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Lady Lydia Speaks

Creating Loveliness Where You Live
By Mrs. Stanley Sherman
Dec 21, 2006 - 7:03:05 PM

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Cape House by Donny Finley from

Even if you can't follow a decorating scheme, your home can be a place of comfort and love. By paying special attention to order and beauty in your home, you will be able to encourage others.

Some ladies have said that the simple act of creating pleasing accessories and accents for their homes have helped them fight off discouragement and loneliness.

Putting special care into the home builds contentment. The exterior of your house often cannot be changed. The location cannot be changed. The neighborhood cannot be changed. It is therefore the interior that is more flexible and can be arranged and decorated to create a mood of contentment. You can ignore the fact that you aren't in an ideal setting, concentrating instead on making the inside of your house a haven of bliss. If you admire Victorian homes, farm life, or the seaside, but can't live that way, try putting a beautiful picture on the wall to satisfy your longings.

Liberty Cove by Colleen Eubanks from

I had a friend who lived in a low-income housing area. All around her were run-down, uncared-for houses, even though there were women home all day. People didn't think they could afford to fix up their homes. After experiencing much frustration and disappointment about the needed improvements of her home and the lack of money to fix them, she said, "Who am I to question God's provision for me?" and set about to use the small corner that was given her to reflect God's beauty and order to her family and her neighborhood. Little by little, she began to make improvements that beautified her home. She scoured yard sales and looked for give-a-ways. She found plants that others did not want to take care of and planted them in her window

Brunch by Peter Motz from

She had garage sales of her own to earn money to buy things she could not get at other garage sales to beautify her home. Although she had no matching sets of furniture and no professionally decorated rooms, her house was beautiful. As she found objects to fill spaces and corners, her home began to take on a feeling of contentment. The key to her success was to make her nest with the things that had the most meaning for her: a piece of furniture from her childhood home, a blue vase from a yard sale, gifts from friends who understood her taste, a china collection from a local grocery store that had the style and colors she loved.

Border stencil from Jeff Raum Stencils

A doll in a corner on top of a stack of books, metal candle holders hanging on the wall with the candle colors of her theme, or a lace curtain for a table cloth gave this humble dwelling an atmosphere of joy. Walls freshly painted with money she earned at her own yard sale gave each room a look of loveliness. She liked the color blue, so her eye was always open to the blue furnishing or accessory to make her place wonderful. She had no family heirlooms, so she set about creating her own, from interesting objects found in thrift shops and yard sales.

Grandma's Collectibles by Vivian Watson from

Poor-quality kitchen cabinet doors were covered with a wood-grain paper, which one would not have known, had she not said anything. On top of a fresh coat of paint, she stenciled a charming border of vines and roses. I still remember the quilt hanging on the wall, flanked by candle sconces sporting candles that matched some of the quilt's colors. She would sometimes use a quilt covered in clear plastic for a colorful tablecloth to enhance her tea set.

Country Quilt by Vivien Rhyan, available from

She was able to extend the size of her house by creating a sheltered living area in the back yard, where she often sat to paint, write, or entertain friends.

Back Yard Scene from

Outside in her small yard, she planted trees along her fence and hung birdhouses and birdfeeders. The trees helped hide the closeness of the neighboring houses and created an atmosphere of an enclosed, sheltered, and private retreat. Shrubs and trees also shut out the noise of cars and voices. Once you entered her domain for afternoon tea, you felt you had escaped the crowded, discontented rush of the world.

Birdhouse With Roses by Peggy Sibley from

Gradually, we all began to notice how these improvements inspired even the most discouraged neighbor. Homes and yards that had been neglected were being fixed up. People found ways to beautify their homes by watching my friend and getting ideas from her.

Apple Pie Harvest by Janet Kruskamp from

Did you know that your influence lives on, long after you have moved away? Others remember the things that mattered the most to you. When my friend moved away to another state, she received a letter from the new owner of the house she had so lovingly fixed up in the rundown neighborhood. In this letter, she thanked this woman, whom she had never met, for all the effort she had put into the house to make it beautiful. She listed all the things that she appreciated. My friend said it was really wonderful to get that letter and to know that her hard work had blessed someone else. So, ladies, do your best, and make the place you live something better for the people who may come after you. Leave it better than when you first moved in. Doing your best is always a blessing to yourself and to others.

The Bible speaks of those people who are no longer with us, but whose works are still influencing others. You have an influence in your world. You have the power to change the mundaneness around you, just by changing the part of life over which you alone have jurisdiction. Beautifying your home can influence people for years--even generations. Long after you have gone, pictures of your life will remain in the minds of others. It is an inspiration to find women who will pass on their enthusiasm for beautifying and keeping the home.

Victorian Lady, White Dress by John O'Brien

© Copyright 2002-2007 by LAF/

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