I do enjoy Emilie Barnes’ enthusiasm and joy as she relishes in her femininity and shares her zeal with us!
From The Spirit of Loveliness by Emilie Barnes
At its best, our femininity arises naturally out of who we are and finds its expression in the way we live our lives and make our homes. But in our hectic, hard-driving society, it’s easy to lose track of our gentle, feminine side.
Femininity is something we must nurture in ourselves and in our homes, and celebrate as God’s gift to us.
Femininity can be cultivated in many ways. A few drops of fragrant oil or perfume in the bathwater. A daisy on your desk. A lace scarf or an embroidered hanky in your pocket. A crocheted shawl around your shoulders.
Whatever awakens a calm and gentle spirit within you will nurture beauty in your life.
The expression of femininity is a very personal thing, for it is an expression of a woman’s unique self. It is closely tied with identity and with style. Many of the most feminine women I know develop a signature or trademark that marks their distinctiveness.
One woman always wears hats. Another enhances her distinctive presence with a favorite fragrance. Still another adopts a theme or motif that becomes part of her identity.
My friend Marilyn’s theme is roses. All her correspondence is “rosy,” whether with a sticker, a rubber stamp, or her own distinctive stationery. Her home, too, is full of roses – on everything from bedspreads to dessert dishes to rose-scented potpourri.
Marita, one of my publicists, loves rabbits. When she was little, her nickname was “Bunny,” and she has carried this trademark into adulthood.
Marita and her husband, Chuck, have bunny T-shirts and bunny candle holders, and at one time even a live bunny as a pet. Anytime I see anything thing with a rabbit on it I think of Marita, and at Christmas or on her birthday she always gets a bunny gift. Finding personalized presents is fun for me and Marita. It’s one way of celebrating her unique, feminine personality.
Rejoicing in the Senses
Femininity includes a wholesome sensuality – a rejoicing in the fragrances and textures and sounds of God’s world.
We honor God and express our own femininity when we become excited about the beauty around us, when we cultivate the senses that God created in us.
What is the first thing you do when you pick a rose? You put it to your nose to enjoy the fragrance. How does it make you feel? Maybe it brings a pleasant memory of that little girl inside you – of a time when you picked a flower for your mother or grandmother.
Beautiful fragrances can waft the beauty of femininity all around the house. A lavender sachet thrown in your underwear drawer, sewing box, or stocking box-or hung on a hanger in the closet-imparts its delicate fragrance at the most unexpected times.
Spray a little cologne on your notepaper, the bathroom throw rug, or even the toilet bowl. Fill your house with pine at Christmas, or boil a little pot of cinnamon and other spices on the stove.
And enjoy your other senses as well. Put on lively music while you do your housework, and take time out to dance before the Lord.
Experiment with herbs and spices in your cooking, and don’t be afraid to try new dishes. Slipcover a rough-textured sofa with a cool, smooth sheet, and banish your scratchy, uncomfortable sweaters.
There is nothing self-indulgent or worldly about such small pleasures when we approach them with a spirit of gratitude because God’s gifts help us go about the tasks he has given us.
When we feel that the little things in our lives are pleasant and satisfying, it’s amazing how the outside stresses and disappointments fade, at least for the moment.
We can then regroup, prioritize, and pray – cultivating a quiet, feminine spirit and preparing ourselves to be God’s people in the world.
“Boys need that self-assured belief that they can do anything to grow into men of action and achievement—but they’ll never build that confidence if Mom and Dad never give them real responsibility. We have to give important jobs to our kids, and then we have to trust them and not worry about them messing up. It would certainly be easier for us to just do the hard stuff ourselves and let our boys play, but our goal isn’t to do what’s easy. It’s to raise men.” – Chasity Akiki
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Oh how powerful is the Holy Rosary with God and His Holy Mother! It can do all things for us. Listen Sr. Lucia of Fatima sum up everything I have been trying to impart to you today: “The Most Holy Virgin in these last times in which we live has given a new efficacy to the recitation of the Rosary to such an extent that there is no problem, no matter how difficult it is, whether temporal or above all spiritual, in the personal life of each one of us, of our families…that cannot be solved by the Rosary…..
This revised 1922 classic offers gentle guidance for preteen and teenage girls on how to become a godly woman. Full of charm and sentiment, it will help mother and daughter establish a comfortable rapport for discussions about building character, friendships, obedience, high ideals, a cheerful spirit, modest dress, a pure heart, and a consecrated life.
With his facile pen and from the wealth of his nation-wide experience, the well-known author treats anything and everything that might be included under the heading of home education: the pre-marriage training of prospective parents, the problems of the pre-school days down through the years of adolescence. No topic is neglected. “What is most praiseworthy is Fr. Lord’s insistence throughout that no educational agency can supplant the work that must be done by parents.” – Felix M. Kirsch, O.F.M.
Necessary advice to Catholic parents building a Catholic home. Reliable advice that is almost completely lost today, from people who know how it’s done. How to make it. How to live it. How to keep it. This book covers every aspect of Catholicizing your home–from spiritual matters like prayer and catechism to nuts and bolts topics like Keeping the Family Budget, Games and Toys, Harmony between School and Home, Family Prayers, Good Reading in the Home, Necessity of Home Life and much more
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Lovely, lovely! I like roses but not lavender smells. My sister likes bunnies. 🙂
Elizabeth Paulsen said:
Beautiful. Where do your girls get all of their dresses? Love them!
Hi Elizabeth, many of them are bought from thrift shops. My daughter, Virginia, will get some of the vintage clothes she wears from eBay. She also makes a lot of her clothes.