Tuesday, March 27, 2012

When We Can't Endure a Little Hardship

The Poor

Living in an old house makes me think about all the struggles the early Americans went through.  I visited Plimouth Plantation, in Massachusetts, many times. The tiny little houses the Pilgrims lived in were cold, plain and uncomfortable.  The people worked tremendously hard just to survive. This is hardship.

In our 1800's house, there are drafts, broken faucets, and plumbing problems. We are always repairing something or trying to make things last.  We are also constantly seeking ways to economize. During a recent warm spell, we didn't use our wood pellet stove. Some mornings I was cold, but I just had to wait a few hours for the temperature to rise, and the house would have been heated by the warmth of the sun. It is in our nature to seek ease, comfort and self-indulgence.  We have an anti-hardship nature. This is why we waste money, and act spoiled.  It came from generations of Americans who forgot what it was like for the Pilgrims and the Pioneers.  We are living on the ease and "wealth" created by our ancestors.  Instead of continuing their traditions, we are sitting back and living like the rich.

In the old days, struggle built character.  And a little suffering made us grateful.

Now things seem to be handed to us. We lost our ability to endure the rough times. We lost our creativity and ingenuity.

This morning I was thinking about how easy things are for me.  I have plenty of free time, and set my own plans for each day. I have good things to eat. I have a lovely home (as long as I work hard to keep it neat).  Even though I have so many things to be thankful for, I still grumble and complain when I have to suffer. We modern day Americans come from tough Pioneer stock. But we have weakened and softened over the years.  One of the greatest accomplishments would be for us to endure the hard times and learn to sacrifice for the good of our characters.

No one wants to suffer, of course. But if we can just strengthen ourselves enough to patiently get through the hard times, we will do well. It's kind of like picking our battles and not making too much out of the daily trials.

This would make the good times that much sweeter.

Mrs. White

* P.S. If you have some time, visit the Plimouth Plantation website. It is amazing! *

Are you making your children do YOUR chores? - A Cheerful and Willing Housekeeper.

We all need one of these - A Church in the Home.

Encouragement - How a Godly Mother may Guide an Imperfect Family.

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Freedom Acres Farm said...

I would take it one step further. Not only are people not willing to suffer and make due they get down right indignant when they don't get what they are "entitled" to. Ingenuity? No. On the contrary, most live with an air of entitlement that would make our forefathers roll their eyes in disgust. We need to get back that self sufficient "grit" that they had back then and our country might yet survive. I can hope anyway.

Jill said...

My Gramma always said, "What this country needs is another Great Depression". She meant that if people today had to go back to the days of sky rocketing unemployment, rationing, several generations sharing a home, and all that - - then we'd really see what struggling is. She was so wise!

Great post. If we really are close to the End of Days/the Apocolypse, those of us who are OK with struggling will survive...and those who rely on others to take care of their every need won't make it through.

Anonymous said...

Very well said! This is why so many people are in debt today!

Anonymous said...

This is a wonderful, well-written post, and a message that needs to be spread. Thank you for sharing it. I plan on passing it on!

Cathy said...

I remember my mother in law telling me how her mother had taught her to never throw away a piece of paper, until it had been written on both sides. And never waste a drop of water, because of how precious it was. They kept a pot under the kitchen faucet to catch running water, and poured it, along with used dishwater on the flowers outside. Of course most of us don't need to do those things, but we could be a lot more thankful for the ease and abundance we enjoy.

Kat said...

At one point as a young wife, we had a typhoon hit. We were two weeks without power and running water. Water trucks came around daily with pottable and nonpottable water. I learned quickly to plan ahead with water usage.
During those two weeks I learned that our modern conveniences were just that, conveniences, not needs. I learned plenty of important lessons those two weeks about necessities and wants. It was very rewarding to finally sit down in the evening and listen to the battery operated radio and enjoy the candlelight.
Your post today reminded me of the valuable lessons God taught me during that time.

Anonymous said...

I believe my son is learning a life lesson about doing without and being patient. He is 26 years old and currently living at home with us while he finishes up his masters degree. He has worked and paid for this degree himself which meant going without his own apartment, never purchasing anything he didn't really need, not having constant entertainment like his friends. He friends go out every weekend- movies, bars, concerts, eating out....never denying themselves. He has a summer job lined up and should finish school next fall or spring. He is taking the road less travelled and praying God finds exactly the right position for him to serve. He dreams of the day he can purchase a small, old fixer-upper house and slowly restore it wth his own two hands.
He might actually have a chance to realize his dream of home ownership since he will have no student loan debt and has no debt of any kind.
I see him set apart from most people his age who are upset if they can't have a new car and a great house all while carrying a huge load of student loan debt- all those weekends out for those people- it all goes on their credit cards!!

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