Sunday, October 05, 2008

Worrying About Money

Concert in the Park, by Leo Carty
Mother and Daughter Overjoyed to See Loved One

by Charles E. Brock






If you are worried about money, in connection to being able to be home full time, there might be something here for you.


When I was growing up, there was rarely a woman who was "worried" about money, or where it would come from to support them. Most wives knew they could trust their husbands to provide for them. Most men and women understood that the husband would worry about how to get the money, and the wife would learn how to pinch a penny and save it and guard it with her life so that it did go out the back door as soon as it came in the front. "Let me worry about the income," he said, 'And you are free to care for the home."


It is not a good thing that the younger women worry and exhaust themselves over making money, today. Part of this is due to their education and upbringing, where they are told consistently that they will have to take care of themselves and earn money. They do it at such an extreme, that some of them actually risk their health, their rest, and their lives. Many women are taking over men's jobs, using heavy equipment, that are very dangerous, and some have actually become debilitated and left their children almost orphans. That is one reason women need to get back to home making and men need to protect the women by being the breadwinners.


One thing that we were careful not to say was "My husband does not make enough money to support us." It would really have embarrassed a man, hurt his feelings tremendously. Such a statement would have been very demeaning to his basic existence as a man. Instead, women would try to find a way to help their husbands succeed and advance in the areas that they needed, by being happy, contented, and emotionally supportive. It was not difficult for men to want to provide the best for such women.
To eliminate worry about money, eliminate using money so much. Substitute your own efforts for services you are paying for, and your own products for goods that you buy. See how long you can go without parting with a dollar, and then look at your "worry index." You may find that the less money you have going "out" results in less personal anxiety.
Sadly, the minute a person decides to see how they can protect their money from making wings and flying away, everyone else of their acquaintance, used to living on money, can create seemingly impossible situations where we cannot keep our money! Everything from having to buy a gift, to being obligated to attend something expensive, assails us just when we swear off the spending. This is one of the things that might happen, when you decide to quit worrying about money by quitting the spending of it, so watch out.


If you are worried about money all the time, you are probably missing out a lot on the joy of homemaking. Women should not worry about earning a living. They should be free to fix up their houses and hum and sing while they think about what to make for dinner. They should be absorbed in how to do the laundry so that the family clothing doesn't look like something they dragged from a rag bag. They should enjoy things like ironing and cleaning and decorating and sewing.


One of the things that has robbed women of this domestic happiness, is worry over money. They worry over it to such an extent, that they take over the man's realm, and sadly, the men let them. As Taylor Caldwell wrote in her essay so many decades ago (Women's Lib, on the theme articles here), when women first began working outside the home so much, men said, "Let 'em work," and began to complain about their bad backs. By worrying about money so much, women enable men to be negligent providers. If they know the women are dependent on them and have confidence in them, they will be more likely to work and to want to work. If the women are just waiting for a chance to jump in and work outside the home, the men will let them.


If you worry about money, there are ways of eliminating the need for it. One way that we have enjoyed is by planting a garden. Even if the food lasts only during the summer, or only for a few meals, those are food items you did not have to buy. Everyone will admit that we are too dependent on the grocery store, and that it is our highest expense after house payments or rent. There is a way to overcome this just by planting something. Our lawns, even if small, cost us more to maintain than they return, when you count the cost of gas to run the mower. Just by turning the edges of the lawns into food-producing rows, you prevent double expenditures. People will think you have very interesting ornamental shrubs when you plant veggies along the sides of lawns and flower beds.



If you have no available lawn, you can always get a pot with some dirt and plant at least one thing that you enjoy eating. My favorite is the tiny cucumbers, commonly called "pickling cucumbers" that I love to eat raw and in salads. This is money I don't have to spend, that can be used to pay a bill or buy gas for the car.


Speaking of gas, you also can cut down quite a bit on running around in the car by seeing how many days you can stay home without going somewhere. Break up the isolation by inviting people to come to see YOU. Then, ask your husband to stop at the grocery store on the way home from work. My husband just loves to do this. There is very little that men can spend money on these days that is affordable, and he likes to see what is new at the grocery store. He enjoys the break from the monotony at the work place, and always calls me to ask if there is anything he can bring home. I try to grow or make everything myself, so that I have the money for things I cannot make: olive oil, flour, fish, some fruits, and various other items.


