The Wife’s Influence on the Home

“In the last analysis, home happiness depends on the wife. Her spirit gives the home its atmosphere. Her hands fashion its beauty. Her heart makes its love. And the end is so worthy, so noble, so divine, that no woman who has been called to be a wife, and has listened to the call, should consider any price too great to pay, to be the light, the joy, the blessing, the inspiration of a home.”
J.R.R. Miller
Dear ladies,
Does it seem a heavy burden that Reverend Miller puts upon wives? I’ve read several things that he has written. Some paint such an ideal picture of a wife, I wonder if perhaps some of his quotes might be discouraging to wives. I think his intention was to encourage women in their high calling—to show what can be and maybe ought to be. There is truth in his writings, but they can make a woman feel burdened down with perfectionism. Read more….

21 Simple Ways Enjoy Making and Keeping Your Home


1. Light a candle by your sink as you wash dishes.

2. Listen to worship music, classical music, or something you love as you work.

3. Clean one area or room at a time. Declare it off limits when you’re finished with it.

4. Take frequent breaks to do something you enjoy for just a few minutes.

5. Use cleaning products that either smell great or are homemade.

6. Be thankful for what you have. Thank your husband and the Lord for what they have provided.

7. Start looking at yard sales and thrift shops for things that fit in with what you would like your home to become.

8. Think comfort in all you purchase for your home. Some styles may be pretty; but, they’re not always comfortable.

9. Determine to be thankful for what you have now.

10. Ruthlessly get rid of the things that you don’t need or enjoy.

11. Smile!

12. Pray while you iron.

13. Invite someone over. It’s great motivation; and, God tells us to be hospitable. It’s also fun!

14. Make time in your day for doing something you enjoy…knitting, sewing, crocheting, writing, reading, whatever it may be.

15. Place your favorite chair near your husband’s favorite chair. Reach over and hold his hand.

16. Seek friendships with ladies who enjoy home keeping.

17. Try new recipes regularly.

18. Make useful things for your home and for your family.

19. Make things homemade as often as possible. There’s such satisfaction in it.

20. Take time for tea!

21. Use it up; wear it out; make it do; or do without!

This list is for me, too. I do many these things, but not all of them. I’m looking for ways to enjoy homemaking, too. I’d love to hear your ideas.

Just Something to Think About….
Blessings to you all from Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ….
Laura
Learning to Enjoy Homemaking More and More

~~~~~
May I suggest?
~~~~~

An Open Letter to a Lady Discouraged by Poverty

My friend Jes, of Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth, recently received a comment on her post  “Swept and Good Order” ~ The Mistress of the House. I felt compelled to respond to the comment and share it with you.

Dear Discouraged,

I feel so glad that you chose to share your discouragement with Jes. She shared some good ideas. I know what its like not to be able to fix things up like you’d like to. Even after 28 years, most of what we own was either given to us (usually second hand) or bought second hand.

Please don’t be discouraged. You’ve got to get creative. Find the things that cheer you. Maybe a candle burning (often cheap at yard sales), music playing (try Pandora or Spotify on-line if you don’t have a collection), the fragrance of supper simmering on the stove shouldn’t be underestimated!

I find that when I think about what I can do instead of what I cannot do, it helps.

When I didn’t have furniture for my living room, I baked cinnamon rolls and sold them to businesses in town for their break times. I bought my furniture from Craig’s List. Perhaps there’s something you could do to make a few dollars here and there.  I get to squirrel away all the money I make by selling books on-line to buy my school books and whatever I can use PayPal for.

As for hospitality,  years ago we had people over even when we had to sit on the floor.

We once went for Sunday dinner to someone’s house, and they served a simple bean soup with cornbread.  Inexpensive, true, but hospitality was given as they shared what they had with us, and we enjoyed our time very much. Their situation and home was similar to yours, but it was the friendship offered that I remembered.

If blogs and Pinterest discourage you, don’t look at them! If you do look, just let them be jumping off points to think about what you can do with what you have available to you.

For now, think about the things you have that you do enjoy and how you might make the best of them.

Here are a couple of posts from my blog that might be encouraging to you:

40 Ways to Use it Up, Wear it Out, Make it Do, or Do Without

A Few Ways to Enjoy Homemaking

Sincerely,

Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage

Pecan Steelers… A Cookie Misadventure

I decided to make my Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Cookies awhile back.  I’ve been making those cookies since I was a child back in the day.  Sometimes a new recipe is born when I start a recipe and find that I’m out of something.

