Monday, March 17, 2014

Living on Mister's Income

US Service Wives in Berlin with Housekeeper and Children

One of the greatest challenges of the Christian wife, is to live on her husband's income. We are constantly tempted and encouraged to earn some supplementary money.   We are also bombarded with ideas for spending our money in ways that will "save" us money.  It is almost comical to think that spending money equals savings on any level!

Regardless of one's financial situation, one can spend every single dime that comes in; or, one can spend less than one makes.    It sounds simple in theory but is actually very difficult.  It is a fight, which goes on in the mind.

We have to fight against the idea that we need more.  We have to fight the temptation to buy things on impulse.  A responsible, elderly adult, is not in the habit of buying on childish whims.  This is a lesson we must learn.

The handling of money takes careful planning and thought.   For the housewife, it should also take a feeling of contentment and an understaning of the priviledge of having the luxury to stay home in this modern world.

I have noticed recent television programs and hallmark movies.  They always include a career woman, or some feminist actions on the part of the female characters.  When I watch old episodes of "I Love Lucy;" "Father Knows Best:"  "The Donna Reed Show;" "The Waltons;' or "The Brady Bunch" I am shocked by the shift in cultural thinking.  A Study in social living is happening by simply watching the old programs and the new ones!  Our way of life today is affected by the messages we are being fed through the media.  We must keep our guard up to prevent a subtle change in our own homes. 

Lately, I have been struggling to live on my husband's income.  This is normal and happens in many homes.  This morning it is fourteen degrees below zero, here in Vermont.  There is a ton of snow, which shows no sign of melting.  Mister took $20 of our grocery money to buy us 4 bags of wood pellets for our stove.   This will last us until his next paycheck.  But it leaves me with the struggle of coming up with nutritious and filling suppers for the next few days.  I will get out some of my old cookbooks and think of creative ways to make do.

I have been dreaming about getting the garden ready on the back property. I am thinking about my strawberry plants and all the lovely foods I would like to grow.  I look forward to the sweet warm sunshine of summer days, and hanging clothes on the line.  I want to see the grandchildren enjoying the property and laughing outdoors.  I am able to do these things because each day, I learn to live on Mister's income.  It is not easy.  It is my work, to live within the means he provides us with.  It is my challenge and my victory. 

I cannot express how very grateful I am to be a Christian housewife and be humbly taken care of by my husband.  Despite this world that seeks riches and fame, I am grateful for the old paths my godly grandmothers tread before me, where Bible reading, prayer and humble living is our way of life.

Mrs. White

From the Archives:

Our Heavenly Father Hears even these - Prayers Which Cannot Be Uttered.

Discretion and dedication - The Behind - the - Scenes Mother.

What would happen?  - If I visit you at the dinner Hour.

Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 



Kim said...

Thank you.
By Grace Alone,

Mrs. Laura Lane said...

Thank you for sharing this.

Melissa M. said...

Beautifully said. So True!

Always Learning said...

I love to watch Hallmark movies, but you are right! They always do show all women with careers. They never have a movie about full-time mommies like they did in the past. It is all very sad and whenever I write about being a keeper at home, I get so much disagreement as if I was teaching something sinful.

Jennifer Williams said...

I needed to hear this! Thank you so much! And keep warm. Fourteen degrees below zero?! Brr! :-)

busymomof10 said...

Thank you so much for this excellent post! I was just today thinking about how I could earn some money to supplement my husband's income! How easily we are tempted to follow the ideas of the world around us! How much wiser it would have been for me to think of ways to better stretch his income or to be content with what we have!! Thank you for this reminder!

Illinois Lori said...

Such a good word, dear Mrs. White! One of the things I have noticed as I watch the old TV shows I grew up with is the lack of stuff on the furniture...the lack of knick-knacks. Maybe one item on the coffee table, and one on the fireplace mantle. Shelves seemed to hold...surprise, surprise...BOOKS! And ONLY books! Today, TV show decorators tell us to put books on half of the shelf, and various, strategically-placed knick-knacks on the other half. Over the years, I've picked up so many knick-knacks. Over the years, they began to "own" me, just like today's "simplify and organize" books say they will. They lose their "special-ness" because they never had any special-ness. They didn't hold a precious memory (such as a vacation souvenier, or an item fashioned by the little hands of one of my children)...they were purchased only to "decorate" a space on a shelf that would have been better left as a space. I think that a HUGE part of why women today don't "joy" in housework is because the stuff on every single surface of our homes makes cleaning overwhelming. How easy it was for Donna Reed and Lucille Ball to feather open, empty coffee table! Add 7 magazines or 2 books, plus an assortment of little knick-knacks that also have to be individually dusted off, and a 10 second job now takes 5 minutes. Multiply this through the home, and it overwhelms and steals the pleasure. Not to mention the money spent! It's a trend that I followed years ago, but now I look at it as a mistake that I regret. I'm looking forward to garage sale season this year, as we need to sell our home (downsizing ASAP), so I want to get rid of EVERYTHING that isn't a precious memory to me...Lord willing, someday I'd love to have new "knick-knacks" made by grandchildren's hands! Thank you, as always, for your good words of wisdom today!

