Godly Homemaking wisdom for a peaceful and joyous home life. . ..
"Faint not; the miles to heaven are but few and short." -Samuel Rutherford
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From "On The Banks of Plum Creek"
"After Laura and Mary had washed and wiped the dishes, swept the floor, made their bed, and dusted, they settled down with their books. But the house was so cozy and pretty that Laura kept looking up at it."
- Laura Ingalls Wilder
Human Frailty of the Godly Soul
"The life of Luther might suffice to give a thousand instances, and he was by no means of the weaker sort. His great spirit was often in the seventh heaven of exultation, and as frequently on the borders of despair. His very deathbed was not free from tempests, and he sobbed himself into his last sleep like a greatly wearied child."
"As for her, like most women, she had but one ambition. To be a good wife and a good mother, and to be beloved by her husband and children, was all she asked. [She was] a busy, affectionate, cheerful little housewife, whose voice would never be heard in the streets, but whose memory would always live in a few faithful hearts."
- Elizabeth Prentiss, 1800's.
A married woman who stays home. This is a lifelong vocation. It is an old-fashioned term, and something to be proud of. Not a "domestic engineer." Not a "home manager." An old fashioned housewife, who keeps the home, and abides there. - Mrs. White
Every now and then, Mister takes me for a ride in our new car. It is a previously owned Cadillac with white leather seats. He bought it last month. It is the first time I have had a car since I lost mine last summer. This one has a CD player and power windows. Messages display on the dashboard, suggesting I turn on the headlights. It even mentions possible road conditions. It is a clever car. The seats are so comfortable, and the car seems so elegant, that I only listen to Classical music while I am driving.
Even though I have driven it a few times myself, it is much more pleasant when Mister does the driving. It is more peaceful and relaxing.
On a cold, snowy evening, he will drive me to the gas station, or the store; Just to go for a ride. I bring a blanket and settle myself in the passenger seat. I am warm and comfortable. Grandfather says it is like I am Miss Daisy. The blanket reminds me of riding in a horse-drawn wagon on a cold winter day. It is delightful.
These little trips are not errands. If they were, it would be more stressful. Going out with Mister is like a quiet time of togetherness. He might buy me a Pepsi, or a Hershey Bar at the gas station. These gifts are his way of showing he cares.
While the car may sound grand and expensive, it has some dents in the side and a few problems. That is what made it affordable for us. That is why we were able to buy it without going into debt. Sometimes we make the joke that we live in a world of dented elegance. Our Estate is majestic, but in need of repairs. Our cars may be lovely, but they are also damaged. We are happy with this because our life is affordable and classy. It is a frugally dignified life. We may go without for many months, but our patience and sacrifice reaps a reward. It is the way we are, here at The White House.
I have to tell you how much more I appreciate staying home these past 8 months. I was rarely able to go anywhere, without a ride from someone. I am so grateful for this blessing of a new car, but my outlook has dramatically changed. All the errands I used to do, all the events I used to drive the children to, are no longer considered "essential." I found something far better and more valuable. I found that the "dream" of really staying home was possible, even for those of we housewives who think we have to always go out. To really stay home, and to be focused on home for most of our time, is absolutely wonderful.
I am quieter. I am meeker. I am gentler. I am more cherished and taken care of by those around me. The humbleness of being "trapped" at home, has been a great gift and a lesson from the Lord. I am truly grateful.
From the Archives:
I have been ensconced at Home since Last June when I lost my car. - Rural Homemaking.
Early in the morning, I am awakened by a little baby being placed in my arms. It is my grandson. I take care of him in the morning so his mother can get some extra rest. I have given up on the idea of my early morning tea, as the sun rises, while I sit in the parlour. Those kinds of mornings are a distant memory. My hours, days, weeks, months are consumed with the blessing of Christian duty. It happened gradually, my personal time, and my own way, being taken over with something far more precious.
We spent the last month taking care of Grandfather, and then Nana needed medical care. I have spent an enormous amount of time in Hospitals this winter. When I am home, I clean, do laundry and care for the family. Being busy about the house is a privileged kind of duty that I am grateful for. We have found ways to make the trials a bit of fun. Many mornings, I would sit in the kitchen of the Grandparents, taking notes of the day's plan. Did they need firewood? Dishes washed? Some errands run? We made a plan for dinners. It reminded me of Rose Kennedy, and how she would breakfast at home, ordering dinner from the domestic staff who cared for her family and house.
Some would say that we mothers are being run ragged, by all we have to do in a day. Some would be haggard and worn by such trials and hard work. But as long as there are times of rest, and little homemaking breaks, we can manage beautifully. This is a sweet spirit of Christian duty.
All day long, there are silent praises and prayers uttered up to Heaven. All day long, there is a pleading for strength and courage - and these are gently given.