If you are still worried about money, use only the power you need to function. It is not necessary to have lights and heat on in every single room if you are not using those rooms. Bundle up with more layers of clothing in winter, and learn to dress in light colors and cottons in the summer. Figure out a way, as our ancestors did, of making a natural breezeway in the house, where air can flow more effectively to draw coolness in summer and warmth in winter.


Other ways to avoid spending money are just endless. Avoid the pressure from friends to have clothes and things just because they think you ought to. Sometimes you might get invited to a party where some kind of clothing is required, at your expense. You can always refuse to attend and invite the entire party to your home later on in the week for a tea in their honor. This can apply to weddings, where you might be pressured to buy a certain dress, or to other high-end types of celebrations where you do not want to buy an item that you will use only once, or even buy it at all because you don't really NEED it.



Cutting out fake food (hot dogs, potato chips, pop, packaged mixes) and learning to make delicious main dishes and even desserts from natural ingredients, can prevent over-spending. If you eat only what is in the garden, you can actually survive, as many people before us have done. However if you do not have a garden, you can at least buy foods that God made, in the closest state of natural that you can find.


As usual, I know that there are readers all over the world who have lived happily on their husband's income, worrying only about looking after the home, and still come out with a profit. You are certainly welcome to comment about it.



As you spend less and less, you will gain a stronger feeling of security. We have almost forgotten what money is for. We have been told for decades that we need to keep earning it so we can keep spending it. We need to change our attitude toward money so that if it can no longer be earned, we do not need it. We need to find ways to be less dependent upon it so that when hard times come, we do not have to worry. The Bible teaches this principle when it talks about sowing, reaping, and saving, and giving, the latter being an important principle of prosperity.



Worry about money may become a habit that is hard to break. Women need to concentrate on making the home a wonderful place, without having to have expensive things, so that they can cut down on the worry, but they also need to get in the habit of being good homemakers. In my opinion, just being a good housekeeper prevents spending, because you don't destroy your property and have to have things replaced, and you don't lose things and then have to go to the store to "find" them again because you are in too much of a mess to find what you need. I have seen women spend way too much on cleaning products because they did not remember that they had already bought something and stored it away somewhere. You don't really need cleaning products if you are trying to cut back. You can do a lot of effective cleaning without the store bought chemicals.
Being home is a state of mind, not just an existence. There is something wonderful about the things a woman does at home, and the lightheartedness in which she does it. If young women only knew the power in portraying happiness and confidence at home, their husbands would find ways to prevent them worrying about money.

49 comments:

Tracy said...

A wonderful article and a timely reminder for us all! :)

Looking Heavenward said...

Lydia,
Thank you for the inspiring challenge you lay before us today!

Your posts are such a blessing--I do miss being able to use the "archives" list at the sidebar to look up past articles! Any chance you might refresh the archives?

Robin said...

Thank you so much for this. I've been trying to come up with ways of saving money or not spending it, so I can stay home instead of continuing to desire going back to work. I like watching Little House on the Prairie sometimes. They only shopped when they really needed to, and many things had to be ordered. It made shopping trips very important and thoughtful events rather than mindless purchasing of stuff.

Thanks again for your post below and for everyone's advice. This has really challenged me. Just for the record, for the next couple of weeks, while I'm getting ready for my parents' visit, I will focus less on the three R's of my children's education and just spend time reading the Bible and good books between cleaning and decluttering. I think the clutter is the biggest problem I have, and I plan to tackle it with a vengeance this week!

And, your point about people pressuring you to spend money once you've decided to stop spending is SO RIGHT!!! My husband and I decided to cut our credit cards and pay off debts a couple of years ago, and it seems like every month, there's something else - a birthday, baby shower, dinner invitation, something for the children, needed donations for various charities our children's ministries work on, specific clothing for events, etc, not to mention car repairs for our very old van. We decided to only keep one vehicle to save money, and it's old with over 200K miles on it. It seems like every other month, we have a $500+ repair on it. It's very frustrating, but we just keep on keepin' on.

Robin

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

The archives are there at the very end, on the right.

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

Maybe you can figure out how to provide gifts for free, by making them or finding something you do not want anymore and giving it a new look. You could also have a "gift-free" year, as I have done in the past, where I provided no gifts. I feel that I do a lot of things that are kind of "giftie" anyway. No one seemed to notice when I did not do gifts. You might start a blog with free craft ideas or free hints or put pictures of your children on, as a free gift for everyone that expects gifts. My daughter puts greetings regularly to her friends on her blog The Pleasant Times, because she cannot afford the time or money for cards and gifts. Just give special online gifts and put someone's name in headlines for the day with nice pictures and tributes.

