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 sometimes 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.

6 thoughts on “Courageous Mothers Who Cared For Their Families

  1. Thank you so much for this timely post. Is there any way you can tell us which eBook you are reading and where it is available for purchase?

    Merry Christmas!


  2. Thank you for reminding us of those who have gone before, who have striven to grow their families the best they could with what they have. What a sobering, yet encouraging call to press on with what God has provided. Would you mind sharing a link or the title of the ebook you read? I am certain there are many others who would benefit from that information as well. Thank you again. God bless!


  3. This is a timely reminder, June. My mother brought me up on stories of pioneers and settlers, and I am still in awe of all those hardy women could do without grumbling. We have it SO easy today in our country. I wonder if we would have been able to withstand the heat and cold, make all our love one’s clothing, fetch water, haul wood, and just keep body and soul together in a wilderness away from other souls. Yet many in this world today live in exactly those conditions. Sobering. I pray we can be grateful for what we have and work to help those who are suffering. Thanks so much for reminding us!


  4. Thank you for a beautiful post – the first I’ve read, as I just found your site. I’m very excited to read *everything*!

    My daddy grew up on a farm, one of 7 surviving children, and he tells stories of sleeping on a down mattress, waking up to frost on the blankets, and watching the chickens under the house through cracks in the floor boards! He said they never knew about the Depression, because nothing really changed for them.

    I try very hard to keep those stories close to my heart, and I love hearing him pass the history along to my children… children who have never gone to bed hungry, have never awakened cold & shivering. We are truly blessed!


  5. Thank you for the wonderfully insightful post. I really needed to hear this today. I was being so terribly deceived this Christmas in regards to “having to have the biggest” at our home. Your post reminded me of the true meaning of being Mom and not an open wallet. It put a lot in perspective of just what my “job” is……a homemaker who uses her God-given abilities to provide for her family in the face of any and all issues. I so appreciate your words. They are truly God sent!!


  6. Thank you so much for this information. Some may find it hard to believe but these times are still around for many folks. We grow up on a rented farm, we hauled water because our well water was so bad it was undrinkable, we had an outhouse for years before we had any indoor plumbing. The garden was the main source of our food, we had chickens and once in a while we did get beef or pork. Often our clothes were made from hand-me-downs, old sheets, flour sakes, feed sacks, etc. We did consider ourselves blessed because many who lived in town did not have it so good. Yet we did endure the redicule of folks who were doing better. As a child that was always hard, my brothers often got into fights. There were always some other children who would play dirty tricks of the “poor folks” in school. To say no one complained is wrong. I heard plenty of stories from my elderly relative of just how hard it was to do without. But the complaints were always short lived and the joy of hard work would restore the sense of pride in being able to make do. We did not always liked what we had to eat but we never went hungry. Of course when the men folks went out hunting and came back with meat it was always a time to rejoice. The hunt was not always successful but when it was, it was a joy. We also knew the importance of always looking out for each other. If some neighbor was sick or lost a limb in a farm accident they were always taken care of before our own farms. Sundays we did not always go to church for worship but we were always there in the afternoons to help with the food for those among us who had nothing. It was a different time.

    When my husband lost his job and I was in the hospital the local churches told us it was the government’s job to help us out. Interesting I never read any where in Scriptures where the first century saints went to the Romans to distribute their funds. God help people to cherish once again the Christain cherity of the older saints.
    Mrs. John Jennings


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