DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS

DOWN TO EARTH SIMPLE LIVING FORUMS
I have a forum attached to my blog where people from all over the world meet to discuss simple life. There are over 8000 forum members now so we have an enormous amount of good information about growing food, cooking from scratch, family, simple living, routines, budgeting, baking and much more. Please click on the image above to go there. Newcomers will have to register. It's free, friendly and we're waiting for you.

1 January 2010

From the archives - Give more, expect less (Sept 2009)

I had a wonderfully restful day yesterday and feel better for it today. Thank you for all the good wishes you sent.



I've had some emails recently from younger women thanking me for being their role model. I love getting those emails because one of the things I hope to achieve writing on my blog is to show, by example, how we can work towards a better future simply by living according to our values and putting in the hard work when it's necessary. I am quite confident in this role because I grew up in a time when mothers, aunts, grandmothers, teachers and older women in general supported other women, especially the younger ones new to married life and raising children. I grew up knowing that when it was my turn, I would pass on what I know and would encourage other women in their various roles, both as homemakers and working women.

I didn't know then that our culture would change so much and that instead of looking to the women around them, it would be celebrities who would be seen as role models. I didn't know that women would become so competitive and try to outshine each other. I didn't know that overseas holidays and flash houses would replace the hope of a good life as the prize everyone worked towards. How times have changed.



At the risk of sounding like my mother and grandmother, in my day we women supported and encouraged our friends, work mates and neighbours. We didn't envy each other; if one of us had something outstanding, it was a joy to everyone that one of us had such a prize. That doesn't happen much now. Now, in general, we are all trying to keep up with the Joneses. And I don't know why. Mr and Mrs Jones are probably up to their eyeballs in debt.

I hope that part of your return to a simpler life will allow you to show support to others. I hope you'll share what you know so that others might benefit through your knowledge. Selfishness and resentment belittle us all. Having more than someone else doesn't make you better than them, it just means you have more. I hope we're all able to open our hearts up to those around us and be a role model. If they are mean spirited, show, by example, how life should be lived, don't descend to their level.



If we are to change this sad trend towards selfish and mean lives, we will do it by living our lives with generosity and kindness and by modelling that behaviour. We all need to be proud of how we are living and what we're striving for and be open enough to talk about what we want in life. If we start doing that, and let others see we are living well, it will make a difference. Like everything it will be slow but that shouldn't stop us from starting. Live your life with confidence, show respect to those around you, give more and expect less. And when your friends ask you why you changed and if you're happy, tell them (without preaching), be their role model, and support and encourage them to follow your lead.

ADDITION: I've been thinking for a long time that I'll add a forum to my blog. You'd be able to ask questions, support each other and generally be part of an open community. Would you like this? Would you visit? It will be free. If so, I'll need a couple of people, with experience, to help me as moderators. Is anyone interested? The forum is almost ready to launch but I need your input to progress further.

15 comments:

  1. Hi Rhonda,
    I wish you, Hanno and the rest of the family a wonderful 2010.

    xx,
    Lilian

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  2. Happy New Year, Dear Rhonda and Hanno! I wish you the best in the coming year!

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  3. What a wonderful post to start a new year. Thank you Rhonda. This is definately my year for making do and I'm so looking forward to it.

    Have a wonderful and very happy 2010.

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  4. Happy New Year from Scotland, and I look forward to enjoying your blog again during 2010.

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  5. I wish you a very happy New year 2010. I really appreciate your blog and never miss it.

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  6. Your comments on how things have changed are so correct!! Sadly. I think we are meant to rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep...but how often are we able to find others like this located nearby? We have not been able to find them...not for the most part. Have noticed even some friends we have had most of our adult lives (over 30 years now) have changed more towards the cultural norm. Sadly so...

    But keep on posting such thoughts...maybe some will listen and take to heart what you are sharing. We cannot change anyone but ourselves and that only with the help of our Creator, is my belief.

    You are always so interesting to read!! Thanks!!
    Elizabeth

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  7. Just wanted to wish you and yours a wonderful New Year to come. I have so thoroughly enjoyed reading about you and your way of living what I consider a dream life. Am really looking forward to the coming year. The New Year will be here in a few more hours and I am hoping that I can put into practice some of the things I have learned here.
    Thanks,
    Mary B

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  8. Nice blog, nice attitude, I am glad to find it.

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  9. Happy New Year to you Rhonda & to Hanno and your family. Thank you for all your wonderful advice & wisdoms - it is great to be part of the 'DTE' family & I love the forum with so much shared wisdom & advice.
    Blessings to you all :)
    Jeni

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  10. I agree with what you said in this post.

    Leading a simpler life style, truly pays off, and especially so when a down turn happens, because you have not over extended yourself in debt.

    Living up to an over achieving life style is like chasing the wind.

    So thank you for sharing your thoughts and skills. Looking forward to reading more in 2010.

    Christy

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  11. Hi, My GF just shared your blog with me. I think I have been looking for this for a long time. You are right. I wonder, where are all the Titus 2 women? I want to be the wife and mother God called me to be. But sometimes it's hard to pull away from society's view of what is "in" and what is important. I'm 36 and I have a hard time finding people who want to preserve food, I love to can. I love pulling supper out of the basement. My friends think it's too much work and they can just buy it at the store. I love knowing where my food comes from and what it has been fed. I raise chickens, goats and Occasionally Turkeys. I love being a mom and being home with them and for them. It involves alot of sacrifice and not alot of financial security. I am not the "best" mom but I do my best with what I have.
    I was just getting ready to post on my blog about Materialism and competitiveness and what I want to do about it, when I was given the link to you blog. I think this was a blessing from God and I will follow your lead.

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  12. Happy 2010 - I count you and your wisdom as one of my most cherished blessings. :)

    Thank you so very much for everything you share - from the kitchen sinks (love that) to recipes for soap. It's all 100% great.

    Cheers

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  13. Happy New Year Rhonda Jean, I have been away from the computer for many many days, so I am just sitting down to catch up a bit (It will take a while - a little at a time). It is nice to re-read some of the posts you are posting. A good Fresher. A good Review. A good Reminder. Thank you for all that you share. Emily in So. Texas

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  14. I think sometimes when we are spending, shopping and 'wasting' precious time, we somehow justify that is normal and the ok thing to do. It's only when we stray from the "norm" and connect with who we REALLY are and start getting back to the basics and re-learn what we like and don't like....that's when true peace and contenment is achieved. That's when we feel at 'home' again. What a beautiful feeling! Thanks for your encouraging words! Heather

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  15. Since I am a relatively new reader of your blog...THANK YOU for re-posting this! AMEN, dear sister! I'm nearly 51 & I know what you are talking about ~ the time when we were younger & women supported other women instead of competing w/them. We all got sucked into the lie, didn't we?

    June of '09 saw us graduating our last daughter & our last wonderful year of homeschooling, after 16 years. I have found that many of our local homeschooling moms live the 'old' life/values that you were discribing & it has been a blessing to our family. And, hopefully, we have blessed others in the same way.

    I've deliberately lived a more frugal life-style for the past 3 years & it certainly has paid off in so many ways. Most notably 1) we're healthier & 2) my husband was laid off in April & if I hadn't been living the frugal life before all that we probably wouldn't still have our home or our cars. I make so much - from cleaners to health care to cooking - from scrath. Yes, it's more work, but it's well worth it & I feel that the Lord has blessed my efforts to bless my family.

    Thank you for all of your hard work & for keeping such a great blog.

    Blessings from Ohio, USA...Kim<><

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