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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An Ordinary Life

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Today, my son turns nine. We’ve blown up balloons, and are excitedly looking forward to when daddy arrives home so a few presents can be opened. Bookshelves have been organized, and my oldest daughter took the little guys on a picnic outside.

Yesterday, I spent a bit of time planting a couple of climbing roses and seed potatoes. We did some school work in between a trip to the grocery store and violin lessons.

The day before that, we worked on our lessons and worked through our chores. The day was gloriously warm, and we spent some of our day outdoors!

I have quite an ordinary life. I’m a house wife and stay-at-home mom. My days are usually pretty similar. Once upon a time, I used to wonder if what I did truly mattered. After all, I’m not a “boss babe,” or “mom boss,” or whatever the hip thing to call working moms is nowadays. Sure, I have an Etsy store, but that isn’t my job. My true calling in life is to be a wife and mom.

I encourage. I kiss boo boos. I teach children how to read. I organize. I sometimes fail or get discouraged. Then I get back up and do it all over again.

I’ve realized that working diligently within my role as a wife and mother is glorifying to God. It honors Him when I joyfully accept my lot in life. My lot is to be a wife and mom. And it’s a good one. Having a small part in raising children for the Lord is a big deal. They are His handiwork, created in His image. They deserve all of my time and attention.

Being a suitable help meet to my husband is also a big deal. Our marriage is a picture of the Father’s love for the world. Putting my own needs aside and serving my husband is an offering to God, and mirrors the service the assembly is to offer Messiah.

All of the little moments in life spent serving our families form into a beautiful picture of God’s love for us. So relish the little moments, mamas. Enjoy the ordinary.

Paul David Tripp says, “Our lives are comprised of 10,000 little moments and maybe only three or four dramatic ones.” How much we would miss if we skimmed over the ordinary, hoping for a glimpse of a “big moment.” God is present in the ordinary. God is present in the little things we do for our families.

Being a housewife and stay-at-home mom isn’t a sacrifice. It is a glorious honor, bestowed upon us by the King of Kings.

So yes, I have an ordinary life. I wouldn’t want it any other way. How about you?

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the LORD, not for human masters,

Colossians 3:23

Thank you for stopping by, ladies. It has been such a blessing to chat with you.

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Finding Joy as a Stay at Home Wife and Mom

Last week I wrote about the incredible joy that is found in the life of a stay at home wife and mom.

But sometimes this joy seems elusive, doesn’t it? I know that some days I feel like I’m amazing at this mom thing, and other days I wonder why in the world the LORD chose me to be a mother.

The same goes for being a wife. I love my calling as a keeper at home. I love being a wife, and I know this is God’s place for me. But I’m not perfect. And some days all of my imperfections seem to be incredibly exaggerated, you know what I mean?

When my joy is lacking, it usually is because my contentment level is out of balance. Being content is the key to our joy. This is hard for me sometimes. I think why this is so difficult for me is because at the root of my discontentment is a big, ugly sin problem. Yes, my discontentment is sin. The LORD has given me so much. Who am I to complain if my life isn’t always just what I expected. Yes, children sometimes whine. It’s okay if our homeschool isn’t my version of picture perfect. My husband isn’t always going to measure up to my silly, foolish standards, either. I must remember that behind the scenes is a mighty God who has provided for all of my needs exceedingly and abundantly.

Secondly, sometimes my joy fades when I compare myself to others. Ladies, comparison is a trap that we must avoid at all costs! Our lives are beautiful and unique in their own right. We must remember that we are blessed beyond measure! You are the only person in the entire world who has been called to stand next to and support your husband. Your children belong to no one but you. What a privilege! We must remember that we cannot see behind the facade of the “perfect” family down the street. Their life might look completely different behind closed doors.

Lastly and most importantly, I’ve realized that my joy is sometimes lacking when I do not stay rooted in Scripture. While I’m not a fan of devotionals, staying in God’s Word is so important if we are seeking joy. You cannot go wrong if you go straight to the source. I’ve had a few spiritual growing pains this year, but the result is that my understand of God has blossomed like never before. If you feel like you are in a rut, keep pursuing the LORD’s truth. He is always there to help you when you are in need, and His Word is perfect!

