Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Updated Workout Routine

Lifting Weights. Yep.

Since my last post in regards to physical fitness was the beginning of 2015, I figured it would be time to update on what I am currently doing. Not only will this give me a sense of accountability with my readers, but it will perhaps give an inspiration to change up  your current workout routines!

As said above, I have discovered the AMAZING power and results in lifting weights. No I am not a body builder, no I do not want that physique, and no I do not have that physique. From an abundant amount of research and from my own limited experience, I do not think it is naturally possible for a woman to gain such amount of bulk to resemble a body builder. Naturally. The women you see that typifies "weight lifting women" aka: body builders, are taking a steriod. Don't take steriods and you won't become the incredible hulk-ina.

Now various things, including some laziness on my part, have come between me and my workouts and so I know for a fact that I would have seen even better results than I did in the 6 weeks I stuck to my workout plan. During the 6 weeks I lifted weights for 4 days a week, NO CARDIO, mind you, and I saw better and quicker results when I did my regular HIIT.

I literally saw a thigh gap, my upper thighs shrunk, my arms thinned out, my stomach was slightly flatter, and my butt was lifted! I had to buy new jeans and went from size 6 to a size 3-4. I noticed that I wanted and looked forward to my workout, which NEVER happenend with cardio. I felt like I could say no to the naughty foods more. The best part was the major difference I noticed in my metabolism! I found that even when I did "splurge" and eat something not so good for me, it was like my body never noticed. I really didn't bloat, I never gained, and even when I had a 5 day vacation my body still lost 2# without me! I got down to my goal weight!

Then my son nearly broke my toe. I had to stop for safety reasons. No way was I going to attempt a heavy weight squat without a good solid foundation. Then as I healed my motivation left and I got depressed a little because I wanted to get back at it but didn't. That is something I REALLY noticed when I stopped working out. I would get much moodier much easier. And when I get moody I get snacky. So sadly I regained about 5-6#. Lots of ice cream did that and a slack of eating right.

Eating right is most assuredly going to give you success or failure in being healthy. You could be working out, but eating wrong and losing valuable benefits or stressing your body instead of strengthening it. But that is for another article.

I found a blog called Jersey Girl Talk, that has a pretty solid lifting schedule, and I followed it pretty well for 6 weeks. Since I just recently (as of last Thursday) got back into it I have since used her schedule more as a foundation for what I do. I have also added morning Cardio the 4 days I lift. HIIT only as I just don't have time for 20-30 minutes in this season of life.

Weight Lifting Schedule:

Monday and Thursday: Upper Body Day

Bench Press
Upright Row
Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Dumbbell Lateral Raises
Pull Ups

Tuesday and Friday: Leg Day

Walking Weighted Lunges

While Leg Day may seem like it is much more laid back, you do it and you will see haha! Each Exercise I do 3 sets of 8-12 reps. As for how much you lift, if you reach the 12th rep easily, up your weight some, if you can't reach your 8th rep then lower the weight some. It might take a week or two to feel like you need to up your weight and most likely you won't up your weight on all your exercises at the same time. Be careful, go slow to build proper form, use youtube to help! Pull Ups are very difficult and I still can barely do 1 so don't freak when it takes you MONTHS! My best advice is to jump and hold yourself in pull up position for as long as you can and slowly SLOWLY come down. I even left my door frame pull up bar in the doorway to practice the whole day. It eventually worked!

Couple notes: When you lift weights you need your HEALTHY carbs. No low carb diet or you will hurt yourself! You will need more food because of how many calories get burned from the after affects of lifting. Make sure that protein is in nearly every meal or you risk undoing all that work!

I will keep updated on how diligent I am to sticking with my morning cardio and evening lift and let you know of results!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Power of Insecurities

Insecurity. The struggle one has with, well everything. Especially wives. Am I doing good enough? Is it clean enough? Does he like me? Is he disappointed in me? What if he isn't happy with how I keep our home? Is he still attracted to me?

It all accumulates and churns in a slow mess in our heads till we go crazy. Literally. We drive ourselves to the edge and glare down the dark hole we assume is reality and wonder if that is where we belong.

