How do you handle uncertainty? Worry? Fall apart? Get grouchy? Clean? Eat? Shop?

With the world as it is and all the financial mess in the economy today it is hard not to feel all the stress and concern.  As women we tend to let it get to us. Not that a man doesn’t, but we are more emotional as a whole and tend to react outward.

In my younger days I would react as above… well not the shopping, we never had the money, and the cleaning… well, with 5 kids at home that was just more stress. I mean, why clean and make it nice when they would just mess it up in no time flat? Stressed me out thinking of it! If I should do the cleaning I would get very grumpy and yell if they even tried to be kids and make a mess.

As I aged the stress took on different avenues with me. I lived with the uncertainty of when the illness my first husband had would finally take his like. For 4 years we knew he could go at any time, yet we had to live as normally as possible. I carried much of his load so he could keep going. I learned a lot those years. I became more patient, asking myself if an issue was worth blowing up over and having a heart attack. Most times it was not, so it was forgotten.

I think my biggest lesson for life came after his death. I was always a stay at home mom, worked on the side with selling ceramics, sewing, helping out with odd jobs etc. Brought in money to help with Christmas etc, but otherwise I stayed home and worked on ways to save money by doing things myself, cooking from scratch and raising the family.

My husband was a pastor, so my life was around helping with church and the family, not outside work.  Our home was a parsonage, belonged to the church and came with the job. No pastor, no job, no money, no home, no life insurance because of a problem that is a long story etc.

I had no choice but to depend on God. I learned my dependency had to be on HIM.

Now, almost 10 years after my first husband’s death I am having to fall back on those lessons. My husband went to work this morning as usual. It is Thursday. Thursday has been D-day at the plant where he works. If you get called in to the supervisor around noon, you know your job is done. It has been layoff day for a number of weeks, they know another one is today. With so few left at the plant, you know that by numbers the chances are not good.

I am sitting here at 5:45 AM, wondering. I am reminding myself that my dependency is on HIM, not the plant. He knows that all our bills are needing to be paid. He knows that things were messed up in the past and the past needs to be paid as well. HE knows we left the job at the church Rick worked at because of apostasy in the church that we could not be a part of and that this job at the plant was much less money than he was getting at the church, so we have been struggling. HE KNOWS!

Even though I want to fall apart with worry, I keep reminding myself that HE KNOWS and sing Rich Mullins song “Hold ME Jesus” to myself a lot. I am shaking like a leaf, but I know HE KNOWS and my dependency is on HIM.

Ladies, I do not know how many of you have gone through this or are going through it, but we need to trust HIM. IF my husband comes home around noon, I need to be a strength to him, not a falling apart wife. He will be saying “It will be all right” but inside I know he will be feeling the uncertainty of the future also.

Pray for our husbands, even now, that what this day brings they will be able to depend on HIM. As we pray for them, we will be strengthened as well.

A Dripping Faucet?

Somehow I missed last Monday with my homemaking ideas, but I think I am back on track today.

How has your life been? Mine has been filled to the point my head has been spinning! I wonder why I am even participating in a Homemaking carnival when my home gets to looking like a diseaster area.  Please do not tell me I am the only one that has a home that gets messy!

This weekend I found myself frustrated. Headache from something that the wind blew in, literally.  Worry Concern over a new granddaughter that has jaundice, her sister who is sick and my son in law and daughter who are exhausted; sewing projects piled on the table and my sewing machine decides to act up and may need to be replaced, our work schedule, goats that keep getting tangled up because husband has not got the fence up yet, clothes dryer not able to work when the air is on as it blows the cirguit breaker at the pole (and husband has not put up clothes line yet) … the list goes on.

Now, did you notice something? hint: the word “husband” mentioned?

I used to be more uptight about things, but now it is hard for me to nag. I find I am more laid back and will go through the trouble of putting up with things that there is solutions for that money is not totally involved in.

For instance, we have much of the wire needed for the fencing. Yes, we need some poles, but there are some to get started. It is laying on the side of the house. Something else for the goats rope to get tangled in and me have to go out and untangle.

The supplies to hang the clothes line are behind my freezer in a bag. Well they were in a bag till my granddaughter played with them and broke the bag and dumped them behind the freezer. I can’t put up the line, we live in Texas and it means putting up a pole since there are no big trees.

I can’t take a bath because the tub is filled with cement board and tile for a project that is started and not done.

