The Lies We Offer Our Daughters

NOTE: If you work full time yet desire to stay home, this post is not for you.  My heart 100% truly and utterly goes out to you, I know how difficult it is to leave your children each day.  I was in your shoes once.  I know your heartache.

It’s not yet 8am here on this Friday morning.  It is winter and it is cold out.  Snow on the ground cold.

I made hot chocolate for my 5 youngest children.  Then I made homemade whipped cream.  I circled our table and put a spoonful in each child’s cup of cocoa.  When I turned back to look at my 3 year old, she had that “Got milk” smile caused by the chocolate and whipped cream.

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Adorable, of course.

My first thought?  Some women are heading to work right now.  They have put themselves in a position of not being able to stay home and make cocoa and homemade whipped cream for their 3 year olds.  I’m sure they would do it in a minute though.  But, that decision was made years ago, before children, before marriage.  They were lied to.

They were told they should be able to support themselves, “just in case.” Lie

They were told they should get a college education in case they needed it someday.  Lie

They were told that being a homemaker was a waste of a good life and they were better than that.  Lie lie lie.

This post is for the young, independent women who are creating college debt by choice.  You may regret it one day.

This post is for the moms who are urging their daughters to put off marriage and family for that idol of a college degree.  You are potentially creating heartache for her.

Why do I say all this?  Why do I post such bold words?

It’s because of the Homemaking Course.  I’ve met so many ladies now, and have had so many conversations with women who are trying to be a homemaker, desperately trying, while working a full time job as well.  They want to be home.  They can’t.

They want to see the “got milk” smiles of their babies early on a Friday morning when it is snowing outside and everyone is still in their jammies.  They don’t have that luxury.

These women would trade in their day jobs in a heartbeat to stay home and wipe noses and change diapers.

Are you a full time homemaker?  Don’t despise it, you are blessed.

Are you a homemaker with teen daughters and are encouraging them to go to college and acquire debt? Reconsider.

I hesitate hitting that “publish” button up there.  But some need this.  Lives may be changed.

I don’t want my daughters to be forced into asking me to babysit my grandchildren someday because I forced her into college and debt today.  You?

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UPDATE:  Thank you for the comments, each of you.  Whether you agree or not.  I’ve read them all.  If you are unnerved by what I wrote, know that I am not anti-education.  We aren’t even anti-college.  We are however, anti-debt in most cases.  Going to college doesn’t guarantee anyone, male or female, financial security at any stage of life. 

We all know college graduates who are employed in a line of work not even remotely related to the degree they hold.  College isn’t a magic ticket to a secure life.  You may have gone to college and are blessed by it today.  Praise God.  There are still many, many more women who cry on the way to work because college and career wasn’t the life it was made out to be and now they’re stuck.  Short of filing for bankruptcy, they don’t have the choice of staying home.  And looking back, it’s not a choice they would have made intentionally.  They strive to save their own daughters from the pain they go through each day.

No matter what I say here, there are still those who will put words in my mouth and become angered by my 500 word post.

Homemaking: The Unspoken Career Choice

Yesterday I posted at Raising Homemakers.

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For the average public high schooled girl, homemaking is not even an option as a “career choice.”  Even for the girls who would want to get married and be mothers and homemakers, they are shot down, ridiculed or plainly told, “You can’t do that.”

The post in it’s entirety is HERE.

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P.S. Remember the homemaking course?  I had planned to do it again in June, but… the women taking it now have grown so much, I want to offer it again in February.  You can find more information HERE

Schedules and Planners, Routines, OH MY!

Talking about routines, plans and schedules is almost like walking into a homeschooling conference vendor hall as a brand new homeschool parent.  It.is.all.so.overwhelming!  Where does one even start? 

There are books and charts that allow you to schedule your day in 15 minute increments.  There are expensive planners that come with no instruction. Then there’s apps we can use on our phones or fun little tools for our desktop…  Whew!  There are just too many choices sometimes.

