Wednesday, September 06, 2006

How Far Does Titus 2 Go?

I really love the simple life. The more I have simplified, the better I have liked it. Many of those changes to simplify were made kicking and screaming. However, I was surprised by the actual peace and refreshing I felt after I had given in. I talked yesterday about seasons. There are many seasons in life. I think with these seasons, we need to sit back and take stock. I made lots of dumb choices, some OK ones and some good ones. We all do. However, I would love to use my dumb choices, holes I let myself fall into, as a bridge for some younger women so that they would not make the same dumb choices. I have approached this in many different ways. Some people really want to try and do it right the first time. They listen, pray, talk it over with their husbands, etc. Then they make the choice for themselves. You see stability in their lives though. Then there are others who rush headlong into things. When you try to come along side and let them see where those choices lead, they have some excuse as why it is OK for them, etc. Many times I have heard these women say that God opened the door. I back off most times right there, because I truly do not know if God opened that door or not. Yet, you stand there wondering.

Let me give you some examples. They are introduced to some new thing. Let's take knitting dishcloths from cotton yarn. They love the end product and want to make more for themself. After all, Mrs. Jones who showed them uses these exclusively. So, they go to the store and buy a bunch of cotton yarn in different colors. They start on dishcloths. They make lots of dishcloths. Way more than they will ever use in this life time. They give some as gifts, yet they keep making those cloths. Every time they are in Walmart, they check out the cotton yarn and buy some more. In the mean time they have 4 little children that have not had the mom time that they need. Not just training, but spending time reading, etc. with the children. Then these same women hear about a new possibility for something to do, or buy, etc. They ask for prayer as they really feel they need this thing or need to do something, but don't have the money, etc. I hear other women tell them to pray and trust that God will provide and then gush with them over the latest 10 dishcloths they have made. They say that it is too hard to keep up with things in their home. They are too tired to have dinner ready for their husband or whatever. The other women tell them that they shouldn't expect a perfect house at this "season" of their life. Let me say here, I do agree that a perfectly kept house is not a must, especially if you have little ones. However, if you are wasting time, then you could be doing more. I am looked at as the bad guy. Because after I tell them they do beautiful work, I talk to them about their complaints. Maybe since they have so many dishcloths now, they could not buy anymore yarn for awhile. Take the money that they would spend on yarn and put away towards whatever that big thing they need money for. I tell them that maybe instead of knitting the dishcloths for awhile, they use that time to have clean up the house time with their children. To make it fun and work together. Or to read a book to their children, etc. I don't want to enable them to continue on this path. We have one chance with our children. You don't want to waste a moment of it. To start on the right path now financially and as an example to your children in what you do and not just what you say will pay healthy dividends for their life time and their children's lifetime. I want to encourage them in the right things. However, I am usually the lone duck in doing so. I wanted so badly to learn to quilt. There was a quilt class for an entire afternoon a week with the older ladies. My son was small and I homeschooled. It was not my season to learn to quilt. I was content to wait. I had too many other irons in the fire that I was dealing with. I wish someone had come along side me. Someone who would help me realize that the tone I used when I corrected my son was very negative. Someone to tell me that having a bunch of things lying around to decorate a house, is called clutter and makes cleaning and keeping it that way so much harder. Someone to tell me that even though the "treasures" I was buying came from the thrift store, I did not need anymore and needed to get rid of some of what I had and that even if they were bargain thrift store prices, I was still wasting money. We were always tight on finances. I never had enough time to do the things that I was supposed to. However, I made time for the things I wanted and I seemed to find the money for the "treasures". Poor choices, that is what I made.

What do you think? Am I to do like the other ladies and pat the boo boos, and ooh and aah over their creations or purchases? Or am I to come along side as that older woman and try to help them see it from a different angle? I would love to hear what you think!! Really, I want to hear the different sides.

The pictures are of my animals. Some of the simple things that bring me pleasure. Buttercup our milk cow, barn swallow babies peeking over the side of their nest at me, and one of my sheep greeting me in the morning.


Moobear said...

Thank you for sharing your season with me. I have reached a season of my own at the age of 62 and did not exactly choose it, as I didn't like it all at first, but now I have accepted it with love. I do know that all things, even my ailments and limitations are but a blessing as I am now able to go slow enough to see and hear ALL that I missed while I was hurrying through my life. This is my season and I love it and glad to have the Lord aiding me when I falter or need help. I hope to hear of other's seasons as well. You make my sorta dread of frying that chicken for supper much more bearable and I think it will taste better now too.
I always enjoy your blog too.. :)

God Bless!

