Words of Encouragement

As our family is in the final stretch of this incredible season of preparing, some lovely ladies have volunteered to share guest posts on Frugal Granola occasionally over the next month. (If you’re interested in contributing a post, email me with your info!)

This week, Christie from Endlessly Learning is sharing in the following post:

Giving a flowerPhoto Credit

When you start moving toward a more natural, simple, sustainable lifestyle there tend to be a lot of challenges that come with it. I have faced so many in the last few months that sometimes I wonder why I keep trying! I don’t say that because I don’t believe in what I’m doing, but because discouragement has a habit of creeping up on me and sometimes I’m not sure how to respond to it. If you find yourself feeling the same way, then maybe remembering these things will help:

It’s okay to take baby steps. When you discover multiple changes that need to take place in your life , you don’t need to tackle them all at once! Trust me, this is a recipe for failure. I recently tried to change almost all of my family’s eating habits and our entire daily routine all at the same time. It went great…until I got completely overwhelmed and everything fell apart again! I went from getting up at 6:30 in the morning to getting up at 10 and we went from eating 60-70% organic food to almost nothing organic (plus WAY too much junk food!) It is important to remember that each tiny little change makes a difference: eliminating “just” one harmful ingredient from your diet or getting up “just” 10 minutes earlier. Each baby step gets you a little closer to making giant changes in your life!

It’s okay to make mistakes. Being a wife is a difficult job. Being a mom is a difficult job. Being a home-maker is a difficult job. Being all three at the same time can make you feel downright crazy! You are going to make mistakes at times. If you are like me, you will probably make them all the time. Whenever my husband compliments me on what a good job I do around the house it makes me wonder if his glasses need to be replaced! ๐Ÿ˜‰ For each new goal you make and for each task you begin, you must realize ahead of time that everything probably won’t go perfectly well and you can’t let that drag you down.

People probably won’t understand. It amazes me how often I get weird looks whenever I talk about organic food, breastfeeding my child, or living a simpler lifestyle. To me those things are so natural and conducive to the life that God has called me to live, but to the culture (at least here in the United States) it is entirely backwards. To a culture that is driven by impatience, independence, and a desire for more, choosing simplicity just doesn’t make sense. So be prepared for funny looks and determine to do what is best for your family no matter what anyone else thinks.

There is someone out there who will support you, you just have to find them. Chances are this will mean working to build relationships with other people online. As I mentioned previously, most people consider a more natural and simple lifestyle to be unusual, so look for someone who does understand what you are doing! I don’t have much support in “real life” for many of the decisions that I make, but I feel like I have met so many kindred spirits over the internet, such as Michele here at Frugal Granola, Lindsay over at Passionate Homemaking, and Kat at Inspired to Action. We may hardly know each other but, in a sense, we are together on a journey towards the kind of lifestyle that we feel is honoring to our Saviour. So get out there and find people that you can relate to and be encouraged by (and don’t forget to encourage them back)!

What about you? What are some ways that you could use some encouragement in your life right now?

Christie BetancourtChristie is a pastor’s wife and stay-at-home mom to a lovely almost-one-year-old son. She lives in Missouri and spends her time ministering with her husband at an inner-city church, experimenting with organic food, sewing and changing cloth diapers, and occasionally finishing a blog post on time. She loves learning new things, helping others learn them, and eating chocolate (or all three at the same time)! You can find her over at Endlessly Learning or on Twitter!
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15 comments to Words of Encouragement

  • Thank you for this post. I was just feeling overwhelmed tonight by trying to develop a meal plan that works for us (just me and the hubby!). For me I have to remember to just start trying something and then tweak it over time… I get so caught up in making it perfect to prevent frustration and failure, but it only causes exactly those two things because it’s never good enough. Ugh to me! Focusing on pleasing the Lord, thinking about him more than me and my plans… that helps me a lot. And giving myself GRACE.

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    Christie Reply:

    @Carrie, I know what you mean! I find myself getting stuck in that same cycle of causing frustration by trying to prevent it! It also helps me to remember that God’s mercies towards me are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23) even when I don’t feel very merciful towards myself! Lol!

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  • Your post encouraged me this morning!

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  • Jo

    Thank you for this guest post. This was exactly what I needed to hear right now. Add to “wife, mom and homemaker” a 40hr/wk out of home job. AND a really tiring 1st trimester. And a budget crunch [there goes the organic grass fed beef!]This is just what I needed. Thanks!

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    Christie Reply:

    @Jo, Wow! It sounds like you have a lot on your plate! Hang in there and don’t forget to take care of yourself!

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  • People really do think we’re crazy. We decided to be a one income household so we have time to live a carefully considered and sustainable life. This is what worked best for us. But, choosing to have less income is considered totally insane. It doesn’t matter that now we have better food, a cleaner house, less stress, and more chickens all people can see is that we have less money and less “success”.

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    Christie Reply:

    @annie, That is so true! My husband volunteers as a pastor (because our church can’t afford a full-time staff) and works a part-time job on top of that, and I still stay home with our son. I haven’t had anyone say anything negative about it but I can imagine what they are thinking! It’s sad to me that “success” and “lots of money” have become so interchangeable in our culture!

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  • Amanda Brookens

    Just like the other comments, this is the encouragement that I needed. I get lots of weird looks and no support (except from hubby) and sometimes I wonder if anyone can relate…i guess the answer is yes. Just two days ago I determined that support will just have to come in the form of blogs, but at least I know it’s out there. Thanks :-)

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  • This was a lovely post. Thank you! It’s hard sometimes to take a step back and easy to get overwhelmed when you’re thinking about all the changes that you (might) need to make to go green or simplify your lifestyle. I was certainly overwhelmed at first and almost chucked the whole idea… then I also realized that baby steps is the only way to go. Also, I find that support IRL is sometimes hard to find so I do lean on my ‘internet’ support system. Other moms who think like me & can help me feel a little more ‘normal’ in this mainstream world that I live in ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  • Jessica

    Thank you for the encouragement!

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  • jennifer

    this is wonderful. :) and so needed! I probably REALLY needed it about 2-3 weeks ago, when all the changes I was making had me in a tailspin! But for then, I needed to do big changes (instead of small ones). And I knew they would make things nuts for a bit, then they’d slow down. And now–I can breathe. :) I bookmarked this–for later–cause I know I’ll need it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  • What a lovely and important post, thanks! I’ve been feeling unsupported and misunderstood by my own family recently. This helped. If people think I’m weird, too bad! It’s not so nice when the effort is unappreciated by family though.

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