Saturday, March 05, 2005

Making the Best of Things

Sunny Corner by Susan Rios

I've gotten several feedback letters that indicate that people of certain economic levels cannot possibly reach the high calling of homemaking. These girls claim that because their people didn't have a good economic start, and weren't born with an inheritance, or didn't have rich parents, they cannot do anything with their lives. They are waiting for someone to compensate them for all these wrongs, and in the meantime, are wasting precious moments wallowing in self pity.

I am not a rich person, have no personal income, do not live in a home of my own, and my ancestors left nothing for me to work with except good character. I had no inheritance, as my forebearers often did not live in more than shacks which eventually crumbled with time. We aren't who we are because of the material or educational opportunites that someone gave us, but because of certain character qualities we attain by learning and practice.

Many people are searching for some peace in there lives, and others are waiting for someone to rescue them out of their troubles or their non-lives. Character is the only thing that matters in life, for it will determine what you do, how you respond, how you live your life daily, and your attitudes. No matter what your financial circumstances, you can develop in many other ways by discovering talents and abilities, that will take you far in life. If you feel you have nothing there, try just plain hard work. Many a poor person has begun working hard at a restaurant and later ended up owning the place.

Our attitude about our circumstances should not be based on the thinking that someone owes us a living, or that we should be given something, or that we deserve anything. We are all here by God's grace, and our lives can be snuffed out at any given moment. Thinking that someone should give us something is selfish thinking. Turn your thinking around to a giving mode, and give something to someone else, instead, and you'll see your life changing. If you haven't got anything, there are still things you can give away: a smile, a parking space, give way and let others walk past, let traffic in, give your place in a line, give up your seat in a crowded area, give pleasant words, give compliments, write nice letters, build others up and praise them, etc. Saying you have nothing to give is not acceptable, because everyone has something they can give away.

My husband and I once visted a tiny village in Rhodesia in the early 70's. A young couple invited us to eat with them in their grass shack. Inside, though the floor was made of packed dirt, it was as neat as could be and not one speck of dust. The woman was immaculately dressed, and very clean. Her food was cooked over a tiny burner but she made a delicious meal, and she smiled a lot. Her service was immensely gracious and her husband also adored her and was anxious to make their guest comfortable. Although she was not rich, this woman was a diligent homemaker. Contrast this to another woman in the same village, who did not clean and tidy her house. Rags and old papers were strewn everywhere and her children were dirty. In that village was a water supply for everyone, easily accessible, yet one woman used it and one did not. This is a matter of character, not of money or privilege in life.

The world is full of stories about people who brought themselves out of nothing and made a good living, invented something, or raised up a good family. Education doesn't matter, and neither does money. While some of it is necessary, both the need for education and money are blown far out of proportion. Education comes from the willingness to learn, and if you are a learner, you can learn from anything, and not be limited to educational establishments. The education in those places is not thorough and does not equip you for life and godliness.

It doesn't matter what our race or our economic situation: there is not one of us that cannot, by following the principles of the Bible, become good homemakers. The diligence described in Proverbs 31 applies to people of all kinds, not just some privileged person. Anyone can be neat, tidy, industrious, productive, diligent, good, kind, wise, loving, honest, and thrifty. Character qualities like self control and selflessness are highly prized. All of us are commanded to be servants. The attitude of service is the element that will make us successful in life; not money or privilege.


Lydia said...

I recently drew this from the archives and put it on the Theme Article section, because of the attitude that is so often presented to me that the Biblical homemaker can only exist in America.

Yes we are blessed by having husbands who believe their responsibility is to be the breadwinner and would be ashamed to send their wives to work.

However, the Bible is for everyone, not just a privileged few. It is a beautiful pattern, but you have to have the faith to live it.

For everything you think you give up in order to follow the will of God, you will find a blessing in return.

We have long known that when a woman leaves the home, the family cannot be a stable.

Since women went to work in the 70's, there has been more troubled people in our homes. Our nation has paid a tremendous price for this.

There is no denying the declining of the home since women have left it and gone to work. Psychologists have attempted to portray the troubled family as "normal" but it is not normal and does not have to be that way.

Read "Keeper of the Springs" and "Taylor Caldwell: Women's Lib," and "When Queens Ride By."

"When Queens Ride By" can also be seen on film, a wonderful story, on the Loretta Young Show in the 50's. It showed clearly what a difference a stay at home wife made.

What a stabilizing and calming thing it is to have a woman at home that you can call up and talk to or rely upon to help in times of need.

Her home is always available for Bible study, for hospitality, for sewing and cooking.

Today, as a result of women's lib, many women are forced to go to work. The house stays empty all day. It is an expensive hotel that people use to take a shower and sleep and get ready to go somewhere else the next day.

It is sad to see so many empty homes. Many of us can remember a time when this was not so.

It is hard to describe the warmth of our neighborhoods and homes to people who have known nothng else but latchkey kids and absent mothers, but I hope the theme articles will give you a picture of what is is like when women follow the old paths, where the good walk is, and where you may find rest for your souls. (Jeremiah 6:16)

Elspeth said...

Wonderfuuly said, Lady Lydia.

Andrea said...

Thank you so much for this post. It is exactly what I needed to "hear" at this very time. In a nutshell...If Christ is in our hearts....He will be in our homes and emanate from us regardless of our financial status. Hospitality is more than a beautiful meal at a finely appointed table, it is an attitude of the heart, at home or anywhere.

Grace and peace,


Laura Lane said...

Hello Mrs. Sherman,
I'm Laura Lane of Harvest Lane Cottage. I enjoy your Housewife Radio tremendously. It has helped me to get up, get fixed up, and get going on a regular basis. I am currently reading your blog from the beginning. Yes, I've done that with a few other blogs, too. ~smile~
I am impressed with this post, and I plan to share a link to it on this coming Saturday's Weekend Reading post at Harvest Lane Cottage. Will you please let me know if you object to me sharing it?

Laura Lane

Lydia said...

Fine with me Laura!

Laura Lane said...

Thanks so much, Mrs. Sherman. I want more ladies to find you.