Having gone through a very rough season of battling my insecurities, I can say that from those insecurities a light was poured on how I think and rethink and overthink. I struggled over every day, wondering if the "butterflys" of us newlyweds were gone because I didn't do enough around our home. Or if he really liked my cooking. Really. Not just saying, "its good babe...". And if he REALLY was happy with how I run our home. Just questions, right? But then they evolved into speculations of: It must be that he is disapppointed in me. He can't be happy with how I keep things. How can he? My cooking sucks! I don't shower till noon! Laundry is behind! Our cabinets are so disorganized! Dust everywhere, dirty dishes, toilet stinks, shower hasn't been touched in three weeks...how can he!? My head felt like it was going to explode. And then more: you think he is attracted to that!? Exercise more diligently! Geez, flabby! I degraded myself, and put myself into dark places, constantly crying, constantly defending. But against what? No one and nothing. Maybe my head. Convincing myself. Of what though?

The tiniest things my husband would say or comment on would be twisted to conform to my thoughts. I would tell myself, "See! Confirmation! He isn't happy!" And cry and rant to him. It took one simple sentence from him to end my attacks at him.

"I can't help your insecurities!"

I remember blinking. Thinking, "What?"

What if, he was right? What if he really wasnt't the source of all my insecurities? What if I had no need to defend myself to him? What if he was telling the truth and he DID like the way I ran his home?

All this time I attacked him and defended myself against the lies IN MY MIND. Why?
It is so easy to overthink things, so easy.  Mistaking what he says with a insecure response of, "What is that supposed to mean?" And dwelling on things and running and rerunning scenarios again and again in my head to the point of tears.

"I can't help your insecurities...."

It is true to an extent. Some would agrue that yes he could, because he can be more uplifting, or be thoughtful of what he says to you. But the crazy thing is is that HE UPLIFTED me. He would tell me how beautiful I am. It was my head that would tell myself, "What a liar, I am so fat and these stretch marks are hideous." And when he said "It's good babe." About dinner, I would roll my eyes. Not him. Me.

Oh, the power of insecurities. How is it that I can be verbally uplifted and yet feel so disgusted with myself. Am I sabatouging myself? What reason do I have to not trust my husband.

As months have passed as I have slowly written this post, I have learned even more.

A) My husband would not have married a girl he wasn't attracted too. Period. So when he says I am beautiful he is most certaintly telling the truth!
B) He isn't afraid to tell me if a dinner is gross. He has in the past hasn't he? We are past that "honeymoon"
C) Insecurities come and go. That's when it is CRUCIAL to stand upon the truth and not on emotion. Feelings can be very misleading.

Quite contray to the Disney fantasy to follow one's heart is probably not the best thing after all. God's Word in Jeremiah 17:9 says,

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind...."

The heart is flesh and prone to wrong. Not saying it is pure evil and always in the wrong, but to rely on it solely as a form of discernment is foolish. Especially when solid truth is being spoken to you. The enemy will take full advantage to manipulate your emotions and thoughts to disrupt your marriage. Imagine if your husband walked around with a sad look on his face and seemed to walk on pins and needles because he doubts your happiness with him as your husband? Or if you appreciate his job? His physical looks? To me imagining my husband doubting my absolute love, appreciation and happiness with him makes me feel so guilty. Makes me feel sad and wondering how I have failed to show my love to him. See the sick cycle of this whole ordeal?

I don't have a cure for the various insecurities that will battle with your mind in your marriage and journey through motherhood. I can only give you this insight I have found thus far in my marriage. Hopefully it will open your eyes to something you are going through and help you accept the compliments your beloved gives you, or walk with more confidence that YOU are the one he chose to marry, or have a clearer understanding of what to pray against.

Stand strong on the truth of who you are to your husband, children and God. Don't allow the enemy to cause havoc with your emotions and create unneeded storms in your marriage.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Part III- Home Life

Simplicity. Priority. Routine.

When it comes to keeping my home, those three things are essential. I have happily, easily and efficiently been able to keep up on my home with plenty of time to spare. I have a day or two when I get overwhelmed with things, but with the routine I follow, I manage to catch back up with no unnecessary stress. I hope that perhaps my routine will encourage and help mothers and wives with the keeping of their homes!

My mother taught me the importance of organization and routine, organization is my weak point for sure. That talent my sister inherited, however, I got plenty of practice living in a home where two women had it down pat. Priority was something I always seemed to have a talking too about, growing up! It is strangely an aspect in which I am now very grateful for my mom emphasizing. It is a skill though, to prioritize. A skill in which, as a busy mommy and wife, has to be used quickly and effectively.

