The goal can be a pinterest worthy home. But what about the homemakers in the unphotogenic circumstance. Do they proudly wear the title “Homemaker”? When our surroundings do not match our hopes and dreams we may feel unqualified in our position. But the home doesn’t do the making, the maker does. The home does not qualify the homemaker. The homemaker gives dignity to the home, be it primitive or grand; she is the manager, the nourisher, the warmth, the pleasantness.
Proverbs 24 30-34 says something that strikes me on this topic because I have witnessed this many times:
“I passed by the field of a sluggard,
by the vineyard of a man lacking sense,
and behold, it was all overgrown with thorns;
the ground was covered with nettles,
and its stone wall was broken down.
Then I saw and considered it;
I looked and received instruction.
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest,
and poverty will come upon you like a robber,
and want like an armed man.”
We see their property going to shambles because of a lackluster will to work. It does not cost money to take action like clearing nettles and thorns. Caretaking is just paying attention and correcting something with action. We can have a poverty of life quality that has nothing to do with how much money we have. But being lackluster is a dangerous attitude.
I have seen this lackluster attitude living in the country as well as in the city. People will sit back and do nothing about the things they DO have control over and their surroundings fall apart. I see a lack of gratitude to God for what they have since they allow their blessings to dilapidate. So here is the truth about homemaking with no money and no dream home:
1) My circumstance does not dictate how well I caretake. My outcomes might not look as photogenic, but my efforts still make a difference. Everyone can afford to have dignity because it comes from your choice to be a caretaker regardless of circumstance. You have the choice to be clean not slovenly. You have the ability to take action over being neglectful. Every item you clean, neatly arrange, and beautify lifts the ambiance of it all. It doesn’t cost anything to be active in your caretaking. It costs very little to use a rag with dish soap and water and wash a wall, interior or exterior to make it look better. The same goes for washing a countertop, a table, or chairs. Removing scuff marks, dust and dirt has an impressive visual impact on a room. A deep cleaned room will look vastly different than the same room before this treatment. It costs nothing to declutter. Candles can be purchased for a dollar brand new, a vase can be less than a dollar at the thrift shop. Wildflowers are free to pick. It is free to organize and arrange your items nicely. Homemaking can thrive with little money because it is this very circumstance that has a more desperate need for a homemaker. A simple dwelling needs a special woman to make it shine.
I take care of what I have as gratitude to God for what He has given me.
2) A less than perfect home is an opportunity for practicing homemaking. It will take more skill and artful vision to make an unattractive place shine up especially with little money. This is a challenge to improve your homemaking skills and push you toward excellence instead of defeat. It can feel like the better option is to do nothing because doing something will not be good enough. So we must acknowledge that the outcome won’t be this entirely different thing that we actually want it to be. But it can be an entirely better thing than it currently is and we can be happy about the changes we do make.
I have the opportunity to improve my homemaking skills.
3) While you have no money, learn how to homemake by the skill of cleaning alone. Cleaning is a way to homemake that is free or almost free. You don’t even have to buy the sponge you can rip up old clothes for rags. Clean the outside walls, the inside walls, the base boards, the doors, the windows. Detail the door jams. Clean your furniture. You would be amazed at the difference of a thorough cleaning. Cleaning removes bad odor, mites, scum, and dust among other health hazards. Good home hygiene means quality air and better scent! Cleaning is an almost free way to vastly improve your home. This doesn’t seem as fun or as impactful as buying a bunch of cute stuff but homemaking is a skill not just an ability to buy cute things. This is a time to learn the importance of cleaning, how to deep clean and how to schedule your home cleaning. This will heighten your observation skills and bolster the rest of your homemaking career by laying a foundation of the skill of cleaning. A homemaker should have a solid skill of cleaning and never let her home get outside of a parameter of cleanliness.
I can vastly improve my home just by cleaning it well.
4) This time will help you learn how to find deals. If we never hurt for extra money we would never learn to be creative, or pray for our provisions. This time is another important lesson in homemaking. Maybe you never thought to pray for your home needs. This might be a time to take your needs or desires to The Lord and ask for His help. Maybe you have never been resourceful or creative about finding deals. It can be like a game. What can you thrift instead of buying full price? Is there something new on clearance that is the better deal than thrifting? Are there coupons for items you need? Can you repurpose something? Can you ask family or friends for donations if they are decluttering? You would be surprised what you end up being provided when you ask God, ask other people, and learn the skill of being resourceful.
I can pray for things I need and pray for wisdom to be resourceful and creative.
5) Small style makes a big difference. Even when we have very little, maybe just a few pretty things, how we arrange them is so important. Bring your nicest items to the forefront of your room and highlight them. No matter how small or simple, the placement of nicely arranged pretty items make a place feel special and attended to. This is your job, to fluff your surroundings to their best potential. Assess how you have things styled and make adjustments to keep things fresh and noticeable. The art of beautifying a home makes a lasting impression on children and a husband. Simple acts of tending to the home can make them feel like they live someplace special. It can brighten their day to see you make something, arrange something, and care to make the home pretty for them. It says that they matter to you. You are never just doing something for a place, you are doing something for a person.
I can make what I do have look beautiful.
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