Going from a very structured lifestyle of teaching, to staying at home has brought so many challenges. I've mentioned before how the first few months of staying at home were tough. I just couldn't figure out how to handle my household and how, exactly, I was going to organize my home. For years I had promised Joe that when I stayed at home I would make sure the house stayed clean, and we would eat out less. When I was blessed enough to actually stay home, I found it was harder than I thought to keep my promise. I had observed other SAHMs and how they reacted towards their husbands. Some of them took complete advantage of being able to stay at home and were lazy and spent all of their husbands' money. Others were uber-submissive to their husbands. Very little decisions were made without approval of the husband. I knew I didn't want to be the first type, and being the second type didn't work for JOE (and honestly, I'm a pretty smart woman. I wanted my husband to trust my decisions). One woman I have always admired was the Proverbs 31 wife and mother. I always wanted to have my children and husband one day say such wonderful things about me. Not only did she take care of her home, she also took care of others, and still kept her independence. She was a working woman whom her children adored and her husband respected. I wanted to be her!
So I started to google websites that had Bible studies on the Proverbs 31 wife. When I did, I stumbled upon probably one of the best resources a SAHM could use: avirtuouswoman.org. There is really too much for me to elaborate on everything, so I am going to focus on a few of the things from this website I found truly beneficial.
1. "From Chaos to Calm" Bible study. This Monday-Friday, 15 week Bible study focused on helping wives and mothers really take care of being at home. Each day would focus on how to support your husband, how to love your children, how to take care of yourself, how to clean your house, how to prepare yourself and your family for worshiping the Lord, and so much more. It starts off with giving a brief overview, and then gets into details about each part. As part of the study, you are required to keep a notebook and a journal. This in itself has been such a big help. I really feel like I'm doing a job that I love and my relationship with God is so much better than it has ever been. I cannot tell you how many times I would open the Bible study for the day to find words perfect for what I needed that day. I cannot say enough good things about this Bible study.
2. Recipes: This website has provided me with some very good recipes. The creator of the website is dedicated to making sure she provides nutritional meals for her family, and she shares them with others. She shares her personal recipes and ones she has come across. This is where I got the recipe for the Challah I made for Passover week (which, by the way, was SO GOOD!!) This is also where I was encouraged to start Meatless Mondays with my family. Although we are still working out the kinks on this one, she offers so many resources to help plan your menu.
3. Forums: This website provides forums for just about anything a SAHM could need (or really any wife or mother). For example, I am part of the following groups: A Woman After God's Heart, Nature's Natural Remedies, Let's Get Crafty, SAHMs, and Devotionals and Reflections. Every day I get useful tips, prayer requests, or ideas emailed to me from hundreds of other moms using the same site. It is great!!
There is really so much more I could say about A Virtuous Woman. It has really helped me get my feet on the ground, and I'm not sure I would have been able to get this organized on my own. Even if you are a working mom, I would recommend this website to you. Why not get blessed as well?