New Address for the Generic Mum

Hi everyone, especially to my loyal followers.

I’ve been quite busy, lately, setting up my two new blogs: 19th Century Life

and A Beautiful Home.

19th Century Life is about culture in the 19th Century (no surprises there!) and will soon feature a shop, where fine art prints from the 19th century can be purchased.

A Beautiful Home embodies all that I had intended for this blog, and more: beauty, family and faith.

They are both new, and like all of you, I never seem to have enough hours in the day in which to complete my tasks, but I hope they will eventually be sites that will inspire, satisfy and encourage you all.

Please drop by my new sites, so we can share ideas and conversations.

I hope you will continue to follow me on my new sites.

Blessings to you all,

Kathy.women's lives pic 2

Deo Gratias

 

Image

Thanks be to God for the many blessings granted to my family recently. From the lawyer offering to represent me gratis, to support from my friends and family for my business ventures, to the good news that my bank will finance a house for us, I feel very blessed and grateful.

 

 

“I plead with you, never, ever give up on hope, never doubt, never tire, and never become discouraged. Be not afraid.” John Paul II

Home Essentials – Peace

Today’s post is about uncertainty.

11155064-illustration-of-mary-on-donkey--joseph-and-jesus-walking-in-desert

I’m sure that, at one time or another, almost everyone has contemplated the thought of Mary’s uncertainty, as she travelled to Bethlehem on that first Christmas, two thousand years ago.

She was expecting her first child, a poor young woman with no resources, except her faithful husband and faithful God. Many of us have wondered what it would be like to arrive in an unfamiliar town and have nowhere to stay, and then to actually go into labour that night, with no midwife or doctor, no clean bed, and most of our baby’s requirements left at home. (Mary had swaddling clothes, so maybe that is a little like us being able to grab some disposables from the 7-11.)

But, the truth is, that we all have very uncertain lives. We literally don’t know what tomorrow will bring. We have no idea when we will be called to leave this world. We can ‘read the signs of the times’ and get a feel for events moving into place around us, but as for the exact circumstances of tomorrow, or even later today, or even five minutes’ time, well, who knows?

God does, of course.

The Bible is filled with stories, amazing stories, of the uncertainty of men and women and the faithfulness of their God.

The Apostles were no strangers to uncertainty, even though they lived with Jesus, day in and day out. It may seem surprising to be reading about Jesus’ Last Supper during this time of Advent, but, Jesus’ words on that night are really the crux of His mission on earth and show us the certainty that He promised to give us to replace the uncertainty always present in our lives.

Jesus promised us peace. He never assured us that we will experience wealth, happiness (as in always getting everything we desire), stability, good health, freedom from war and tyranny. Some of His followers do experience blessings; some are freely given, some are given as an answer to much prayer, some are given miraculously, but none of those blessings are guaranteed.

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. ” John 14:27.

It was peace that marked the lives of Mary and Joseph, as they passed through their many trials. It was peace that the shepherds experienced, when they arrives at the humble shelter to honour the baby Jesus. And it is peace that the world craves – the world will not be converted with an intellectual argument; if that were so, then we would have no atheists today. When we have peace, true peace, not a false acceptance of error or sin, and when we live that peace, then not only can we cope with whatever life throws our way, but we also learn to listen, to better help our children, to make good decisions, to discern the Will of God, to have dialogue with other Christians, to build bridges.

images (5)

Business Update

It’s hard to go from contemplating the words of John Paul II to writing about business matters. But, when I remind myself that our business will be helping to support my family, then, it’s as if a circuit is connected which allows the spiritual principles continue to flow into the material needs.

The Etsy shop is set to open on January 1st – if I make it to midnight on New Year’s Eve, then I’ll open the shop then with a few clicks. The 1st of January is a great Feast day, dedicated to the Mother of God, and I like to attend Mass on that day, to dedicate the whole year to Our Lady, and through her, to God. Opening the shop on that day is my way of dedicating the entire business venture to the Lord.

I’m also working on a Facebook page for the shop; there’s not much there yet, but I should be able to post some photos today.

Here are some of the resources that I’ve been gleaning information from:

How to Start a Home-based Online Retail Business by Jeremy Shepherd

http://www.createhype.com
http://www.MyWifeQuitHerJob.com
http://www.christianpf.com

Etsy posts a number of really helpful tutorials about all facets of starting and growing a craft-related business. Some of the topics I have looked at are: costing, designing a shop banner, photographing shop items.

I’m always interested in finding out more about running a small business, so fell free to leave some links that you have found helpful.

We are also going to be moving house in the New Year, so pray for me that I will be able to keep it all together.
God’s blessings to you all.

Home Essentials – Stewardship

images (14)

I’m part way through a helpful finance workshop courtesy of Christian Personal Finance, (christianpf.com). I came across this site when looking for a free downloadable budget planner, as mentioned previously.

Well, the site is really interesting, and I signed up for a 20 day finances ‘makeover’; one lesson comes each day via email. So far, the lessons have been very straightforward, and most have been relevant to my household. (Except for advice about refinancing a home-loan – we are renting at the moment and don’t have a mortgage to consider.)