Many times we Mothers read our Bible in the twilight hours, or in a spare moment while children are napping, and we delight in a holy communion. We do not seek Christian duty, we do not wonder what God would have us do; we simply make ourselves available for the Master's use and He will fill our time with His glorious work. When we walk in His ways and Love His Laws, we will find Him in the humblest of work. This brings us the greatest joy we will ever experience, this side of Heaven.
As Mister and I sit by the parlour fire, watching the snow falling out the front window, we dream of warm spring days. We talk about paint colors and types of humble curtains for the large windows in our home. We are planning to fix up our Estate.
I would like our chambers to have walls of gentle, pale blue, with white lace curtains. I want a pretty bedspread (not a modern "comforter"). The halls and staircases will get a fresh coat of paint this spring. We want to paint all the rooms in the house. (Well, Mister will do the painting, while I stand by. My being there is part of helping.)
There is a chance I will offer a tour of the interior of our home, here on the blog, sometime at the end of spring. It will be just like the tour of the grounds I did last year. Would you like to see the inside of our Vermont Estate when the painting work is complete?
Cold February days in New England, sitting by the fire, is the perfect time to dream about the coming year. I can't wait to see the flowers coming up in the front grounds, and my strawberries growing, back by the river. I know grandbaby will love his garden walks again with me this summer.
For now, we will enjoy the pretty snow, and stay inside this cozy house. All is well.
There was a time, many years ago, when home was a quiet place of seclusion. It was a dream to have one's own home and to rest and be refreshed in that special place for family. In Charles Dickens' "Great Expectations" there is a character in the story, who is firm and professional at work, but leaves his "heart at home." He does not talk about his home or his garden to co-workers. His personal life is left at the gate of his own estate, when he takes that long walk into the city each morning. Those at work, or out in the world, do not know about his happy home. It is a place of peace and gentleness.
Home used to be a little world of privacy and rest.
Today, the generation coming up has been exposed to reality programming, constant updates from friends and family about every aspect of their daily life in social media, and are free with pictures, stories, and anecdotes about what goes on in their own life. They not only view all of this, they contribute to it. There is no peace. There is no quiet. There is no time to recover from a tiring world that keeps us all on edge and "riled up."
Little ones, before they went to bed at night, had a gentle routine to get them ready for quiet and rest. They would have a bath and story. In the twilight hours, as the stars shone down through the windows, these little ones would say their prayers and get tucked into bed. They could fall asleep content and comfortable. No one was allowed to "rile" them up or get them overstimulated before bed. Bedtime was when the day had been wound down and all was quiet and well. This is just what home should be like for all of us. This is what a quiet little world used to be like when a weary soul went home to rest from his vocation in the "city." Home was like the "country;" It was that quiet place where one could "get away from it all."
Some live in apartments, mobile homes, cottages, or great mansions. But once the door of that royal home is closed; (for all homes can be like places where royalty resides) it should be a private place where paparazzi is not welcome; Even if that paparazzi are the residents of one's own home, releasing stories and photos that should be kept for their own family's happiness. We must try to learn from royal families and those in the public eye, that family deserves a private life. This helps bring peace and security.
Home should be a quiet, happy world where one can truly rest and recover from a loud and stressful world.
Won't you come in the parlour for a visit? I haven't had a chance to write in such a long time. I was called away from home for an emergency in the family. There had been an accident. Grandfather slipped on the ice and suffered a severe head injury. Matthew (21) came along with me and Nana to be with him. He was transferred from our local hospital to a Level 1 Trauma center in the next state. The entire family, church family, and neighbors were in constant prayer for him. After almost a week, he is now back home with us and continuing his recovery.
Nana and I spent some time in a hotel near the hospital, with Matthew as our "bodyguard." (gentle smiles) He did an excellent job and helped us tremendously through this entire crisis.
When I got home, it was back to the normal routine with my family and caring for Grandbaby. I had a new CD with Christmas songs of Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, Perry Como and Dean Martin. I walked baby through the rooms in his carriage, while the songs played in the background on my kitchen radio. Baby heard the "crooning" of Bing singing "Silent Night" and he drifted off to sleep. The old fashioned voices and songs from my kitchen helped settle me back into our cozy home.
My husband and children took on much of the care and work while we were away. It has made life a little easier for me as I am now home. Things are new, different, and a little better. I have more quiet time since others have picked up some of my work.
All is well.
Thank you for your continued visits. I am grateful for your company and kindness.
I am the mother of five home-schooled children, ages 16 and up, and a Grandmother of 2. . .
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I have been married for a quarter of a century. . . . .
I am a writer, reviewer, who loves classic fashion, hand-sewing, reading, housekeeping, and cleaning. . . . . . . .
We live in an 1800's house in rural Vermont.