When my husband is 30 minutes away from getting home from work and expecting a hot meal, and the house is a mess and dinner is not quite cooked and kids are crying...it is so very stressful! I find myself in the living room, pulling my hair out and turning in circles. The only way to solve such an issue is what my mother taught me! Prioritize! I think in terms of priority: Mikey will be home. What is more important? Clean house? Hot dinner? So I start dinner and nurse the baby while it cooks. While I'm nursing him, I think about what hubby will see first when he walks through that door. Living room. Ok. My priority is now to straighten the living room. Flip the food on the stove. What will he see next? The bathroom. Straighten the bathroom. Cara's face is a mess! Wipe! Bounce that baby! Hi babe! :-) I prioritized in the order of what he will see. He won't see the mess in the baby's room yet, so put it off. Or care for the bedroom quite yet. Dinner and a shower is all that matter. He will see a straightened living room so he feels peace and rest while in his home, a stark contrast from the work place. A smile on my face (even if it is not fully felt! It is much more attractive to see his beloved smile and kiss him hello after working so hard to provide for the family!). I apply that same method of prioritizing to pretty much everything. From what laundry needs washed first to shaving my legs! Ha!

My cleaning is a daily/weekly routine as follows:

Mon: Clean counters, microwave, fridge (of leftovers and shelves a wipe if needed) (so pretty much kitchen)
Tues: Bathrooms (sink, toilet and mirror. Change out towels)
Wed: Dusting (Wood and dry) (I swiffer all first, then wood dust next, Not switching back and forth from room to room)
Thurs: Mopping (I mop all floors after a real decent vacuum/sweep) (I use a push broom with a wet pad to mop)
Fri: Shower (every other Friday or as needed) and change of bed sheets (weekly)
Sat: Organize (I choose only ONE of the things I know needs orgnaized or sorted) (I sometimes make a list and pick one to do)

I invested in a small little vacuum for $20 from Walmart to make sweeping quicker. I don't like having to sweep stuff into a dust pan. Misses a lot, so the vacuum does great on my hard linoleom floors. Doesn't do great on the one rug in our living room, but does pick up the crumbs. I usually do a super quick vacuum over the house every other day, maybe, or just on troublesome messy areas. I don't have a dishwasher and my kitchen is super tiny. Combining those two factors means that one meal's worth of dishes makes my kitchen look like I went on strike. I wash everything by hand, every day. Yuck. But it gets done in the morning with my routine pick up .

This morning routine pick up is simply going through each room and doing a super quick straightening. I start in the back of the house usually and work from room to room. The key is to not get distracted too much if you have to put something in a different room. My room: I make the bed, pick up the diaper off the floor, open our curtains and take out any cups from the nightstands to the kitchen. Cara's room: Open curtains, fold her blankets in half and drape on crib rail, check diaper can if needs taken out. Bathroom: Laundry off floor, put away the loose things on counter that goes in cabinets, hang towel back on hook, close shower curtain, check trash, check tp roll. Living room: open blinds, throw loose toys in basket, tip the baby books back upright, dishes to kitchen, shove ottoman back into place. Kitchen: put away dry dishes, rinse dirty dishes, wash dirty dishes, wipe counters real fast of crumbs and stickiness, check tray of "need to do" (I have this wooden tray thing on my microwave for bills, letters and things that need hot glued back together! Ha!). Start laundry. Takes the better part of morning, and I usually work out and eat breakfast first. I go back through the house two other times during the day: Kids nap time and before bedtime while hubby is showering (he takes long showers at night to wind down). Obviously the two other run throughs are much much quicker and help keep the house out of that "absolute chaos" look. Sometimes the before bed helps so much at keeping it under control that the morning run through is a BREEZE! Minus the dishes. Yuck.

But I tell ya! Having the one chore a day thing isn't just for kids. It helps keep it simple and quick for me! And it helps you keep track of when the last time said chore was last done if you do miss a day! And it also makes it easy for jumping into! You can arrange the daily chore to whatever days suit you and your family and start whatever day is convienient! The organzing day takes the stress of having to "do it all" off your shoulders. After the weeks pass you see progress! I got to a point where everything was organized and it became just simple maintenance! I could use that day for vacuuming out the closets or in the couch! And it freed me time to go on walks with friends! Sew! BLOG! All with two young young kiddos!

I think it will evolve into something different as my children get older and I have to school them, but they will also be able to help with the simple things like their toys!

I hope this helped you wives and mothers, in some way!

Have an awesome new year!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Part II- Physical Life

Cardio. You heard me. Yuck, yuck and yuck. The most hated form of working out in my book. I think I'd rather swim laps for an hour than even 15 minutes of cardio.

