If I could sum up in a word what it means to me for a family to be an “enterprise”, it would “production”. As technology and convenience has flooded in to America, we have become more dependent on others, and increasingly less self-sufficient.
(The topics in this series seem to all be very overlapped, primarily because they almost all have to do with production.)
But it’s a vicious cycle; the more dependent we become, the more freedoms we lose–even in just our everyday habits.
I have been trying to challenge myself to ask the question, “What can we produce instead of buy?”
Saving money is a factor yes, but that’s just a small part. I think if families became enterprising again, it would change the face of the economy, our attitude toward a lot in life, and our relationships. Maybe that’s a great big assumption, but it just seems logical to me. ( An enterprising family also usually turns out several entrepreneurs, creating a big advantage in the lives of your children.)
And not only that…there is something deeply character-building about hands that work and produce things that benefit others. Especially when families work together. Imagine a youth culture who was busy producing goods and/or services for their families and community–Imagine!
“…and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you…” 1 Thessalonians 4:11
So, where does a family start? One thing at a time. Look around your house. What things are you buying that you could either find a homemade substitute or do without?
The obvious things that come to mind first are food production. But not everyone lives in a place or has the capacity to grow and produce their own food. But if you do…make EVERY effort to do it! There is something marvelous about showing your children that the seed they planted in the ground three months ago is on our table tonight. It is a miracle for which only God can take the credit.
What about these things:
- cleaning supplies
- medicine (within reason–we’ll talk more)
- greeting cards
Can you recycle it? Can you alter it? Can you embellish it? The two aprons were made using an unused sheet. You can see the transformations here and here. Homemade doughnuts here. (Lots of other good stuff at these sites of my friends that I’ve pointed you to so many times before!)
I mentioned that my daughter is experimenting with an all-natural, herbal bug spray. She ordered her bottles and is growing the lemon balm and is waiting for the other oil she ordered from Ebay to come in. She’s hoping to sell it in our line of skin products if it works on her Granna (’cause then she’ll know it will work on anyone.)
If you’re interested in a few more homemade gift ideas, you may want to check out my ebook called “Easy Homemade Gifts“. (For readers of this post, you can get that book for $3.00 off if you enter the code “enterprise” at checkout!)
Enterprising is really about seeing things differently; tapping into your own resources and finding different ways of doing things.
Seeing the family as a place of production has so many benefits! You can even set up a business selling whatever it is you like to make (even letting your children sell cookies or bread to the neighbors) and learn about how you can save money using tax exemptions from that business. You will be surprised how many ways you can save money that way!