BarbaraLee said...

I always enjoy your blog. I don't feel as if I am the only one saying home to take care of things. This world is full of work minded women. If they would go home men would be able to support their families. Unemployment wouldn't be so high. It probaly isn't if you don't include the women.
Any how, my dh takes care of bringing the money home I take care of managing it. He doesn't like to do the books. This yr we planted a bigger garden. It was funny how he notice the prices of groceries this summer. So he was just as commented to raising our own food as I was. He had his doubts on chickens too. I just asked if we could try it. He built a temp. chicken coop and between me and ds2 we raised chickens for the freezer. Now he wants to build a coop and have layers also. I can't wait. I even have orders for chickens from someone who wants some too.

I love being at home. I get flustered if I'm not home taking care of it. I get edgy. I even caught myself smiling as I do things. The Lord has blessed me.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ms. Sherman,

What a lovely post - thank you so much for your wisdom and encouragement! :) Every time I read your blog I feel like I'm getting a big warm hug!

Theodora said...

This is not a criticism of anyone, these are just my observations based on quietly paying attention to the lives of my married friends who are SAHM/SAHW (I'm single).

Those wives who concentrate rather diligently on saving their husband's income by being frugal and making dollars stretch seem to do better than those who attempt to augment the household income through a home-based business. Those who try to do some work from home seem to be more frazzled, less done around the home and such.

In contrast, the homes where the husband makes the income and the wife contributes by saving/stretching it as far as possible, the home (and wife) is more peaceful, housekeeping is better done and so forth.

I read so often online that SAHMs/SAHWs want to start up a little business. When I read this, I wonder if they have tried their best *first* at being as frugal as possible (cloth diapers rather than disposables, making as much food from scratch as possible, homemade gifts, etc.) *before* beginning the home-based business.

Such frugality seems to lessen the worry about money, even for us single folks. I recently moved much closer to my work, resulting in savings of $100/month *less* spent on gasoline. That also means less take-out food, as well as decreased stress.

I think one of the best moves a family can make, if possible, is to go down to one car. Of course, there are situations where this is not possible. I have one friend who, while married four years, has only had one car in the family. She has two little ones 3 and under. With use of her husband carpooling to work and public transit (on different days), the wife had use of the car 2-3 days a week for errands, doctors appointments, and such. Some days she even took the little ones on the bus (they enjoyed the ride!).

Anonymous said...

This is such a timely post with the economy scares...
I have been a stay at home mother and now I'm a stay at home wife for 26 years. Our garden is short season (Alaska, bush) and we used our last cabbage.
I went to the grocery in the small town we live 33 miles from and bought a cabbage - $4.69! I'm looking now for storage cabbage to raise next year.
I love being able to be home and study ways to not spend money, but improve our life! I do have problems with Christmas - we need lots of gifts for family. thanks so much for your blog! I love it!

Anonymous said...

I don't know, I think the pendulum can swing too far the other way if we're not careful. I would consider it miserly to refuse to attend a wedding, party or other celebration for a friend or loved one simply because I may incur some cost in doing so, or to say that one "can't afford the time or money for gifts and cards." I am very diligent in being a good steward of what God has given our family, but I would never let frugality outweigh generosity and deeds of kindness.

Machelle said...

Oh, how true is this? I'm the official family "worrier", becoming anxious over every matter, both in and out of my control. My father works very, very hard to support us, so much so that his work has taken him out of our home, and he and my stepmother now only get to come home every other weekend. My stepmother's trivial and happy-go-lucky spending only makes me bite my fingernails all the more, and I use to have such fits with her when she'd come back from the store with spinning dusters and fancy dog leashes. I began to feel so dreadful for our fights, though, and my anxiety was making me feel sick. So I began thinking of many of the little hints you have left us here! I clip coupons with Grandma every day after school, always look for "Buy one get one" sales, off-brands and store brands, and the best in-season fruit, which is cheapest. Grandma's taught me to save and reuse perfectly good things that other people may throw away. I save all my pocket change up over the course of a year to buy myself one special thing at Christmas, and waiting patiently for so long helps with two things; helps fight impulse shopping by making you wait and see if you still want it 3 months from now, and often the good feeling you get when you see that after those three months the price has been marked half-off and it's a much wiser purchase.

