Monday, December 20, 2010

Courageous Mothers Who Cared for Their Families

I recently have been reading through an online ebook that shared some interesting information regarding mothers during the Great Depression. These courageous women, during these trying economic times, who had families to feed and a humble home to take care of did not falter but did what they had to do to survive and keep their family together. There are two things I had read that just stood out in my mind and made me think about how ungrateful we are as a society today and I wanted to share them with you. 

1. Some of the women faced such economic hardship during that time that they actually had to live with their families not in houses, but in chicken coops. Many families even used newspaper to line their walls to keep the cold out and their children learned to read from the newspaper that covered the cracks in the walls. What a contrast from homes we see in magazines today where we the homes are portrayed as picture perfect.

2. One woman who did not have enough money to buy food had wanted to plant a garden, but being too poor to afford to buy any seed that year---her garden was sadly empty and only wild weeds sprang forth. That did not daunt this women who knew she had a family to feed. Instead she gathered up those weeds and diligently began to can them. YES, I said CAN them for the winter.

Can you imagine what was going through a women's mind to have such hardship and then finding no other way to feed her loved ones that she had to can weeds? Would we even think of that today? How amazing that those mothers had so much foresight. Foresight that is often forgotten, despised and ridiculed in this generation. I wonder what was going on in her mind while she went through the process--she must have been grateful to God to know that her shelves were lined with  food that winter to get her family through. That those jars were not lined up and empty. She must have looked at those rows of cans and instead of being angry with the Lord for not providing that she counted her blessings instead.

I think of the great mother heroines of the past and admire their strength. Back then you had to work hard or you didn't eat and mothers made sure they worked hard to make sure their families had food. They learned to stretch the food and didn't take what they had for granted. Resources were scarce and they lived by the motto: use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.

Why am I sharing this with you? Because I believe many mothers are going through hard times right now and I think this story would encourage them---to know that other mothers came before them and had it tough, even tougher than what we think we might be going through. These mothers were relentless and with every fiber of their being cared for their families. They weren't concerned about keeping up with the Jones', or having the newest hairstyle or latest clothes (they really didn't, many of them made their clothes and their children's clothes from potato or flour sacks). They were just trying to survive.

There was even one account of a mother who was so poor and was given a bag of chocolate chips. She would make cookies from them and only put one chip in each cookie and made the bag last for months. Her children were just grateful to receive their cookie and didn't balk that there was only was chip in them, but instead were content.

So mothers, wherever you are today, I hope these little glimpses into others lives are an encouragement to you. I pray you are doing all that you can in your family---to hold it together, to love them, to care for them, to give them your best even when you think that there is not much to give them. Remember, that this is a lie from pit of hell to think that you cannot give anything to your children. A mother is the anchor of the family and when the father is gone all day she is the one who creates the home, cultivates it and nurtures and loves people there. She helps the fabric of the home to be strong with her unwavering fearless spirit, courageous faith and brings refreshing life to it, for if not for her a home would just be lifeless walls that echoes emptiness. She is the heart of the home. If it were not for these mothers who lovingly and purposefully sacrificed her life to this purpose her home would be broken and dysfunctional, the poor children left to themselves with the wicked world raising them. And know, that just like her-- you are the heart of YOUR home.

So take heart, mothers, and set your eyes on Him. Pick up your armor and put it on. Get about your work at home and be busy making it the most loving place on earth.



Marmee's Pantry said...

Wonderful post & certainly Lord-led. You may not be facing financial hardships, but many, many of your readers are...including me. My DH was laid off in 4/09 from the best paying job he ever had in our 26 yrs of marriage. The job market is terrible here in OH & he can only find a temp job for 1/4 of his former pay that keeps being renewed. I had to go back to working outside the home back in March so that we can keep our home; we had to turn in 1 of our cars so now DD#2 & I share a car...but at least we still have them.

The Lord leads us in the most miraculous ways ~ The last 5+ yrs that my DH was making such a good wage, & before our girls graduated from our homeschool, was when the Lord started to seriously build my tepid interest in frugal living. It's b/c of what I now know that we save enough to pay our bills!! He is good!

Also, thought you might like to read about a courageous woman in my lineage, Jenny Wiley. An amazing woman.
Blessings from Ohio...Kim<><

Mrs. Stam said...

It's amazing to see how bless you are and that we still complain about all we do have!!!

Thank you for sharing this post! And I think we are reading the same ebook online :-)

The Farmer said...

