Enjoying Home

Hello, friends! We have been settling into our new home for about a month now and I wanted to share a few thoughts about just how thankful I am for our time in South Carolina. I have been reflecting on the good habits I learned while there which have carried over to our new home.

I used to love being out and about, but our move to South Carolina changed things. We moved to a very rural area, and going anywhere other than Walmart involved a 120-mile round trip drive. At first, I tried to make that drive anyhow to visit stores. After a little while I realized it just wasn’t worth it!

Staying at home so often helped me learn the beauty of being a “keeper at home,” as Scripture calls it. While I had been convicted about not taking an outside job for quite some time, I hadn’t seen the beauty of simply staying at home.

Ladies, staying at home is beautiful. We are called to be watchful, and to guard it from worldly outside influences. We are called to take care of it and make it a beautiful place for our families to enjoy. We cannot do these things if we are always leaving it. Even “good” extracurricular activities with our children can quickly become a detriment to our home life if we let them.

As a wife and mother, this is my calling. I’m called to stay home with my family, and to enjoy it! Our homes are a gift from God which He has given us to enjoy!

I was worried that I might revert to my old ways once we moved back to “civilization,” but by God’s grace I have not so far. I actually find myself hoping to get back to our home while we are out!

The biggest help to me has been Scripture and reading books by like-minded women. I’ve enjoyed Living Virtuously by Erin Harrison and The Virtuous Woman from Rod and Staff Publishing. Watching homemaking videos on YouTube has also been an encouragement to me.

Ladies, there is such freedom in embracing our calling. Sometimes doing so is hard. We live in a two income culture where it can be difficult to live on a single income. I do believe there is a hidden agenda, here. Our families are weakened when mamas leave the home, and children are much more easily pliable to accept humanistic thinking when away from their God-given caretaker each day. Mamas, we must reject this! We must step back into our intended roles, even if this means a cut in pay, a smaller home, and less worldly goods. Our children and our children’s children are depending on us. We risk blaspheming the word of God when we are not keepers at home. With the Lord’s help, we can do this!

The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

Titus 2:3-5

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Thoughts about Working from Home + Etsy Shop Free Shipping Sale

If you regularly read my blog, you probably are aware that I feel very strongly about the importance of mama’s presence in the home. Home is where it’s at! Our work here is so important, ladies.

At the same time, I believe that we have been given the opportunity to create and sell things within the sphere of our home, so long as our families are not being neglected. This is a skill which I hope to teach my daughters. My three oldest girls have opened Etsy stores, and I would like to share them with you!

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My daughter Morgan’s store is called Pansy Lane by Morgan. She loves flowers, and she loves to crochet! She makes hair accessories like bun covers, among other things.

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My daughter Maddy loves photography. Her prints are matted, and are quite lovely in my opinion. I can’t wait to see if she decides to further pursue this art once she graduates our home school. Please take a look at her Maddy Crone Photography shop!

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My oldest daughter Melani also enjoys crocheting and sewing. You can find bun covers and book holders in her shop. She recently became active on Etsy, and plans to list more items soon!

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I have been an active Etsy seller under the shop name Joyfully Made for 10 years now. It is such fun to make personalized outfits for little ones. I also have a Ready to Ship section with some good deals. This is where I list my Craft Show Destash items. Everything in my shop is shipping for free this week!

There is such a delicate balance when taking on a work-at-home endeavor. Our families must always come first. I have been encouraged and blessed by the Proverbs 31 woman. While she did sell fabric and purchase a field, her home and family was obviously her top priority.

I hope everyone has had a blessed November thus far. The Father has been so good to us. We mostly have had a slow month at home, which has been perfectly lovely! Also, I would like to quickly share a blog post which I found so encouraging about a week ago. As the author so aptly states, wives and mothers were made to make home our life! Please take a few moments to read Called to be Different: Keeping Home + Living Quietly.

By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of [our] lips giving thanks to his name.

Hebrews 13:15

Blessings!

Finding Joy in the Small Stuff (Fall Edition)

With the time change and pending election, I’ve let myself get into a bit of a funk. I’ll admit, I’m totally in the wrong. I am beyond blessed with anything and everything I could ever need. I should be focusing on my blessings, and not insignificant hardships.