So glad to see this article,
God bless,
Machelle

Mrs. Honeybee said...

I made the decision to quit work long before my husband's income became sufficient enough to replace what I would've otherwise provided. For the most part, I believe this is due to my having faith in Him and allowing my husband to worry about the money.

Granted, we are not as wealthy as those two-income families, but we realize it is more important for me to stay home than us having access cash to spend on things that would only deteriorate in the end. And I must say, we save more money now than those days when I had to work outside!

I can't stress enough the vital role we woman play in making or breaking the household's income.

Lady Lydia, again thank you for this lovely post.

Mrs. Anna T said...

"If they know the women are dependent on them and have confidence in them, they will be more likely to work and to want to work."

How very true. We are a young couple with a baby on the way and live on my husband's income, which is far from extravagant. Yet I know that when I express cheerfulness and confidence, he feels confident too. If I'm not satisfied with what we have, I'm making him feel inadequate, unmotivated, and unhappy.

I believe a woman shouldn't even discuss with others how much her husband earns. She should avoid comparing her husband and their income and lifestyle to that of her friends and/or relatives.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Lady Lydia,

This is so very true!!!!!!! Though i've mentioned it in comment to previous posts along a similar vein, perhaps a few ideas I can give those wishing to find inexpensive or 'free' gift ideas may help.

Home made gifts, though they may seem humble or simple are often dearly appreciated by their recipiants. over the years I have given home made marmalades, jams (jellies for ladies in North America), preserved lemons, preserved fetta and the like nicely presented in smart jars. these i have easily accumulated as folk learn I make use of them for such tasks. Place a pretty cloth 'cap' over the lid tied with ribbon or raffia plus a nice label and there you go - just like the ones sold at fetes and markets that walk out the door five seconds after being placed on the trading table!! if ladies are home sewers, pretty floral, ghingham etc cloth remnants are perfect for these 'caps' to go over your jam jar lids once secured. Keep in place with a rubber band before tying nice ribbon etc around them. Traditional boiled fruit cake is dead easy to make and doesn't cost the earth to produce. Bake well in advance, ice if desired before wrapping and refrigerating (or not if you live in a cooler climate than Australia's) and close to time, wrap in festive celaphane and ribbon over the protective foil. A day before the 'occasion', one might wish to bake 'perishables' such as melting moments or shortbreads; pack into a preserving jar (nice shaped ones are available from supermarkets even) before finishing in like presentation to the jam jars. Traditional confectionary such as coconut ice or delicate turkish delight or noughat wrapped in rice paper in a beautifully lined presentation box (suitable boxes are cheap from dollar shops etc) make lovely presents. if readers are a little more game, they might like to try their hand making bath salts or bath bombs for those who like these, or if lavendar is available, little lavendarbags for clothes draws or hanging space in the wardrobe. Alter the scent if making for male family members, perhaps choosing sandalwoods, cinamons, and the like....... there are also recipes abundant upon the internet for soap, moisturiser and other beauty products. These might seem simplistic and 'basic' if one is used to giving expensive gifts; believe you me, if made with love, dedication to detail and neat care, these gifts, catering to the recipients likes and tastes will always be deeply appreciated. There is something special about recieving something one has put the time and effort into making themselves. if folk are knitters, making jumpers (sweaters for ladies in North America), scarves or even hats and gloves for those able are lovely gifts. if folk crochet, blankets, wrapps, throws, table decorations are just some ideas. EVen knitted squares can be sewn into beautiful wraps or throwrugs. These ideas take varying amounts of time to produce but if one knows when birthdays etc fall throughout the year, a little planning can go into it. I remember mum starting off months before winter to knit us jumpers and the like.

Entry after entry has also been provided on this blog for instructions re card, giftbag and giftbox making.

There are thousands of ideas out there that I am sure others who frequent Lady Lydia's blog will think of to share.

'We' as a society are so caught up in the materialism game, even if we don't realize it straight away...........Additionally, those in the marketing realm and others who have sought to devalue the home and homemaking in favour of the consumer ecconomy have, I believed also planted the seeds of doubt that render us feeling guilty if a gift we give is not accompanied by a certain pricetag or purchased.

Oh, one more idea; for those who are greenthumbs, cuttings and living gifts - even if a simple pot of herbs - is always a delight!

may god bless you, Lady Lydia, and every reader of this blog!!

