Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Welcome to Marmee's Pantry

Thursday, April 14, 2011

It's All in the 'Tude

"A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her & lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life... She is clothed with strength & dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, & faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household & does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise & call her blessed; her husband also, & he praises her: 'Many women do noble things, but you surpass the all.' Charm is deceptive, & beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised." ~Proverbs 31:10-12, 25-30

As any of you who might be "regular" readers know, my dear husband was laid off from the best job he ever had 2 yrs ago this month. In the mean-time, he could only find a job that paid him a mere 1/4 of his previous salary w/no benefits & has only JUST started a job that is almost up to what he was making before. His lay off devastated some plans we had ~ only 1 of which was to open our bulk food store, Marmee's Pantry, after we graduated DD#2 from our homeschool in '09. We haven't entirely given up hope of having the store . . . but that's for another post. :-)

In that 2 years, we had to give up & go without many things. I have been utterly & completely blessed to have been able to be a stay-at-home-homeschool mom for all of our girls' lives, with only part-time endeavors here-and-there (home party sales, writing for The Old Schoolhouse magazine, free-lance writing, speaking engagements . . . ), to having to get an out-of-home job at a health food store (which I really enjoy), a year ago, b/c writing & speaking engagements ~ as much as I love them & still do them ~ are not regular & dependable enough to help pay the bills.

We had to give up things ~ besides opening the store, we had been ready to rip up old, nasty carpet & put in hardwood floors, we had to let other things go without replacing them as they ran out/gave out/wore out & learn to live without. Do you get your hair trimmed on a regular basis? I haven't had a trim in a year, my hair is much longer than you see in the photo above, but I have let my hair grow out, not so much that I like it, but because I can go w/o a trim because I am a woman & it's not so odd to see a woman w/longer hair. I broke my glasses w/bi-focals a year ago & just got them replaced b/c of a sale Sears was having; we SAVED for the $99 it cost to replace them. We had to turn in a car, which leaves us w/2 cars for 3 people & 3 different work schedules . . .

Indeed, necessity IS the mother of invention.

As I was growing up, my Grandma C had one of those decorative plates in her kitchen that said, "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." And I have found throughout my married life that that is SO sadly true. It's ALL in the 'tude. And my 'tude directly effects my husband & his ability, his confidence & his willingness to lead our family.

Now, I'm NOT saying that when he was laid off with no severance pay, no insurance . . . nothing . . . that I simply took it in stride & sang my way through the days to come. Nope ~ we have cried, we have prayed (& prayed, & prayed) & we have suffered loss. But, we also pick our battles; I say the same about this life change as I said to a friend who asked me how I felt when DD#1 got a tattoo on her ankle: "It's not a choice I would have made, but I've buried a child so THIS is nothing."

All that to say this: My attitude, my support of my husband & my "help-meeting" during these hard times, "allow" my husband to bare the load that he has had to bare.

I had already been making our own house-hold cleaners, laundry detergent, soaps, skin care, etc., to save a little money & because I wanted to take better care of my family's health, to know what was in the products we use, but mostly because I enjoyed it. NOW, it took on a whole new meaning ~ I NEEDED to make these items even if it were to save PENNIES. Those pennies add up to dollars & there were literally times when it was the pennies we had saved that paid our bills; that allowed us to still keep our home.

I could have gone through all of this kicking & screaming; criticizing my dear husband because ALL he could find was that lousy-1/4-of-his-former-pay-job. Believe me, there were times when the enemy of our souls would try to put that thought into my mind, but by God's mercy &
grace ~ NOT anything I did ~ He stuffed those thoughts right out of my head & allowed me to see how hard my dear husband was working for us ~ for me ~ to kiss his sweet head that was turning greyer by the day & to remind him that I love him. I love him "for better or for worse, in sickness & in health, in testing & in prosperity."

Ladies ~ our attitudes can build up or destroy our men! Our men are required by God to give their very lives for us, if necessary! (Eph. 5:25) Why would we want to make things harder for them than they may already be? Now, I'm NOT saying that I've always acted in a perfect, self-sacrificing way here, but I have tried ~ by the grace & mercy of God ~ to be to my husband what I need to be &, at times, swallow what pride I have left & ask his forgiveness for my attitude or actions.

