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.
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.
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
- 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.
- 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.
- My Time is Not My Own–lessons for mothering, from looking at the way Jesus responded to interruptions.
- Are We Chasing Dreams or Chasing God–The importance of seeking God’s ways in our lives.
- Serving Where God Calls You–thriving as a SAHM.
- 5 Days of Glorifying God in your Homemaking