I LOVE the number three.....I've had three kids (the perfect amount), I'm always grouping items into little cute clusters of threes, there are three strikes before any outages, we are three parts (mind, body and spirit), I have three amazing friends (for whom I am eternally grateful!) there were three stooges and, of course, the Bermuda triangle has three sides, and ummmm.....I have three toes (plus 7 more) and my favorite amount of cookies to eat is three! (or four!)....even God (Who is one) is also...yep...THREE! (but this concept makes my brain hurt) I could ramble on and on about the aesthetic numeric beauty of three, but I will spare you.
Therefore, I have been on a painting kick of threes. When I first started painting, artists would tell me to paint and RE-paint paintings (and as you say "paint and re-paint", say it in a dreary tone of voice) but that sounded SO pathetically BORING. Who wants to repaint a painting? Bleah...
But now....at the wise old age of 3 (3 is how old I currently am in the watercolor world) (Happy Watercolor birthday to meeeee), I am starting to see the wisdom of repainting certain things. With all of my "three" paintings, I definitely have worked the kinks out by the third one.
Here is painting #1....of plopping paint on the page (plopping is such a lovely word) and painting the flowers from the shapes that the original wash makes.
Here is painting #2......a bit better....more thought out and the colors are more cohesive:
See how lovely? Both of these paintings are gone now...one sold, one was a gift....so, I decided to paint the THIRD one....(say "third" with a really exciting tone of voice) and it came out REALLY happy...or rather, it made me happy b/c I like it!
Yes, three is the charm....I've also painted THREE in the treelike series and THREE of my favorite Vietnamese woman (and boy, is there a HUGE learning curve with the woman painting!)
So, if you take home anything from this blog posting, it must be that 3 is a lovely number and in a pinch, you can use it as an "m" or a "w" (when turned sideways).
I am the mom of three little Indians….actually, they aren’t so little anymore. I have two happy girls with one energetic boy sandwiched between them. Raising a boy is no easy task although I’ve heard some moms think that they are easier then girls. My mental hat goes off to ANY mom who has more than one boy. Boy’s issues are so very different than girl’s issues and as my son grows older and my gaze sweeps over our culture, I am becoming increasingly aware of what I need to teach him in the realm of modesty.
Modesty is not just a women’s issue. No matter how much we blog about it and no matter how many modest clothes we buy, let’s face it, our boys are going to need to adapt some visual survival skills in this world. There are so many snares and traps that our young sons are going to be tempted by and really, they ARE going to see things no matter how hard we try to protect them.
My little guy, Jacob, is the happiest little man. He has a huge sunny smile and large heavily lashed brown eyes. He is so full of life and vitality that there are times that my mother’s heart just aches b/c I know what he is going to eventually face as he grows into young adulthood.
My husband and I have begun preparing him with tips and tools that he’s going to need to employ when he becomes the man of honor that God desires him to be. Dialogue about modesty, modest women and how a real man averts his gaze when an immodest situation presents itself has become commonplace in our household. When we pass the magazine section in the grocery store, I encourage all of my kids to avert their eyes b/c viewing women in various states of undress damages both developing girlhoods' self-image and developing boyhoods' view and respect of women.
I desire my son to hold women in high esteem. I do not want him to view a woman as a visual object, simply there to gratify his lust on the glossy pages of a magazine. I know that many might disagree with this thinking and argue that there’s no harm in looking, but there is harm….great harm.
Every journey starts with one step and I firmly believe that future lust, infidelity, pornographic addictions and violence start with a look. It begins with a young, impressionable mind, allowed to view images that aren’t real, images that rapidly chip away at the dignity of women and the respect that is due them.
No, that is not what I want for my son. While I cannot protect him from it all, I can give him the tools, the warnings and the instruction to help him stand strong in the face of extreme temptation. I want him to know the rich fullness of the love and intimacy of his future wife. I want him to value and treasure her and not have his mind cluttered with the ridiculous images that our culture is so fond ingesting.
For him to value a woman, he must follow his father’s example and learn to avert his eyes, change the channel, throw away the magazines and choose integrity.
Instruct your sons in the way they should go. His future depends on it, his future spouse depends on it, and his future mental health depends on it.
Embracing Your Feminine Side
I read a book recently with a controversial title: Created to Be His Helpmeet by Debbie Pearl. I can just see women bristling at this title, but hear me out. It was a life-changing book for me. I’ve read it many times now and recently I gave it to a friend to read. It was a book that you wanted to throw against the wall but then it compelled you to pick it up again and finish it. (then throw it again!)
The premise of the book was basically this: women have lost their femininity, their soft side, their respect and admiration for their husbands, their enjoyment of their children, their love for compassion and good deeds. Women have become experts at nagging, being bitter, picking people and situations apart, withholding affection from their husbands, jealousy and being dissatisfied with the simple things in life such as cooking and decorating their home to make it cozy.
The author paints a word picture that a woman practicing negativity is like a person practicing the piano. Even if the piano player has little to no musical skill, if she practices it enough, she will be able to eventually play that piano with ease. So it is with women practicing negativity and criticism in their marriages. If we practice this for years and years in our marriages and with our children, we will become so good at it that we won’t even realize that we are hitting the notes of discord in our lives.
She compares our attitude in our families to “emotional adultery”. What our husbands need the most from us is respect, correct? How many times have you angered your husband b/c of your sharp words of disrespect towards him? Which is worse….the husband having a one night affair or the wife spending year upon year upon year nagging him, cutting him down, mocking him in front of others, emasculating him?
She encourages the reader to rethink her words and actions in the marriage. Do you really want to cut this man down…the man you promised at the altar to love and HONOR on your wedding day? Why shouldn’t you put his interests first? Why shouldn’t you show him respect and love in front of your children? Why shouldn’t you speak highly of him in front of others? What are you accomplishing by treating him like an idiot like the women in commercials and on sitcoms do? He is not an idiot. He loves his children, often works long hours, comes home tired and finds time to do things around the house. So what if his style of parenting is different than yours. Your kids need both styles! Let him parent! So what if you think he’s too hard on the kids! They need to learn discipline…..so what if he wants sex when you don’t. How many nights has he been exhausted and yet has stayed up late to hear you talk non stop about some trivial family issue or held you while you cried b/c you were PMS. Treat him as you would like to be treated. Don’t use your many excuses to rebuff him….I’m too fat, I’m too old, I’m tired, I’m not in the mood, I’m having a bad hair day….etc, etc, etc. He doesn’t care if you’re a few pounds overweight. He loves you! He doesn’t want a Victoria’s Secret model, he wants to show his wife that he loves her through being intimate with her.
Just last night, I was sitting on the couch, relaxing and my husband was taking apart the drain in the bathroom and cleaning out the stinky mold so that it would drain more properly. I don’t think that we wives fully appreciate the sacrifices and devotion that our husbands give to us and we have become experts at negativity and criticism.
Love, honor and respect your husband and he will treat you like a queen. If not, even the most faithful of men will look for it elsewhere later on in life and you will be the one dealing with the dirty jobs around the house.
You know you’ve seen it. Bitter older women in their fifties, raising children through the difficult teen years alone, working the night shift somewhere…..Don’t be that woman.
Be the wife that your husband needs and embrace being loving, soft, tender and content. You won't regret it! :)