Blessings,

Mrs. E.,
Australia.

RichFam said...

I just love reading your posts! They are so convicting, yet encouraging. Thank you once again for another wonderful reminder. :o)

Anonymous said...

Very encouraging to read this, Mrs. Sherman. Somehow you always manage to "nail it", saying things that many others are reluctant to address. I like how you summed up your post in this one sentence: "Being home is a state of mind, not just an existence."

many thanks!
Brenda

Mrs. Farrah Ginter said...

Lady Lydia,
Once again, you have hit it on the mark with your lovely writing. You are certainly following the Titus 2 promise of teaching us younger women.

Thank you! Blessings for your week.

Homemakersheart said...

Thank you for putting into words the wondering feeling of my heart. It brings comfort to read your post, and to know...if you wrote it, you have been there.

If you have been there and grown into the place you are today,then there is hope for me. I long to get to a place where I can write and inspire women with the confirmation of coming back home.

Thank you for taking the time to write this, and I thank God for putting the idea on your heart.

God's peace,
Mrs. Dee Peterson

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

It is not good for your health to worry. If a man's place is to provide for his family, as the Bible says, and a woman is to guide the home, also as the Bible teaches, it takes the worry away from both the husband and the wife. He can trust that she will guard his income, knowing it is both their income, and help him survive and succeed. One way to avoid the worry is to turn off the news. It changes constantly, keeping people's hearts in their throat, because it is usually bad news. It guides our lives and our emotions. When you shut it off, your life still goes on. The gloom and doom of the neews (which is programmed into the media by a major "source" owned, of course, by the bankers and those who want to control the country) creates a desired effect. Maybe it is more worry, followed by more relief tactics like entertainment or spending, or maybe it is more depression. If you shut it out of your life, you will find it changes nothing, for you still have to clean the kitchen and get the laundry done. I believe we can choose something much better than the news to listen to. Also, we need to be cheerful when our husbands come home with bad news they have listened to all day. Someone at home has to be a cheerleader, with all the gloom and doom going around. I noticed photographs of the depression era, where families lived in tents. They were still together, and they were still families and the women wore aprons and were doing the laundry and hanging it out, or cooking something. I am sure they were worried, but they kept serving their families.

Anonymous said...

I'm kind of glad for the recent economic shakeups; it has given my husband a huge kick in the pants about his own spending habits without requiring me to say a single word.

I used to get real frustrated with our domestic economy, because the more I scrimped and saved and did without at home, the more he had available to spend on "stuff." Fancy sneakers, import beer, plastic gadgets, worthless DVDs.

Blah!

But ever since the mortgage meltdown, we've paid off our credit card bill, cut down significantly on lunches out, started using generic brands, etc.

Now he's got money for something he REALLY wants-- season tickets to a professional hockey team. And I'm more relaxed about permitting myself to get something nice once in awhile, which is lovely, too.

I know he doesn't like living with an uptight worrywart anymore than I like living with a spendthrift.

A little bad news was a good reality check for us.

Anonymous said...

Well, this was timely for me today. I posted here last week about needing prayer and feeling uncertain about cutting back my work hours. I still struggle with feeling that my contributions at home (beyond the basics of having the house picked up and meals on the table) are valuable without children to care for. I am technically able, when I am disciplined, to keep the house relatively clean and tidy and get meals on the table and still work 30 hours a week. But the problem is that when busy seasons come, ministry-wise, etc, which they always do, then I find the house always suffers. Plus, I don't have the time to do extras, like plant food in a window box, learn to sew, learn other money-saving habits, or make my home more inviting and have more people in.

I have been back and forth about this for the past week and just today I flipped over and read your post. After reading it, I emailed my bosses and asked if I could meet them tomorrow. I'm going to tell them I am only available three days a week. I know that for you die-heard homemakers, working outside the home three days will be too much. But without children, having four days a week at home I think will really be plenty, and it will allow me to still earn some income (which I know this post was decrying but I do have lots of student debt to pay off) and contribute to the christian missions organization I work for. And who knows, in time, should the Lord bless us with children or if I feel so led, maybe I'll come home all together.

Anyway, thanks for that extra kick in the seat I needed today. :)

Blessings,

Needs Prayer

Anonymous said...

Thank you for a wonderful article.

One of the best things we ever did was when I quit my job right after my first baby was born. (I wish I had quit when we got married but oh well).