Well, I just knew I had all the ingredients to make the cookies, so I started creaming sugar and butter together.  Well, I had almost all the ingredients.  I’d just substitute white sugar for brown just this once.  Then, I reached for my oatmeal jar. Where is it?  It’s usually on the counter.  It’s a gallon jar, it has to be here somewhere…. Oh well, I’ll just get some out of the five gallon bucket… oh no!  I forgot I emptied it!  What now?  I searched and searched and asked the kids if they’d moved the oats.  No oats.  None.  Nada.  Except… here’s a small jar of steel cut oats.  Wonder if that would work… why not?  Okay, now, time for raisins.  “Kids, where are my raisins? How can we be out?”  Well, I do have 8 ounces of chopped pecans.  Guess that will do.

So, my Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Raisin Cookies became my new-fashioned Pecan Steelers!  Believe it or not, they were really good.  At first the kids were reluctant.  The texture seemed a bit healthy to them.  The taste reminded them of granola.  The good news – they lasted a few days.  The really good news – they tasted good the entire time.  It was a nice crisp cookie.  Not a health cookie, but still, it was filled with some good for you ingredients that you can pronounce!

Pecan Steelers

An Original Recipe by Laura Lane of Harvest Lane Cottage

Combine and cream the following ingredients together in a mixing bowl:

1 1/2 c white sugar

1/2 cup plus 2 T softened butter

1 t vanilla

3 T water

1 large egg

Combine the following dry ingredients in a medium bowl:

2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups steel cut oats (uncooked)

1 t salt

1 t baking soda

8 oz pecans, broken in pieces or chopped

Bake about 8 minutes in a 350 degree oven.  Watch them closely and adjust baking time as needed.  They’re done when the edges are lightly golden.

Doing with what I’ve got,

Laura

A Lovely Snowy Morning

20Good morning!  We’re having a lovely snowy morning here in Southwest Missouri.  I was planning to go to my Quilting Circle today, but the snow has made other plans for me. ~smile~ I do love a snowy day, but wish I were with my quilting friends.

So, what shall I do?

~ Sort and organize books for homeschooling next year

~ Sew a bit

~ Some read aloud

~ Soup for supper

Oh there are so many possibilites on a snow day!

26

One thing’s for sure, it will be a day to keep the old wood stove going!

Laura

Happy at Home

Every True Wife

“Every true wife makes her husband’s interests her own. While he lives for her, carrying her image in his heart and toiling for her all the days, she thinks only of what will do him good. When burdens press upon him she tries to lighten them by sympathy, by cheer, by the inspiration of love. She enters with zest and enthusiasm into all his plans. She is never a weight to drag him down, she is his strength in his heart to help him ever to do nobler and better things.”

 ~ Homemaking ~

J.R. Miller

 

“She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.”

Proverbs 31

21 Ways to Enjoy Homemaking

Something to Think About… A Few Ways to Enjoy Homemaking

1. Light a candle by your sink as you wash dishes.
2. Listen to worship music, classical music, or something you love as you work.
3. Clean one area or room at a time. Declare it off limits when you’re finished with it.
4. Take frequent breaks to do something you enjoy for just a few minutes.
5. Use cleaning products that either smell great or are homemade.
6. Be thankful for what you have. Thank your husband and the Lord for what they have provided.
7. Start looking at yard sales and thrift shops for things that fit in with what you would like your home to become. Oftentimes, you can find things that are just perfect.
8. Think comfort in all you purchase for your home. Some styles may be pretty; but, they’re not always comfortable.
9. Determine to be thankful for what you have now.
10. Ruthlessly get rid of the things that you don’t need or enjoy.

11. Smile!
12. Pray while you iron.
13. Invite someone over. It’s great motivation; and, God tells us to be hospitable. It’s also fun!

14. Make time in your day for doing something you enjoy…knitting, sewing, crocheting, writing, reading, whatever it may be.
15. Place your favorite chair near your husband’s favorite chair. Reach over and hold his hand.
16. Seek friendships with ladies who enjoy homekeeping.
17. Try new recipes regularly.
18. Make useful things for your home and for your family.
19. Make things homemade as often as possible. There’s such satisfaction in it.
20. Take time for tea!
21. Use it up; wear it out; make it do; or do without!

This list is for me, too. I do some of these things, but not all of them. I’m looking for ways to enjoy homemaking, too. I’d love to hear your ideas.

Just Something to Think About….

Blessings to you all from Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ….