We don’t want to purchase something we may not use, or something that isn’t a good fit for us.  But how will we know unless we try?  There is also the advice, “Just set up a routine, that’s what you need to get your day in order!” or “You need to have a schedule to keep you on task, make something that works for you, every family is different.” 

In general, I agree with the advice.  We do need something to help us order our days, but what if we don’t know what we need?  It’s almost like telling a new bride with no cooking skills which recipe is the best for homemade chocolate truffles when she doesn’t even know how to make homemade chocolate milk.

The advice is defeating to the one needing it, and making an effective plan without a foundation is equally as defeating.  Let me repeat that:

Creating a schedule or routine, even with a few new, shiny tools is sometimes misguided if there has been no basic training in the area of time management prior to this.

So What’s a Homemaker To Do?

I’m glad you asked!  I have been at that place, the place of “What do I do?”  Of knowing,  “I need to get my day off to a good start with some prayer and Bible reading, but….then what?  What comes next, I was never taught to be a homemaker.  I don’t know what to write in all of those boxes on those pretty planning pages.”  You too? I know just how you feel!

I have spent the past 10 months creating and using a planner that would be a blessing to any Christian homemaker.  It has some of the usual pages:

  • Calendar
  • Menu planner
  • Goals
  • Cleaning schedule and such

But, it also has pages that are unique, pages that I have created for myself to use (and do use!) and found to be such a benefit to myself each day that I couldn’t not share it with you.

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Planner comments:

“It’s a very unique planner and an amazing tool!”

“…the course and planner go hand in hand.”

If I ever met you at some point and you asked me, “How do you get everything done each day?” and I said:

“Of course it’s the LORD, but I also created this planner to use in my home and it has made the difference between having focused days most of the time, rather than just some of the time…”

and you asked where you could get one for yourself, I would feel awful if I had to say, “Well, nowhere.  I only made one for me.”

But Just Another Planner Won’t Do the Trick.  Is There More?

Yes! And this is where the rubber meets the road.  After using this in my own home and voicing complaints to my husband on the days that I had run out of pages and printer ink, I realized what a useful tool this was.  It literally made the difference between a focused day and an unfocused day!  That is when I also realized that a planner wasn’t enough.  There are plenty of planners on the market, more than plenty!  And if there had been one that was lovely to gaze upon and just as useful as the one I created, I would have told you all about it, but I found none.

What this planner needed was instruction.  Not just a nice letter behind the front cover, but actual walk-with-me-instruction.  A homemaker would need to know not only how to use it in the best way, but she would need to know why and what using it would do for her.  She would need to be able to see it in action and be able to come back and ask questions.  That is what this is.

  • Planner. Check
  • Step by step online videos. Check
  • Online community. Check
  • Accountability. Check
  • Support. Check!

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It’s all there. Everything you need to finally get on top of everything at home. We have created a course that will show you what day-to-day Biblical homemaking looks like and how to practice it in your home as well.  You will learn not only how to use this unique planner, but you will learn how to create peace and order in your home.

You will learn how to be joyfully disciplined, joyfully efficient and joyfully productive at home. Intrigued? You can watch the intro videos HERE and read all the details on the course and planner HERE.  The early bird sale lasts just 2 more days.  You can even sign up a friend at a discount!

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Am I excited about this?  Oh yes, very much so!

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If You Long to Thrive

Note: Sometimes things can take on a life of their own, so-to-speak. And this post most definitely did that. It’s late, my children are tucked into bed, my husband is here beside me. As I wrote this, my heart poured out. It’s longer than usual, but it is also more important than my usual. I wouldn’t be able to even mention this if it wasn’t for a handful of women who have gone from night to day in their homes. The LORD gets all the glory, I am merely His servant and utterly thankful that He continues to use me. That being said, here is today’s post:

Tonight we attended a local ballet recital. One of the first performances was a line up of little girls, from about 3-5 years old. Most the girls weren’t keeping up with the routine. But then there was this one. She was one of the older ones and I could tell she had practiced quite a bit.

It was interesting to watch. As the song started to play, she began the routine somewhat halfheartedly. Then, she turned and glanced down the line and noticed the other girls were barely even trying. So for a few seconds she put much more effort into it, and then it looked as if she was going to tone it down a bit and match the pace of the other girls.

