Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Revisiting "Piety or Peace?" (parts one and two)

Photo courtesy of Spokane Community College
Excerpt from original post (part one):

Queen Sophia Charlotte had what I consider to be a serious character flaw, and if I’m not careful this discussion about my shift in priorities could leave you thinking that I’m prone to the same serious flaw. In fact, the truth is that I am, and you very likely are, too. I hope that by bringing this issue into the light we will diminish its power and see a clear path to take in detour toward true freedom....

Sophia Charlotte with Her Children
Photo courtesy of NCGenWeb
Lest I become guilty of the very thing I’m highlighting, I must say that I am so very grateful my radius of people for which to set an example is far smaller than hers was. In case you aren’t tracking with me here, the character flaw I’m speaking of is critical judgment based on a high moral standard. To put it into modern language, she looked down her nose at others who did not think or act the same as she did. As I mentioned in my earlier post, I have been struggling with a bit of writer’s block approaching this post. I think I’m beginning to understand a bit more why....
Sophia with Child
Photo courtesy of Forgotten Founders Exhibit
So the source of my writer’s block is this duel between judgment and affability, stinginess and generosity, public and personal life. Hmmm…and here we find our link to the “perfection disease” I posted about on Monday. 
Tiara and Combs
Photo courtesy of Jane Austen World

Truthfully, I sincerely wish we had more women in high position making domestic duties fashionable. Though it has become more fashionable to be a mother, most of us stay-at-home moms still search for our identities in what we do instead of who we are. Herein lies the problem with the mother of a nation, or any such role model, setting such high standards. I will not repeat the article I posted before, but I draw attention to the disease of perfection here. None of us are perfect and by setting any kind of standard of perfection without allowing for grace and mercy for ourselves as well as for others, we set ourselves up for living for other peoples’ approval, ever striving for more and better, looking down on others for what we think is going on in their lives, and looking down on ourselves because we will always offend ourselves if we are offended by others....

Photo courtesy of Motivate Thyself
(part two, originally published 10/06/10)

Today, I know that my tiara is sparkling firmly upon my head not because of what I have or haven’t done, but because I’m happy to be me doing what I’m doing right here and now. Instead of bracing himself for my hasty exit, my husband smiles when he walks in the door because he knows I’m going to be happy to see him because I missed him and not because I’m eager for him to take over with the kids so I can escape. My kids are happy, and they fill the air with far more joyful noises and dancing than angry words and fighting. I no longer find myself counting down the minutes so I can leave them and do something for myself....

Despite its negative overtones, I think this is the most important lesson I’ve learned from Sophia in these past couple of months. It is clear that she was firmly grounded in her life as a mother and a wife. She did not look to her public life or image to make her happy. Certainly she took her public role seriously, but she drew her strength from being with her husband and family. I want to take this lesson of drawing my strength from serving my family first, but without the excessive piety, judgment, and stinginess that marked her life. By putting first things first, I’m certain I will be free to be myself everywhere I am, thereby transferring this joy and strength to others far more effectively than when I was serving others as a means of escape.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Timely Inspiration

Stay tuned this Wednesday, as we will be wrapping up our study of Queen Sophia Charlotte. To be honest, I've been facing down fear once again. I've had a serious case of writer's block this week and have been turning around and around in my mind the different approaches I could take to discuss this week's topic. Up until just a few minutes, I was wasting time trying to come up with a way to bring all my thoughts together to say what it is that I really want to say to all of you this week. Thankfully, as usual, inspiration has come just in the nick of time. It came in the form of a blog post my aunt shared on Facebook. She advised that everyone take time to read this, and I took her advice. I'm so very glad that I did.

I've posted the article below because it is a must-read for every American, male and female, and I know that you, my faithful readers, will take it to heart and pass it along. I must warn you that it is at times heart-wrenching, but I assure you that this is a perfect lead-in to my coming blog post on Wednesday. Thanks for reading, and I look forward to seeing you in a couple of days!


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Revisiting "Has Anyone Seen My Tiara?"

Amethyst Afterglow

Excerpt from original post:
This weekend I lost my tiara. It seems like it all started when my best girls and I decided to do a yard sale this past Saturday. We spent all of last week sorting and compiling our stuff. With oodles of things and three very busy ladies, we pulled it together by the skin of our teeth. We broke many yard sale rules, and needless to say we made very little money....

As though that weren't enough, I further complicated my weekend by starting a new job. I have to admit that this was the worst possible weekend for me to tackle this very flexible, could-have-waited-until-next-weekend job. I have enjoyed it thoroughly, but I have learned another valuable lesson. Even though I can do a lot in one weekend, it's not wise for me to do so much....

Ruby Red Dogwood

A true queen envisions her day and makes a plan. She recruits the help she needs and makes sure that she doesn't overbook her calendar. A true queen knows in her heart that she sets an example for those around her. Sure, she could be super woman and do it all herself, but she wouldn't want those around her to feel like they had to succumb to the pressure and stress that being super woman entails. I want to be a true queen, so I am determined to learn from my mistakes rather than beat myself up over them.

Ruby Couture

So the topic of today's blog is not a queen of old, but the lessons I've learned this week about overbooking and overworking yourself and how to recover without laying in bed for a week. Even though I have momentarily lost sight of my tiara and I very much did trade my ball gown in for armor this week, I have learned some very important lessons about being a queen. Here is what I've learned from my weekend:

1. Stick to your plan.
2. Know your limits.
3. Conserve energy.
4. Put first things first.

Roberto Coin Montage

I am very grateful that I'm seeing the sparkle of my tiara once again, and I'm making lemonade out of the lemons of my weekend. I'm enjoying hearing my children play and sing, and I'm about to go make them dinner. Before I do, though, I wanted to highlight the photos in my blog this week. This is part of my new job. Once a month I will be making several of these collages with inventory from my brother's website and from Polyvore's database. Besides some amazing moments with my kids, working on these collages was the highlight of a very stressful week. Creativity really is an outlet for stress. How blessed I am that it has become such a large part of the working segment of my life.

Gucci Azure