I’ve been reminded that renewing our minds with God’s Word on a daily basis is so important, mamas. Honestly, to be at my best, I need to renew it every few hours, at the least. I’m so grateful that the Lord has given us a lifeline in His Word.

Today I would like to share some wonderful things about fall that help to lift my spirits. Instead of seeing the short days as a bad thing, I need to remember that the Lord is offering us sweet rest in these next few months.

We can look at this time of rest with joy, knowing that we have more time to grow closer to Him. More time to study His Word. More time to pray. More time to enjoy our families. Speaking of families, I shared my family’s testimony which was featured in Above Rubies last week on the blog. You can find it here.

There is so many simple joys to look forward to during the fall.

  • Studying Scripture
  • Family time
  • Colorful leaves
  • Long walks
  • Warm blankets
  • Crackling fires
  • Hot chocolate or coffee
  • Pumpkins
  • The harvest
  • Craft festivals
  • Good books
  • Fall decor
  • Dried herbs
  • Sweaters
  • Boots
  • Baking
  • Apple Cider
  • Candles
  • God’s Appointed Times (Feast of Tabernacles, Trumpets, etc)
  • Time to plan the new year
  • More sleep to reset our bodies
  • Fall scented essential oils

The Lord is good, all of the time. All of nature speaks of His goodness, and fall is such a beautiful time to get outside with our families.

I’ve come to realize that the little things in life aren’t so little. Simple joys equal big time happiness. Let’s take the time to see the little blessings that surround us today.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 15:13

Investing in Our Families

I’ve learned a little bit about investing money while following the Dave Ramsey financial plan. Before this time, I was totally clueless. The major take away I’ve learned is that slow and steady wins the race. Investing in good investments consistently will grow into a big return over time.

While this type of knowledge is important, it is nothing compared to the importance of investing in our families. When my older children were young, I didn’t take much stock in the “mundane” tasks of everyday life. I didn’t realize the simple moments that I spent with my children were an investment in the future. Looking back now though, I understand just how important these moments are.

Over time, all of these little moments compound into big moments. All of these little moments add up to memories that shape our children’s view of their childhood. I don’t know about you, but I pray nearly daily that the Lord will help me provide a happy childhood for my children. Moments and memories do not take money. They take time. Mamas, staying home with our babies is one of the best ways to provide our children with the love and care they need to flourish.

At the moment I’m sitting at a dock with my family. It is mostly quiet as everyone eagerly reels in their fishing lines. Mabrey is blissfully spilling her sippy cup everywhere, ha! This inexpensive moment in time is an investment in my children’s future. Is our life always this quiet and lovely? By no means. Only by the grace of God do our lives have meaning and purpose.

I would like to encourage you to invest in your children’s lives today. Small moments like reading books, giving hugs, and giving encouragement add up to sweet memories they will hopefully cherish forever. Just being present is an investment in our children’s future. There is nothing better than being there to help our children if needed. My kids’ eyes just light up when I simply compliment their drawings or talk about our latest fishing excursion.

Our families are a gift from the Lord, and I fear women send the message that money is more important than time with our children when we choose to leave our home to work rather than spending time with them. No commodity is more important than time. Once it’s gone, we cannot get it back. We will never regret spending time with our families. In fact, Scripture tells us that He blesses the man who fears the Lord with family. We must try to be a good steward of what the Father has given us.

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Yes, this will be the blessing for the man who fears the Lord.

Psalm 128:3-4

Thank you so much for stopping by! I would love to connect with you on Facebook. I’d also like to invite you to my Mary & Martha Facebook Page, or to look at beautiful and inspiring Mary & Martha home decor. It is a such a blessing to serve you!

By the way, I also have a new line of mom tees in my Etsy shop. I hope you enjoy them!

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The Refuge of Home

The world is increasingly becoming a scary place. We no longer live in an era where safety is assured in public places.

Last night my husband and I had a date night, which is usually code for running a few errands and enjoying a dinner together. While we were gone, Rusty pointed out an area where a shooting took place last week. If this wasn’t enough, I felt far from safe while we were shopping. The Gander Outdoors store we visited instructed that all large bags and backpacks be checked into customer service. I’m assuming this policy is in place to deter shoplifting. Before we entered the store a family was screaming at each other in the parking lot. Needless to say, I was very happy to pick up the few items I needed for Mabrey’s upcoming birthday and unfulfilled Etsy orders and head back towards home!

