may be little we can do to change the chaotic world we can as you say, nest and find warm comfort with the ones we love. We do what we can to stay informed and vote and write letters etc but then we need at times to step back and relax. Especially when the world gets extra stressful. Some may think of tweeking our homes and doing such things like fluffing the bed pillow so hubby will be comfortable not important. It is. We are human and need each other. I can actually feel the stress falling off me when I step back and concentrate only on my home and family. We go to sleep at night so we can be rested for the day ahead. Nesting is just another way to rest up to be ready for the world outside our door the next day. Refreshed. We need it. There are days I could do nothing for weeks than stay inside but that is not possible!! :-) Sarah

TeresaAngelina said...

Haven't been able to read for a bit; business in the world keeps me busy. I think understand what you are trying to say, Brenda. It may come across more of a fear reaction and perhaps there is a bit of that in how you reacted (I don't know and cannot possibly know as I cannot see inside your heart) but try not to fear, if that is indeed what happened. Some of us have rather no choice but to face the battle as we have to dialogue with the world. I am in corporate business and just came back from a business trip clear across the country. Oh yeah. But pulling up the draw bridge is not the way forward. It may be a resting place, but that is all it can be. Hang in there. The world is scary and will be much worse as time goes on. But our God is an awesome God and He reigns. So, jetlag is just about over for me and just in time as I have to head out into that messed up world that God loves so very much...that is where He has me so I will pray for His grace to move forward. It is all grace. For me, my home is also a grace from God. I just finished knitting my first hat tonight...okay so it has what I like to call 'spontaneous design features' but it was a joy to make. And this is His grace too. Peace be to you.

jo said...

You can nest and also be involved. Send an email, write a letter. i am reminded of a letter from Dr James Dobson about a politician who changed his vote after receiving only 9 letters. Dr. Dobson asked him why when 9 was such a small number. his reply? he said usually they never hear from anyone! so you can nest and make a big difference!

Vee said...

I don't know what a psychologist might say about this, but it resonates with me. Just yesterday afternoon, a dear one confessed how "under the current political climate" he felt. It can be wearing, but I think we will learn Who really is in charge and that prayer changes things. Lots of praying going on. In the meantime, nesting sounds wonderful.

Cyndi said...

'Liberal Christian' is an oxymoron to some, 'Conservative Christian' is pharisee like to others. Two political views and yet we both believe in the same God who walked with sinners, prostitutes and showed compassion. We sit in our air conditioned or warmed churches, living monuments or in the coziness of home. We decide we don't like 'church' and we can choose a thousand sermons at the click of a button or a swipe of an app.

We have the luxury of debating political thought, denominations, theology and yet in many places in the 21st century people are still being put to death for just being Christian. I feel so guilty and sorry when I see so many people put to death or imprisoned just for Christian and we seem to be splitting hairs.

Now I am rambling. Going back to read silently now. Your column touched a deep place in me and I am sorry if I caused you distress.

Thank you once again for listening.

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

My mom and I were just speaking about how we have been avoiding a lot of news - it is so depressing to see our nation decline.

Nesting is a way to make a haven, that and immersing ourselves in the scriptures as you are doing.