Hello ladies. Let me ask you a question.
When you think of women of the “old days” how do you picture them? How do you picture their homes?
Do you think they have it all together? That only today’s “modern” women seem to not be able to balance their daily lives?
I struggled with this thinking for a long time. We look at our grandmothers…their homes always seemed cleaned (I wonder what their house looked like when they were in their twenties and thirties with small kids?! Must be easy to keep a clean home when the kids are grown!) Or what about a lot of the resources we have about women from back then? I remember reading a really old book from the early 1900s that was a home economics book that was taught to girls in school and I just thought how in the world do these women do all of that?
Then I came across an awesome book called “The New Housekeeping Efficiency Studies in Home Management.” This book was written in 1912 and is one of my favorite old reads.
So if you thought they always had it all together…read this excerpt
“A moderate income, two babies, and constant demands on my time, was the situation that faced me several years ago. I liked housework, and was especially fond of cooking; but the deadening point about the whole situation was that I never seemed to finish my work, never seemed to **get anywhere,** and that I almost never had any leisure time to myself.
“I wanted to read a bit, or write out some ideas I had been thinking about, or take a half hour for personal grooming. If I devoted my day to cooking, I was appalled later at the confusion and dirt I had neglected. If I specialized on cleaning, our meals were hurried and ill-prepared. If I tried to do justice to both cleaning and preparing of meals, I quite certainly neglected the babies and myself.”
Did you just read that??!!!! This woman had a hard time balancing all her tasks JUST LIKE US!!! And the fact that she wrote a book tells me that there was a NEED for it. That tells me that women back then struggled with the same problems JUST LIKE US!! Okay, yes, there was no facebook, no computer, no TV, no modern conveniences, nothing like that to steal our time. BUT (and that’s a really big BUT), every chore took forever; cooking was a lot more time consuming…so in the end our “time” was about the same. We just replaced all that time with other stuff. So we still have a hard time balancing it all.
Do you get it? WE’RE NORMAL!!! YOU’RE NORMAL!! Just because you may think that you don’t have it all together or you struggle with balancing all your daily tasks does not mean that there is something wrong with you! If a woman back then struggled with that, what makes you think that biblical women didn’t struggle with that? That was thousands of years ago…imagine what they did NOT have back then that even the 1900s women DID have.
So my message to you today is chill out…you’re fine! We’re all in this together, no one is keeping track of what you did or did not do…you shouldn’t do it to yourself. Yes, having a system or whatever you want to call it is great if it works for ya, but I think focusing our time on keeping a perfect house and having all our tasks perfectly attended to, is darn right unrealistic. So again…CHILL OUT! Lol!!
I hope this message encourages you and lifts you up today.
Lord, I lift up all my readers. Lord fill them with Your love today and show them that they are truly okay. We struggle so much with perfectionism Lord…help us realize that we will never be perfect…only You are perfect. Change our focus to be more mindful of You during our days, give us all peace amongst the chaos that is called homemaking. Help us to laugh at the normal stresses of being a mom (like how my son has fingerpainted and/or played with his poop every day for over a week straight now…God, can You help me with this please?!!!), wife and homemaker. Show each and every one of us what YOU want us to do with our lives…with our parenting, wifelihood (yes I made that up!), homemaking, and just being Your princess! Yes, Lord, we are still women…not just a mom or wife…but our own personal being. I pray You help us balance everything out, toss out what we don’t need and just help us know that we are normal…that we are okay…and that You love us no matter what! In Jesus name…Amen.
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Have you ever been in a homemaking rut? Are you in one now?...where you just don’t want to clean anymore? After all, it’s just going to get messy in a few hours, really what’s the point? Everything you do, just has to get done again. Picking up toys, cleaning dishes, doing laundry, all have to be done every day. Is it really going to matter if you skip a few days? You bust your butt, only for other people to mess it up…so WHAT IS THE POINT? WHY BOTHER?
Ever say things like this to yourself? I have been in a rut like this recently. I would say that I am 90% out of it now and am here to tell you how to get out of it.
So how DO you get out of this rut? Well first let me ask you, do you WANT to get out of this rut? If I can be honest…I actually liked my little rut. I liked tuning out the world, and just zone out on the computer doing the bare minimum I can around the house. I didn’t want to stop. But you and I both know it’s not a good place to be. God can’t use you and me in this state. I didn’t feel good about myself. I actually have gained a little weight on top of all the weight I already want to lose.