Now, before going into this too deeply, I do have to say that this 2nd installment in this series is not for those who are unable to exert themsleves for medical reasons. Please modify or seek a different way of working out.  I have merely compiled for my readers what has worked for me as far as results, time and ability.

After doing research and trying various things over the years, I have found my nugget of gold called Tabata. It is super quick and super effective! My 2nd find is Trim, Healthy Mama on how to properly "manipulate" food for optimum health and weight loss. I have been athletic most my life in one way or another, and never been severly overweight. I've had two babies in less than 2 years, and both times gained about 30 pounds. I lost all of gain after Cara was born when I got pregnant with Clayton. Currently I am 3 months almost 4 months post partum and have about 5 pounds to lose to pre prego weight! I would still like to lose 10 after I get my first goal but it isn't a huge problem for me if I don't. 

Quite literally, my biggest issue is time. I just can't find time. I hate working out and the idea of dedicating 30 minutes to a workout isn't possible AT ALL for me. I'm just too busy! Second issue, is consistency. I do great for a month and then lose motivation and stop. My husband teases me about it. I've been known to vocalize that I will quite sugar forEVER and workout 5x a week, and completely fail in 3 days! My most recent streak is a month and a half straight of consistent eating and working out. Got results that I LOVED and still stopped. But enough. Let's get into what I have found success in (as long as I continue!)

Have 4 minutes?

Yup. Have 8?

What if I told you that even your longest workout (if you so choose) would be 12 minutes!!!!

The whole concept is to boost your metabolism suddenly for a short period of time in such an intensity that it keeps your body burning calories for 24 hours! Naturally! It is 20 second bursts followed by 10 second rest and right back into the 20 second burst and etc...until the four minutes are done. Now this isn't half hearted juming jacks, its jumping jacks as fast and hard as you can go for 20 seconds without losing good form!

You can make your own work out routine on doable exercises for your 20 second rounds, or check out the many many routines already planned out on pinterest or the web. I have liked mixing my routines up for the sake of boredom. I cannot do the same routine for more than a few weeks. It drains my motivation like crazy.

I also suggest downloading one of the free apps from the Playstore or Apple, which ever your preference. I use a HIIT timer app (High Intensity Interval Training) which is basically the same thing. You can type in your exercises and set your timer for your customized times. It is great so you can focus on just working it hard! You should get quite out of breath, heart pounding, maybe a good sweat even for those 4 minutes. The more you adapt to your Tabata workouts the more minutes you can add, like adding another 4  or another 8! But being a mommy and wife sometimes 4 minutes is all you got! And those 4 minutes are sacrifice enough!

My one year old loves watching me, she tries to do jumping jacks with me or climbs on me while holding a plank (oh.my.goodness.) but as she gets older she can join in! I do my push ups with my baby under me! He giggles as mommy goes up and down and makes faces ha!

For the new year I am wanting to try out a whole bunch of premade tabata routines I found on a site called tabatagirl.com. It is for a 30 day challenge, but I doubt I will be doing one each day like that. I have to look up several of the exercises she uses before hand and enter it in my app, but I'm looking forward to the variety!

My "go-to" routine is like this:

Jumping Jacks
Push Ups (I have really weak wrists, and girl push ups are what I do unless I feel like ironman)
Squats (I weighted mine if my toddler was around! She thought it was fun!)
High Knees
Tricep Dips
Jumping Jacks

I workout Mon,Tues, Thurs, Fri. Give myself the weekend and Wed off. If something comes up I can swap a day and catch up on one of my off days. I always try and get my workout done within the first few hours of being awake. Your metabolism slows at night the most so if I boost it in the morning, all my daily activities just increase the burning of the calories. Oh, I should also mention that each morning I  drink two glasses (16oz?) of water. It is a simple thing that also jump starts your metabolism. Drinking water throughout the day, obviously, as well. But I drink the water first. Sometimes the water and 4 mintute workout is all I need to wake and no coffee is needed! Ha!

I did Tabata while pregnant, but didn't jump or do planks after a certain point. Once my bump started to come in, I avoid planks because it can actually cause Diastasis Recti (ab seperation that is a HUGE effort to get to heal). From the gravity pull with the extra frontal weight. I still wanted to workout my abs, however, and so I did vertical ab workouts using a pull up bar. My abs are hard under that padding, I can feel them!

