Born In The Wrong Time?

Sometimes people say to me, “You were born in the wrong time!“.  Sometimes its put like this, “You should have been born 200 years ago!“.   The truth is, I was born exactly when the Lord determined I would be born.  I just have some kind of affinity for old things, old ways and the old paths.


Making yeast rolls

I wasn’t born with the knowledge of old fashioned skills, I had to learn them like everyone else learns anything. But I do tend to gravitate towards old ways. They make me feel secure in some ways. They cause me to remember my youth and the days when I was so eager to get out into the world, away from old things and old ways and old people. But I was a captive audience and I was obedient and I learned.

Doing things the old fashioned way definitely slows life down and it slows it down quite a lot. And I have found that I enjoy the slowness of making bread and kneading it until the dough is just the right texture, cleaning ears of fat, ripe corn and then cutting the kernels off to freeze, can or cook and a hundred other slow, old fashioned things.


Tasha Tudor
1915 – 2008

I do live in the 21st century in every way. I have electricity, though I try hard to conserve it, I have running water and I wash most of our clothing in an electric washing machine.  I’d love to live the way Tasha Tudor did though. She seemed to cast away nearly every vestige of modern living and lived as though she were in the 1830’s. .. Between speaking events and book signings of course. She chose that simple life because it pleased her and I guess I may have that in common with dear Tasha; I choose to live simply using old fashioned skills mostly because it pleases me.

There are other reasons I use old fashioned skills of course. They are ultimately less expensive. They bring simplicity to life after you’ve gotten a handle on how exactly to accomplish them and they will keep you humble by keeping you always learning. They require me to get closer to the earth and closer to my ancestors’ way of life. Old fashioned skills require me to seek out ideas and information of those gone on before me.

And then… the thought occurs to me, maybe old fashioned ways are how we really are supposed to be living. Maybe being self-sufficient and God-reliant are the ways that will really bring us more satisfaction with our work and general peace in life.  We all already know that our lives are too fast-paced and crowded with activity. What if we required ourselves to slow down? What if we only made bread from scratch and made the soap we use and all our meals using a recipe and raw ingredients? What if we grew even a small portion of what we consumed? We would have to stop doing other things and the first things to go would be those activities that are non-essential. It would be one of those win-win situations you hear about.

breaking beans

Breaking beans for canning


Living an old fashioned life slows down my days and in turn  gives me more freedom to think and observe, to figure out problems and come up with innovations for living. It also allows me interact with people in a way that is sometimes impossible when I was running the rat race.  I feel like I can stop and take time to talk, listen and interact instead of being in a hurry to go to the next thing. When the children were little, I had less time to do these things but believe me, once they got older, I have had time and opportunity. Living in a slower, more conscientious way also helps me keep my eyes on what is truly important in life; love, people, relationships.

My old fashioned life is full and rewarding. I have struggles and disappointments like  everyone else. I have successes and I have failures. The biggest difference is that I have daily peace, not spiritual peace, I have that in Christ, but I am not burdened by a heavy load of things and activities and I take great satisfaction and joy in taking care of my family and home the old fashioned way.

So, no, I wasn’t born in the wrong time.  I simply like to bring an older, slower, more peaceful time into my life and I feel blessed to be able to do so.

olives 2

Curing olives from Chaffin Family Orchard





About Sylvia

Sylvia is the owner of the Christian HomeKeeper Network website and ministry. She and her husband Mark live in Tennessee. They are the parents of 5 children and grandparents to three so far. They have homeschooled since 1990. Sylvia is a Christian and enjoys mentoring women, writing articles for several magazines, gardening, Bible study and creating a peaceful holy home. Follow Sylvia on Google+ or check out her 21st Century HomeKeeper podcasts on the Preparedness Radio Network.
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9 Responses to Born In The Wrong Time?

  1. Jennifer B says:

    Ahh, just re-reading this old post. It’s one of my faves! I think there is something about coming to the end of a busy school year and coming into gardening season here in the North, that rekindles my desire for simplicity and a slower pace. I am thankful for the seasons – figuratively and literally – as they help remind me of what matters most and of what little is needed to have a beautiful life. My mother and grandmother used a lot of “old-fashioned” skills, but I was pushed to excel academically and have a career. The idea being that I would have a “better” life than they did. I did that, but was not fulfilled. Now I spend my days at home, homeschooling, and slowly learning these skills.

    Thank you for this wonderful resource – your blog! You have been such a mentor and inspiration. God bless you richly!

    • Sylvia says:

      Jennifer, its so nice to read your comment. Nice to know there are others out there who want to take time, slow down and live a more simple life. Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

  2. Ally Chumley says:

    Hi Sylvia and friends,

    I too feel an affinity with a humbler, simpler lifestyle that enables time for really living, not merely existing. My husband and I are aiming to bring our current lives more in step with these ideals, and laughingly call this ambition ‘becoming Farmish’, which is Amish, without doing it for the spiritual reasons they espouse. That said, we are committed Christians in the old-fashioned Bible-believing sense, and I can’t help but wonder how different from the Amish we really are! We homeschool, we have shunned the idea of a mortgage, we are learning how to be more self-sufficient, and we are wary in our interactions with media and popular culture. Our preferred way of life is certainly a model for raising a family that is given in Scripture and it enables a sense of peace and closeness that I have not found in other ways of life I have experienced. It also encourages community and charity, and involves personal discipline – which is the part I struggle with the most! Thanks for your great efforts in sharing with us what you do, why you do it and a little of who you are. It really makes a difference. All the best,
    Ally Chumley,

  3. Cynthia says:

    I feel exactly the same way. Doing things the way my greatma and grandma did, gives me peace and a feeling of satisfaction. I want to teach my grandchildren the things that I have learned so they can also live a simpler more fullfilling life. Thanks so much for this site.

  4. Tracy says:

    So great to read this. I wish I would have learned how to garden, sew, can fruits, make jam and pickles from my grandmother. I am now learning how to sew and make soap, but with a three month old and almost three year old I have such limited time. Im so glad I found your blog. I have an interest in learning old fashioned skills now. I had no interest in these things in my twenties, but now in my thirties I’m desperate to learn. Thankyou for this website.

    • Sylvia says:

      Tracy, I’m glad you found me too! I know how it is to have a house full of little ones and the desire to learn more homemaking skills. You’ll do it. Take small steps and don’t give up. 😀 Thank you for commenting, I hope you’ll come back and visit me.

  5. LeeAnna says:

    I really enjoyed this article. It is nice to know that there are others out there who feel the same way I do. I have been told many times that I was born in the wrong time period. I love learning old-fashioned ways of doing things and find so much helpful information on this website. Thank You Sylvia for all you do.

  6. Tina Richards via Facebook says:

    Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who still does alot of things the old fashioned way. I am so pleased to know I’m not alone. Living this way brings me peace and comfort, slowing to the pace where I actually feel like I may be able to keep up. It really does make me happy and content.

  7. I feel the same way!! Love this article. Knowing that I am teaching my kids where their food comes from and how to make nuritious, delicious meals with ingredients from the back yard is just a bonus 🙂