Yet just when I thought she would follow along with the other girls, she didn’t. In fact, she stepped it up! She wasn’t boastful about it, she just did her best, despite the other 8 girls who were younger and maybe hadn’t practiced quite as much.

And that’s when it hit me. She had a choice in that split second. The choice to do her best and perform the routine she had learned, even if it meant going it alone. Or the choice to hold back and stay with the others who didn’t quite have it down, which meant wasting her talents.

Now we can go back and forth about whether girls should be performing in ballet recitals, but that just isn’t what this post is about.

So What’s The Point?

It’s this: If we have talents, but are afraid to use them because those around us haven’t the same talents, then we are wasting them. If we have learned a good skill, but do shoddy work just because we don’t want to excel over those that haven’t trained, we again are wasting that talent or skill. Not to mention the teaching that was invested in us.

It is similar to the parable of the talents in Matthew 25. Jesus expected the servants to multiply their talents, not bury them in the ground. And to the one that did bury his, our LORD called him wicked and slothful (verse 26). Strong words, ladies!

How Does This Apply To Homemaking?

It’s like this: If we are pretty good at keeping a home, we should continue in that and even grow. If we excel in homemaking, we are to continue and thrive and bless those in our homes and around us. If we have been trained as homemakers, we should be skilled at homemaking and we should be putting forth full effort, even if those around us don’t quite have it down yet.

And this is where I am. You may have heard me say that Mom taught me just about everything I know when it comes to caring for a home. I was fully prepared when I got married. And since Mom and Dad never put much emphasis on college and career, I wasn’t really forced into that path. I missed much of the indoctrination that many other girls received and sadly, continue to receive to this day.

But what I haven’t shared before is that I don’t always excel at home. Intentionally. Mostly because I don’t want to draw attention to myself. Part of me doesn’t want to be a better homemaker than Suzy because it might cause her to feel defeated if she is struggling to keep up.

If I glance down the line and see 8 wearied homemakers, my heart goes out to them and I want to match my pace to theirs. It would seem that would be the kinder thing to do.

But that little girl on stage tonight convicted me. She did her very best and when the other girls noticed, they watched her and put more effort into their dance. They were encouraged by what they saw, and it motivated them.

And so it goes with homemaking. If you shine at home, don’t hide that light! Put it on a hill and encourage others!

And now, I am being encouraged. Encouraged by the ladies that are signing up for the homemaking course, and by the ladies in the beta group. These women have a passion for their homes that is on fire! And the fellowship is sweet.

If you are just surviving at home, you can begin to thrive. You may just need to renew your mind and begin to think Biblically about homemaking. You may be lacking in some necessary tools, or foundational knowledge. You may need to have excuses exposed. Or you may need all of the above.

It’s not often that I’m able to offer you something that can truly change the course of how you view and approach homemaking, but right now, I can. Or at least for the next 10 days!

Focused Homemaking Course

The Focused Homemaking Training Course is a result of 20+ years of homemaking experience. It is the result of a mother who taught me everything she knew, the result of years worth of reading and researching Biblical homemaking, and the result of incredible friends and role models who live locally and who live out Biblical womanhood in their homes each and every day.

I know not everyone has that. I can share it with you though. If you are feeling like you’re barely getting by at home, there is hope. If this post seems like I’ve thrown you a life-line, I have.

The image above will take you to a page with introduction videos and all the details about this upcoming online course. I pray the LORD would bless each of you and that your homemaking efforts would cause your families to thrive.

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P.S. The little girl at the ballet recital. She was the instructor’s daughter and Mom had spent hours with her the day before so she would be prepared.

Is the Homemaking Course for Working Wives?

I recently received a message from a young woman with a heart for home.  She is currently working full time to pay off debt and doesn’t have children yet.  She wants to sign up for the course, but wanted to know if the Homemaking Course was for working wives too?  She wasn’t sure if it would create more discontent and frustration for her as her heart’s desire is to be a full time wife, mother and homemaker.