My craft/computer room is unorganized. I need to get some wood feet under one cabinet so the drawers will open and I can fix the one that broke trying to open it on the floor. A large shelf needs to be moved out too.

When you live in a small place things look cluttered pretty easily.  Drives me bonkers.

Now, as I said, Nagging is hard for me. I think that is good in many ways. Before I nag I think. What has he been doing? How is he feeling? Is he wasting time and just not doing or is there a reason?

  • Till recently my husband has not been getting days off, but rather working many hours
  • He is tired when he is home
  • Some of the projects need money we do not have
  • Some projects take my time at the same time and we are not able to get it together or I need to do something just before he has to do something then we need to put it all back after he is done. This takes time together and time for each of us. Scheduling can be a problem.

What I have learned after years of marriage is that we need to think before we nag and grumble. It seems so obvious, yet so hard at times.

Let me explain how I learned this lesson.

Before Rick, I had been married to a wonderful man. We had a good marriage. I loved him very much. However, I was much more head-strong. I would nag, sometimes with that silent nag, you know the one, get angry under your breath, grumble, have your little tantrums about things not getting done. Maybe not so others will even notice, but he knew. Arguments followed. Finally he did it, and then it may not be done right as he was now angry too.

Then one day this man you love has a heart attack. Nothing that happened when you were nagging, but rather on our vacation when it was fun. He was between life and death for 3 weeks.  I changed. When I knew that our life would never be the same again, it all hit me. I knew I had to do something to make life easier on him and needed to think more.

Before I complained, nagged, grumbled to him I asked myself this: Is this worth him getting stressed out and having another heart attack over? If it is, grumble, if not, shut up.

He lived through the attack and the following kidney failure, but we knew it was just a matter of time. I stuck with that change. I complained when he was eating something not good for him (like the bag of potato chips that were left in the house). Other times I would get after him when needed, but not like before.

My husband did die and I remarried. I still think before I complain or nag. I have a wonderful husband who has a tiring life at work. I have a tiring life at home.  I learned to think.

Things will get done, eventually. Not on my schedule, but they will get done. I want to grumble ,sometimes, about the goat fence. The weather has been close to 100 or above out there. Would me, after working all day want to go out and work on that in this heat? Not on your life! Neither does he. Fall is coming. It will get done. Eventually.

Homemaking and being a wife involve a lot. It takes sacrifice, patience and love. It is not all about us and what we need when we need it.

The Bible says a nagging wife is like a drippy faucet.  I have one of those too! We can’t find the part to fix it. It drips, loudly. So loud we turn off the water at the hot water heater to keep it from dripping. (It is summer and in Texas the cold water is warm enough for most things anyway!) I know I would not want to be thought of as a dripping faucet. A nag. A control freak whose husband needs to jump at my command. No way!

Ladies, let’s be sure to turn off the faucet. Stop the dripping and think before we nag, grumble, complain, get on him.

King of the Castle

Is your husband king of the castle? Today something came across my desk that I want to talk about. We women have a problem sometimes. Unfortunately we do not always realize it either.

Your husband is a provider. He needs to feel like a provider. Many times we women, unknowingly, make him feel like less of a man. Maybe he is struggling to make ends meet and they are not meeting.  Maybe he has health problems and can’t work, or laid off or fired. How do we treat him consciously as well as unconsciously?

My husband is a hard worker. He is thoughtful, does his best and goes the extra mile. He works long hours, comes home tired and often there is much to do around here and he is tired. The temptation is to not want to let him sit down, but cut the grass, fix this or that etc.

Our ends also do not meet. Sometimes we get behind. Sometimes we do without things we should not do with out. We also do without needs.

Life is a struggle and with all the prices going up, gas getting out of the world and our health insurance making another big jump it is going to make things even harder.

How about you?

Now, how do we make our husbands feel? Many of us are stay at home moms and care for our children. I, personally, think this is the highest calling any woman can have and am all for it. Many find things to do at home for extra money as well as the ability to make the money we do have go farther. I babysit and clean offices one night a week and on weekends to help. But, how do we deal with our husbands when things are tight? Or when things need to be done at home?

I hear more and more women complain. Complain to their husbands, to others and in general about not making ends meet, about him not fixing stuff etc. Men have needs emotionally. They need to feel they are providing and appreciated even if ends aren’t meeting. They need to know you appreciate and respect them for their hard work, inability to work or trying to get a job.

How do you talk to him? Is it negative or positive (or positively negative)? Our words and actions communicate so much to him. If he knows that his efforts are appreciated and you are fully supporting him emotionally and physically then he can feel like King of His Castle.

