Welcome to week two of Blessed At Home! How thrilling to have so many visitors last week! Thank you to everyone who visited and shared our article on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Please visit the Contributor Page to read more about this excellent ministry from some of your favorite homemaking bloggers.
Our Featured Contributor this week is Christy:
I am a daughter of God, wife of my best friend, Bruce, mother of 2 wonderful adult children and grandmother of 9 sweet blessings from God. After a successful career in sales, I decided to come home. With the support of my wise daughter and understanding husband, I am now a Happy Homemaker. My hobbies include watching my grandchildren in sports, reading, mushroom hunting and anything that involves sunshine. I also enjoy writing poetry. (Christy is also my mom! She doesn't have a blog but you can contact her via my email at email@example.com).
This week we're talking about the "Things We Wish We'd Known." No matter how early on in your homemaking you are, there are some things you know now that you wish you'd known "then".
I have heard people say that to give up is taking the easy way out. I wish I'd known that to give up is actually the hard way. Hanging on and trusting God is the easy way.
When you feel like you have tried to do all you can to create good things in your life and nothing seems to get better, there is something else you can try. You can pray and wait for the Lord.
I am amazed at the peace I have recieved in the past nine years, since I have decided to trust. I wish I'd have known how easy it is to walk with Jesus.
I was blessed to have a grandmother who loved the Lord more than anything. She took us to church and taught us to pray. I have known the Lord since birth, but never really walked with him or accepted the relationship He had to offer until I was in my mid-forties. I wish I'd known what Grammy was trying to teach me.
I am so thankful for God's grace and the chance to walk with Him now. I am a much stronger person now, and I am able to choose the easy path instead of the hard way out of life's many challenges.
"The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace." ~Psalm 29:11
Tauna, Proverbial Homemaker
When I married my husband 7 years ago, I had very little experience and no training in homemaking. I've had to learn these things fairly late in life, but they are a big part of what God has called me to do! He has been faithful to teach and guide me along the way. Still, there are some things I wish I'd known earlier about homemaking!
1. Dinner doesn't make itself.
Go figure! I'm still learning to build a pantry, plan meals for an easier week, and make mealtime a loving part of our family culture. I still feel like I'm scrambling for the last minute meal half the time, but I'm getting there!
2. The house also doesn't clean itself.
Sadly, this is true. I had no idea how hard it would be for this naturally messy and disorganized person to learn to keep house. I'm making progress, but it is half a lifetime of habits to change!
3. The work is never really done.
I've learned to define "done for the day" and be pleased with progress instead of perfection.
4. There are willing and able teachers.
I am only now finding real-life homemaking role models. Most of what I've learned has been from bloggers. Thank God for them!
5. Focus on one area of improvement at a time.
I tend to either get excited and try to change too much, or get overwhelmed and change nothing. I heard once that lasting change takes 30 days of practice. So I have been trying to do one habit a month for a lifetime of good, solid habits.
As much as I have to learn, I am so thankful that I CAN learn them as we as teach them to my own kids!
Misty, Simply Helping Him
I wish I'd learned to keep God first, even in my marriage, to rely on Him for consistent love, and that in Him alone I would be
I wish I'd known to find acceptance in Him alone, and know I was beautiful in His eyes, for He created me perfectly.
In men we will find inconsistency, we will be unfulfilled, unaccepted and seen as not beautiful at times. For man is imperfect.
In our marriages this is true too.
We can not expect our husbands to fill the shoes that only God can.
I wish I'd known deep in my heart that He alone is all I truly need.
Mrs. Sarah Coller, Hope In Every Season
One thing I wish I'd known earlier on in parenting, as well as in married life, is the importance of finding the "why" behind the action. The people who love us often have the best of intentions toward us. It's so important to look past one another's faults and mistakes and see the heart behind the action.
Judith, WholeHearted Home
I graduated from Kaimuki High School in 1973; the year Roe vs. Wade was passed, the year that abortion was made legal. At the time, I was not aware of such an important and shattering law being passed that would effect our God-given value of children.
I left beautiful Hawaii and flew to California where I went to college, still unaware of all the babies being murdered due to abortion.
After college I met and married my husband, Tim, and in time we had two children. Our family was perfect. My tubes were tied. Now it was the 1980s.
There are many, many things I wished I had known. Many things in marriage have been harder because of what I did not know.
I didn't know how to make mashed potatoes because we ate rice. The first time I made mashed potatoes I took the hand mixer and tried to 'mash' the RAW potatoes before cooking them!! That is something I wish I'd known!!
I wish I knew how to clean a house. Yes, I knew how to wash dishes and dust but I had no idea how to balance the responsibility of the whole home.
Things I wish I'd known that matter most to me are the things that hold spiritual consequences. The eternal---not temporal.
One day a friend called me up to tell me about a book she strongly disagreed with. This book talked about allowing God to plan your family. Without ever having read the book, God started to speak to my heart and the lies and deceptions started to fall away.
There isn't anything wrong with having two children and not everyone is going to have many children. I had taken the planning and control into my hands and I wasn't trusting God in His sovereignty to make the choices.
I was deeply touched and grieved for what I had done. I realized that sterilization didn't give God the choice. The controls were in my hands.
My husband and I (and our 6 and 4 year old) drove 16 hours to Indiana where I had an outpatient tubal reversal. That was about 23 years ago. We were blessed with a daughter and a son who were born because we chose to put 'things' back the way God designed them.
Some 'things' that we don't know can't be changed. It is too late and we must forever live with the consequences of not knowing early enough.