Anyhow, we didn't have a lot of money then, and my quitting reduced our income by more than half at that point. It looked like a crazy decision at the time to outsiders.

But now, because my husband is free to pursue his career without having to figure mine in also, his income has tripled in six years, something I am positive would not have happened had we tried to manage two careers.

In fact, I think collectively, we would be making less money overall had I continued to work, even put together, once daycare and work clothes and all of that would be figured in.

I agree on the home-based businesses that someone mentioned below. If you can find a way to work them in, that is great, but sometimes they cost more than they yield and are only a stress. I am also very careful with my time spent volunteering at church and school.

~ Ann

Anonymous said...

You are absolutely right about the men being more than willing to let the women go out and earn all the $. My husband has done this for years: I've been the sole support of our family for 4+ years. But finally with prayer and much of what I've learned from The Surrendered Wife (and the online groups for this book!) I have learned to step back and let him step up.

I work from home b/c I want to be home for my children. It was the best choice I could have made.

As to the gift thing, I make gifts. If you can crochet (or knit, which I can't, very well) or do other crafts, you can often make great gifts for very little money.

-- Cindy
apologies for being anonymous, blogger is not letting me sign on

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your timely post. I just got off the phone with my husband. He was distressed about the stock market and the fall in the value of our investments. His parting comment to me was, "You had better get your resume together and go get a government job immediately." I was just as distressed by his comment as he was by the market. I had spent my morning after taking thethe children lto school making repairs to the outside of our home--replacing rotted wood, caulking, polishing the brass, and cleaning. Tomorrow I plan to prime and paint the trim and the front door to freshen our house and on Thursday paint the shutters. Surely there is real value in the work I do at home, raising our family, caring for our home inside and out. I do not want to return to full-time work--I especially don't want to take a good "government job" away from a man who needs it to provide for his family. I am a careful frugal homemaker and want to continue to stay at home. I would be willing to move to a small apartment or rental house if necessary to continue to be a homemaker. Miss Kris

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

I do not think there was one hint of unkindness in the idea that we do not have to buy gifts when we are guarding our income. It is the commercial world's idea that the gifts be purchased, and that we part with our money for them. Just because something is hand made or given without spending, does not mean the pendulum has "swung too far." There are no "rules" for gift giving, and no one is obligated to give a gift that is purchased, or even give a gift at all. It is all up to the giver and it must be given voluntarily, from the heart. Of course, in pulling back, economically, some people will be able to afford to spend money on gifts. Others can afford a little extra gas or glitter or whatever they like. It is all up to the individual and I'm not making any policies here. Everyone decides what works best for their own homes.

Farmgirl said...

Dear Lydia, Wonderful post, thank you so much for sharing all of these thoughts. My husband and I have been married just over 29 years. I have not worked for about 28 1/2, we knew and agreed that as soon as I was to have children, I needed to be home. I have been sooo grateful to him for that decision. When we try things that are not God's plan for women, we will not be genuinly happy. There have been hard times, very hard times...unemployment, surgery, etc. And still, I stayed home. We have learned to pinch a penny and stretch the food in my pantry. Sometimes, like now, it is just more work for me, but I love it because I have time...I am home!! We bake more, eat more soup :)...and gifts??? We often make them, even when we do have the money to buy one. I sew anyway, so I always have alot of fabric I can choose from for a gift, anyway, thank you for your post, it is good for everyone to think about during these times...staying home and making things cozy and comfortable for our families. Janice

Joy of Frugal Living said...

Thanks for this post, Lydia!

Anonymous said...

I so agree with all that you've said in this post. One thing, however, that saddens me to this day is that in our early years (when money was tight) I made handmade gifts for my husbands family and they were not at all appreciated and were actually somewhat scorned. Ouch! Now that I'm older, I don't get as easily upset and I still do make gifts for people that I think will appreciate them. I try to keep a positive thought, but I still find those memories hard to erase. I'm always a little apprehensive giving a handmade gift. Has anyone else ever had this dilemma? Marie

Anonymous said...

This is a fabulous article! Thanks for the inspiration and encouragement. The details and specifics you always include are vital and very much appreciated. Thank you so much.

Since being married in 1980 my darling husband has provided for me and then our children. He's done a wonderful job and carried a huge responsiblity, making my life a peaceful one. It was such a blessing to be able to concentrate fully on running our home, raring and educating our children. Now it's just the two of us again, he continues to be my rock. If only all men could be this loving and responsible, there'd be many more relaxed and happy homes.

