This blog is simply the telling of one helpmeet and mother's quest to fulfill her God-ordained destiny. It is written with the hopes that other young women will embrace their calling to be godly wives and mothers; that they will be encouraged to love their husband and children and will find contentment in being keepers at home.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Advice for Younger Ladies

In the past few days I had asked a few older, wiser ladies to share their gleanings of knowledge with me. I was doing a unit study, and this was an activity that I (excitedly) chose. I thought up these questions for my own benefit, as well as yours, and here they are as answered my mother, Mrs. Lily Pyatskowit. (With a few changes that she suggested.)

I might say, by way of introduction, that Mrs. Pyatskowit is talented in many areas, including singing, decorating, child-rearing, organizing, advising, (I know, firsthand) gardening, cleaning, scheduling, problem-solving and cooking (among other things.)

She is, more importantly, a servant of Christ who seeks to raise her children to be like Jesus, as well as a Godly wife who honors her husband.

As a stay-at-home wife and mother, do you feel fulfilled, or do you think that your talents are being wasted?

I love being a stay-at home wife and mother and I am extremely fulfilled.  I worked in the work force before I was married and there is no way to compare the satisfaction between the two “jobs”.  As a wife and mother I feel I am fulfilling part of the “bigger” picture.   God has given me the privilege of helping one of His servants and training the next generation. Can you imagine how honored Mrs. Noah must have felt?!  Well, I’m not Mrs. Noah, but I am Mrs. Joel Pyatskowit and I feel it truly is an honor to be his wife. How I help and care for my husband and train my children will influence what my children view as “normal”.   I guess that I feel I am weaving a godly legacy.  One that I pray will be passed on for many generations.

How do you think girls can be Proverbs 31 women while still under their parents’ roof?

Just as being a Proverbs 31 woman varies for adults it’s going to vary for young ladies.  By that I mean that God called me to be a helpmeet to a pastor.  That means I need to clean, cook, garden, train you children, do the bookwork for the church, prepare our home for services, visit & prepare meals for the sick and families of the deceased,  host visiting ministers, make arrangements for their stay & the special meetings, etc.  If I was called to be a helpmeet to a farmer, I may need to do some of those things, but my husband would likely need me to milk cows, feed heifers and so forth. 

In your case, you are being a Proverbs 31 young lady by seeking to help dad.  Dad needs a piano player and you fill that role.  You help prepare for our guests by cleaning and cooking.  You help entertain them by singing and playing.  I think it’s walking through the doors that God opens and viewing them as an opportunity to learn something new that will help you to fulfill God’s calling in your life.

There are so many opportunities to help different people.  Volunteering to help young moms with cleaning, cooking, sewing, babysitting would be a great place to start.  There is also the older generation that could use help in the same ways or they may need you to take them to town, or do the grocery shopping for them.  “Bloom” where you are planted.  Whatever opportunity arises, take hold of it and do it with all your might, “As unto the Lord”.

What skills do you think a young lady should cultivate before marriage?

Everything imaginable!  The more you learn now the easier it will be to manage your home later.  Cooking, baking, cleaning, sewing, budgeting, gardening and canning are essential. 

While maybe not necessary knitting, crocheting, and those types of skills are beneficial.

Learn to make your own cleaning products and dairy products.

You never know if your husband will have a business of his own, and therefore, knowing the proper way to handle secretarial matters and bookwork would be helpful.

Some of the character traits that are especially important are:  selflessness, patience, perseverance, cheerfulness, kindness, learning to be an encourager, realizing that it may be too hard when you look at the mess, but when you break it into bite size pieces you can “move mountains”.

As a mother who has raised or is raising children for the Lord, what advice do you offer? How can one go about raising her children for God?

Children truly are a blessing from God!  When your baby is little, keep her with you as much as possible.  I used a sling, so I could have a free hand to accomplish whatever task was at hand, but still keep you near. Let her know you love her, sing to her, hold her, comfort her when she’s hurt.  As she grows, do everything with her:   the dishes, laundry, cleaning and cooking.  Play games and talk about everything with her.  So much of life is absorbed by example, what we say and the manner in which we say it.

Training is essential.  Some of it is caught by your example, some by teaching it over and over using rewards and negative consequences.  I had regular training sessions with you.  I would call your name and if you came immediately & cheerfully, I gave you a chocolate chip.  If you didn’t, I would give you a negative consequence, explain to you that you needed to come as SOON as you were called, and do it over again.  I used this training method for lots of different things.

  As you know, we kept the rules of our home and their consequences posted so that you knew what behavior was expected and if you chose to act in a manner that was not acceptable, you chose the consequence.  I think it’s important to let the child know that it was her choice, not you as the mommy being mean.  She chose to speak unkindly to her brother, so she chose a consequence.

As a homemaker, are there any tips or tricks that you could share?

I’ve learned that it’s best to do each task as it needs to be done.  Do the dishes as soon as breakfast is over, don’t wait until supper time to do ALL the dishes.  It doesn’t take 10 minutes to do them when you don’t have very many but it can take an hour if you wait and do them all at once.

If things are done on a regular basis, things never really get out of control. 

Laundry has always been my weak point – again just do it as it needs to be done.  Fold and put everything away immediately or it will pile up.  (Guilty grin.)

Plan and use a menu.  Get the meat out of the freezer the night before, right after supper.  Also know what you plan to fix for breakfast the next morning and do as much of the preparation as you can the night before.

Pick up the house before going to bed, so you wake up to a tidy house.  It creates a very pleasant atmosphere whereas waking up to a mess starts the day off on a very sour note.  (I get very grumpy when the house is a disaster and I feel like I never get around to “today’s” work because I’m still trying to do yesterday’s.)

Keep a running shopping list on the ‘fridge and add items as you realize you need them throughout the week.

Have one day for all errands and shopping.  Learn to love staying home!

Simple things create a wonderful atmosphere, candles, flowers from the garden, fresh air…make your home inviting and child friendly.

As a wife, what wisdom would you share with a single young lady

Respect is a man’s greatest need.  Do things the ways he likes them done.  It’s the little things that are important…get his coffee for him, make him special treats, prepare his plate for him.  Treat him like a king. 

Never, ever say negative things about him to anyone, including your mother.  If he is doing something you feel is wrong, pray earnestly for him, but do not confront him.  So many times, I have prayed and God has dealt with Daddy’s heart on an issue without me saying a word.  I’ve confronted him on many things too and it’s never accomplished anything.

Speak kindly to him and smile a lot!  Take 10 minutes before he comes home to brush your hair and tidy up.  Look your best for him.  Try not to look frumpy.

Listen, listen, listen…he needs you to be his sounding board.  He wants to bounce ideas off of you without hearing how silly or unrealistic his idea is.  Maybe it is silly, but don’t let him hear that from you.  Be honest, but be kind with it.  Many times he just needs to talk about it, without getting an opinion.  Again, just listen.

Be his number one fan!  He faces rejection and criticism every day from many different sources, make sure he knows he’s safe with you and that you love and honor him.

Love is an act, it is not a feeling.  There will be days you don’t “feel” that you love him.  On those days, you do the right thing anyway.  He may not deserve a back rub, give it to him anyway.  We all have days when we don’t deserve to be loved, but it sure is nice when someone overlooks our mistakes and goes out of their way to be kind.

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