Oh, Dearest Mother, Sweetest Virgin of Altagracia, our Patroness. You are our Advocate and to you we recommend our needs. You are our Teacher and like disciples we come to learn from the example of your holy life. You are our Mother, and like children, we come to offer you all of the love of our hearts. Receive, dearest Mother, our offerings and listen attentively to our supplications. Amen.



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Genevieve
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Posted: Oct 24 2006 at 1:46pm | IP Logged Quote Genevieve

       "Men are such queer things, husbands especially. Sometimes we blunder when we are trying hardest to serve them. For instance, they want us to be economical, and yet they want us in pretty clothes. They need our work, and yet they want us to keep our youth and our beauty. And sometimes they don't know themselves which they really want most. So we have to choose. That's what makes it so hard".

This is an excerpt from an article Kim posted. The message is by no means complete in this excerpt but I am hoping it would interest you enough to read the entire lengthy article. This particularl passage I copied though really struck me. Kim really made realized how important it is for me to keep house; I would not have guessed it if I had seen it for myself. There were times when I didn't want to dress pretty, spend time preparing a really good meal. Lately it's wanting to be frugal rather spending more on nice furniture. (My dh actually compliments me when I am frugal, yet he also smiles heartily at our nicer furniture sets) Now we all have our limits, time, energy and money, but maybe it's a matter of quality over quantity.

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Posted: Oct 24 2006 at 1:57pm | IP Logged Quote Cheryl

Genevieve,
I just read the story and posted a few thoughts I had about it on my blog. It is long to read, but I felt it was well worth it.

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Posted: Oct 24 2006 at 2:01pm | IP Logged Quote Cheryl

Here's the link. (in case someone trys to find it at a later date.)

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Posted: Oct 24 2006 at 4:35pm | IP Logged Quote lapazfarm

Lots to think about there. I think I need to mull this one over a bit. But there is much validity, I think, in the point of the story. Hmmm... (me thinking hard about this idea)

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Posted: Oct 24 2006 at 5:32pm | IP Logged Quote Lisbet

I'm really thinking on this one too. I just finished the story. It's something that I have been working on for YEARS now.

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Posted: Oct 24 2006 at 7:10pm | IP Logged Quote Rachel May

I can't wait to read this!

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Posted: Oct 24 2006 at 7:15pm | IP Logged Quote Jeanna

I really enjoyed it. It has given me an incentive to keep the house clean. (That and all the compliments dh has given me when he came home from his deployment the other day to a nice clean home. )

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Posted: Oct 24 2006 at 7:41pm | IP Logged Quote Genevieve

Don't miss the comments at the end of the article.

I guess what I really learned from this story is that far more than helping my husband to shoulder the burden he needs me to give him confidence that he can shoulder it.

I'm so glad this article has touched so many hearts. Figuring out what really pleased my husband is the hardest part. He says stay comfortable yet beams when I twirl around the kitchen in a pretty skirt and matching apron. The examples goes on and on. I know essentially he wants me to be happy and that our children are our number one priority. YET nothing beats a man happily digging into his meal and declaring it's better than his mom's homecooked dish. Even though it takes a good two hours to prepare it because the kids want to participate in everything. And everyone knows preparing a meal from scratch is a unit study by itself! The recent loveliness fairs have also made a huge difference in our home. I never realized how little touches of beauty could change a house to a home.

I wonder whether people could share experiences they have in empowering their husbands.

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Posted: Oct 29 2006 at 7:01pm | IP Logged Quote Philothea

No one has any stories of empowering their husbands? I'd really like to hear them if you do ....
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Posted: Oct 30 2006 at 12:56pm | IP Logged Quote Rachel May

Well, I don't know if you would call this empowering, but....

Not long before this thread was started, I started actually asking my husband point blank what he wanted. Which household chore would he like seen done more than any other? How much makeup does he feel is necessary for me? Which of my clothes does he like best? And then I've tried to put his desires--instead of what I guessed his desires to be--at the top of my list when considering what to do, what to wear, etc.

I'll say that my husband does know what he wants, but only needs to be invited to express it. And I need the humility to ask and to listen.

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Posted: Oct 30 2006 at 7:38pm | IP Logged Quote Marybeth

Rachel,

Those are beautiful examples...thank you for sharing.

I am wearing my hair just the way my husband likes it..I would rather it be a different way but since he looks at me...I would like him to enjoy what he sees.

I keep saying thank you to my husband for all the little things he does..I want him to know I acknowledge them and appreciate them.

I'm just so happy not to have to take out smelly garbage first thing in the morning.

Marybeth

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Posted: Oct 30 2006 at 10:07pm | IP Logged Quote almamater

Thank you for nudging us to read this. Lovely and so correct. I hope Kim won't mind that I am going to paste the story onto my blog, because when I print out my blog (someday), I want the story there and not just a link. Plus my links aren't working very well on blogger these days.

My dh will fret about the money, but then be so proud to see me out in a pretty new dress. I know I don't do much to help with paper work (paying bills, etc), but he is so happy when the house is picked up, there are clean clothes in the closet and, especially, when dinner is on the table at night.

This was a lovely reminder of the importance of all of those things...

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Posted: Oct 31 2006 at 5:43am | IP Logged Quote stefoodie

For my husband, number one is proper bedtime, because to him everything hinges on it -- and yes, I know he's right but I've been fighting it forever. It's such a struggle for me because I'm a nightowl. *And* I try to cram so much into one day. But I am relearning submission and this is one of those lessons that's hard for me to learn, but I'm determined to do it.

What I've done is print out the framework of the schedule HE wants us to follow, e.g., everyone up at 8, in bed at 10, clean-up at 6:30, dinner at 7:30, etc. This is for me and dd-15. Then I've filled it out with lesson time, cooking time, my project time, etc. I do know once we get disciplined in this area, it will be easier to tack on the other stuff, e.g., have time to pretty myself up, etc.

