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Girl Talk

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By Lil Johnson

From time to time in this column, I’ll share my thoughts with you ladies about homes and gardens, the demands of rearing a family and carrying more than your half of the load — all while keeping a smile on your face, remaining strong, being true to yourself and staying beautiful. This must be done while supporting family, friends, the community and other women.

That’s quite a plateful, right? But we can do it all and still have time to be grateful.

Let’s just call what I’m writing common sense girl talk. I hope that something I say will make your day better and help you to understand that what you do is the most important job in the world and you are appreciated.

Fall has finally arrived and most of us have put our outdoor gardens to sleep for the winter. But, there’s so much housework and homemaking to do, especially with the holidays ahead, that we’ll hardly have time to miss gardening. Let us hurry and get those last fall bulbs into the ground and give ourselves over to family and homemaking for a while. We’ll revive the gardens next spring.

Current economic conditions have caused many of us to reevaluate our lifestyles. Many families are losing their homes and property to foreclosures, bankruptcy, over-extended credit and those little pieces of plastic called credit cards. Many have lost their jobs and there is nothing to replace their income.

It behooves us all to feel compassion for these people. They are our brothers. We are our brothers’ keepers. Remember the old saying, “There, but for the grace of God, go I?”

All the things that we Americans have taken for granted for so many years may not be as good in the future. We must tighten our belts and allow ourselves to be more help to those less fortunate. There will be ample opportunities for all of us to help the needy this holiday season.

This is where the gratitude comes in.

It’s easy to wonder, “Have we failed to give thanks often enough?”  There is so much for which to be grateful. Are we being given another chance? One of my mentors stated, “You have been sent here to the planet Earth to be a personal representative of your God. Are you waiting for a more important job?” Of course you are qualified; just go and get started.

Having a home and a garden appeals to our natural instincts. Generally speaking, they make us feel proud and grateful and give us the motivation to be all that we can be.

Most of us are happy with our little corner of the world — our home — and enjoy keeping it properly maintained and beautiful. Home. This is where you can truly enjoy hard work and occasionally fall apart and still be accepted by those who love you; where you will teach your children and family members how to appreciated what they have.

Ancient wisdom tells us that it is at the mother’s knee the younger generations will learn, and they will become the type of citizens you teach them to be. What are you teaching? Will your children grow to be responsible adults?

Women and childbearing, with all its challenges, just go together. Houses, homemaking and gardening go together. For the most part, the American woman is doing a beautiful job.

Let us all recommit to the work we have set before us. We may need to draw up some new plans for achieving the goals we have set for ourselves and our families, but we can do it.

And make sure your plans include every member of the household. No one under your roof should shirk on his or her part in running a well-planned, clean and peaceful home. The pride and happiness they feel from contributing at the end of the day will bring smiles to their faces and put songs in their hearts. It’s all a part of feeling validated and being a necessary and appreciated member of the family group.

We all can be better women, wives, mothers, neighbors and friends — even in the face of economic downturns and hard times.

So ladies, give it your best effort, get motivated, be positive, take time to praise, set a good example and you will be greatly rewarded. Be confident that God will continue to bless America and he will do a lot of the blessings through you.

Next time I write I will offer you ways to look at each room in your home, be it large or small — or even a tent in the park — in ways that will make you appreciate it more. Ways that will lift you up, calm you down, de-stress and energize you.

Remember, the mind is the builder and what you think you become.

Lil Johnson lives in Elizabethtown and writes Writing from the Heart in the Heartland of Kentucky.