Make the most of what you've got

Hardly any of us have the life we dreamed of back when we had time to dream of perfect lives. When you grow up a bit you realise almost nothing is perfect and many things in daily life aren't even close to it.  When I look back on my life, I feel grateful that I've done what I've done, married who I did, gave birth to two fine sons, worked in jobs I found extremely satisfying most of the time, paid off debt before I got weighed down by it and worked out that using common sense to decide the way forward was, hands down, the best option. I'm also very grateful that I made the most of what I had because I think that's one of the main keys to living well and being content.


I fear that nowadays there is a yearning for what's out of reach. Instead of making the most of what we already have, we want what others have and sometimes go into debt to get it. We've forgotten that we can be happy in our own homes and that a life lived in a warm and secure home can set us up for success because we feel cared for and we're not stressed when we go to work and school. That warmth and security isn't a product of materialism and what's in the latest catalogue, it comes from the heart and from people who do the hard yards to encourage and build those feelings and values into families and homes as they mature.


A home is more than a dwelling. A home starts to develop when someone takes the time and puts in the effort to make the house clean, tidy, organised and calm. Over the months that follow, warmth and comfort start to linger as food is cooked at home, aromas greet the family as they come home from school and work, there is cold water in the fridge, hot water for tea or coffee, simple flowers on the table, a candle burning in a jar, and homemade biscuits or cake to be shared. Slowly, a feeling of peace creeps in quietly and fills every part of the home. And even if you're working outside the home, the aroma of a cooked meal can be created each day by being organised enough to prepare a meal in the slow cooker or by serving leftovers that just need heating up. None of this is bought on a credit card - it's all simple stuff made possible by spending time and effort.


Focusing inwards - into your own life, family and home, instead of outwards towards recreational shopping, paid entertainment and increasing debt, can mark a difference in your lifestyle that might change your life. And all these little changes might not look like grand gestures of common sense but they have the potential to provide the comfort and security you've been craving but haven't quite known how to bring into your life.  The trick is to do the things that make you and your family feel cared for. And that can be anything from having clean sheets and a made bed to being brought a cup of tea and being told to put your feet up while the washing up is taken care of. It is that simple.


Even though your children probably won't think of it as a gift, expect them to do their fair share. That starts when they're 2 years old and are encouraged to pick up their toys. You can build on that every year to include more complex tasks. If you have those expectations, when your children are teenagers they'll have the life skills they need to look after themselves; that will give them a feeling of confidence and that they're capable and clever. And despite what they think, having expectations of your children is a way of teaching them and showing your love. You can say "love you" every time you speak on the phone or leave for work, but you'll show your love by teaching them how to be the people they want to be. And that involves time and effort.


Once you start thinking this way, it will be clear to you which small steps will help you make a magnificent difference. It will be the ordinary everyday things, it will be building on what you already have, making minor adjustments in how the work is carried out, asking for help from family members, dropping other things that don't mean much and structuring every day to nurture your life instead of take from it. I can't tell you what will work for you because we're all different, but I do know that once you start thinking this way, and then start implementing your ideas, the way forward will become clearer.  Just make the most of what you've got and build on it every day.

♒︎♒︎♒︎  🐝 ♒︎♒︎♒︎


33 comments

  1. Such inspiring wisdom, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this matter :)

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  2. Words of wisdom and comfort in these hectic times .
    There is such satisfaction when you know your family is nutured and nourished well 😊

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  3. Just what I am trying to achieve in my two weeks off - snap!....well, a little of it anyway. Your new blog 'look' has a clean bright Scandinavian feel.

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  4. Amen, Rhonda Jean! Wonderfully put! Been thinking those same thoughts lately.

    Hugs
    Jane

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  5. food for thought Rhonda, thank you for the reminder,
    am slowly getting my house back into a home, a little each day
    thanx for sharing

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  6. Love these words of wisdom and encouragement. Thank you!

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  7. I like simple and clean living. I use a hand-wringer, dry own clothes on the line and other little things.

    As long as there is a "humble" spirit involved it is ok. But if there is a "self-righteous attitude" or "judgmental spirit" I don't adhere to that.

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  8. We've lived like this for years, and it has allowed us to have me be home while raising our children, and home educating them. I feel blessed!

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  9. Wonderful words about principles which I need reminding of, especially when living in the consumer culture that is the world today. Thank you.

