Today's featured contributor is Mrs. Smith of Just A Country Girl:
Mrs. Smith, Just a Country Girl
Mrs. Smith lives out in the country with her 3 boys, husband, and a dog. Most of her time is spent homeschooling, taking care of the house, and raising her kids. In her free time, she enjoys scrapbooking, knitting, sewing, jotting things in one of many Smash Books, reading, pen palling, gardening and just being outside in general. She has a love for big trucks, and is even licensed to drive a tractor-trailer, if the need ever strikes. She enjoys attending church with her family and strives to someday be a Proverbs 31 woman.
Today's topic is, My Favorite Homemaking Resources
Misty, Simply Helping Him
My number one blessing, throughout my lessons on homemaking, is my mom. In her, I was able to see every day what it took, and what it meant, to be a homemaker.
Along the way there have been a few books that have encouraged/taught me as well.
In Created to be His Help Meet (Debi Pearl), I found direction for my specific calling as my husband's help meet.
Through Jill Savage's book, No More Perfect Moms, I found peace and encouragement for being imperfectly perfect.
Grace, thanksgiving, and gifts abound in Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts.
I know all too well that I am daily in need of grace, instruction and forgiveness.
I am very thankful for all the words, songs, and wisdom God sends my way.
Mrs. Smith, Just a Country Girl
I've never really stopped to ponder just where I get my homemaking resources from. The internet? People I know? Let's journey through this thought together, shall we?
Starting at the most obvious place, my mother has always been a homemaker. She cooked, baked, cleaned, gardened, canned, sewed, farmed...you get the picture. Growing up, she tried to teach me these things. But I grew up with 2 older brothers, so all I wanted to do was the outside stuff with them. Oh, I swept a lot of floors and washed a lot of dishes; but I preferred to be in the garden, throwing (small) hay bales and all the other "boy" stuff. I actually pulled so many weeds from the garden, I would dream of them at night! Somehow as a teenager, I got the job of mowing the yard...we lived on a farm so it took about 4 hours to do it all. I suppose because I was the youngest and both boys were out working elsewhere, I was the chosen one. But I loved mowing.
So while my mom showed me how to be a homemaker, I can't say I really embraced it. I hated sewing, and didn't much care for cooking. I didn't even want children!
But, I did get married and have children, and then my heart changed. Suddenly I wanted to cook (I always cleaned--I am a neat freak), and just recently decided to try sewing and knitting. The Lord changed my heart gradually over time to do the things He wanted me to do--the things I swore I'd never do!
He directed me first to the book of Ephesians in the Bible, which is still my favorite book today. I find so much packed into those 6 chapters. How to love my husband and children, how to put on the armor of the Lord for my family and so on. I love Ephesians 4:26 which says, "Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath". What a good verse to live by when you are trying to properly raise a family! Of course there are many other places in the Bible that help me in my homemaking, but I just really find so much help and hope in Ephesians.
I guess the rest of my resources came from blogs. :) There are so many, many good Christian women blogging out there who have some wonderful advice. I have found so many great things like this post that really opened my eyes and helped me see things I'm doing wrong or need to work on. One of my all time favorite places to get my inspiration is here at Above Rubies. What awesome inspiration and testimonies here! (You can even receive a free quarterly magazine, which is packed full of goodness.) So many uplifting stories have inspired me from here--and I've even met some of my blogging friends through it! I have learned much about patience and endurance after reading some of the wonderful testimonies here.
Finally, I guess my latest inspiration has come from Soule Mama, to help in my sewing and knitting adventure. She has some great ideas and some wonderful books that I recommend. I think her "outdoorsy" nature also intrigued me; as I am definitely an outdoors country girl. :) I love to see the way she interacts with her children and nature.
Sadly, I guess I haven't had a lot of "real life" resources. I have an aunt who is helpful when I ask, but otherwise, I am kind of left on my own. But, because of this, I hope to be an inspiration to another young mother someday. Perhaps I can be the helper for her that I never had. I do believe that blogging helps so many people. So friends, may I say...keep on blogging! :)
Kendra, Living in the Shoe
Honestly, it would be my precious mother. Before I had even reached the double digits in years, she had taught me to sew, cook, garden, clean, preserve and can. All through my teenage years, she kept building on the foundation she'd laid in those tender years.
