Thursday, February 16, 2012
When someone would get a new apartment, we'd go take a look and start cleaning it. We'd all pitch in and get that new home ready for the family. Sometimes that apartment wasn't much to look at. But with all of us cleaning, we'd make it look pleasant and happy.
There are times in life where we take a "step down" in our standards. These are times when we have lost much or are just struggling. We have to live in a smaller home, or deal with a broken-down car. The best way to deal with this is to look at it as an adventure. Remembering, that we still have our skills and talents.
Years ago, when our family owned a country store, I would sit behind the cash register, in the evening, while some of my younger children would play on the front porch. My husband would be working the kitchen, making food for customers. It was a small town and the community was wonderful. I would sit back there and hand-sew while I waited for a customer to come up to the front register. Our home was upstairs in an apartment. I used to sew for a few of the people. Someone needed mending, another needed a hem taken care of. I did it in a motherly way and didn't want money. We had moved from a grand neighborhood in suburban Massachusetts. We experienced major culture shock when we moved to Vermont. But this was not a step down. Life was entirely different, but better.
I like to think of Ma Ingalls and the many times Pa had the family move. Ma would make do living in the wagon, while she waited for Pa to build a house. She would sweep the dirt floor, and use her homemade quilts for bedding. She had very few possessions, but made each home cheerful because she kept things clean and neat. She also kept a routine. Those children knew what to expect. They had regular meals and chore time and play time. My own Mother has made a home in many places and has always added nice touches here and there, even without money.
It used to be that when a bachelor got married, he loved the daily nurturing tasks a woman brought to the home. She would fluff pillows, make beds, sweep floors, iron curtains, and make the meals look pleasant. She added life to the home with her creativity. She added rainbows and cheer with her attitude and acceptance of what she was provided with. She made things go far with what she was given.
Wherever we go, wherever we live, regardless of our circumstances, we can manage beautifully in a tent, a cabin, shack or house. We can do this with our talents and skills. Have you thought of how The Swiss Family Robinson survived on an island? They were inventive, creative and used survival skills to manage each day. It is certainly not the ideal, but we can cope and cope beautifully in most situations.
This very thought, survival, can make us so grateful for each day. It gives us the motivation to get up and make a lovely breakfast, clean the house, and get all dressed up. We can serve our family in love and devotion.
But when depression hits and makes things very difficult, as we dwell on our suffering, this is the time to get out the Bible and read the Psalms for comfort and guidance. This is the time to sing from the hymn books and to listen to the old time sermons. This is the greatest comfort you will ever find.
May your homes be like little sanctuaries of happiness and godliness.
When the Children get Older - Sitting Alone at the Kitchen Table.
For when it gets Overwhelming - A Pink Day.
Thinking of Yesteryear - The Charm of the Old Days.
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