Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The Ladies Who Make the Best of Things

Good Day, Dear Ones,

Please click on the picture below and listen to the hymn, which also shows the words. Maybe you would like to sing along with it while the video shows the beautiful scenery, some which you may recognize from your own neck of the woods.

Please click on the picture, above!

Today's paintings are dedicated to the dear ladies who began their home life in the smallest of circumstances and made the best of it. This is to all you who started out in a something less than your ideal, or who have been in reduced circumstances.  You ladies are so appreciated for making the best of things. Maybe you have since prospered and are now living in something more adequate. We all remember our first home, whether it was when we were growing up and still home with our parents, or in our first dwelling place.

To take a place that needs a lot of work and turn it into something comfortable and beautiful takes patience and most of all, a very deep sense of love.  I have known women who have done this and I call them great women.

It is possible that ladies who have been in less than ideal houses learned from their mothers and grandmothers the art of making a house a home. If you have a story of your 

times of making a home in spite of the disadvantages, I would like to hear from you. Please leave a comment! 

Sometimes there is a tendency to think that people who have the ideal house (I particularly admire the Victorian architecture in houses, even though I have never lived in one) got there at first, instead of at last. We do not always know the story behind the scenes.

This is a post dedicated to you ladies who have made a house a home, wherever it is, and the contentment you created in that home.

Over the years I have known women who have their own homes and even owned other homes but were never content or happy.  Contentment is a learning situation. It requires counting what you do have instead of what you do not have. It is easy to develop the bad thinking-habits of envy and resentment when someone else has something you have always wanted, but it is always best be thankful for God's provision and to be content.

This is why I say the ladies who have made the best of their situations are "great". They are heroes. They are rescuers. They are helpers. They are preservers of the home and family.

The most contented ladies can make the best of life and get through difficulties without anger and without making life stressful for their families. That takes real wisdom and discernment.


  But godliness with contentment is great gain. 
1 Timothy 6:6

Please click the comments to read what others are saying.


Always Learning said...

The last picture in your post drawn by Susan Rios hangs above my bed. It has been there MANY years and it is all faded out but I just love her paintings! My first home was a tiny trailer but it was home and we liked it there. I've enjoyed every home I've lived in because it's a place to call home and relax. God is good!

Michelle said...

Oh Lydia, I needed this so very much in this season I am currently in. We had saved and saved for many years to buy our own first home earlier in February this year. our house needed much renovation and tender loving care, which we were willing to give it. Being right in the middle of renovation I feel myself feeling taxed on contentment, but thankyou for your gentle reminder :) it also reminds me that things of great value take time to build - relationships, faith, families and homes - and they matter the most and are certainly worth our patience.

Blessings x

Lydia said...

Thank you for the helpful comments. I know someone who was building a house and had to live in an old barn that was falling apart but she made it tolerable and even nice.

Sarah R said...

Both my husband and I grew up very poor, but in different circumstances. I was in a ghetto building in Queens, stepping over needles in the street. My husband grew up in dilapidated trailers in South Carolina. He remembers one night having a rat run over him as he slept. So when we bought our house, it seemed like a mansion to us. 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, fireplace, 2 car garage, on 1/4 acre in Central Florida. I've lived here for 13 years, and I am still thrilled to walk in the door. It's just a ranch style, same as every one else around here. But I treasure it. It's not just a starter home to me. My children were 5, 3 and 2 when we bought the home. I remember watching my boys toddling down the hallway in their diapers, clutching their cups and blankies and waiting for bedtime stories. We've made changes over 13 years. We've painted. Bought new furniture. Put in new floors. Got new appliances. Rearranged furniture. We didn't do it instantly, in fact we're still in the process of change. But I love that about my home. It's mine...I get to decide which color, which fabric, which painting goes on which wall. I've seen my babies grow up here, and I await the day that grandchildren will come to visit me too. I don't know if you've ever been to a house which feels unhappy? Mine is not. I literally smile when I walk in. It's my happy place!

Finding Joy said...

My first home was a pretty ordinary rental and shared with far too many creepy crawlies in the tropical north of Australia. Almost anything can be made homey if one things outside the square and puts in that little effort. A home isn't really the building as such - its the people (and for us the furry friends) and all the joy and laughter they bring. I am completely content with our current home. It isn't big but it meets all our needs and my husband and I are very happy with it.

JES said...

Well said and very encouraging. It is not what you have but how you choose to live with what you have...

Thank you for continuing to encourage :)

Anonymous said...

Such a lovely encouragement Lydia.
A gift for my birthday!
I removed my blog after some comments. Hope to keep in touch with you.
Shirley in Virginia

Shani said...

Oh dear, how timely and how convicting. Thank you for this post, Lady Lydia. We just yesterday decided to pay off our debt instead of moving to the country (as is our dream), which means we will be in the city for a few more years. We have decided to follow Biblical principles of owing no man instead of our own petty desires to spend and do as we please, and so are determined to find joy in our home as long as the LORD intends for us to be here. We always long to do Our LORD's will, but sometimes the 'wanties' do make us stray from that. It only took about a month for us to snap back from dreamland, so we're getting better. :)

May the LORD make His face to shine upon you today,

anonymous said...

Hi Lydia,
your post reminds me of my own very humble roots. Both while living with my parents and later when my husband and I married and started our own home.

