UGLY TO BEAUTIFUL

Dear lovely wives and mothers, Thank you for your lovely comments regarding yesterday’s post, I LOVE HOME. Would you mind if I took the next few days to comment on some of the comments? I think it will be encouraging for all.

One precious mother writes, “I’m struggling with this as my home doesn't feel like home. I’m so grateful that God has given this place but it needs so much work doing to it and money spent that we don't have.”

Dear mother, and so many other mothers in similar circumstances, can I encourage you to not get bogged down with all the problems and what needs fixing and repairing, and instead enjoy what you do have? You are so blessed to have a roof over your head, a place of shelter for you and your children, and a place to raise them for the glory of God. You don’t have to have everything perfect to do the great job of raising godly and effective children for the kingdom of God. You just have to have the right attitude.

It all comes back to our attitude. It’s certainly not hard to get depressed when things are not as they should be. I know. But, it is amazing what you can do even in the most primitive and imperfect situations. I could even complain myself. My fridge is falling to pieces and the drawers fall out every time I open the fridge. The stove is ready for the dump! But, hallelujah, I can still cook, and I can still put some things in the fridge! So I keep praising the Lord until we can one day afford new appliances.

I think of my daughter, Serene. Currently, her husband is fulfilling contracts in different states in the country. Serene and the children go to be with him as they are able. His last contract was in Mississippi and he and his brother rented a tiny home for them to sleep when not working—no homely things for a woman! But, Serene couldn’t be parted and she and the eight children spent a few months with him in this little home. The children had to keep quiet all day while the men slept as they worked night shift. She couldn’t let them outside because it was next to a quarry with sheer cliffs a few feet from the house! And she was at the end of her pregnancy!

We arrived to bring her and the children home so she could have her new baby in Tennessee. Instead, she had the baby on the day we arrived in Mississippi. That night Colin and I slept on their blow-up mattress and it was so uncomfortable we couldn’t sleep all night! Serene slept on it every night in her last weeks of pregnancy.

I asked her, “How on earth did you do it?” With a big smile, she said, “God gave me grace. I loved our time in that place.” You see, it’s not the circumstances, but our attitude!

I think of my daughter, Evangeline. They live in their tiny home with their 10 children. They are building on bedrooms, but they are still not completed. The children have never had beds and have slept on the floor all their lives! But, no one complains. They all love their life and you couldn’t find happier children. The boys all want to be tough and train for the Delta Force anyway!

How does Evangeline homeschool and run a home in such tiny circumstances? It’s her attitude! Ask her how she is doing today. She’ll reply, “I’m great. In fact, I’m God’s pet! God is so good and I have a wonderful life.” Evangeline also loves to say, “I’m caring for children, not stuff!”

Please, dear mothers, get your eyes off your circumstances and put your eyes upon the Lord. Thank the Lord for what you do have. Rejoice in what He has given you. Make the most of what He has given you and make it the most beautiful place in the world even if everything is half-finished and falling down around you.

One of the challenges of homemaking is to make something that maybe ugly into something that is beautiful. Isn’t that exciting? As another mother commented, “I used to live in a basement apartment where pipes were coming out of the ceiling, but it was our home at the time and I loved being there with my growing family.” If you have pipes coming out of the roof, decorate the pipes and make them an amazing feature! Who wants to have a boring house anyway? Make every negative into a creative and beautiful thing.

It’s the atmosphere of your home that counts. You can have joy, fun, laughter, and most of all, the presence of the Lord in a tiny unfinished home. You can have coldness and complaining and discontented children in a large and beautiful home.

It’s not the building, it’s the atmosphere. Have you got it?

Love you. NANCY

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