Yesterday I watched two videos on Instagram. Two different moms. Two vastly different ways of living.
The first mom was a 23 year old mom of four who lived in a trailer. She posts videos about every day, you've probably seen them, they're mostly of her making meals for her children. Yesterday's was breakfast: she blended some fruit and yogurt and made waffles in a waffle iron in her little trailer kitchen.
She fried some bacon and serves them on those little colorful sectioned toddler plates most of us have had at some point.
Even though she's very young, her videos display a quiet dignity, strength, and a determination despite the overwhelmingly negative comments she receives for living in a trailer and being a young mother. Many assumptions are made about her character and morals based on her home alone.
The second video I watched was of a mom in her late 30s or 40s, also with a few kids. It was titled, "Morning routine of a lazy mom," (her title, not mine) and she creates videos that span a house bulging with clothes and dishes, half-eaten open food packages on floors all night, etc.- a truly overwhelming situation that I was sure stemmed from depression or something similar. She also has a large audience.
She lives in a very big beautiful home and is a stay-at-home mom but simply explained that she doesn't like cleaning or picking up more than once a day.
Yesterday, I shared a post about loving the home you're in, not comparing it to others, and not despising it because you want more.
In it, I called all homes beautiful.
"It’s a very special thing to have a home. An apartment is a beautiful home. A house is a beautiful home. A condo is a beautiful home. A trailer is a beautiful home."
I woke up this morning knowing some may balk at me calling a trailer home beautiful because it's not a home they would want to live in, but I'm going to explain something to you.
The key I've found to being peaceful and happy in my homes has been appreciating them.
I'm a very ambitious person, always have been. I believe that when you partner with God, He only lifts you higher. I've lived that. I have had very humble beginnings in life and my homes have always gotten only better and better.
One thing about every place I've lived is that I make it home. Whether it was a small apartment in a shady neighborhood or a five-bedroom house in a suburb- I do what it takes to make it a home and I'm not a Pinterest queen by any stretch of the imagination.
I'm not a perfect homemaker, either, I've been open about how much laundry personally attacks me.
But it truly doesn't take much to make a home that you and your family feel comfortable and cozy in. It can take a bit of creativity sometimes, some discipline, but it doesn't have to break the bank or lead to hours and hours of cleaning a day. It takes care.
This care doesn't come from a desire to look impressive to anyone, it comes from a place of gratitude for having a home first and foremost and a desire to make it a place you can feel good living in. It also comes from knowing what it feels like not to have a home, and that knowing never leaves. From it, a permanent gratitude has remained.
Taking care of, valuing, and being grateful for what you have makes every day feel like a gift. Comparison, envy, or despising your surroundings creates a bitterness of the soul. I'm all for believing for better, working towards better, but if you're not taking care of what you have now, aren't full of gratitude and love for what God has given you today, I'm telling you it won't come.
Or you'll get it and be just as unhappy in a mansion as you were somewhere humbler. I've seen it.
There are a lot of miserable people in big, beautiful homes.
There's a parable Jesus talks about where a master gives his servants different amounts of talents (a currency). The master leaves for awhile and they're rewarded or admonished based on what they did with them while the master was gone.
To the ones who had done well with what they were given, he said, "‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things."
To the one who had done nothing but buried their treasure in the ground, the rebuke was strong and severe.
To the mom who thinks she hasn't been given anything worth taking care of, look again. If you're between four walls, you are incredibly blessed. If you're not, and waiting for more, first, I've been there and yes you can get out of it. Don't give up. It's God who has brought me to where I am both inside and out.
Take dominion over whatever place you are in and make it beautiful for yourself and your family.
Don't look at what someone online or two streets over have and decide your home isn't worth caring for. There are people who dream about living in the home you live in.
There have been so many times I've prayed for something and God showed that I already had it. Literally. An invoice I hadn't sent to get paid. A purchase I'd forgotten about. A friendship I hadn't nurtured properly.
There are times I needed a bigger home, more space, but I did not get angry or bitter. I did what I had to do: divided a room with sliders and curtains. I beautified what we had it and today all of my kid's have their own rooms. I am grateful then and I am grateful now. I'm grateful for more space now but have happy memories of cozy days where I could check on all of my kids sleeping and took comfort of them being in one room when they were younger. The bonding they did that formed solid, intense love between them. Easy cleaning, too!
Envy will make you hate what you have, and you can't care for something you hate.
Be faithful. You can even have fun with it. But it'll start with taking your eyes off of what other people hav and looking at what you have been given.
I think about that young mom in the trailer doing such an excellent job with her kids. I know she probably won't stay where she is long, not with how hard she's working online and wish her all success.
May we all look around and see the blessings that we live in. May know God only lifts higher while being faithful stewards of our homes today. What an honor it is to have a home in one's care. ♥️
The promises of God begin and end with Yeshua, Jesus, because He is the reconciliation. If you've been walking through life on your own and want to be a child of God, you want Him by your side through it all, here's how to begin.