If I have a question now, I go to my mother. Although she lives 2,000 miles away, I will still call her up when I am unsure of something. You'd think at almost 35 years of age that I wouldn't have to call Mama anymore!! Not so. I love and treasure her advice. We don't always do things the same way - sometimes I love to find my own way of doing something. But she is the first person I think of to call on almost any homemaking question.
I hope to someday hear my daughter say the same about me!!
Kate, Teaching What Is Good
I am not an organized person by nature. What little organizational skills I possess have been gained the hard way - from lots of trial and (mostly) error. Along the way I have learned from others and I'm delighted to pass those resources on.
I learned all of my cooking skills from my dad. He was a great cook: very creative and innovative with a heart to feed others. When I was very young, he only cooked Sunday breakfasts. As I got older and was able to learn, he began to teach me his many culinary treasures. I learned the joy of cooking from him and how not to be afraid to experiment. While I don't have his innate creativity, I can cook well and have the skills to go further (should I accept the mission). Thanks Dad!
Many years ago I watched a video by Don Aslett teaching about cleaning and cleaning FAST! He was so funny but he cleaned so smart! Things that took me hours, he taught how to do in a matter of minutes. He taught that cleaning didn't have to consume my life. Of course, I haven't been the most faithful student, but I really have learned so much from his system.
The Fly Lady
When I first came across her site a number of years ago, I was very overwhelmed. Too much to see, too much to learn, too much to focus on. PLUS I hate wearing shoes!! :D But I slowly began to shut down everything else except for those baby steps. Her daily e-mails were a big blessing to me for awhile as she reminded me what needed to be done each day and that it WAS possible to get a handle on order in the home.
This is the passage of scripture that God has used most in my life. From teaching me the heart of womanhood, to the value of hard work and getting things done while the family is still asleep, I have come to see this woman from God's eyes. She isn't Super Woman, she is a woman in love: in love with the Lord (and desiring to honor Him) and in love with her family (and desiring to bless them). She is a woman with eyes looking ahead to the future and seeking where God would have her to go and how to prepare for the needs ahead. I confess that I don't have her physical stamina but my heart seeks to learn from her and let her strength and insight guide me.
401 Ways To Get Your Kids To Work At Home by Bonnie McCullough
I was given a copy of this book back in 1988 and it was a LIFE CHANGER! It taught me how to teach my children to clean and work and be responsible for their own mess. I began to teach my oldest, at age 2, how to clear her plate from the table, how to help me fold wash cloths and how to set the table. This book teaches age appropriate tasks for your children to learn, starting at age 2. It was one of the biggest blessings I ever got as a young mom!
I am still learning. I learn from the blogs I read, I learn from the things I see on Pinterest, I learn from things my friends posts on Facebook. I am a woman in progress; knowing my shortcomings, but blessed because there are so many others who have blazed trails down which I can travel and grow!
When I was newly married, I found myself keeping house exactly the way my mother had taught me. It worked; and I was, and still am, always proud of my homemaking skills. As time has gone by, the ways of homemaking have changed and I have learned of new ways to keep house, mostly from trial and error.
I get my motivation from my daughter, who has a large family and a clean and tidy home. Even though it is only my husband and myself here now, I still sometimes struggle to keep our house organized and running smoothly. I remind myself, if my busy daughter can accomplish this, then so can I!
Thank you, Mom and Sarah, for keeping me motivated, and thank you, God, for giving us women wisdom, understanding and knowledge.
"Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches." ~~Proverbs 24:3-4
Do you have a favorite homemaking resource you'd like to share?
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
Women Helping Women @ Teaching What Is Good
Domestically Divine @ Far Above Rubies
(Titus 2)s Days @ Time Warp Wife
Tending the Home Tuesday
Tuesday Link Up Party
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
Watcha Work-Up Wednesday
What's It Wednesday @ Ivy and Elephants
Simple Living Wednesdays @ Our Simple Farm
Wednesday Link up at Adorned from Above
Shoe Lace Linkup @ Living In the Shoe
Home Link Up at Raising Arrows
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
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
Inspiration Friday @ Dear Creatives
Show and Tell Friday @ My Romantic Home
Farm Girl Friday @ Let This Mind Be In You
Fit & Frugal Family Friday