After I figured out that I was in a rut, and decided I shouldn’t be, I had to figure out WHY I was in that rut. Well my personal reasons are because I am home 24/7. We only have one car that hubby uses for work. He was in the process of training people at work and before that he was short a guy, so he literally worked every day. So that means I didn’t get to go anywhere. Really, the only places I have been the past month, is the grocery store and Walmart. If you read my About Me page you would know that I gave homeschooling a try. Well I learned real quick that I am NOT called to do that whatsoever. However, my oldest is still at home. We are finishing off the year, and then next year he will go back to school. So I have him home all day along with me and a very demanding 2 year old. They drive me crazy and I’m usually emotionally exhausted before noon. Homeschooling has actually damaged my relationship with my son and I’m counting down the days for when he goes back to school. I don’t want him to be the new kid, so I’m having him start fresh. We couldn't spare the gas for me to drop hubby off at work to get the car. And even if I could get the car, I had no place to go…again, it all stemmed from money.
My rut came from having and doing the same thing every day, day in and day out feeling trapped in my own home. You can’t tell the difference between a Saturday and a Thursday around here.
So what’s a gal to do when she’s like this? Well here are 7 steps you can follow (don’t we love step programs? Lol)
1 – Understand there is nothing wrong with you for being in a rut. I highly recommend you take a few days off or even a week where you do the bare minimum. Anna, over on My Life and Kids has some funny posts on how to fake clean. HERE’s one and HERE’s another one.
2 – Figure out WHY you are in a rut. What are you reading? Are you comparing yourself to someone else? Are you reading books or blogs that tell you what to do, or other blogs that cause you not to appreciate your own life? I mentioned this HERE about that happening to me. I realized I feel like a horrible housewife because I don’t do a load of laundry every day. That’s because I was following flylady and she taught us to do that. There are no rules in keeping a house. There is no Employee Handbook on being a homemaker. I suggest you change your reading for a bit. I have been focusing on funny blogs like the one I mentioned in #1.
3 – Once you realize WHY, do something to change it. If you are like me, and really don’t want to or even care about getting out of your rut, then pray God changes your heart. I prayed that God gives me a different perspective, a new outlook on my life even if my surroundings and circumstances don’t change right now.
4 – Really grasp the whole “doing it for the Lord” concept. I’ll be honest, when I hear people say just do it for the Lord, I roll my eyes. I love God, but I struggle with cleaning the toilet and TRULY looking at it as if I’m doing it for God. I battle with “how is this important?” Again, pray God opens your eyes to the beauty of homemaking. You clean the toilet because it’s sanitary, because it looks better without those yellow dribbles and hair on it, and you feel better about yourself when you see it clean. Cleaning your home is truly a blessing to your family AND YOURSELF. There is a sense of comfort when the home is clean…like life is in control.
5 – Find things that motivate you to clean. Make sure they TRULY motivate you, and don’t hurt you in the process by making you feel like you’re not doing a good job. What motivates me? Reading Organize and Decorate Everything, watching Keeping up Appearances – that woman is such a clean freak she makes me want to clean. I used to watch How Clean is Your House – but they stopped airing it.
6 – Pamper yourself! Sometimes we get in a rut because we take care of everyone else and the house, but we have nothing left for ourselves. I wrote about my homemade facial cleanser and toner HERE…well I have been using them every night. That simple little thing has made me feel really good about myself (I’m cleaning myself with roses!! Granted it’s rosehip tea but still!!) I also have been putting lotion on every day, and putting a little more makeup on. It makes me feel really good, which is helping me get out of my rut.
7 – And lastly – get determined. You can’t live by your feelings and if EVERY DAY you don’t FEEL like cleaning…well then that’s a problem. I personally look at cleaning like exercising. You don’t want to start, but once you get going, you feel good about yourself that you did it. One of Satan’s number one temptations is to cause us to want to give up. Giving up only hurts YOU. Let me repeat that…giving up only hurts YOU….YOU…YOU…YOU! If you still struggle, please go to God. Pray He changes your heart, gives you a new outlook on life and towards homemaking, gives you a new plan that will work just for you, and on and on. Just don’t give up.
I want you to know that I’ve been there, and I’m still there to a degree. Today’s world makes homemaking feel like it’s not important and sometimes we believe those lies. Don’t…that’s exactly what they are…LIES. Homemaking is filled with a lot of mundane tasks that are very repetitive, but when done are a real blessing to EVERYONE in the house. I’m going to finish this off with a favorite quote of mine:
You are as much serving God in looking after your own children, training them up in God’s fear, minding the house, and making your household a church for God, as you would be if you had been called to lead an army to battle for the Lord of hosts. - Charles Spurgeon
For an encouraging article on praying through your housework, click on this link to Far Above Rubies
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Time Warp Wife, Far Above Rubies, Growing Home, The Straightened Path, The Better Mom, These Five of Mine, Plus Two, Lowercase Letters, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Women Living Well, Deep Roots at Home, Raising Homemakers, Raising Mighty Arrows, Some Girl's Website, A Pause on the Path,
The wise counsel God gives when I'm awake
is confirmed by my sleeping heart.