Now, the topic of why the world is becoming less safe by the minute is a very important to think about, because a world that refuses to walk in the ways of the Lord will always be just that. We must turn back to Him! But today, I’d like to talk about the overwhelming relief I felt when my husband finally pulled his truck into our driveway.

I didn’t always feel this way. I used to love spending time in public. Home almost seemed like a boring enemy. Why would I want to spend my time there, whilst the world offered all kinds of fun, excitement, and new experiences?

I was so incredibly misguided, ladies. At the time I didn’t understand that a simple and cozy home beat a loud and potentially dangerous public place any day. I used to think that I wasn’t a “home body,” and that nothing could ever change the way I was wired. Well, I’m happy to say that by nothing less than God’s grace, I now prefer to stay at home. Why the change?

I believe my thoughts began to shift towards building a loving and godly home (that we actually stay at most days) when I threw aside the weight of feminist thinking many years ago. This was the slow start for me. I wanted to provide my family a safe haven and a place of refuge, but for a long while I still longed to leave it each day with my children in tow. I thought this was normal. I didn’t understand there was a better way!

The Father’s ways are higher than mine, and when I continued to surrender more to Him day by day, I realized that He desired our home to be a refuge from the world which is increasingly becoming more sinful. But what good is a refuge when I choose to leave it on a much more regular basis than necessary? What good is a refuge when it stands empty?

Ladies, the Lord truly did a work in my heart for me to realize that I had been a fool to think that the world had more to offer my family than the home He has so graciously provided for us did. Only by His grace, I now desire to provide a life for my family that we don’t need a vacation from, starting in our home. While I still enjoy experiencing new things with my family, I can say that my heart feels more at rest in our home. I see it as a place of refuge, and I usually sigh with relief when we return there.

My people will live in peaceful dwelling places, in secure homes, in undisturbed places of rest.

Isaiah 32:18

It is very important for us to remember that our home will never be our refuge unless the Lord is our refuge first. He will guide us as we seek to create a refuge for our families if He is our resting place. I’m so thankful that the Father has given us a place of refuge in this world. He is forever merciful, and I am forever grateful.

My 31 Day Journey to finding rest in the Lord can be found on Amazon.

Thank you so much for stopping by! I would love to connect with you on Facebook. I’d also like to invite you to my Mary & Martha Facebook Page, or to look at beautiful and inspiring Mary & Martha home decor. It is a such a blessing to serve you!

By the way, I also have a new line of mom tees in my Etsy shop. I hope you enjoy them!

This post may include affiliate links.

Living Simply and a Short Outdoor Tour {Video}

Today I decided to dust off my YouTube channel and share our small garden, chicken area, and clothes line with y’all. I am NOT very good at making videos, ha! Nonetheless, I hope you are encouraged by it.

We have been transitioning to a simpler lifestyle, by God’s grace. It has been a lot of fun to put together our little garden!

Thank you so much for stopping by! I would love to connect with you on Facebook. I’d also like to invite you to my Mary & Martha Facebook Page, or to look at beautiful and inspiring Mary & Martha home decor. It is a such a blessing to serve you!

By the way, I also have a new line of mom tees available in my Etsy shop. I hope you enjoy them!

This post may include affiliate links.

Never Content to Stay at Home

Have you ever read a particular Scripture verse and it really stuck out to you? This happened to me the other day. It stopped me in my tracks, and made me reevaluate the way I viewed being a keeper at home.

You see, not too long ago, I didn’t really like to stay at home. I felt like it didn’t matter where I was as long as my children were with me. Yep, I was silly and foolish. The LORD was so good to convict me of this, even before I really read Proverbs 7:11 with eyes of discernment.

She was the brash, rebellious type, never content to stay at home.

Proverbs 7:11

This verse is talking about a prostitute. Solomon was listing her negative attributes which included being brash, rebellious, and never being content to stay at home.

Read: How Rest Can Redeem Our Homes

How often are stay-at-home wives and mothers not content to stay at home? Lots of times, unfortunately. And I was right there with them.

In contrast, if we look at Titus 2, we see that godly women are to be discreet, obedient and keepers at home. We really need to stop and ask ourselves a few questions at this point.