You are so right about contentment taking time to acquire. Our first home together was a rental converted garage. From there to a run-down rental cottage and then to our first purchased fixer-upper house.

Learning to be resourceful and doing the best I could with what I had was most helpful.
Improvements are sometimes necessary. The best improvements are in the attitude.

Contentment isn't having what you want, but being satisfied what you have.

Thank you for your timely post.

Mrs. J.

Lydia said...

A comment that recently arrived:

Dear Lydia,

I agree with all of the other ladies comments. I love my home, and appreciate it so very much. We have been here our entire marriage of 35 years. No it is far from perfect in the layout and such. But we have made it a happy home. I make nice meals in my very small kitchen. My children are happy--they do still live here--so this is the only home they have ever known. What makes me sad is when people ask why we don't move to a "nicer" home. Why? First off our home is paid for. I am able to fix it up the way I want--no not with things that cost a lot of money. I don't have the newest and fanciest thing. Unfortunately I have a mother that has never been an encouragement of my home. She thought it was always too small too old and such. Unfortunately we do not see eye to eye on so many things such as me stay at home raising our children. You have heard of don't be around toxic people. Well in my life she is one of those. It isn't that I don't respect her--but I have my family to tend to. I feel it is the best for me and my family. When ever she used to be around there was always discord. So my children really never knew their maternal grandmother because of this. I love my husband and he has cared and supported his family. We need for nothing because the Lord provides for us through my husband. I have things that others only dream of. A family that loves me, a husband that made it so I was able to be a stay at home wife and mother. Even after the children were grown I was able to still be home. At first I had no idea what he meant others would be jealous of me. It took years to see what he was saying. I do feel blessed.

Love reading your posts. Don't always leave a comment--but it blesses me beyond measure. I have a daughter who is learning disabled, and she loves the pictures you share. She is really into the Shabby Chic look for her room, and loves to take ideas from pictures. I appreciate your blog. Been reading your page even prior to the blog, when you were on LAF.

Houston, Texas

Lydia said...

Do any of you bloggers know how to get the Captcha company to remove their word verification number from a blog whe. The normal method does not work? I have checked the settings to "no" several times, and it will not remove. I do t think it is right that they impose this on a blogger of the blogger and the readers do not like it. I think there should be a free choice.

Lydia said...

Another comment via email:

"Please let me introduce myself. My name is Debbie and I live east of Colorado Springs on the windy prairie. I have been following your blog for as long as I can remember. I found it many years ago when my husband and I decided to homeschool our three sons. Your blog has been a bit of fresh air for me every time I check to see what you are speaking about for that day. I have prayed for you many times. I hope you feel encouraged in your ministry here on the web. You are filling a great and desperate need in the lives of the thousands of lives you touch. I especially appreciate the blog definition that you posted the other day. It is true, I can “feel” a different type of homemaker/mother reaching out to you. Praise God! He has brought so much opportunity to your door step."

Blessed Homemaking said...

Thank you so much for the encouragement to be content, Lydia. I hope you are doing well.

Mary said...

I grew up in a messy, disorganized, poor home. My Mother who thought it best to work outside the home rarely ever threw anything away, much less organized it. I currently have a small home by today's standards. It is comfortable and relaxing. I keep things neat and orderly, in fact a friend of mine came over one day and described my kitchen as her "dream kitchen" I asked her why she said that as we have not spent money on a remodel. She commented, "your counters are completely bare, I wish I could do the same." She didn't realize that I have given many things away and organized and reorganized to have my bare counters. My home is not new and do not own modern or trendy things. Keeping it organized and clean seems to make people feel comfortable when they enter my home. Thanks goodness for blogs such as yours that have taught me about my role as a wife and mother.

living from glory to glory said...

Oh Lydia, I really loved this post as it caused me to reflect and ponder our early days of our marriage. We lived in a bottom apartment and we knew are neighbors by the shoes they wore LOL
We have always made any home the Lord provided into a place where we could love and grow and worship together!
We painted and used anything we could fix or repair into furniture that met our needs. I think if we could learn to make the best of things God would be glorified in our homes and marriages.Keeping our home clean was a joy to me no matter how old or worn the things we owned were!
God Bless you for teaching us...

Susan said...

I grew up very poor. My father died when I was ten and my mother was left with an old house, a child to raise and not a cent in the bank. I never once knew I was poor because my mother taught me to love the little things in life and to keep a lovely home. The holidays were the best times of all. We had an old cardboard Christmas fireplace and my gift every year was a flannel nightgown that I know was made just for me. My memories of that time in my life are my most precious.

Now that I am an adult I have encountered some tough circumstances that have required my husband and I to move frequently. We had to sell our home and even had to live in hotels for awhile. We now live in an apartment on the first floor on a really noisy road. It is tiny and the doors don't close properly, the vinyl, floor is torn, the toilet flushes when it wants to and the furnace sounds like a freight train. But little by little I have made it cozy. We have very little furniture but we have little corners to sit down and read a library book and a warm bed to sleep in at night. When I walk in the door I am glad to be home. The skills and courage that my mother taught me have helped me through these tough times. I also appreciate the encouragement I have received from this blog. A home truly can be made lovely, regardless of circumstances.