This is not to say that I haven't taken up worrying about money... not for us but for our grown children. In this time where it seems almost impossible to own a house I've begun to fret for young couple's predicaments. This is where your article was balm to my uneasiness. It brought tears of relief to my eyes, knowing it will be alright for them... Thank you once again dear Lydia. You can't know what your articles mean to me and I'm sure to so many. Much appreciation, LML

Anonymous said...

Nice article. I think this will help most people but with times being as hard ast they are now some people need two incomes to survive.

Purpleflowerpatch said...

This was a timely post for me, and tied right in with my Bible reading this morning.
We have been married 17 years and have always been a one in come family, but I have been trying to plan a home business for the last couple of years to supplement our income...not any more. For now I am needed 'wholly' at home, mind and body, to school my children and have things run smoothly for my hard-working husband. A home business would just take me away from those things and our home life would suffer.
I have much to ponder in this post and have really appreciated many of the comments by other wise women.

Jessica said...

Thank you so much for this! Absolutely wonderful and exactly what I needed to hear today! You are an inspiration as always!

Anonymous said...

A wonderful and timely article! It's so good to read your encouraging words to all of us. I am a working woman (I married late and we have no children so I never quit working) and dh was laid off this summer. I am now working up to 50 hours a week but still feel strongly convicted to do all the housework, cooking and cleaning, because it is what I love the most. I am also chronically ill and not doing well.

Ladies, if anyone is wondering,feminism took it all away from us. Most of the women I work with would rather not be working like this. Helen Andelin ("Fascinating Womanhood")once predicted that if women flooded the workplace, overall wages would come down and soon women would have to work or at least feel enormous pressure to do so.

My dream is to someday get home full time. Lady Lydia, perhaps you could help us ladies by addressing how to both encourage our husbands as providers and make our way out of the work world.

Thank you for all you do!

Mrs. M

Little Missy Homemaker said...

Thank you for posting about this. I occasionally start to worry too much about money. My husband is perfectly capable of providing more than we need so it's wasted energy on my part to worry.
About giving gifts...I am currently sewing two cute little aprons and matching potholders for my two young nieces. I already made aprons for my own two girls and they love them. I had the pattern and fabric in my stash so this will save me at least $30 come Christmas time when I would have purchased a toy for them.

Mrs. Swinson said...

Great article Lydia as usual. I stay at home and we always have someone telling us that I should go to work to help out. That is so silly when we have two grade school girls at home and a little farm to take care of. I have made it my goal to not spend my husbands hard earned money at the grocery store. We have our laying hens, raise meat chickens, ducks, we recently have been blessed with a family milk cow. We put in a huge garden, can, dry and freeze for the winter. We are blessed to have a small orchard on our place and lots of berries. My dh has a beehive so next year our orchard will be better pollinated and bear more fruit and we will have honey. I buy my wheat from the feed store in bulk and grind it to make all our bread.
One tip I have for those who are living more frugal and eating more rice, and beans and such is to invest in some good herbs and spices and learn how to use them. Good seasoning can make a simple dish so much more enjoyable.

Thanks again for a wonderful encouraging post.

LadyLydiaSpeaks said...

I don't think it is cold hearted or stingy if you do not buy gifts. I have looked for things to give others and often just could not find anything appropriate. It was then that I discovered I already had something that I could part with, or that I could make something that would suit them better.

As far as social events, like being a bridesmade, etc. I just have had to turn down some of it becaue the expense would have eventually mounted up beyond the cost of the clothing or beyond the cost of attending. There are hidden costs that people do not often see up front, that a person who is having to reduce his spending, has to be careful about. I noticed too in wedding pictures, after only a short period of time, the big picture with all the bridesmaids gets put back in a box, while the one of the bride and groom with the family, is usually on display the longest.

Everyone is free to do as they wish, of course, but sometimes social obligations can feel rather forceful and you feel "put-upon." I think that alternatives can be provided, as I mentioned.

Kalianne@BygoneBeauty said...

Dear Lydia,

Thank you so much for this encouraging post. My experience has been that the more money a couple make the more they spend; and the more money a couple make the less time they have for family and home life.

To our surprise my income was barely missed when I left outside employment. We eat mostly at home now, have one car and lead a simpler life. We are however richer in time for each another, our home and community.

Blessings,
Kalianne

Valerie said...