Freda Jordan said...

Oh, wow. This is so sincerely, humbly, and sweetly written. It just made me want to cry in a good way. It touched my heart so deeply. I really, really appreciate you, your perspective, and the beautiful things you write. I need to ask you, do you have a facebook page? I would love to receive your updates to your blog on my facebook page and be able to share them easily from there. I did find a way to share, but would love to be able to connect with you on facebook. In my opinion, yours is one of the best blogs out there for someone like me, a stay-at-home homeschooling mother and wife.

Deanna said...

Hello Mrs. White. Popping in today to read your post. I think it is a very beautiful place to be at home. The last few weeks I have been in St. Louis concerning a family health matter and the traffic was awful. People of all ages seem to be in fast gear at everything. I'm not sure how all of them stay in high gear throughout the day. It's not for me. Your post is uplifting and I say a big amen.

Cheryl said...

I loved this post! It just warmed my heart. It is so true! I am so content to stay in the place God designed for me...under the protecting, guiding hand of a sweet man of God who has been my husband for nearly 26 years. Truly, it is the best and happiest way to live...right in the center of God's perfect will. This is such an edifying post and so needful. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and heart! Love, Cheryl

Suanna said...

Thank you for this wonderful reminder to work hard at living within my husbands means. I'm looking forward to my garden this year, too.

Unknown said...

Thank you so much for sharing. I feel this way too. We have been living on one income for a almost 14 years now. The Lord always has provided for us.


Anonymous said...

Lovely and well written!

What I find sadder than what Hollywood dishes out (it's to be expected from them and that's why I avoid it) is when professing Christians and evangelical churches look no different than the world and proclaim the same Hollywood "gospel". And we know it grieves our Lord


Lori in Texas said...

We have a saying in our home... "My husband makes the money first, and I make it last."
It is a very satisfying "career" to use all my efforts and skills and gifts and brains and energy and creativity and -- WILL -- to be resourceful to see how much we can do with my husband's salery. I have a saying by Thoreau on the front of my fridge that says : They take great pride in making their dinner cost much. I take my pride in making my dinner cost so little."
God bless your good and right and gifted living, Mrs. White.

Unknown said...

Dear Mrs. White,
Your section of the country certainly has been hit with an unusually long and hard winter. In central Pennsylvania we are experiencing more snow and temperatures about 20 degrees below normal. Planting our garden usually starts the middle of March but even professional farmers here are struggling to get the early spring crops in the ground. When money was tight when I was growing up my Mother would usually make delicious egg dishes including dinner omelets, eggs a' la king, eggs foo yang, and vegetable pie, chicken custards, etc.

She would save the cracked egg shell halves, carefully wash them and let them dry on towels. Then when she had a dozen halves or so, we would use food coloring to dye them pretty, bright colors. We would gather small fallen branches from outside which Mother and I would arrange in a pretty vase along with some stones to weigh it down and give it some stability. Then we would make turn the pretty dyed egg shell halves into small baskets by adding gluing or taping small lengths of ribbon or curling ribbon left over from Christmas into handles onto the egg halves. We would fill the little baskets with shredded paper or Easter grass and jelly beans or small treats. Then we would hang them on the tree. Sometimes we made paper birds or butterflies and glued them on, as well. It was a nice way to use the egg shells up instead of discarding them and they made a pretty centerpiece to our dining room table.

Your posts are so encouraging and always point Home! You are right.
Being a homemaker is a privilege!

Anonymous said...

As always Mrs. White your posts leave me even happier to be a homemaker. Yes, watching that we use the money our sweet husbands bring into the home is something we need to be ever watchful of. As you have said, women through the years worked on the same thing. Going back through the old recipes and cook books and talking to older homemakers brings a connection to those Godly women of old. In it's own way it keeps our mind where it should be. He provided us with every penny of that money our husbands worked to receive. Every time I read one of your thoughtful posts I feel peace. It is your style of writing. I am grateful you post. Sarah