Having a Toolbelt of Knowledge

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When I was first married, I was slightly clueless about all of life. I knew how to cook a few meals (although I did burn the very first meal I made for my husband… and I cried and said I missed my mom. Oh my!), I had never heard of a budget, I had messy habits and cleaning wasn’t a priority. After I had our first baby I was completely clueless about all things baby and parenting minded,  I did read a few books, but what’s on paper and what is reality are two different things entirely. That first diaper change with a tiny, fragile newborn had me full of fear and trepidation. I felt overwhelmed the first time she had a temper tantrum. I started homeschooling completely unprepared and nervous.

Fast forward to life now. I have in no-way “arrived”, but cooking three meals a day for 8 people is no big deal. And feeding four family’s on a Sunday no longer scares me. I love cleaning my home and making it shine and have extended that to now being the cleaning lady for our church (a job I relish!). I can meal plan on a small budget with the best of them. Budgets no longer frighten or confuse me, in fact I geek out on them. I don’t think you can ever feel totally with it in parenting, but now there are a lot more eye rolls, sighs and just getting up to take care of it rather than overthinking it and running to the latest parenting book and wondering if I’m doing the right thing. Kids with croup in the middle of the night is always nerve wracking. Homeschooling still scares me.

But how did I get here? God put A LOT of women in my life. Women, I saw as tools in a tool belt. I watched the way they handled situations with their children, I asked them how they kept their homes so clean and was interested in how diligently they kept it beautiful (Dawn N!), they let me come over with my babies in the middle of their home-school day and I watched their interactions with their children and their natural teaching styles. (Deb G!) They showed me the different craft projects they worked on, quilts they made, beautiful art they painted, even wool they had spun (Sarah H!) I saw the way they responded to their husbands, the way they respected their husbands and spoke highly of them, and prioritized their marriage (Denise N!). I saw how zestfully, passionately and like an artisan they were about cooking. They made meals for a crowd in the most personal, special and delicious ways possible (Luma S!). I saw how they would drop everything in order to house us when our Air Conditioning went out in the Summer in Phoenix. Their gift of hospitality spur of the moment was amazing (Denise M!). How colorful and cheerful they keep their homes, and always make things lovely with a fresh coat of pain, a bouquet of flowers, tea towels they’ve knitted and some art they’ve painted to make everything go together (Rachel J!) Their hunger and passion for God’s word and how they crave it! They are dependable prayer warriors I know will pray for me, they give godly advice that challenge me to grow in the Lord. (Becki P. and my Mother)

These women taught me to sew, taught me to cook, how to be passionate, how to serve others, how to love my family, showed me how to live and survive and what it looks like to be a beautiful human being. I’m sure there are women in your life that comes instantly to mind.

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Add them to your toolbelt…

Take them out for coffee, invite them over to your house, ask them questions after church on Sundays. Get to know them, observe them, be willing to change your mode and adopt theirs. Be willing to change and grow.

Maybe you want to know how to become a good cook, how to balance the budget and stay on track with bills. Maybe you want to learn how to knit, crochet or sew. Maybe interior decorating on a dime. Maybe you want to learn flower arranging or vegetable gardening or taking care of chickens.  It might be training and teaching your children or disciplining them. Perhaps being a godly wife. Or being world focused in your heart for bringing God’s word to the hearts of your friends and family.

Whatever it is… seek it out. Observe and look for it in the lives of the women God has placed in your life. Watch your toolbelt grow year after year, tool after tool.

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