Focused Homemaking Course

So I wrote to one of our beta testers who is also working full time out of the home, but hoping to become a full time homemaking in the future.  Here is what she said:

I have found the course to be so helpful! As a a mom who works full-time, homeschools, and takes care of my home, I really needed something to help me prioritize and organize everything that needs to be done. I have looked into many different homemaking courses, books, and blogs. All of the ones that had a Biblical focus were for stay-at-home moms and I found it very discouraging.

It is my heart’s desire to be home full-time and serving my family but we are not there yet. I would often come away feeling so guilty and miserable. Instead of coming away with tools to help me serve my family, I came away defeated. On the flip side, anything I found that was designed for a working mom lacked the biblical teaching and encouragement that I so desperately needed.

What I really loved about the course was how easy it was to make it work for me. I don’t mean to sound over the top, but both the planner and the [assignments] have been absolutely life-changing. I did not feel discontent or frustrated because of the course. Quite the opposite, actually.

This course helped me figure out how much time I had available and decide how much time each task could take. I am able to prioritize what can get done during the week and what will have to wait until the weekend. It also helps me to break down my tasks into manageable pieces in order to accomplish little bits each day.

I also loved the visionary aspect of the course and all the goal-setting help. I would highly recommend this course to working moms.”

If you are still working outside the home, yet hoping to make the transition to full time homemaker, my heart goes out to you.  I worked for a year, full time, when my son was just 2.  It was so difficult, such a challenge.  Thankfully I’ve been home full time since then, although it has been rough at times, financially speaking.  I’ll have to tell you about it sometime!

If you’d like to read more details of The Focused Homemaking Course, you can find that HERE.  Or if you’d like to go through the free 3-part mini video series I created as an intro to the course, click HERE.  It’s all linked together, so you can go from one to the other once you’re there.

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It’s Here! The Focused Homemaking Training Course!

The Homemaking Course:

Months of planning, preparing and working on this new course has finally seen completion!  Whew!  In regards to the tech side, this course was much easier to put together than were the Homemaking DVDs.  In regards to the thinking, teaching side… soooo much more work went into this!  So much more.  It’s been so worth it though!

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I am genuinely excited about this and just as delighted to finally share it with you!

Today I’m posting over at Raising Homemakers.  There I share a few reviews on the course as well as some comments from the recent surveys.  You can read the entire post HERE.

 

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Training Children Fit For the Kingdom

Callie. She’s still just two at the time of this writing, the baby of the family, and oh my does she know it!

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Prior to nap time today she decided she’d wear her frilliest skirt to bed, but I believed it to be a bit to scratchy and inappropriate for sleeping.

“Callie,” I said to her, “You can wear this skirt after you wake up. During your nap though, you need to wear this one,” and with that I handed her what she had been wearing that morning, something more suitable and proper.

In her very two year old way, (that confirmed it was most definitely nap time) she protested. Her protest was loud and clear and I quickly decided it best to put her to bed promptly. It being a hot summer day she was put to bed in her shirt and diaper.

As I covered her up she continued to object and I began to think about refinement, how it starts with someone even as young as two.  Our Callie, she can sip tea from a dainty cup as if she were born British, then just as easily throw herself into a tantrum when something doesn’t go her way.  Did I mention she’s two?  (This is the face she makes when we say, “Callie! Smile!”)

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Even a small girl needs to learn how to be refined and exhibit appropriate behavior.  You see, I’m training her not to fit into the world, but for a heavenly kingdom and my assumption is that she will someday be a woman who professes godliness and it is my duty, and privilege, to disciple her accordingly.

We can never start too young.  At 43 I’m finally beginning to see this.  The training I do now equips her for adulthood.  The training I neglect now “equips” her for an adulthood that is potentially destructive to her soul and walk with the LORD.

Again, we fight not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and spiritual darkness.  This darkness is after our children.  The battle is real and the enemy is on the prowl.  Young mothers, training and discipline early in life isn’t for your peace of mind, but for their future obedience to our LORD.  It is more important than I knew when my children were all young.

Be on the guard, train for the battle.

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