Monday, October 21, 2019

Should I Really Long for the Simple, Old-Fashioned Life?



There's so much talk lately about simplifying, going back to basics, living the "old fashioned" life. I think most of us homemakers long for longer days and deeper rests. Everything is rushed. In fact, just last night I had settled into bed and was working on a crossword puzzle (latest fascination---hadn't done one for years) and found that I was flying through it and writing sloppy. I stopped and asked myself why I was hurrying. There was no reason to rush. This is a silly example, but I do it with many things. Why do I rush through a book I'm reading when I could be taking the time to slowly savor it? Why do I hurry my kids through a meal so we can clean up? We're not going anywhere. I long for a time of life that seems slower paced and more intentional.

I tell myself my life would be easier if I lived in a farm house in Kansas with no one around for miles. If we could trade in our car payment for a horse and wagon, if my daughters would be content in aproned dresses, if my boys would run barefoot and catch fish all day. What I'm finding, is that when I strive so hard to go "back to how it used to be", I find that I can only maintain some of that for a short time. The truth is, I live in the 21st century with 21st century conveniences and some of them are unavoidable. Some of them you'd have to pry from my cold, dead hands. Ha!

People compare my family to all the "ideal" families out there: the Ingalls', the Waltons, the Duggars. They say we remind them of whatever cheesy, cozy TV show or book they remember from childhood and they say they wish they could have the life we have. Sometimes I'd like to say that we actually have a whole lot of messy crazy going on behind the scenes, but we really don't. God has given us a peaceful life and I'm thankful. However, I know many women who really do have it rough but have found ways to live peacefully and simply and spread joy in the midst of it. Those women are my heroes.

I believe the trick to living simply and "old fashioned" is to live on old fashioned principles. Scripture tells us to ask for the old paths:

"Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls." Jeremiah 6:16

These are the things that were set into place from the beginning of Creation.

We can look to Scripture to see how God designed our lives as women to be. Titus 2 tells the older women to teach the youngers in these ways. According to this passage, women are to love their husbands and children, to be discreet, chaste, good, homemakers, obedient to their own husbands, as well as reverent in behavior, not slanderers, and more. Titus 2:1-5 gives us a clear picture of the behaviors that will lead to the peaceful lives we're looking for.

With this in mind, we can apply these principles to our modern day lives. Rather than trading my washing machine in for a scrub board and bucket, I should be seeing my laundry chores as a ministry to my family and I should do them with joy and peace. Rather than being annoyed that this family has to eat again, I should be thinking of ways I can creatively use the bounty God has given us and challenge myself to make nourishing meals. Do I really need to drop Facebook and Instagram to live a simple, old fashioned life? Maybe. Or, maybe I just need to hide the posts from downer "friends" and use it as a platform for ministry instead. Social media is the number one way I am able to live out the Titus 2 mandate when it comes to ministering to women besides my own daughters. I am so busy at home right now, but God has used my blog and social media accounts to help me make mentoring relationships.

I think I'm beginning to see how I can make this old fashioned life work in the 21st century. The answer for me is to be home and take joy in being home.

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