A Peaceful Home Part 1: Are you Ma Ingalls or Mrs. Oleson?

This is a part of the “Peaceful Home” series. Visit the landing page to follow along with all the related posts. 

Little House Ma Ingalls or Mrs. Oleson

As I mentioned in the series intro, so often we moms set the tone of our homes. Today, I want to look at a couple of moms that most of you are  familiar with, and the tones they set in their respective homes.

Are you Ma Ingalls or Mrs. Oleson?

I know you technically aren’t Caroline Ingalls or Harriett Oleson, but which character do your actions more closely resemble?

Most of us would automatically say Ma Ingalls. Mrs. Oleson was the character we loved to hate, and none of us would want to be associated with her in our actions. But, I want you to think about it, because I believe this is a great illustration of how much a mother’s attitudes can affect her home and family.

Are you fostering a feeling of peace or discord in your home? 

Ma Ingalls draws on her faith in her daily life. She looks to God in all situations, from the heartbreaking loss of her baby son to the everyday discipling of her children. Mrs. Oleson goes to church, but as my 5 year old says, “she must not listen.” She calls on her religion only in a self-righteous way.

Ma Ingalls builds up and supports her husband, even when he’s made a mistake. Mrs. Oleson nags at her husband and never misses a chance to tear him down.

Ma Ingalls has an inner security derived from her faith in the Lord. It allows her to trust and be content even when her life is hard or unsure. Mrs. Oleson relies on a false sense of security derived from worldly goods. Her peace is fleeting, and when life is difficult, she falters.

Ma Ingalls has a kind and gentle spirit toward others, while Mrs. Oleson is haughty and bitter.

Ma is humble, content, hardworking, and a blessing to her family, much like the Proverbs 31 woman. She has an inner peace that overflows into her household and all those she meets.

Mrs. Oleson is unsettled and discontent in her spirit and that strife pollutes her household and everyone she comes into contact with.

Can I make a little confession? Sometimes my own actions more closely resemble those of Mrs. Oleson. 

Inner Peace

A Wise Woman

In the lives of these two women played out on screen, we see clearly how the inner state affects the family and household. That is why the very first thing we need to address when looking for a more peaceful home is the state of our own hearts and attitudes. 

Yes, we will also look at practical, tangible strategies for managing our homes in this series, but the very first thing we must do is to focus on our hearts and spiritual states. If those aren’t dealt with, we could have perfect husbands, perfect children, a perfect home, and no worries and we still wouldn’t have peace in our lives.

The biggest thing we can do in this area is pray, the Holy Spirit can change our hearts! However, there are some additional steps we can take as well.

Action Steps

1. Commit to a daily quiet time. Spend time with the Lord in His word and in prayer, every single day. 

2. Pray! Ask the Lord to show you the things in your heart that you need to work on (Psalm 139:23)

3. Practice Grattitude. I have always valued gratitude in my life, but recently made the commitment to keep a gratitude journal. Being intentional in naming 3 things each day that I am thankful for has made such a difference in my overall outlook and attitude! (Make it easy with a journal like this one from Money Saving Mom’s Crystal Paine or this one)

Additional Articles & Resources

  1. The Homemaker’s Quiet Time Journal–my book for homemaker’s with quiet time tips, journaling sheets, my own quiet time routine, and lots of great verses that are specifically applicable to our lives as homemakers. You can also visit Why You Need a Daily Quiet Time, and 10 Tips to Get the Most out of Your Daily Quiet Time.
  2. Crystal Paine’s Gratitude Journal–with or without a special journal, I recommend giving it a shot! Just keep a list in a notebook, but do it every day.
  3. My Time is Not My Own–lessons for mothering, from looking at the way Jesus responded to interruptions.
  4. Are We Chasing Dreams or Chasing God–The importance of seeking God’s ways in our lives.
  5. Serving Where God Calls You–thriving as a SAHM.
  6. 5 Days of Glorifying God in your Homemaking

This is a part of the “Peaceful Home” series. Visit the landing page to follow along with all the related posts. 

A Peaceful Home


  1. Janette says

    Thanks for the chance to win. I have two daughters that really enjoy watching this series now that they are older. They would be so excited if I won this.

  2. Nicole Sparks says

    I would love to win this. My daughters are at the perfect age to start watching this show. I plan to start reading the books to them soon.

  3. Chelsey says

    I would love to win because I’m teaching my son about Pioneers right now for homeschool! Thanks for the giveaway.

  4. Misty says

    I love Little House on the Prairie! My daughter is reading through them now. Caroline is my favorite on the TV series. She is definitely a good example of contentment.

  5. Jennifer Olszowy says

    I loved the show when I was young and my little girl has enjoyed the picture books we have read. I know she would love to see the show.

  6. April says

    Like many others mentioned, I instantly thought of my daughter! I loved the show growing up and I can’t wait till she can read and watch the series. Thank you for this giveaway and especially this post, I’m trying to get back into my quiet time routine, it is much needed!!!

  7. says

    I want our kids to love this series as I much as I do! I agree with you about setting aside time in the morning with God, even if it is only 5 min. It helps set my day on better course.

  8. Brandy says

    Winning this would provide one more option for Wholesome media entertainment with lessons that can be learned about life. Not many shows provide those things anymore. As far as having a peaceful home, it definitely starts in my own heart.

    • Crystal Brothers says

      I completely agree, Brandy! It’s hard to find such wholesome entertainment these days.
      God Bless,

    • Crystal Brothers says

      It happens to the best of us…the important thing is that we recognize it and keep fighting it.

  9. Tammie says

    I would love my Grandchildren to have a wonderful series filled with wholesome values. I would love to say I am always Mrs. Ingalls, but there are times when Mrs. Olsen will rear her head.

    • Crystal Brothers says

      Yes, I think that’s true for all of us, Tammie. The important thing is that we realize it and work to conquer it.

  10. says

    I grew up watching Little House and recently read the books, LOVE them. My tip for a peaceful home is taking a few minutes "just for me" at the beginning of my two boys ( 27 months and 2 weeks) joint nap time.

  11. says

    I’ve been reading the books aloud to my 7 and five year old daughters. We love the wholesome values and hardwork demonstrated in the books. It’s always fun to watch the shows and compare to the books.

  12. says

    I loved little house as a child and would love to share it with my daughters. Season one is always checked out at the library! And I love your comparison of am and mrs. Ingalls.

  13. BethB says

    Love this! Who among us hasn’t watched Ma Ingalls and Mrs.Oleson and noticed the difference between their homes and families. As kids we didn’t directly link the fact that it would be impossible for a Mrs. Olsen to have a peaceful home like Caroline had. But as a wife and mother I know I have had my Mrs. Oleson moments, and watched my family follow suit. I also know that the quicker I can pull myself together the quicker everything will be back to normal.

    • Crystal Brothers says

      Yes, Beth, that is so true! Mama definitely sets the tone for the household. It’s a big responsibility, but also empowering to know that the change can start with us and filter through. Or better yet, it can start with us allowing the Lord to work on our own hearts and actions.

I love to hear your feedback and value your thoughts! All I ask is that we remain respectful and civil, even when we disagree. Thanks so much for reading. I appreciate you!

Thank you for joining in the discussion!