Do I want to be brash or discreet?

Do I want to be rebellious or obedient?

Do I want to never be content at home or a keeper at home?

Do I want to share characteristics with a prostitute or a godly woman?

Ouch. These are some tough questions. It is hard to live in a culture where we are told women should work outside of the home. It is hard to live in a culture where we are told that home is boring, and the world’s amusements are better. But we must choose to focus on the Word of God and ignore the things that are contrary to it.

Read: Finding Joy as a Stay-at-Home Wife and Mother

Godliness with contentment is great gain. Besides abiding in the LORD, one thing that has helped me enjoy staying at home much more often is to soak in all of the little moments going on around me. Snuggling with my children. Planting flowers. Playing a game. Reading God’s Word. All of these small things matter, and my family needs me to be a gatekeeper here.

How our world would change if older women would teach younger women the joy of being a keeper at home!

Staying at home isn’t drudgery. It is a joy and privilege. After I shook off the world, I realized how thankful I am that the LORD has called me to it.

Read: Overflowing Motherhood

My 31 Day Journey to finding rest in the Lord can be found on Amazon.

Thank you so much for stopping by! I would love to connect with you on Facebook. You can find our line of t-shirts made just for mom here. I’d also like to invite you to my Mary & Martha Facebook Page, or to look at beautiful and inspiring Mary & Martha home decor. It is a such a blessing to serve you!

By the way, I also have a new line of mom tees in my Etsy shop. I hope you enjoy them!

This post may include affiliate links.

Gender Neutrality and Why Women are to Blame

I distinctly remember the first time I noticed a gender confused preteen. My family and I were at a Rome Braves game, and I was totally surprised by what I was seeing. There was both sadness and worry in the pit of my stomach. I really didn’t know exactly what to think or how to react.

Nowadays, these types of sightings are commonplace. I no longer try to discreetly distract my children when we encounter people who are confused about their gender. The baseball game that opened my eyes seems both far away and not too long ago. What is happening?

The world we live in is a pretty confusing place. As most of y’all might already know, I’m pretty passionate about reclaiming true Biblical womanhood. One of the reasons that I feel this way is because of the gender neutrality that is running rampant. Ladies, I really think we are to blame.

The past century has seen an uprising of women who demanded that they be treated just like men. Wanting to dress like men, we threw off our dresses and began wearing slacks. Wanting to work hard for a living like men (which was the CURSE God gave to man in the garden, mind you), we have handed over our children to be raised by strangers. Ladies, why do we want to take on the curse of Adam (Genesis 3:17), all the while having to deal with the curses passed down from Eve as well? I believe it might have to do with our part of the same curse, which causes us to want to “rule over our husbands.” It is a sad cycle that is hard to break. And believe me, I have been there! It is only by God’s Grace that I am comfortable in my rightful place today. Just like our mother Eve, ladies have been deceived and we are leading others astray due to our own gullibility. We now live in a society where most men are convinced that their wives belong in the workplace. I fear we have brought this onto ourselves.

Woman have been wanting to leave our God given role as keepers at home for over a century now. I wonder why we are shocked when men want to act like women. Why are we shocked when prom kings dress like a prom queen, and the entire student body voted for this to go down?(This recently happened in my home state of South Carolina).

Mamas, we can make a change. We can make a difference. We can leave our jobs and instead come back home. We can be the full time gate keepers of our homes. We can decide to be the embodiment of Biblical womanhood by how we act and what we wear. We can teach and train our children in God’s ways, and show them the strength and beauty in the gender that God created them to be.

Will we ever be perfect at this? No. I definitely have a long way to go. I’m so thankful for grace! When I remember the selfish brat that I used to be concerning gender roles as a teenager, I cringe. I thought I could rule the world! But after I repented of my rebellion God has changed me into a woman who longs for Him and His ways. A woman who wouldn’t think of anything else but to be a keeper at home, who can teach her children the ways of the LORD along with the beauty of gender differences. We can make a difference ladies. It is not too late. Will you join me?

Thank you so much for stopping by! I would love to connect with you on Facebook. I’d also like to invite you to my Mary & Martha Facebook Page, or to look at beautiful and inspiring Mary & Martha home decor. It is a such a blessing to serve you!

This post may include affiliate links.