I don't remember her even hardly sitting down during the day. When she wasn't teaching, she was cleaning or cooking. Her Sunday afternoons were spent doing hours worth of lesson plans for the upcoming week. Even with how busy she was, I don't remember her complaining. My dad worked for the railroad in Kansas when I was very young, and he was gone overnight quite often. When I was ten, my dad moved our family to Missouri to attend Bible college to train to be a pastor. My dad juggled family, classes, and work for the next 7 years (induding getting his masters), and my mom never complained, that I know of, that my dad had to be busy. I think she accepted it that this is what God had called her to do, just as He had called my dad to train for the ministry. Was it hard? Oh, I'm sure it was, and I'm sure she was exhausted most of the time.
Finances became extremely tight, and we often shopped at a food pantry for cheaper groceries. There was one time when all we had for dinner was potatoes and eggs. That was literally all we had in the house, with no money to buy anything else. It was probably one of the best-tasting meals we ever had, because my parents taught us to be thankful that we at least had that. We certainly didn't go hungry that night. Another time, there was no food in the house, and no money to even buy dinner. It was about 4:30 p.m., and my parents had no idea where dinner was going to come from. The doorbell rang, and it was the pizza man. I don't even remember what pizza place it was from, but I remember very clearly what happened. The man stood there with two pizza boxes. My dad said, "I'm sorry, but we didn't order any pizza." The man explained that the pizzas were ordered and PAID FOR by someone else, and that they were all ours. We were so excited to see God provide at just the right time! I remember my mom telling my dad that she was willing to get a job to help out when things were so tight. She didn't do this because she wanted a job, but because she wanted to help my dad. My dad always told her no, that God would provide for our needs. And He always did! We didn't dress in name-brand clothes, but we certainly had enough clothes and we never had to miss a meal.
My dad always made sure we children understood the sacrifice my mom made for us growing up. My mom gave up everything to make sure we had a comfortable homelife and an excellent education. She had almost no free time for herself. She did without for herself, time and time again to put us kids and my dad first. And like I said, she never complained. We saw her doing all of this with a cheerful, willing heart, not grudgingly. To me, she was a wonderful example of a godly wife, mother, teacher, and homemaker. There were times when people ridiculed our family for the sacrifices my parents made. Homeschooling was not extremely popular back then, and neither was being a stay-at-home mom with no outside-the-home-career. In fact, it still is unpopular, for a wife and mom to be a homemaker. Society often dictates that a woman will feel more fulfilled if she holds down a successful career in the workplace. As a result, fewer women are interested in the true work and sacrifice of being a homemaker. But being a homemaker is a God-given calling, and in that, there is great fulfillment as a woman, as a wife, and as a mother.
photo by me