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  10. I love this post! Relates perfectly to how I am currently trying the love the home I am in and love my family. Thank you for the inspiration!

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  11. Lovely post. I am finally, after almost four decades on earth, figuring this out, lol. :) These past two weeks we've had to not go shopping due to budget constraints. I pulled out the last bundle of ground meat I had yesterday and made a yummy shepherd's pie with what few vegetables I had in the pantry. I put on a tablecloth and lit a candle; my family loved it and felt special even though we are near the end of our food stores until payday. Content, indeed. Thanks for all you do; hope you have a wonderful rest of the week! :)

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  12. I love these sort of posts!I drop my shoulders, breathe deeply and start my day feeling content and focused. Thank you.

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  13. Well said. Until a few years ago I had forgotten how much joy there is in the everyday things of life. Finding that again is giving me an increasing sense of contentment.

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  14. Thank you for these soul-nourishing words, Rhonda!

    ~Beth in USA

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  15. Wise and beautifully post. I have always been a homebody. I love my home. It is an older timber place that always needs some 'tweaking' here and there. Everytime that we do or add something to it, we sit back and marvel at it. It rarely is anything grand as, at the moment, we are reorganizing vegetable planting spots in the back yard. As I get older, my home is my preferred place of rest and relaxation. We have done some traveling in our younger days and now that we are getting to the stage where it is possible again, I'm not at all sure where I want to go. Funny how our paths alter.

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  16. Well said! I wish I had learned such lessons in my younger years, when I was a young bride and young mother.

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  17. Thank you for this beautiful post, I loved it.

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  18. Thank you for your post today Rhonda. As many of your readers have said your words strike a chord with like-minded individuals. Your thoughts are a source of inspiration to us- reminding us to be grateful for all the little things in life that matter most. The look on the faces of my family when they come home from work and uni, to a home-baked treat is priceless.(Quite often it is a treat made with one of your recipes. Today I am making your fruit slice using our home-grown apples and rhubarb).
    I have been thinking of you over the last few days and hoping that you and everyone in Queensland are at the very least safe with the dreadful weather conditions that are being experienced. God bless. Warmest regards Maria.

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  19. Oh goodness me, just what I need to read. Thanks Rhonda. I hope you are not too affected by Debbie's weather!!

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  20. Absolutely Rhonda. I think a lot of people live their lives by check lists, rather than stepping back and seeing what they would really like e.g the degree, job, partner, house and baby etc. Everything is instant.

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  21. It can take quite a while to grow up sometimes and realise all of this wisdom Rhonda, however we owe it to our families to try and instill and demonstrate these values.Thankyou

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  22. Wise and wonderful as always, Rhonda.

    Madeleine.x

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  23. You have a beautiful home and it brings me a sense of calm. This is my type of home! I always get a weird feeling when I see those magazines with big styled kitchens for "entertaining" that the owners don't cook from scratch in. My son was next to me when I was scrolling and wants me to make those pizza scrolls on the weekend.

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  24. Thanks Rhonda, great thoughts here. As we look forward to the birth of our third child I am once more slowly turning my focus inward, homeward and looking forward to the odd sense of limits and simplicity brought on by having my hands full with a new baby! You don't have time to fuss or bother with unnecessary things and for me, this always brings more appreciation for the simple things - a cuppa, feet up and knowing there's a plan for dinner (even if it's eggs on toast!). Thanks for the inspiration I always get from looking at your page! Blessings, Jo

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  25. This was well put, and just what I needed to read today. Thank you!

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  26. Love this post. Couldn't agree more.

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  27. Just found your lovely blog! Your post was very true and relayed in a very heartfelt way. Thank you!

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  28. I loved reading this article. Makes me feel more contented at home and wanting to be a better home maker. I have always considered myself to be a good home maker, but now I am striving to be better. To appreciate and be more in touch with everything around me. I really want to visit Rhonda at her home when I travel from Adelaide in July to visit my new grand daughter in Queensland. I would love to sit with her on her porch and have a cup of tea. I reckon it would be my all time holiday memory.

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  29. You have given me a great deal to ponder. I am at a stage in my life where I crave family time and slowing down. This will help me on that path.

    Also I really love the new blog look!

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  30. Thanks for the inspiring post, Rhonda. Now I am off to clean and tidy my cottage. Your blog always motivates me to do housework.

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