Lady_MSnow said...

Marci...this was a wonderfully "put" post. I too want to learn many things, but it is not my time right now. As you said I do have small children, with another one soon coming, and a husband to take care of. I also realize that my home is not as tidy as it should be. I am told often .."you have little ones around. It isn't going to be tidy." I get frustrated because instead of them giving me ideas/tips on how to keep up with my home they just try and shrug it off. I don't want to ignore my children to do house work, but I know I can do better. So anyway...I agree with you. I must confess...I have a large stash of yarn, but most of it came along for free! (or very cheap from Apple Valley Garage Sales!) Thanks for the post!

Peggy said...

this was a just what I needed to read today! My stepdaughter has come to us for another "loan" to help her pay her house payment and bills. She is 27 and a college graduate. I wish I had read your post before I spoke to her. I was very harsh about how she finds money to buy new clothes, go out to eat, etc but doesn't even acknowledge she already owes us money by just giving us $5.00 and saying she hasn't forgot. I need to apologise to her for the way I said things and try to explain it in seasons and be more helpful by teaching her to budget. Thank you! TN said...

Marci, thank you for reminding me that the material things in life are not life's greatest pleasures. A smile, a hug, a walk in the woods with someone you love, watching a baby learn to walk. The birth of a child. The joy of seeing a sunrise or a sunset. Spending time with your children. These are things that money cannot buy. May we all be more thankful for the things that really matter!

Marci said...

Clara, I hope people don't think that nothing sitting around is what I am talking about. I know people love to decorate their homes. It's those who buy in excess and then complain about not having money, etc. Mine was clutter. I collected pigs and they were EVERYWHERE. More to dust and straighten. It was out of control. I kept a few special pigs and then kept the pig items I used like pot holders or towels, etc.

Karen said...

I think this post is very much needed for women today. There is such an emphasis on doing everything right now that people seem to forget that there are stages we all go through. Whether it's quilting or making homemade dishcloths (;-)), we need to remember that these seasons pass quickly. It may take you a few years to have the time to learn to quilt, but soon enough it will come.

I am dealing with this right now. I get to a point of thinking I need to do or learn something right now when I just need to relax and trust the Lord that He will bring about an opportunity in His timing when it's right for me.

I think that's why we struggle with contentedness. If someone else is doing something or has something that we want, it's easy to want to go out and buy it or learn it even to the detriment of our families.

Thank you for posting this well needed reminder to stop and just be thankful where the Lord has us now.


Dandelion Seeds said...

This is off topic, but I am writing to let you know that there is a 48 hour prayer chain started for Susan Godfrey (you are on her blog's list of friends). Please spread the word so we can cover this family in prayer.

In Him,

Jammy said...

You are doing the right thing. We need the truth even if it is not all warm and fuzzy ;) I could have really used someone to guide me in a loving yet true way, even online. The mentors I have had, were online, BTW so never underestimate that angle.


Revee said...

Excellent post! There need to be more women who are willing to say what needs to be said. You are right in showing ladies another way. From my experience, few will listen, but for those who do - it is a reward in seeing them become better wives, mothers, and friends. Keep it up - it's worth it!!

Mrs. Pivec said...

Oh, my. I do MISS barn swallows! The picture of them is darling! Next to bluebirds, swallows are my favorite and so far, I've only seen tree swallows make their way across my path in FL in January. But they always take my breath away with their flight!

I agree with your post as well. I wonder how the women you spoke with took your message?

I am at a season, that for me, even attending a Bible study is going to be disrupting our school time, and so I've opted out for this season, remembering that my children's education is my priority and my ministry.

There are so many noble and worthy things offered out there. We are often "awash in blessings." I am sure it has something to do with the amount of leisure time we have on our hands. Our lives aren't nearly as physically demanding as they once were.

I enjoy your thoughtful posts. Please drop by and visit me sometime.

In Him,

Anonymous said...

Great post. A good confirmation for me of some things I've been feeling lately with regards to "doing it all," waiting for the right "season," and being content. And I can see myself in the "dishcloth obsession" in some ways- I can get overly focused on a particular interest in my life to the exclusion of other equally or more important things. I'm grateful that there are some Titus II women willing to share their experiences and mistakes to save the rest of us from repeating each one. Thanks.

Laura (ChickenMama)