Wednesday, February 23, 2011

To live content with small means,

"We women have a lot to learn about simplifying our lives. We have to decide what is important and then move along at a pace that is comfortable for us. We have to develop the maturity to stop trying to prove something. We have to learn to be content with what we are." -Marjorie Hinckley

"Until you make peace with who you are, you'll never be content with what you have." -Doris Mortman

"Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you." --Laozi

"The future, good or ill, was not forgotten, but ceased to have any power over the present. Health and hope grew strong in them, and they were content with each good day as it came, taking pleasure in every meal, and in every word and song." -J.R.R. Tolkien

"People always think that happiness is a faraway thing... something complicated and hard to get. Yet, what little things can make it up; a place of shelter when it rains - a cup of strong hot coffee [tea]... for contentment; a book to read when you're alone... Those things make happiness." - Betty Smith

Saturday, February 19, 2011

to seek elegance rather than luxury,

I have been pondering this phrase, wondering what pictures to put with it, what other great quotes I might find to express this same sentiment. I have come up with nothing that seems right to me.

I see luxury in red embroidered or paisley velvet with heavy beading and bullion fringe, and elegance in crisp white linen. But each person defines these two ideas, these two words differently.

To me it seems a luxury not to care that you have dropped the spare change out of your purse, to know and have a policy of never stooping to pick up loose change. It seems a luxury to not care that herbs you use every day cost less in bulk. It seems a luxury to swipe a card and pay for a meal you hadn't planned on eating at a restaurant I wouldn't normally afford. It seems a luxury to buy a new dress and new shoes for an event you aren't sure you'll attend.

But these luxuries are more than just things I can't afford, they are things I wouldn't afford even if I could afford them. Somehow my definition of luxuries has gotten tied up with an idea of poor stewardship, with an idea of a lack of respect for the value of a dollar in working-man terms, with carelessness and attitudes of entitlement. Luxuries are things one should do without, just on the sheer principle of it.

So how do I define elegance? In simple terms, in the classics, the enduring, the unchanging, honest, clean, refined by the passage of time and set apart by the quality of workmanship. Not necessarily inexpensive -- elegance might be affordable or it might require deep pockets -- but whatever the cost, elegance is solidly worth its price tag.

How do you define elegance?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

and refinement rather than fashion;

"Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months." -- Oscar Wilde

Monday, February 14, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

and wealthy, not rich;

"Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings a warmth and a richness to life that nothing else can bring."
— Oscar Wilde

Thursday, February 10, 2011

to study hard,

"There is so much about my fate that I cannot control, but ... I can select what I can read and eat and study. I can choose how I'm going to regard unfortunate circumstances in my life-whether I will see them as curses or opportunities. I can choose my words and the tone of voice in which I speak to others. And most of all, I can choose my thoughts." -- Elizabeth Gilbert

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

talk gently,

Proverbs 8:5-9, 12-13

O you simple ones, understand prudence,
And you fools, be of an understanding heart.
Listen, for I will speak of excellent things,
And from the opening of my lips will come right things;
For my mouth will speak truth;
Wickedness is an abomination to my lips.
All the words of my mouth are with righteousness;
Nothing crooked or perverse is in them.
They are all plain to him who understands,
And right to those who find knowledge. ...
“ I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
And find out knowledge and discretion.
The fear of the LORD is to hate evil;
Pride and arrogance and the evil way
And the perverse mouth I hate.

Monday, February 7, 2011

act frankly,

"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment." -Ralph Waldo Emerson"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." -Oscar Wilde"A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you." -Elbert Hubbard
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." -Dr. Seuss

Sunday, February 6, 2011

to listen to the stars and birds, to babes and sages,

"Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square hole. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."
-- Jack Kerouac

Saturday, February 5, 2011

with an open heart;

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken.
If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements.
Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.

To love is to be vulnerable."
— C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

awaiting occasions,

Isaiah 25:9

And it shall be said in the day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

worry never...

Matthew 6:25-31
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?

So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day brings enough troubles of its own.