Day and night I'll stick with God;
I've got a good thing going and I'm not letting go.
-Psalm 16:7 (MSG)
It's scary to think about sometimes. Our husband's choices will affect not only him, but US. They affect our family, our circumstances, our life...EVERYTHING. But I got encouraged when I read Stormie Omartian's book "The Power of a Praying Wife" and came across this statement:
"If you keep praying for your husband to have wisdom and godly counsel, then even if he does make a bad decision, you can enjoy the comfort of knowing you did your part and God will bring good out of it. So much of our lives are affected by decisions our husbands make. We are wise to pray that they make good ones."
In the book "Secrets of Fascinating Womanhood" the author states:
“Kathy spoke, “But what happens when we disagree with a
decision he makes?”
“Well Kathy, we must support our husband, even when we
don’t agree with a final decision he makes. However, if we
strongly disagree with a decision he has made, we should tell
him so, but IN A GENTLE, LOVING VOICE. We must
also tell him at the same time, that if he goes ahead with
his decision WE WILL STILL SUPPORT HIM.”
“It is very, very important that we honour our husband
as leader in our home. For God has not only made him the
captain, but also the shepherd of our family.’’
She also quoted from an old book from 1840 (by Orson Pratt):
“The wife should never follow her judgement in preference
to that of her husband, for if her husband desires to do right,
but errs in judgement, the Lord will bless her in endeavouring
to carry out his counsels; for God has placed him at the head,
and though he may err in judgement, yet God will not justify
the wife in disregarding his instructions and counsels, for
greater is the sin of rebellion than the errors which arise from
want of judgement; therefore she would be condemned for
suffering her will to arise against his.’’ “Be obedient and God
will cause all things to work for good, and he will correct the
errors of the husband in due time. A wife will lose the Spirit of
God in refusing to obey the counsel
of her husband.’’
So don't you think we should pray in this area, for our husbands?
Well let's go!
Lord, I lift up all of our husbands to You in Jesus' name. Fill our husbands with the fear of the Lord since that is the beginning of wisdom. May they come to You when it's time to make decisions...even small ones. Give them discernment when making these choices and open their eyes to see clearly the consequences of any bad choice. I pray that You surround our husbands with godly, wise people and that they listen to them...don't let our husbands be unteachable. Instruct our husbands even as they sleep (Psalm 16:7) and all during the day. I pray they choose to do what's right, no matter how they feel. I pray all our husbands keep their eyes and ears on You, Lord. In Jesus' name...Amen!
I hope you all have a great week!
Linked to: The Better Mom, These Five of Mine Plus Two, Lowercase Letters, What Joy is Mine, A Mama's Story, The Alabaster Jar, To Love, Honor and Vacuum,
"Almost Amish, One woman's quest for a slower, simpler, more sustainable life" by Nancy Sleeth
This book was definitely in "due season" or so I thought. I receive free books from Tyndale in exchange for a book review. Anyone who has a blog can join. Click HERE for the link to check it out. There is no catch! It amazes me how, when it's time to choose a book there is always one available that speaks to me in regards to current matters (I'll explain why I wrote "or so I thought" in a minute). Right now I have been having a really deep desire to just be simple. I don't want to be on the computer as much, the TV doesn't appeal all that much to me right now, and I just seem to have a slow peace. I used to rush across the house to get the laundry and rushed back to the bedroom to fold it...and God help anyone who interrupted me in the process!!! Now I've been slowing down and more calmly dealing with the interruptions (granted I'm no way near perfecting that yet!)
I love one of the author's statements in the introduction where she stated "few of us can become Amish but all of us can become ALMOST Amish." (emphasize added).
Something as simple as laundry...she made to seem so relaxing. She mentioned that "most people equate drying clothes on a line with poverty." But she relates it to "it gives me a break from working at the computer, and I get to pray or listen to birds or talk with my husband and kids as they work beside me. Best of all, hanging up clothes gives me a chance to hang out with God." That certainly doesn't sound like poverty to me!