This is a beautiful post. I really enjoyed reading it. Thank you.

amy said...

Thank you, well said! I have been worrying about these matters way too much lately.

God's Dancing Child said...

Lady Lydia,
You always so encourage me! I received a letter from an acquaintance a week or so ago that led me to post about this very topic (along with the topic of our right to school our own children) today.
Not only are you encouraging, you help to confirm so many of the things the Lord places before me in His Word.
Thank you!
Also, thank you for adding your archive back! I missed it as well. :)

Nicole said...

Well, I did it, I gave "notice" here at work and will not only be working about 15 hours a week, three days. This will give me so much more time at home, and I am so excited. I even created a homemaking blog to journal my learning experience, and so instead of posting here as "needs prayer" I'll leave my blogname. Thanks again for speaking some truth on this issue, LadyLydia

BankingPennies said...

A lovely Post. I was so encouraged!
--Carmen

Jennifer said...

This is a very nice suggestion for women who may be troubled. Thank you, Lydia

Anonymous said...

Women have worked a long time in this country to be treated equally. WHile it will never be equal and I do agree to a certain extent it does have to be the womens choice to work while she waits for prince charming and not be a burden to her family and develop the independance you speak so ill of. I beleive Peter said that if we can not live without being in sin then we should marry not every go and get married it is your duty. The point I am trying to make is YES women do need to know how to take care of themselves as well as their families if that situation should arise in their time. I myself am a stay at home mom for many reasons. I do feel it is at least one of the parents place to be here and raise the children but believe it just as easily could have been my husband and there would be no biblical shame in that. Thank you for your blog you give people something to think about wheither they agree with you or not.
Kim

Mother Hen said...

Thank you so much for your timely post. It's such a wonderful freedom from worry when we stick to our own business and keep our noses out of our husband's business.

Anonymous said...

We've noticed that the wedding pictures with bridesmaides, etc., get put in boxes also. Why not have a close friend take a family photo at the wedding? Even, a disposable camera of 24? One of those pictures will turn out real pretty!!!
Also, when you have a baby, you need a few everyday clothes, a couple of church outfits, a car seat, and some clothe diapers. If you stay home, breast feed, and wash a couple of times a week, you can make it.
If you decide to homeschool a five year old, get a McGuffy reader, put together a spelling book, buy a math workbook, print off a primary writing book, and teach the Bible. All for about 25.00 total for an entire kindergarten education. You can add some dollar store paint set and construction paper for art. :)

Heart 4 My Home said...

GOD knew HE was going to lead me to your blog once again and straight to this post. Just last night I was talking to hubby about our finances. I was taking on the worry role about things, but as always hubby was there to reassure me and remind me that GOD is in control regardless of what happens. So this post was definitely another Word from the LORD to my heart.

Thank you for sharing this timely word.

~blessings

Anonymous said...

I've just stumbled across your blog today through another blog I regularly read.

I am mostly a SAHM - the Lord has been good and I have never needed to work more than small part time jobs, but I grew up in a home where my mother was a teacher and our lives were almost frantically busy during the school year. Saturdays were for doing ALL the house cleaning and Sundays were for resting to prepare to do it all over again the next week. It was too busy. And having been a homemaker in our home now for 19 years, I still have much to learn. Thank you for your practical, Godly blog. Thank you for your suggestions and wisdom. I could have really used it as a new bride! My mom passed away from cancer when I was a teen, so I've had no one to teach me anything - when I married I only knew how to bake cookies. Heaven knows where I would be without Betty Crocker and the ability to follow directions! I look forward to learning more from your blog. Thanks so much.

Sarah said...

So true. I make more than my husband, but do not want to. Because I have the education and he does not, I can make almost twice as much as he does in his retail job. I hate being the breadwinner and he wishes he could make more. Your comment about not demeaning a man by saying 'he doesn't make enough to support us' is something I needed to hear. I have brought the fact that he doesn't make enough up again and again to him because I am so discontent with having to make the big salary, and it kills him to hear it. I feel really bad about this. He said, woefully, that I am "sucking the life out of him" by my agonizing over having to work full time and not be able to stay home and raise a family like I'd like to do. What I should be doing is supporting him emotionally, while being a happy and contented wife while things are this way. I have encouraged him to start his online degree, which he has done and gotten all "A's" in his first semester. I am so proud of him. I hope to be able to encourage him throughout his schooling so that he can build up the confidence I fear I have helped to tear down.

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