One of my favorite books is "Home-Making" by J.R. Miller. This
precious book was written in 1882 & should be read by every engaged couple. Some of the language is a little out of date, but the truths that he writes are Biblical & profound . . . no matter what the century. I'll leave you with this from the chapter, "The Wife's Part" . . .

"In misfortune or disaster, what lofty heroism does she exhibit & what courage does her bravery kindle in her husband's heart! Instead of being crushed by the unexpected loss, she only then rises to her full grandeur of soul. Instead of weeping, repining & despairing, & thus adding tenfold to the burden of the misfortune, she cheerfully accepts the changed circumstances & becomes a minister of hope & strength. She turns away from luxury & ease to the plainer home, the simpler life, the humbler surrounding ~ without a murmur. It is in such circumstances & experiences that the heroism of woman's soul is manifested."

Lord, please let this be me!! Ladies, let us all remember that our attitude shapes our personalities & the personality of our home. Let's try to continue to be those lovely women that our husbands fell in love with all those years ago. To him, WE are who makes the House a Home.

Blessings from Ohio . . . Kim<><


  1. Kim, you hit the nail on the head! I so understand the thoughts that come into our mind, when faced with situations like yours. I am so glad I never spoke some of those thoughts out loud, and that like you, God gracefully removed those thoughts and replaced them with pure gratefulness and love. Our hubbies work hard, they are proud of what they do, and when hit in the face with loss of their job, through no fault of their own - it hits them hard. It would be awful, if when they are already down, our 'tudes allowed us to stomp on them some more. Great post. Hope many read and take to heart what has been said.

  2. ok.. trying again :)

    This was so timely! This was a word to my tired heart today :) Thank you so much!!!

  3. Thank you for a wonderful post! We also have lost a favorite job that we shared and it has been a tough but eye-opening season of re-evaluating our needs and our time.
    Thankfully Hubs and I took turns being worried or upset and it never happened at the same time! We are closer now, in our 33rd year of marriage than ever before.

  4. What a beautiful, humble post you have given today! Thank you for the small peek into daily life. Believe me, this is actually very timely for us as well. We are facing downsizing and possible pay cut of 1/3 in soon. We do have the advantage of knowing in advance, though. I want more than anything to be positive and am trying to stay positive, and with women with this horrible experience who have made it and it has made them better people because of it, I know the Lord will help us cope.

    Again, thank you for this beautiful post and the Lord has blessed each of us by allowing us to find you!

  5. This is so true! There are so many young couples out there that need this message. Young ladies aren't being told this very important message and they are tearing down their husband at every turn! Bless you Kim!

  6. We traveled a similar road for 15 months. My husband went from working in the accounting field to working in a convenient store because it was the only job he could find. We are blessed and thankful that he now has a job that he loves and to be starting to feel like we'll be back on our feet soon, but I am grateful for those lessons in frugality. I've always been rather frugal, but our children learned so much and so did we during that time. Thanks for sharing your story. I really appreciated being able to read it!

  7. I can see why you are a speaker...this post was so encouraging!

    Yes, it is so true that we need to build our husbands up and not tear them down. I used to say that I was the meanest to my husband...cuz it seemed I always took my frustrations out on him. But over the years I have grown and seen how wrong that was. He is a special gift to me and to our girls and grandkids. He is the head of our home and our family. He is respected and loved so much.

    I am sorry that you have gone through such hard times...but I can read here that you have learned somuch through your trials. Yup...that is how it happens...we learn and grow through the hard times. Especially when the Lord is teaching us and showing us things.

    These are hard times indeed...as so many people are out of work and losing their homes. My heart goes out to all of them.

    And we do pray for those who have such dire needs.

    May GOD bring you through all of this and bless you as you walk with Him.


  8. Thank you for sharing! I'm so glad God has given you the strength to endure and especially a heart of love, compassion and appreciation for your husband. You're right. Women have the ability to create peace in chaos simply by having a spirit of joy and gratefulness - which only comes from a God of hope.


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