I have learned that I need to give my husband the pleasure of resting when he gets home, even if there are things to be done. If I offer him the drink, be positive and give him time to rest, then tell him kindly that something needs to be fixed etc it works much better.

If I am positive and making sure he knows how much his efforts mean and how much I know he is trying things work much better.

I am not saying manipulate, I am saying doing it in love and care for him and his needs. Let him be king and he will make you queen. My husband responds to the positive. We may not be meeting the ends or just meeting them, but there is peace and happiness in our home because this works for me and will work for you also.

Husband Appreciation

Today is Frugal Friday at Biblical Womanhood.  I was going to do this post as my post today and then realized it would fit in to the frugal idea as what I am going to say costs nothing but some of our time.

Does your husband know he is appreciated? How often do you let him know? Do you find little ways to tell him?

Some husbands have a hard time learning to show love and do things that really make their wife happy. If we are honest, we do too at times. Women are naturally, usually, able and think to show love but when we do not get what we want in return (love reciprocated, or him respond to our hinting) we can get pretty rotten!

Men need encouragement and they need to know that their efforts are noticed. If we can encourage them, then they will respond by realizing what, how and when to do more for us as well.

Think of things your husband does and find things to thank him for. It may be something as simple as he puts his clothes in the hamper (do you know how many men do not!). My husband thanks me for every meal and tells me it is good.  Do we find things to thank them for daily?

Tomorrow is Husband Appreciation Day according to 123 Greetings.  They have ecards for the occasion, why not send one to your husband? They are free.

Another place that I would recommend for helping us get into the habit of praising and encouraging our husbands is a site called The Generous Wife.  You can sign up for a daily tip for being a generous wife.

This is a frugal (downright cheap) way to better your marriage, make it more exciting and in the end better your husband and your relationship.

For more frugal ideas check out Biblical Womanhood!

Showing love 20 frugal ways

How often do you show your husband you love him and are glad he is there? How about your kids?

I used to think I did not have the money to really show them, or him. I would see things I knew that he would like but did not have resources. Sometimes it would be a way to decorate, or a special gift etc. However, it does not take money, or very little, to show your love and give reminders everyday of your love. We need it and so do they!

I would like to list special ways you can show your man you are there for him and you are still in love with him.

  • leave little notes, in the shower, his lunch (kids lunch) under his pillow. You can make cards on the computer or by hand or just a quick “I love you” on a scrap of paper shoved in by his book mark in the book he is reading, at his computer etc.
  • On the same note, (hehe, not literally, pun there) you can leave something you like about him, appreciate or thank him for. ( I appreciate how much you tell me you like my cooking, or how hard your work for us, etc)
  • If he usually comes home from work and wants something to drink, have it ready for him.
  • Have his socks, underwear etc dug out of the laundry basket so he does not have to dig when he is getting dressed. ( my kids are grown now, but I remember how it was getting all that done with 5 kids around, but pulling them out for him to dress in the morning makes a big difference.)
  • Ask him if there is anything special he would like for dinner. Let him choose from what is in the house.
  • hug him often
  • kiss him often
  • be playful… you know what I mean!
  • give him peace when he wants to read the paper for a few minutes. He needs his unwind and switch gears time, then let him know about your day.
  • Don’t be a big spender so he has to worry about paying the bills!
  • Be frugal
  • Men do not talk like we do, they give a brief version and that is it. Show him you are interested in what he says, ask questions, but do not “nag” at him.
  • Thank him for all he does, not a “thanks for everything honey” but a “thank you for changing the light bulb for me, I could not reach it. You are my hero”.
  • Make him your hero and tell him. Men need to know that.
  • Have a honey do list, but do not nag, and when he does it praise him and let him know you appreciate him.
  • Let him know you appreciate him (even if he did not do it) if he feels appreciated and loved he will do more for you and the family.
  • Save your loose change and take him out for a meal or a dessert or something special.
  • Tell him you love him again, and again and again!
  • Tell him you would marry him again
  • get the cat out of his favorite chair before he walks in the door.

These are just some ideas that do not cost money. You probably have more and I would love for you to tell me in the comments!

What? You do not “feel” this way about your husband? Start finding small things to thank him, etc. Do it just because he is your husband. Eventually you will feel it and he will change as you change. It is cheap, frugal and very mighty!

For more frugal ideas go on over to Biblical Womanhood!