Now I do have one bone to pick with her and it's in her "Technology" chapter. In fact I have yelled at her in my head for a few straight days. I think she was being very hypocritical and this has actually ruined the rest of the book for me. She was talking about how the Amish are people of few words and then goes on to show scripture that supposedly follows that principle. Now thanks to my wonderful friend that I mentioned in THIS post, I have learned that books are basically other peoples opinion of what the Word says and they live life differently. If I didn't think this way, this one statement would of caused me to throw the book across the room! So, like I was saying, she's talking about how the Bible says we shouldn't talk a lot. I don't really think that's what it says. I think it says we shouldn't gossip, talk ill of other people, complain and basically anything else negative. Otherwise God would of never made people who talk a lot. So here's what she said:
"Amish culture is the inverse of TMI (Too Much Information). For the most part, the Amish are a people of few words. They hold their tongues in obedience to God's Word. Allowing biblical wisdom to give us pause when we engage in social media is one way to start becoming Almost Amish."
Then she lists:
"Proverbs - 18:2 - 'Fools have no interest in understanding; they only want to air their own opinions.' (Blog Posts, comments on blogs?)
She's going to compare blogging and commenting on blogs to being a fool or to just air our own opinions? Really?!!!!! So let's see...how many pages is her book?...oh that's right...245!! That's TWO HUNDRED AND FOURTY FIVE PAGES of her OPINION! Not everyone wants to be "almost Amish." Many people are totally happy with the way they live their lives. If you're supposed to be so tight lipped...how can we preach? What about blogs that truly help others to walk with God? What about commenting on these blogs to encourage the writer? She's really going to compare us to that scripture? That really set me off. The rest of the book might of been great...but this one thing has left a bad taste in my mouth toward this author and as I'm reading it, I just see her in a different light than I did when I started. I will never read any other books by her because of that one statement. I have tried and even prayed, that my opinon would change, but I just can't shake it. In fact, I didn't finish the book. I just couldn't read it anymore...plus the chapters are too long for my liking.
What I find interesting, is this is a new book and given to bloggers to review. I wonder if other bloggers will feel like I do.
I did walk away with a few things and they are finding balance with technology, about enjoying nature (I always thought I was an inner hippy or that something was wrong with me because I found such peace with nature...nope...it's because it's God's creation), spending money wisely but also saving money more and only buying things you NEED. I also learned the value of community and local stuff.
So there is my book review.
Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book
So I have to wonder, are there other people out there like me? I can’t be the only one!
I have always loved the computer. I had one since I was 10 years old and have been fascinated ever since. I went to a trade/technical high school where I took computers. I went to college (only for a few months) for computers and I worked with computers. Even after spending a whole work day on computers, I spent a lot of time on them once I got home.
Well now that I’m a wife, mom, and homemaker, I struggle with finding balance with the computer. I could be on it all day if I was allowed. Then I fight with “well who can say if I’m ‘allowed’ or not…I’m a grown woman.”
Sometimes I feel the computer calls me. I see it and want to go on there. I want to check my emails…and now my blog. Being a new blog I get super excited seeing another follower come aboard. I used to love all the games on facebook…you know the kind…where you have to come back at a certain time frame otherwise your items will wither or spoil? But God stripped the desire from me for that. I tried so hard to play them but I just did not care anymore...so THAT is a blessing now lol.
So let’s say I DO have time to be on the computer all day…yeah I’m happy about it. But I also feel empty inside. The house isn’t as clean as I’d like it to be. I obviously didn’t spend any time with my kids. I didn’t enjoy any reading or crocheting or even simply watching TV.
Sometimes I feel the computer takes over my life! I want to be on it all the time but at the same time I don’t.
Nancy Sleeth writes in Almost Amish "We love the convenience technology affords. We hate how technology is taking over our lives." Uhhh...yeah!! I'm feelin that!!
Nancy Sleeth writes in Almost Amish "We love the convenience technology affords. We hate how technology is taking over our lives." Uhhh...yeah!! I'm feelin that!!
Hubby got me a Nook Color for Christmas and I can check my email on there and go web surfing. That has actually helped me not to be on the computer so much. I mostly follow blogs through email so I don’t have to go on the computer to check them. I delete the ones that I have read already, and if I need to do something further with them, then I just leave them there until I get on the computer again.
My goal is to go on in the morning and then that’s it. But then I wonder…am I setting up another rule for myself? So here it is, in the afternoon and I CAN’T go on it…is that just going to cause me grief?
How do you guys balance the computer with your homemaking/family life?Titus 2sdays @ Time Warp Wife
We Encourage Tuesday @ Call Me Blessed
We Encourage Tuesday @ Call Me Blessed
Teach Me Tuesday @ Growing Home
Domestically Divine @ Far Above Rubies