Thursday, October 6, 2022

A "Real Life" ~ Snippets

May I never forget the “real life” I was raised with so that I can daily live with a grateful heart…

I grew up in a two-bedroom home sharing a room with my two younger brothers until I was ten. This was normal. In our home, there was never money for remodeling or redecorating. We wore hammy-down clothing and then continued to pass them down to others in the family. We ate what food was put on our plates, never wasting as we were taught to be thankful for the food we had. There was no individual catering of menus to each of our desires. And yet this was all normal.

Somehow along the way, our culture has begun to accept the wealthy lifestyle as one of normal. And when it isn’t your own, you begin to feel discontent and ungrateful because it seems everyone else lives it but you. You begin to accumulate debt to satisfy your desire to keep up with the Joneses. But none of these things will ever satisfy as there is always something better, newer and more luxurious. And sadly, none of this is normal. 

It is living within your means which brings true prosperity. You don’t have the anxiety of endless bills to cripple your joy each month. We should view our hardworking husband as wealth and our children as riches. Our faith in God gives great contentment and peace. This concept, once comprehended, is true earthly treasure.

This lifestyle is “normal” (or once was 😞).

So what does one do to appreciate their humble, normal life?

“I make myself rich by making my wants few.”
~ Henry David Thoreau

“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
~ Philippians 4:11-13

Pictured: Our little farmhouse (in which we raised our little family) with all its imperfections made the most glorious of memories. Bittersweet as they often were with its challenges to survive but, you guessed it, it was all quite normal.


  1. It was probably television that led to discontentedness as an unrealistic standard of living was portrayed as "normal". I have similar experiences to yours.

  2. Amen. I grew up in a tiny two bedroom house, a little over 600 square feet, along with my younger sister and brother and our parents. I can recall when our grandmother came to visit from out of state, we had to wait til dad came home from work and got in the kitchen door before the extra leaf in the table could be opened up. Then I had to crawl under the table to get to my seat in the corner. Good times!

  3. My husband and I grew up the same as you. It was not acceptable to sit down at the table and say we would not eat what was served and our children were not permitted to complain either. We are in our 60's and retired and just this morning my husband said that he is thankful that we never carried credit card debt, drove new cars and that we worked hard for years pay off our home. We have friends in and out of our home often and we do not feel embarrassed by our 20 years old furniture or out of date 'decor'. Life is about people and not about things!

  4. I really needed this today, thank you! I appreciate how you encourage and inspire what is actually normal as opposed to the typical Instagram picture of perfection. We raised our family until there were five kids in a 1,000 sqft 3 bedroom 1 bath home until this last year.many people couldn’t believe how we did it haha…but it was our normal. We now live in a home that is 700 sqft bigger and our upgrade is the 2nd bathroom! (Which isn’t finished yet). Living in a wealthy area we can often feel the pressure to have more and better but true peace is being happy with what you have, no matter how little. The disconnect from reality right now is sad because many families are suffering not knowing how to be thankful or content.

  5. I never noticed the things we did not have.It was much later in life that I even thought about the way we were raised.Because it was just the way it was ,it was normal.We ate what was given to us, wore what was given to us, and I never even thought to complain about much of anything .My mama and daddy worked hard and loved us.And I miss them more than what we "didn't have".

  6. Yes! I grew up the same... and it has served me well.

  7. In my opinion, this is the best blog post you have ever written. God bless you, I agree wholeheartedly!🍎🌻

  8. Yes, I grew up like you. My sisters and I couldn't wait to get my cousin's "hand me downs". Getting a box of clothes from her was like Christmas. Being the youngest, I always had to wait, but it was fine. I remember playing jacks on the front porch for hours. Life was calmer and simpler back then and we did not think to complain. I feel bad for those now that compare themselves and their lives to others. There is such peace and joy in gratitude. Thanks for a well said post.

    (And I will try to be patient this time. ;-)


  9. From a different perspective: my parents always had a nice house, a new car every three years and a load of debt. The insecurity I felt as a child, especially after experiencing their bankruptcy, was horrible. When I was in 7th grade, I had double pneumonia and ended up in hospital. My doctor was puzzled why I wasn't recovering more quickly. When asked, it proved to be the great concern I had for my parents, whom I felt I was causing unnecessary expense to.
    I assured my first daughter in law that the greatest gift she could give her children was not a room of their own and a large home, they would benefit best from a financially secure home.

  10. I read your wonderful posts and actually have tears in my eyes in appreciation and also for people that have not experienced having a Godly ordained family. My husband passed 20 years ago, but I am glad I was able to have him as long as I did. Provider and protector, and I was the mother at home making home -HOME. I have my grown daughter and her disabled daughter with me now, but I still the keeper of the home. And proud to be so blessed. Thank you for the joy you bring.

  11. Dear Jes, I think those of us who grew up in similar circumstances to you are becoming scarce today, perhaps due to the baby boomer years of over indulgence.
    It’s more importantly now than ever, that we speak of those lean yet (from my experience) happier and freer times. I grew up with grandparents in a one bedroom flat…my bed was the couch. Reflecting on this with my husband the other day, I simply said, “I was so content, so loved, so happy.”
    May God give us writers words to express such delight in the simpler ways, the old paths, the gentler life, that we may encourage our readers to embrace the little things on earth as we wait for the true treasures of heaven. Bless you Jes. 🌷

  12. Hi there Jes I had a similar up bring and I wouldn't change it for anything. God and Family was everything, not how big our Home was, the thing that made our Home beautiful and loving wasn't the expensive belongings or the splendour of things - it was the precious people we shared it with. Why we didn't even get telly till I was about 12-13 and we only got it so we could watch Billy Graham. We made our own fun, played board games and cooked together and talked, life was so much simpler back then and not so much of a hustle or bustle!
    I have always said we gave up much more than we have ever gain!
    Love Jilly.❤️❤️❤️

  13. Our 7 children grew up on a farm in a tiny house...they ate what was set before them..they pass this simple life on to their children who remain healthy and happy!♥️😊

  14. This is going to be long so I apologize in advance haha. My husband and I live in what was once my Daddy’s workshop. After Daddy died 6 years ago, we moved into his workshop so we could be close to my Mama and be able to help her. My husband built a wall so we could have a bedroom, separate from the rest of the “house”. There was plumbing out here to a sink but that was all. So, we saved the money to buy a composting toilet. My brother did the rewriting but said it wasn’t enough to run a stove or washer/dryer. Fast forward to now, we have a nice walk-in shower that my husband installed, a “curtained off area” for our composting toilet which is actually not bad at all. I wash our laundry using 2 large washtubs, a washboard, and wringer to hand wash or clothes and hang them out to dry. It’s actually very relaxing for me and save a good bit of money. By the world’s standards, I’m considered poor, but I am completely content and satisfied with my life. God has richly blessed us.


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