Tuesday, February 17, 2009

To a Homemaker

To a Homemaker

Sweetness and soul,
We find joy in your gentle ways.
You nurture all of us: the dog, the bird,
The plants, and people - lucky ones you love;
You're caring, ever caring, here - and far
Where letters send your light to sunny up
A burdened life.
With fierce protective eye
You scan afar for threat to those God gave
You vigil o'er.
From morn to night you work:
You cook, you wash, you sew, you clean, you shop.
What for?
Why just to make a home
For us who come - and go.
You suffer little leavings every day
And bravely bear the pain and think of ways
To make homecomings glad and good, and build
Us strong again.
You cook. Oh, how you cook!
Not as some other women cook, with weariness,
Complaint: "So many years, so many dinnertimes.
"No, you cook like God would cook, I think.
Each meal's a miracle.
Dried beans and rice
Become gourmet for you.
But more than that,
Each meal's a feast of love
Turned into bread and drink.
We humbly take.
There is no way to honor you enough.

by Carla Emery

"Cannot" Lessons Worth Learning

You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot lift the wage-earner by pulling down the wage-payer.
You cannot help the poor man by destroying the rich.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

-- William Boetcker(1873-1962) German-born Presbyterian clergyman1916

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Participative Leadership

What's Your Leadership Style?

Psychologist Kurt Lewin identified three major leadership styles. Learn which best describes your leadership style in this 18 question quiz at:

My results indicate that my leadership style is predominately: Participative

Participative Leadership ...
Participative leaders accept input from one or more group members when making decisions and solving problems, but the leader retains the final say when choices are made. Group members tend to be encouraged and motivated by this style of leadership. This style of leadership often leads to more effective and accurate decisions, since no leader can be an expert in all areas. Input from group members with specialized knowledge and expertise creates a more complete basis for decision-making.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday's Child is Fair of Face ...


Monday's child is fair of face,
Tuesday's child is full of grace,
Wednesday's child is full of woe,
Thursday's child has far to go.
Friday's child is loving and giving,
Saturday's child works hard for a living,
But the child born on the Sabbath Day,
Is fair and wise and good and gay.

Do you remember that Mother Goose poem many of us recited as children? Wonder where you fit into the days of the week? Have fun finding out at: http://www.bethanyroberts.com/MondaysChildIsFairofFace.htm

BTW, I'm a Wednesday Child
Wednesday's child is full of woe.
You are a serious person, and try to change things that seem unfair.
You make the world a better place!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Stay-at-Home Mothering

"Stay-at-home mothering is as beneficial for the mother as it is for the child ... each reap the daily rewards of shared and sacred moments." ~ Jan Stover

I'm always quoting others ... decided to quote myself for a change ;-)

Reason, Logic, Creativity, Civility, Discourse, Debate and Dissent

In writing the Mission Statement for The Mothers Institute, I chose to include the concepts of reason, logic, creativity, civility, discourse, debate and dissent.

I asked several friends to share with me what those terms mean to them and found their definitions interesting. Below are their thoughts...

Reason - as opposed to superstition
Logic - as opposed to intuition
Creativity - as opposed to bland conformity with tradition
Civility - as opposed to strident rudeness
Discourse - as opposed to stay silent, not airing problems
Debate - as opposed to unconsidered acceptance
(accepting) Dissent - as opposed to requiring capitulation

Reason= motivating factor for an action or thought.
Logic= reasonable thinking.
Creativity= In studio classes we were always charged with creating our own art, but in art history we were taught there is basically no "new" art. I guess for me it would be my own way of doing something.
Civility= agree to disagree in a respectful manner
Discourse= a conversation, argument
Debate= a civil argument
Dissent= refusal to submit to authority

Reason and Logic, to me, go hand in hand. It is logical to follow what is reasonable. i.e. common sense. If more people just did what made sense rather than doing something that they know is not right, then the world would be a much better place. Be logical, be reasonable and encourage others to do the same.

Creativity to me can be many things. There may be an insurance salesman who uses loopholes in company policy to actually help customers. There may be a painter or an artist using their craft to make the word a better place. There may be a writer, telling stories or researching to tell the truth. It may be a child- everything they do is creative. It is their own, before they are shaped by the world and before many of them let their peers tell them who they are.

Civility to me is a hard one. Civil as in not arguing or voicing your opinion in order to keep the peace? (Not in my house, lol) Civil as in politically correct? (not so much) Civil to me means that you are polite and can deal with others in civilization. It is important to do this on a daily basis with children- especially home schooled children. This is what people mean when they cry "Their socialization!" in opposition to homeschooling. As if every child who is not brought through public schools will either be a robot answering questions as such with no spirit or a wild animal. It is up to us to show that children can have freedom of expression but behave, they can be socialized with their peers but not be dependent on them, they can use reason and logic without being an automaton, and be civil about it.

Discourse, debate, and dissent all rule my life. Why? Because to most, the concept of personal responsibility and freedom are alien ideas. When I talk about the changes I would like to see, I get a mildly horrified look. So, I am prepared to debate. My choices politically, and of course the ever present debate on parenting. It takes alot of energy to constantly explain why you are not vaccinating, why you are homeschooling, why you don't like the people in charge... and on and on. It is all about educating people on your point of view so at the end, they understand what you mean even if they don't agree. The path to peace is paved with understanding.

To hear Richard Dreyfuss speak eloquently on a number of these same issues watch his appearance on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher at : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fd7p1SGMuqU&feature=related