Thank you for your wonderful post. My husband is recently self employed and we've yet to receive checks. It is very hard to keep the faith while seeing the bills pile up and know that there no money to pay them.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this posting. I am one of those people that has a lot of "stuff" and yet at the same time I often feel like I don't have anything, because I seem to be missing that I one thing I am so desiring. I am believeing God to help ohters more with the abundance of blessing I already have in my life. How I envy women who are content with where they are while they believe God for the manifestation of prosperity in their lives. My youngest daughter is one of those people that has always been naturally satisfied, even from an early age. One year when she was around four I believe, we asked her what she wanted for Christmas, she looked all around the room she was in and then said nothing. I was so rebuked. I was wanting this I had seen and that I had seen and on and on. (Out of the mouth of babes). Please do not misunderstand, I am very grateful for all I have. I would appreciate a posting from you on methods you use for saving and accumulating wealth (for us to have not just for ourselves but for helping ohters). May God continue to bless you with your beautiful blog which has taught me much.

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

We have so much to be thankful for! I love the story of the mother's ingenuity to can "weeds". They were probably very healthy wild plants that God gave for food!

Thanks for sharing this!

Mother Esq. said...

Thank you very much for sharing. I have witnessed so many women stay positive, frugal, and loving while their husbands were out of work. While mine is blessed with a job now, I know that this may not be permanent and pray that I will be ready to encourage and help him when he is out of work.

Beautifully Veiled said...

Thank you so much for the encouragement! Tomorrow will mark 25 years of marriage for us, and it is also our tightest time financially in all those years. We live in a manufacturing community and see it all around us as well. And so we press on and trust. In the times of plenty and the times of not-so-plenty, He is still God!!!!

Carissa said...

What is the name of the ebook? I would be interested in reading it.
Thank you for your post. As always, it is an encouragement.

Far Above Rubies said...

This post directly to me. Thank you!

Courtney (Women Living Well) said...

I LOVED this post - great for perspective taking. I'll be telling my children these stories - as a reminder to be thankful for the bountiful amounts of food in our home!

We take for granted that daily we do not have to pray "give us this day our daily bread." God has already given it to us in a plastic bag from the grocery store!!! We simply say - "thanks God" but I am concerned at times that my children do not get how BLESSED we truly are!!! Working on this!

Thanks for an inspiring post!

Mandi said...

Thank you for posting this! What a great reminder of all that we have (even if we think we have nothing)

Like one of the other commenters I notice that if I ask my kids what they want, they say nothing. It really is convicting, I'm not sure I'd say the same...

I shared the link on my blog today.

Beth West said...

Do you know who the painter is in your picture?

Anna said...

Thank you for this great, encouraging post. Things are extrememly tight for our family at the moment and looking to get even tighter next year. I'm wondering how we will manage but I just have to trust that God will look after us as he always has, and I thank him for how he has helped me to become wiser about budgeting and being frugal (thanks mainly to wonderful blogs by Christian mums). God is really working on my heart to make me grateful for what I have and not covetous of what I don't have. As you say, the most important thing is about being with our children to raise them for the Lord, and creating a home of love. I am so grateful that I am able to do this, even though our resources are limited. Thank you for your timely message. Bless you this Christmas.

bretswife1 said...

I would love to read the online ebook. Please send the information so i may do so. I gleen so much from you and your BLOG. Thank you.

Char in NC

Mrs. White said...

From the description of the book, it sounds like "Housewifery Journal" which is something I published for Mrs. Hultquist (the author). If so, the book can be found FREE through this link:

Unknown said...

Excellent! I'm going to pass this on to my FB friends.

Unknown said...

This ebook can be found on Mrs. White's blog "The Legacy Of Home". It really is such a wonderful book. I have it in print and read it often! We as mothers can use all the wisdom there is out there to make it through tough times.

Connie said...

What an uplifting post! Thank you for sharing it. I too would love to read the book.

Josie said...

Wow. What a time these women had to go through. I am very grateful to the Lord for what I have.

Everyone is going through some hard times now, and am praying hard for everyone to make it.

I pray that we all learn something from these women of the past. They were so strong !

P.S. Thanks so much ladies for posting the link to the ebook!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post. It's so true, many are struggling and the mother's job is so important. Thank you for that post.

Merry Christmas!

Lovin' Life said...

Thank you so much for sharing this post. It really touched my heart, and it reminds us as woman how much we have and to give thanks to the Lord for all that we have. Thank you!

Far Above Rubies said...

I meant to say that this post spoke directly to me.

I've been continually encouraged by you and Jaime.

Thank you,


Myra @ Busy Hands Quilts said...

Thank you.

Jeanne said...

What is the name of this book so that I may read it!!!


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