As this post is getting so long, I will conclude with a quick blurp about my diet. I partially follow Trim, Healthy Mama, as far as combining good fats and protein and alternating it with combining good carb and protein. I can't afford some of the good sweeteners with which I could make yummy trimming desserts, and so I try and not eat sugary desserts....often. This holiday season has been a bad one for me, just being honest, and hubby brings home treats for me on occasion. But other than that I try to keep it to the weekends and even on the weekends try and keep it low. Like a Starbucks coffee. And a cookie. Ok, two cookies! I lost weight doing what I do, and toned and slimmed. Worth a shot if you have the 4 minutes!

Starting this new year, I am going to throw myself ruthlessly at keeping at it better than ever before!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Part I- Spiritual Life

Getting into God's Word is much more of a priority than we give proper attention too for some of us. I know (sadly) that it is the easiest thing to let go for "just this one day" due to various distractions. No time, kids crying, errands to run, house is a mess, or simply, don't want too!

It is a habit I fall in and out of way to often. I do really good at making it a priority just as good as I do at putting it off. And this is coming from a girl who was raised in a church and good grief! My dad was a pastor! Me? Of all people to struggle at getting into God's Word?

It is true though.

How ardently the Lord tells us to dig into His Word, to seek him in prayer and supplication, to praise Him...

2 Timothy 3:14-17- But as for you, continue in what you have learned an firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

Psalm 119:11- I have stored up your wor in my heart that I might not sin against you.

Joshua 1:8- This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have goo success.

Psalm 119:105- Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

It is so important to make it a top priority.

Some most excellent advice I received from my dearest friend's mom was to have a place, a special place, that you sit for the purpose of reading your Bible. Or to focus on prayer and worship. I have had multiple "places" as the years have gone by. From my bed as a teenager, to one certain couch cushion in our living room and now a chair in my master bedroom. I will sit in it to do my reading and thoughtful, intentional prayer time. It helps me to focus on God, and to think and dwell on Him. If that would be something to help you in keeping God Time a priority, I encourage you to do so!

Growing up, I would always see my mother each and EVERY morning pour her coffee, make a bagel and sit on her special Lazy Boy recliner and read her devotional  and Bible. Seeing it every day really imprinted in me how she made it her routine. Coffee and breakfast are synonoumous with her God Time.

I have several ideas I have done to keep me on track to daily Bible reading and intential prayer time. I will switch it up as the seasons in my life change, and it doesn't always fit my ever changing days and schedules. Here are some examples:

No facebook/email/texts/tv until after I have read my Bible
Breakfast with the Daily Light
While my daughter "wakes up" first thing in the morning as she drinks her milk
As a cool down after working out
My daughter's nap

I encourage you to try and feel free to flex with whatever fits you and your family's life! My husband and I like to pray and read something together! When we were first married we actually had time to read WHOLE CHAPTERS of the Word together! No way now! We do, however, do our best at making it a habit at reading the entry of the Daily Light and a quick prayer before he goes to work. That is enough! Deep theological Bible studies aren't needed to draw a couple to the Lord! Unity in prayer and washing in the Word, however quick/short, is so beneficial at keeping God in the center. Your children will see and watch, and IMPACT them more than you realize!

What exactly to read!? I used to stress and stress about that. Is the Lord going to press on my heart what to read? Or am I left to my own decision? Is a devotional cheating?

Peace be upon me, upon you. If the Lord presses to read or study something specific then do so. If not, find a book and read, or get that chronological dusted off and read the daily reading. Only have time for a simple devotional on a quickie look at a single verse for the day? Hey, your heart and mind will dwell on that verse then. Peace.

I enjoy the yearly reading plans. It gives me a list (I LOVE lists....) and a goal for each day with the end result having read the Bible in a year. That is a fun thing for me :-)

I simply google for read the bible in a year and several links are available to print off a years worth of daily readings! I like chronological! I print and fold and store in my Bible.

I also like to do a devotional, when I have time, and recommend for wives and mothers some of Nancy Campbell's material. Like 100 days of blessings. So encouraging. Daily Light is a good one too. All scripture! Morning and Evening readings of compiled scripture. Short, sweet, and no opinions!

I have some devotionals that I want to do but it just isn't the time for yet. I have the 30 Day Praise Challenge still sitting on my shelf! One day that will give some umpff to my every day routine!

With the new year on the horizon, I am off to print my daily Bible reading! I think with where I am right now, my best bet for reading is going to be when my daughter is napping in the afternoon. At which point I will drop EVERYTHING and sit (maybe have to nurse or hold my son) and focus on the Lord. What are you planning on doing?

