As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Hidden Art of Homemaking {Chapter 2: "What is Hidden Art?"}

Homemaking is often a "hidden" art.  If you need accolades or frequent encouragement or the world's admiration, then homemaking is unlikely to satisfy.  Being a "keeper at home" (Titus 2:5) is to do valuable work, but to do it mostly unseen. 

One of my daughters told someone who inquired about her career plans that she hoped to be a stay-at-home wife and mother.  The response was, "Awwww..." (as in "that's so cute").  If she had said that she wished to be a school teacher or a nurse or a marine biologist, would the reply be the same?  I doubt it.  

But that's okay!  Having a vision of the scope of your work and its inestimable value causes the fact that it is "hidden" to be unimportant.  Being a homemaker is fulfilling if done with purpose and creativity!

One of my favorite passages in Chapter 2 of The Hidden Art of Homemaking is this:

People so often look with longing into a daydream future, while ignoring the importance of the present.  We are all in danger of thinking, "Some day I shall be fulfilled.  Some day I shall have the courage to start another life which will develop my talent", without ever considering the very practical use of that talent today in a way which will enrich other people's lives, develop the talent, and express the fact of being a creative creature.

I love this thought! It confirms what I believe about teaching my daughters in the art of homemaking.  Use your creativity now--to serve your family, to serve your friends, to serve your fellow man--as you have opportunity.  

I have three daughters at different stages of life.  Kristin, my oldest, is married and is a homeschooling mother to five.  My second daughter, Kati, is 19 and lives at home.  Bekah, the youngest, just turned twelve.  And each one of my girls is a creative homemaker!  Although the younger two do not have their own homes, they are (as Edith said) using their "talent today in a way which will enrich other people's lives."  

When Bekah asks me to teach her to make banana bread "so the bananas will not go to waste."  When she searches through cookbooks and says, "Let's make this stuffed crust veggie pizza," and adds the ingredients to my grocery list, and then chops and slices and rolls out dough.  When Kati makes two loaves of rosemary bread, one for dinner, one to give away.  When she takes on part time work, tending to the needs of an elderly man.  When Bekah brings in a bouquet of flowers from the yard and arranges them in a vase.  When the girls have creative ideas for holiday celebrations or for decorating their rooms. When they create homemade gifts for birthdays and Christmas.  All of these things warm my mother's heart, for they are using their homemaking talents in ways that "enrich other people's lives."  

Hidden?  Perhaps.  But not from the One who sees.  

If you're interested in this book discussion, you may read along as I usually do 
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  1. My own daughter spends most of her time doing photography. She graduates from high school at the end of this week and plans to pursue photography on her own. She gets panic attacks over telling people about her future because the only acceptable answer is college. We encouraged her to go to college but she is an artist and God is blessing her work. Wish there weren't so much societal pressure. I am getting ready to post some John Senior quotes about this subject.

  2. We also encourage(d) our daughters to be use their talents at home and for others. One is now grown and married and keeping her own home (better than I do in some ways!) and the other is still home and serving others through her creativity. She loves to quilt and she gives most of her creations away.

    I'm interested in the needlework in your banner. I have something very similar that my grandmother stitched not long after she got married. It would have been in the early 1920's. It has the same saying, a similar house and trees, and even the border motif is similar! Hers is portrait orientation rather than landscape. It's a treasure!

  3. My 20 year old daughter is in college getting a degree in Literature which apparently is looked down upon by many. She is doing what she loves.

    The reaction might not be quite as offensive as what your daughter is getting but it is hurtful nonetheless.

    Your banner is beautiful!

  4. Amen!

    There is such beauty in serving our families and others through our work in the home...

    I delight in seeing my girls each take part in keep this home and in bringing their own talents to our home!

    One day they will use them in their own homes, but for now they bless others through their gifts.

    Did I tell you Rachel makes the communion bread every month? Homemade Sweet French Bread. The pieces torn off the loaf are larger than they used to be since she started! :) She is blessing the whole congregation!


  5. Homemaking done well is an art form. As much as I have enjoyed homemaking all my adult life, I have also very much enjoyed working in my field. And, if I could earn money to help support and supplement what John does, I'd consider it a great honor, too, especially now that the nest has been empty for a decade and a half.☺ God will let us know as we look to Him for those answers.

  6. What a beautiful explanation of the art of homemaking...I will think about this often. Sometimes it's easy to feel less important shall I say when the kids get older and don't need me in the same way as before, but I know this is a lie and homemaking is always a worthwhile pursuit.

  7. It's so inspiring to hear about your lovely daughters. I'm sure they would say that they had a wonderful role model.

    If my daughter said that she hoped to be a stay at home wife and mother, my heart would leap for joy!

  8. Your children rise and call you blessed!
    I'm sure your daughters learned much from your example and as you work side-by-side with them.
    My 2 grown daughters are also stay at home wives - one has 3 small children, the other is a newlywed looking forward to raising a family, Lord willing. 2 more daughters here at home with me.
    It encourages me to hear of other families who are following similar paths with their daughters. Thank you!

  9. What a beautiful post, Cheryl! Our girls do need to know that their choice to serve their families is a worthwhile and worthy occupation... They get such mixed messages from society, yet there is no higher calling!

    My copy of The Hidden Art of Homemaking fell apart
    many years ago... I've had a replacement copy on my Amazon Wish List for a while now! I need to just go and buy it!

  10. Of course I love this post and you have written it so beautifully. I will email you the name of a little book yo might enjoy. God is in the little details of life and we can give Him much glory as we attend to them!

  11. Beautifully written! It's lovely to read about your daughters.

  12. I enjoyed reading about your daughters. It was very encouraging.
    I really struggle in how to get my daughter involved in cooking since I don't enjoy cooking myself, but it is something I'm trying to work on.


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