Finding joy and contentment right where we are is an act of obedience. It is an act of saying no to both the sin of discontentment and to the world which often tells us that there is always more for us around the corner. (Which is a lie, by the way.) Learning the art of joy right where we are is a gift to both ourselves and our family. It is best to put aside comparisons, pick up the Bible, and commit ourselves to the life of JOY that the LORD has stretched out in front of us.

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!

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The Joy of Being a Stay at Home Wife and Mom

What a joy it is to be a stay at home wife and mother! I woke up this morning with a new spring in my step after battling a cold the past few days. It has been such a blessing to have the privilege to stay at home to mend with no pressing outside obligations. The children and I have been able to relax and enjoy a few slow days. Pajamas have been worn. Ice cream has been eaten. We’ve enjoyed a few family Bible times once my husband has arrived home from work.

While our days are even more enjoyable when everyone is well, these days of sickness and quietude have made me realize just how wonderful it is to be a stay at home wife and mom.

This is what the LORD has called us to do. We are to be keepers. Keepers of our home, and keepers of the influences allowed inside. We are to keep the heart of our husband and children and when they think of the word “home” a picture of us should come to mind. The LORD wants our homes to be a place of refuge, and we have been called to be the full-time managers. What joy! What a privilege!

My people will live in safety, quietly at home. They will be at rest.

Isaiah 32:18

Ladies, I fear the world has lied to us for far to long. I used to listen to its lies, too. Finances may seem tight at first since we live in a two-income family society, but if we return to the home and embrace resourcefulness the LORD will provide for our needs. I fear that we often confuse our wants with our needs. But really, the simple things in life are the best things.

When we stay at home and are available to our families on a full time basis, peace comes. Running to and fro and craving the newest fads does not bring peace. Dropping our children off at the babysitters or at day care will not bring peace.

Just as the LORD is a peacemaker, he has called us to be just the same. Peace is one the fruits of the spirit, and if it is lacking in our homes we must stop to wonder what might be missing. So often I realized that it was I that was missing when things went awry. This is definitely something to prayerfully consider. The LORD is for both you and your family sweet mama.

Called to Something Greater

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Sometimes, as a stay-at-home mom, I get tired.  I’m sure that other moms will agree.  My day is basically the same, day after day.  Laundry and dishes never cease to pile up.  When a child is in diapers or potty training, every few hours I am in for a nice “surprise”.  All the while my talents are simply going to waste.  I am a smart woman who can offer so much to the world after all.

Sometimes, it seems easier to just give up.  I could go into the workforce and make adult friends!  Eat lunch out everyday! (Which is a personal dream of mine).  If I’m so tired and bored with this stay-at-home mom thing, it must not be for me.

Because when we are tired, or bored, that must mean that we are meant for something different.  Or that’s what I’m told.  If something is tiring, it couldn’t possibly be for us, right?  Why am I doing this again?

Because this is exactly where God wants me to be.

I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, and give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

1 Timothy 5:14

Our adversary would like nothing more than to bring us down, tear us apart, and distance ourselves from God.  One way that he does this is by whispering in our ear, You were meant for greater things.  Leave your home and children each day and go to an outside job.

It’s taken many years for me to realize that one of the ways the devil hopes to tear apart families is to pull mothers out of our homes.  He’s largely accomplished that goal!  Mommas, we need to stand up and decide to take back our families.  This might mean sacrifice on our part.  Financial sacrifices…long days…long nights, but it is all for the glory of God.

I work part-time from home from time to time, and notice a huge difference in our home’s atmosphere when I do so.  Our enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)  When I’m distracted with outside work, even if I’m within the home, he is at work!  Our families and homes need us to be on alert at all times.

If you are tired or financially weary momma, don’t fret.  God loves us, and has the best plan in store for us.  Being a wife and mother is the highest calling imaginable.  One day we will look back and will not regret time spent with our children in the least, while time spent in the office will seem like a waste and drain on our families.   Stay-at-home moms, you are not called to something greater, since your calling is already the greatest that there is! If you are in the midst of a trial in your home, remember that the Lord is perfecting us so that one day we will lack in nothing.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for  you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let  steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete,  lacking in nothing.

James 1:2-4

The Homemaker is the ultimate career.  All other careers exist for one purpose only —  to support the ultimate career!

C.S. Lewis