I am blessed with two eternal souls I would NEVER have known because it was early enough to change one 'Thing I wish I had known.'
"Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward." ~Psalm 127:3
Mrs. Smith, Just a Country Girl
When I think of "mistakes" I made earlier on in my life as a mother, two things come to mind. While they weren't really mistakes as much as learning opportunities, they still could have been handled differently by me.
My biggest battle was simply raising boys. God gave us all boys. Maybe that's a good thing, as I grew up with only brothers and always related to boys better. But I quickly found out, as they got older, that boys and moms are SO different! I was literally making myself crazy asking things like, "Why doesn't he WANT to be clean?!" and "Why is their room always such a mess?" I am a neat freak, which is part
of the problem. The other problem is simply that I grew up as a girl! I just didn't get it. The day that I found a half rotten pumpkin under son #2's bed, I nearly died. I mean, really, what were they
doing when I told them to clean!?
After much prayer about raising these boys to be somewhat clean and not totally lose my mind, I picked up the book "Raising Real Men" and realized that I'm not doing anything wrong! All that stress was for nothing. Boys will be boys. Now that's not to say that I excuse them from cleaning themselves and their environment, or allow them to be rude and crude, but I learned how to make them understand they need to do these things without going completely bonkers. See, I was teaching them the way a girl would be taught. Yes folks, boys and girls ARE different, no matter how much you want to argue with me. I was a little girl once. And I wanted to be clean. I didn't want to wrestle outside and jump in the mud. But after I read the book and realized that God actually made boys with a desire to do these things, because someday they'll be the ones who jump in a mud hole to rescue their family whose vehicle got stuck, or they'll be the ones who defend their families someday, it made it all a little more clear.
Now we have our cleaning times a little differently, with an understanding of why we wash our hair or don't leave a pumpkin to rot under the bed. (Shudder.) And sometimes we make the cleaning into games or competitions because, hey, what boy doesn't want to compete?! I wish I would have realized earlier that boys learn differently and that's okay. I just needed to learn how to teach them.
My other revelation of sorts was when I realized that it's okay to hold your baby for more than five minutes. It seems sad now that I listened to a very important person in my life when they told me, with the first two babies, that if I held them, I'd spoil them. When I brought home baby #3, I was recovering from an emergency c-section and couldn't get around well, so I held him a lot. And this is when I realized that baby #3 is my most lovable, cuddly baby and loves to be social. Is he spoiled? Not at all. I can put him down and he's just fine. In fact, now that he's 9 months old, he prefers to be in his walker or jumper during the day. But I am so glad God gave me the chance to hold that baby to my heart's content. I missed out on a lot of cuddling the first two times. I'm so grateful I got the chance to try it again!
What are some things you wish you'd known earlier on?
Motivate Me Monday
Modest Monday @ The Modest Mom
Matrimonial Monday @ A Proverbs 31 Wife
Make the Scene Monday @ Alderberry Hill
Inspire Me Monday @ Create With Joy
Masterpiece Monday @ BoogieBoard Cottage
A Round Tuit @ Creating My Way to Success
Monday Funday @ C.R.A.F.T.
Better Mom Mondays
Manic Monday @ Cupcake-n-Bake
Making Your Home Sing Monday
Mommie Mondays @ Sew Crafty Angel
A Return to Loveliness @ A Delightsome Life
Cottage Style Party @ Lavender Garden Cottage
Teach Me Tuesday @ Growing Home
Tutorial Tuesdays with Hope Studios
Women Helping Women @ Teaching What Is Good
Domestically Divine @ Far Above Rubies
(Titus 2)s Days @ Time Warp Wife
Tending the Home Tuesday
Wisdom Wednesdays @Simply Helping Him
Winsome Wednesday @ My Daily Walk in His Grace
Whole-Hearted Home Wednesdays
Encourage One Another @ Deep Roots at Home
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Homemaking Link Up @ Raising Homemakers
Home @ Rose Chintz Cottage
What's It Wednesday @ Ivy and Elephants
Simple Living Wednesdays @ Our Simple Farm
Sheltering Linkup @ A Sheltering Tree
Shoe Lace Linkup @ Living In the Shoe
Home Link Up at Raising Arrows
Create It Thursday
Homemaking Party @ Hope In Every Season
Thursday Favorite Things @ Katherine's Corner
Strut Your Stuff Thursday @ Somewhat Simple
Pearls and Lace Thursday @ Faith, Grace and Crafts
Legacy Leaver Thursday @ Leaving a Legacy
Thriving Thursday @ Serving Joyfully
Tutorials, Tips and Tidbits @ Stone Gable
Desire to Inspire @ A Royal Daughter
Think Tank Thursday @ Saving4Six
Home Sweet Home @ The Charm of Home
Open House @ Bernideen's Tea Time Blog
Share Your Cup Thursday @ Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson
Thoughtful Thursday @ Found the Marbles
Inspiration Friday @ Dear Creatives
Show and Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home
Family Fun Friday @ Happy and Blessed Home
Farm Girl Friday @ Let This Mind Be In You
Fit & Frugal Family Friday
Show and Tell Saturday @ Be Different, Act Normal
Or So She Says...
Finding the Pretty & Delicious @ Your Homebased Mom
30 Min. Linkup @ 30 Days
Sharing Creative Ideas @ Made By Joey
Show Me Saturday
Sunday Showcase Party@Under the Table and Dreaming
Sundae Scoop @ I heart nap time
The Creative Homemaker Hop
One More Time
Sunday Blog Hop @ Cuddlebug Cuties