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Posted: Oct 31 2006 at 6:45am | IP Logged Quote Bridget

Philothea wrote:
No one has any stories of empowering their husbands? I'd really like to hear them if you do ....


I think what empowers our men is to know they are making us happy. If we are content with our house and what we have, and tell them so, they feel confident that they are providing for us.

If we make every effort to follow through on what they ask us to do or what we know would please them, they feel loved and respected.

It means so much to my DH to come home to a cheerful wife and dinner prepared. He says people at work hardly believe him that I cook and we all sit down together. I know it is a comfort to him after a stressful day and also makes him proud of his family.

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Posted: Oct 31 2006 at 8:50am | IP Logged Quote Willa

I have to be honest and say I did not like the story. Not at all.   I went and looked at Kim's take on it and if I look at it that way it makes a bit more sense to my heart. I think I am reading it too literally and not enough like a parable, which it obviously is. Still!   I had a horrible reaction to the idea of riding around in a carriage with perfumed handkerchiefs being so much superior to getting hands dirty with a husband and crew of children.   Parable, parable..... I know..... still,   I am afraid it sounds sterile to me, like the million dollar house with beautiful matched books and room that Elizabeth describes so memorably in her book -- with the one lonely child who isn't allowed to actually play because she might mess up the designer decor.   I feel like I could write a whole parallel story about how the queenly wife realizes she's missing out on everything that counts in life.   

I do like the points you are making about how sometimes the best way to contribute to a husband's welfare isn't the most direct obvious way.   Something to meditate on as I go through the day. (Edited to fix up numerous typos -- I should not write before coffee I guess!)

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Posted: Oct 31 2006 at 9:40am | IP Logged Quote JennGM

WJFR wrote:
I have to be honest and say I did not like the story. Not at all.


Whew! I am relieved. I liked some of it, but it didn't all sit well. I know it's a lesson to show that women should be working on the hearth and home and not working, but I didn't like the sense of superiority, that men don't know what they really need...we'll show them. We're helpmates, so a kind of discussion helps. Keeping eyes and ears open will give us a sense that the husband knows what he wants, but he doesn't always express it outright.

I had talked to Rachel and she had shared that discussing with her husband...and I thought it was brilliant. I have a long list in my head of things I need to do, but I should match it up with his, so I can prioritize and do his wants first.

And I agree about the wardrobe. Every time I buy new clothes (after discussing budget and such), even with the grumbling that it's more clothes...I get such compliments from dh. The feminine classic clothing makes such a difference for him. That, and having a nice hot meal on the table, smiles, kisses and hugs and big greetings when he comes home. Even if I'm dowdy mom all day, the homecoming makes his day.

Anyway, I digress.

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Posted: Oct 31 2006 at 9:53am | IP Logged Quote hylabrook1

Bridget mentioned that it really helps our husbands when we are happy with what they have provided. That reminded me of something I had once read, which said that women nudging their husbands to "keep up with the Joneses" sounds a lot like Eve urging Adam to *reach beyond* he was and eat the forbidden fruit. And we all know that that did not lead to happiness ...

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Posted: Oct 31 2006 at 10:17am | IP Logged Quote lapazfarm

I think I have to agree with Willa and Jenn. The story was much food for thought for me lately and I have done much pondering about it. But...I found it in the end to just be off-putting.
So many family farms through the centuries have depended upon husband and wife working as a team. Sure, there have been tasks that are traditionally women's and those that are men's, but I find offense at the idea that a good wife should not seek to carry a heavy ladder, or bring in the tomatoes or potatos to add to the household income if need be. Many a family farm was saved by the "egg and butter money" that mom put away.
Sure, there is validity in the point that a wife needs to keep her home neat and clean and take care of her appearance, but the story seemed to really look down on women who contribute through the work of their hands. I am sorry, but some women are just not made for sitting around and polishing the silver, nor do they have the luxury. We all know how hard it is to make ends meet on one income and many women are forced to work to earn a living. We can't all charm our landlords into putting off our mortgages.
I also did not like the condescending attitude toward men. My dh most definitely knows what he wants from me. For me to think I know better than he is just plain prideful and wrong. Our husbands are not children, after all.
Ok, I will stop now, because I think there was also good in the story. We do need to let our husbands know we trust them and have confidence in their ability to support the family. If only to boost their confidence to go out and do battle with the world for one more day.

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Posted: Oct 31 2006 at 10:21am | IP Logged Quote Elizabeth

I think it's a good thought piece. I admit to calling Kim with some objections. Sometimes, pieces like this really do leave me feeling like women are being encouraged to be manipulative or to think they know better than men how men need to be "handled." But it does make more sense when you look at it with Kim's perspective. But I was even bothered by those rotting apples... . That said, I think this is a really, really important topic.

Personally, I'd love to read Willa's parallel parable. My husband has asked for my assistance more times than I can count as he's tried to run a business from home while actually working on the road much of the time. I can't imagine having the audacity to refuse...And there are lots of times when handling something that has come up here while he's three time zones away does take my attention away from home and children. But I cannot for the life of me imagine saying that I couldn't fax, file, phone or whatever because that isn't my role .

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Posted: Oct 31 2006 at 10:21am | IP Logged Quote JennGM

lapazfarm wrote:
So many family farms through the centuries have depended upon husband and wife working as a team. Sure, there have been tasks that are traditionally women's and those that are men's, but I find offense at the idea that a good wife should not seek to carry a heavy ladder, or bring in the tomatoes or potatos to add to the household income if need be.


Theresa! That was the other part that bothered me, but I deleted my section in my first reply. I had the same thoughts.

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