Apart from the workshop, there are numerous free budgeting tools, templates, reviews and articles – there is even a self-employed, homeschooling mother among the contributors. And I really appreciate the the Scriptural perspective of the writers.

Our circumstances recently changed, and my housekeeping money has decreased, but I’ve been amazed at how easy it has been to adapt. This must be due, in part, to the finance workshop, and also to my changing relationship to money, which has come as a result of planning a home-business.

images (15)

The following Scripture reference was posted on the CPF website in an article about adult children returning to the parental home, but it was relevant for me today as I made time to help with my little grandson:

Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. – 1 Timothy 5:8 (NIV)

They are rather strong words, and a good reminder that charity does begin at home, and that we are also called to be good stewards of our time.

images (11)

A Beautiful Idea.

I thought I would continue today with the story of how I came up with my business idea. You must remember, that I haven’t yet opened my shop or made a single sale, so it’s possible that I should be writing this twenty years in the future, when Bill Gates is asking me for advice.

Any way, someone asked me how I blend being a Catholic with running a business, so maybe my thoughts will be of some interest.

A few days ago, I wrote about the struggle I had had with the concept of supplementing my husband’s income. This is not meant to be a criticism of those mothers who work outside the home – it’s just a personal obstacle that I had about my own situation. So, I first went to Book of Proverbs for some illumination.

Then I came across a helpful little book at the library – about using the biblical principles found in “Proverbs” to assist in running a business. It was a Protestant book, and had a lot of useful ideas, as well as case-studies. It mentioned the company, “Chick-Fil-A” which we don’t have in Australia, but I was familiar with the name, because I had read about their opposition to Obama’s HHS. Anyway, Chick-Fil-A chooses not to open on the Sabbath, and, despite that, has grown into a very successful business. The owner said that he had been thanked by some of his competitors, who said that they would never have gotten off the ground if he had opened on Sundays, so it just goes to show how God’s providence takes into account those without faith, as well as the faithful.

Around this time, I did some brainstorming in my trusty journal – I knew there was an idea in there somewhere, waiting to see the light of day. I wrote down my skill set (craft/logistics/business, knows what its like to be tired/frustrated/having limited resources) and some markets I could see weren’t being catered to (home-educators/ busy mothers/semi crafty people who need some help to get started/people who love beautiful things but can’t afford them). And so my idea was born – put together kits for homewares that people can make themselves. Sort of like a cross between Martha Stewart and Ikea. It was easy to come up with some simple projects inspired by my favourite textile artists, William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones. I can envisage more projects to come, with a specifically Catholic theme, inspired by the work of Pugin, and which revolve around the Liturgical Year.

“The Most Beautiful Thing this side of Heaven.”

I know that I’m not a great artist who can transform a lump of silver into a beautiful ring, or a blank canvas into something that will inspire generations, but I think that I possess the sort of creativity that John Paul II called the ‘genius of woman.’ (One of my sons has suggested that this ‘genius’ refers to our ability to remove layers of make-up from our faces.)

I can see the business staying very small, more like a hobby, or growing into something bigger. It’s like a blog, in that regard – we never quite know where it will take us.

“A Beautiful Home” store lives again…

This will be a quick post, because it is RATHER late, here in Tasmania…but I have some good news; I will be opening an online store on January 1st, after all. Pray for me that all my dreams, and yours, will come to pass. My goals will have to be re-re=evaluated. At least I can start out small on an Etsy store.

Some of the children were sick today with a fluey/cold, so we had a quiet day, but those who were well made some simple rolled candles from beeswax sheets. This was fun, and even one of the teenagers joined in. I tried to be efficient and take photos of our little workshop, but the camera was out of juice. (I will definitely post photos tomorrow, I promise.) We made a few different styles and burned four of them during our Rosary tonight. The candles are 100% beeswax, and have a faint scent of honey. I think that these home-made candles will make nice gifts for Christmas.

You have already seen photos of my baby grand-son; here is one of my grand-daughter, taken on the day she was born. She seems to have a different temperament from our little boy – my twins also showed different personalities from birth…

My other grand-child, Alice

I have struggled a bit with the concept of posting details of my family, such as names and photos of the children, because of the problems that we all know exist in cyber-world, as well as the real world. But, I thought about where we live and the amount of crime that abounds in our neighborhood; in three years we have had five break-ins and thefts from the garage, one entry and theft from our home, a car stolen (and returned), a home invasion by a paranoid-schizophrenic, as well as sundry visits from mentally disabled people. You see, we live in a kind of medical precinct, close to clinics for alzheimer’s patients, drug and alcohol rehab, a methadone clinic, autism assessment and a children’s services department, as well as a sports ground and a school. Our home was once an Anglican rectory, so quite a few mentally-impaired people have come to call, hoping to find a friendly pastor to help them. But, we have never been harmed, or felt unsafe, despite these events – and you could say that we are ‘known to the police!’
So, I decided to run my blog as naturally as possible, mentioning my children’s names and posting their photographs from time to time. It’s because we always have some thing to be grateful for, and we always feel taken care of. That’s terrible grammar, but it’s true.

Lastly, one of my daughters told me today that she thinks my blog is really “me.” That’s what I needed to hear.