Laura

Learning to Enjoy Homemaking More and More

I’m Rich!

I’m Rich!

 

I’ve got a great big three ring binder full of recipes. I’ve got a great big tall stack of cookbooks. I’ve got a shelf of cookbooks. I’ve got two full recipe boxes and another box started. I’ve got loose recipes in a drawer waiting to be filed in a box or binder. I’ve got recipe pamphlets in the same drawer. I’ve got recipes on my blog. Did I mention that I’ve got recipes?

As I look about me, I realize a couple of things. First, even though I’m surrounded by recipes, I tend to prepare the same meals over and over. Second, I’ve got more recipes surrounding me than I could prepare in a lifetime. I think it’s time to pare down a bit.

I was looking through my big binder a few minutes ago for a recipe to share with you all. I found that most of the recipes in my binder are ones that I’ve collected off the internet or from friends. Most of the recipes are untried. Now, if I’ve had this binder for two or three years, and I haven’t tried most of the recipes yet, why am I keeping them?

Does it make one a good cook to have lots of recipes? Does it make one a good homemaker to have lots of cleaners, recipes for cleaners or books about cleaning? Does it make one a good mother to have lots of books about child rearing? Does it make one a good Christian to have lots of Bibles and Christian books?

I think not. I think that there are many areas in our lives wherein we do not see the clutter. The truth is, I can go through my recipes and just keep my favorites and a few that I’m sure I want to try. I can go through my cookbooks and save my favorites and just write off the ones I like from the books I want to discard. The same holds true for other things in my life as well.

What about you? Are there things in your life that you are holding onto just in case? Are they things you really need? Really want? Are there things that are just clutter?

Now, I really cannot write all of this without sharing a nice salsa that you can make during the winter that is just delicious.

 

Kitchen Cupboard Salsa

1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes

1 medium diced onion (I prefer sweet.)

1 small can of chopped green chiles

1 T sugar

1 T dried parsley

½ t freshly ground pepper

½ t salt

½ t ground cumin

½ t garlic powder

Stir all this together in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate for an hour.

Laura

Recipe Rich

Lower Incomes and Loss of Employment

Many of the writers of the blogs I’ve been reading as well as many of my readers are facing uncertain times.  Many are facing lower incomes or loss of employment.  It is frightening.  We ladies like our security.  We like our comforts, whatever they may be.  We like knowing that the bills will be paid, that we can buy groceries, shoes for the kids, whatever we need, and a few extras. 

Over the last five years my husband went from $60 K job to now working part-time for less than $300 a week.  He’s looking for full-time work and has been for months.  Our reality has changed dramatically.  Life doesn’t look like I thought it would or even like I’d like it to; but, I’m getting so much closer to God through this.   God has provided in amazing ways.  We were able to move to a caretaker’s cottage and take care of a country estate four the absentee owner in return for rent.  Money has come from unexpected sources with perfect timing.  Just yesterday I was thinking of some things that our children need.  I have no way of providing those things.  Today, an envelope arrived with no return address.  It was filled with cash.  Yes, cash.  There was an envelope with the children’s names and an envelope with Lowell and Laura on it.  Praise God!  We can buy wood so we can keep warm!  The children need shoes.  We can buy them!  Praise God!  God is so faithful to take care of us.  God bless the sender, who obviously sent it in faith.

My point in sharing this is that you can survive.  You’ll have to learn some new skills, learn to be content, learn to make do; but, you can do this.  You have to lean into God and get that Word hidden in your heart.  Talk to Him.  He is great at showing you every bargain if you talk to Him all the way through the store and ask Him to show them to you.  God bless you through this!
I’ve written a lot about what God’s done over the last couple of years.  Although I write on WordPress now, I have a list of my best writings on the top of my old blog, http://harvestlanecottage.blogspot.com .  You might take a look.

Blessings upon blessings to you!

Laura

More Christmas Writings…

Hello Friends,

I know we’re all busy with Christmas preparations and celebrating.  I invite you to take a break, grab a cup of eggnog or hot tea and spend a few minutes reading my Christmas writings.  I have two blogs, Laura of Harvest Lane Cottage and Harvest Lane Cottage.  I have Christmas writings on each of them.  The links to the Christmas writings are below.  Happy Christmas Friends!

Harvest Lane Cottage Christmas Writings

Laura of Harvest Lane Christmas Writings

Enjoy your Christmas preparations! 

Laura

Happy and Blessed to Be at Home with Family