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.