Four days in Anticipation of the New Year!

Oh my. It's been far too long since I blogged! My darling daughter is now a year and a half and our handsome son, Clayton, is 3 months old!

I intend to keep up with this blog, I really do! And now that we have the luxury of home internet, I think I will be able to!

My first re-installment will be a four part (these next four days) series on prepping for a new year. Focusing on returning our attention to three important aspects that make up our life in an anticipation of the new year! Those three things are:

Spiritual Life: keeping God a priority in our life!

Physical Life: keeping healthy for ourselves, our husbands and our children!

And finally,

Home Life: keeping up on the ENDLESS task of home making!

I will dedicate the next three posts following this "intro" on one of the listed topics above! I hope and pray they will inspire you and fill you with excitement of the new year!

Now don't think I have it all figured out, as I don't, and each day is a struggle in one way or another in keeping up on various important things that I just know need to be done (that I just don't have the motivation too).

As far as what you may "need" is nothing. A printer may be nice, to print out a list or something similar, but isn't necessary. I will just be giving an overview of what I do with a few examples, and recommendations. The rest is up to you! But I assure you it will be simple. Speaking of which, I will give you the "key" to running a smooth home (well, mostly smooth, with a few wrinkles!):





Those three things are what help keep my sanity. :-)

For some background on my self and where in the world I pull my ideas and experiences from: I am the oldest of 7 children (and still growing! My mom is pregnant as of right now!) And being the oldest, and having some considerable age gaps in the midst of my siblings, I ran my household for several years (especially when my mom was expecting, she was very fatigued and sick during most pregnancies) and gained experience from having to balance 6 younger siblings school (we homeschooled), clean the home, keep up on all that LAUNDRY, cook, keep kids happy etc...it was busy. But all that gave me a wonderful head start at running my own home once married. I have two kids, 15 months apart. I am a stay at home mommy and wife and take that very seriously. And my goal is to be very good at it! :-) My husband is a hard working man, working as an apprentice meat cutter for a company that doesn't give a care for anyone but the $ the big wigs make. We have a mutual understanding that he works to provide and I handle the children and home. He expects it to be done, the same way I expect him to work.

I can get overwhelmed with balancing the ins and outs of every day life, and I neglect the important things to accomplish what takes precedence at the moment. Is that always right? Maybe for a short season, but not for a long season! Ha!

Join me in the next three days at rejuevnating your motivation in an anticipation for the new year!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Beautiful Sanctuary

When still waiting for my beloved to become mine, I was gifted a wonderful book. The title inspired the description for this blog: The Mirror of True Womanhood by Reverend Bernard O'Reily. Published 1886. I learned so many fascinating ideals from this old-fashioned and somewhat outdated book. Even though I won't ever be able to apply some of the old formalities it speaks of, one of my favorite lessons was on the importance of the wife keeping a home as a peaceful sanctum for her husband and children.

The book speaks of two women, the first being a rich upper class wife, whose home is lavishly decorated and truly lacks nothing. It directs the women who fall under this category to behave themselves in a righteous, humble, graceful and yet authorative manner to their manservants and maidservants. That no matter how much material things the Lord God blesses them with, to use them and disperse of them in a frugal way, showing gratitude and respect for all her husband does and pour love and peace throughout her home.

The second woman, is one whose husband works incredibly hard for the very little home they have. A small cottage and garden, the author describes, and though it be a humble abode how important it still be to make it just as peacefilled and inviting as any other. Reverend O'Reily says the wife's attitude of sheer thanksgiving, love and joy makes up for the crude beauty the interior possesses. The husband comes home to a sanctuary of love and rest because of the wife's attitude!

This was fascinating to me. Starting out in our own place was so incredibly humbling. Our area designated for dining had a glued together, uneven, laminate topped table that was about three feet long and two feet wide. On either end were two borrowed folding chairs. Beyond a beautiful bed in our bedroom, our place had no other furniture. As I spent my days at home pregnant with our first, my husband worked very hard at a stressful job. He came home exhausted nearly every night. I desired above all else he come home to a relaxing home and hot meal. I recalled what I had read in that book. I did my very best to have his dinner fresh on a plate directly as he walked over that threshold, I decorated what I could, made our home spotless (something my man really appreciates) and focused on my attitude.

I only hope that my attitude reflects a palace and sanctuary of love and peace for all who enter. And as time has gone by, my home has gotten prettier and prettier.