How are you doing on creating your personal serene place, your garden?
What ideas have you come up with? Where is your garden? How has your family responded to it? And you?
Sarah Chena Radcliffe writes, “Our homes
- reflect the personalities within,
- are shaped by women—by virtue of her influences,
- determine the flavor and feeling there,
- are a weaving, a tapestry of family life.”
Sarah continues by saying creating a home should be a holy task, a lifetime of work, a spiritual journey, and a constant challenge. To those, I add a loving gift to herself, her family and to all who enter her sanctuary.
A house is made of brick and mortar, but home is made by the people who live there. —M. K. Soni
A house is a shelter from the rain and cold … four walls to shelter one from the life outside. On the other hand, a home built on love becomes a refuge, a safe and comfortable place and, spiritually, a cathedral—a place of worship, praise, prayer and peace. The fruits of the spirit are seeded, watered and grown within the home.
The home is influenced by a woman’s thoughts and how she conducts herself spiritually and emotionally. This includes how she decorates, the food she prepares, how she keeps herself and her family on schedule, what activities she encourages and discourages, what behaviors she accepts or rejects, by the guests she allows in, by the books and magazines she reads, by the CDs and DVDs, by the ideas she expresses and how she says them verbally and non-verbally. (That’s a subject we could discuss for hours, right?)
For more on the woman’s role in the home, I recommend:
- The Inspirational Home by Jeanne Winters
- A Life That Says Welcome: A Simple Way of Opening Your Love and Home to Others by Karen Ehman
- Holy Experience, a daily blog by Ann Voskamp (with great links)
- Homespun Living, a blog by Deb
For additional information on coping with depression, I suggest:
- Blow Away the Black Clouds by Florence Littauer
- Silent September by Joyce Landorf
- The Dynamic D’s, a free e-book by Constance Gilbert (email her to request the book)
- Connie’s Coda—previous posts
A few of my favorite quotes:
Failure is not falling down, it is in not getting up. —Unknown
“How does one become a butterfly?” she asked. “You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.” —Anonymous
There are parts of a ship which taken by themselves would sink. The engine would sink. The propeller would sink. But when the parts of a ship are built together, they float. So with the events of my life. Some have been tragic. Some have been happy. But when they are built together, they form a craft that floats and is going someplace. And I am comforted. —Unknown
A house becomes a home when you can write, “I love you” on the furniture. —Unknown
Now that we have (or are in process of having) our garden spot, we must be cautious. This serene space may turn into the “lonely petunia’s onion patch.” I promised myself that only positive thoughts were allowed in my garden.
By the way, my seat for positive thinking is now a rose-colored recliner. It’s right next to a window. When it’s cloudy and at night, the lamp alongside produces 330 watts of bright light. Within my reach is my Blessing Basket and my devotional basket. I have a purple shawl there. When I put it on, I am encircled with the love of its maker, and therefore, the Creator of all.
In my kitchen you’ll find my Stress Busters list. It is inside the cupboard, where I store the glasses. This copy—written specifically for me based on my reactions to stress—can be use to develop yours.
It is important to post it where you’ll see it. When I’m heading toward that downward spiral of emotions, I don’t think about these things or I can’t concentrate enough to remember them. Plus, if you need a little nudge from your family or a friend, they too can check the list as to what has worked in the past.
[Note: The heart below contains forget-me-nots. Pun intended.]
Connie’s Coping Keys/Stress Busters
To be used when the first signs of depression are noticed.
- Open the curtains and blinds to let in natural light.
- Turn on all the lamps (no candles or conserving energy) on cloudy days.
- Play up-beat CDs or radio.
- Go for a walk, get out of the apartment. (Can’t go out? Walk the hallways.)
- Interact with someone, preferably face to face or by phone.
- De-clutter (one square foot at a time).
- Get dressed and wear bright colors.
- Put on makeup.
- Eat comfort foods for a day or so.
- Watch a comedy or cartoons, or read a humorous book.
- Watch a Dirty Harry movie … the evil guys get what they deserve.
- Create something: cross-stitch or knit, color (coloring book) or doodle.
- Read previous journal entries—proof that this is temporary and manageable.
- Write a thank you note and mail it.
- Read the slips of paper in the Blessing Basket.
- Talk with grandchildren about their day.
- Spring—fly a kite.
- Summer—pull weeds in garden box.
- Autumn—clean out garden box or play in the dirt.
- Winter—build a snowman.
- Look through old photos—revisit happy times (unless this causes greater sadness).
- Read cards and notes in treasure box (unless this causes greater sadness).
- Tell someone so they can check with you later.
- If no decrease or resolution within a week, call M.D.
- buy anything.
- stop taking vitamins & minerals.
- forget to pay bills.
- watch or read anything that adds to feelings of depression.
My list reveals the real me. It’s difficult letting you know I don’t get dressed when I’m depressed or that I watch cartoons when there are no children around as an excuse, or I forget to pay my bills. BUT if you will follow through and develop your own list, it will be worth the embarrassment.
Your home is a tapestry of your life. Let it tell your story. Let it help to grow your faith and the faith of those around you. Create a meaningful environment, a place of comfort, a place where you can walk closer with the Lord until that day when He ”…will invite everyone who is victorious to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne” (Rev.3:21 NLT).Copyright © by Constance Gilbert | 0 comments