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."
In Jane Austen's day, guests would "take a turn about the room." Or they would walk the garden. This was a way of visiting. Two or more would walk together and talk. It was a restful sort of recreation and exercise.
When the weather is nice here at our Vermont Estate, I often ask one of my teenagers if they would walk the grounds with me. We have a 2 acre parcel of land. I walk up the back property, near the rushing river and enjoy the retreat - like setting. We have a tiny garden plot with new blueberry and strawberry plants which have not yet been established enough to bear fruit. But they are fun to look at.
In the early spring and summer mornings, I do the majority of my housework. I do the dishes, the baking, some cooking, and tidying. Then I do laundry and hang it on the clothesline. While I work, I look forward to my walk around the grounds. I love to call out, on my way out the door, "Will someone walk with me?" Often it is one of my teenage boys who goes with me.
I see things that remind me of what it must be like on old homesteads. In the spring, farmers would walk the property and assess the needs. A certain fence might need to be repaired. A barn door might need a hinge tightened. Perhaps the porch steps need a few boards replaced. The farmers worked hard to maintain and repair the grounds so the homestead would function as it should. On my own property, I see some weeds that need to be removed. I see a porch that needs painting and a playground that needs to be cleaned and ready for children to enjoy for the season.
All these chores can be done at our own pace, over many weeks or months. They give us great joy to labor on our own property. We take pride in our land and our homes, when we enjoy our own work.
As I am walking the grounds, I am not thinking about what must be done outside the property. The outside world is shut out. Peace reigns. A soothing happy feeling of walking the garden with my Lord is in my thoughts. . . And for just a little while, I forget about my poverty, realizing I have everything I need, in this old 1800's house, and on this beautiful land.
I have been listening to the old songs of Patsy Cline on my kitchen radio while I work. The sound is not as crisp as modern recordings. It adds a sort of nostalgic gentleness to my chores.
While I wash dishes, polish the stove, and sweep, the echoes of Mother's work goes throughout the house. The sounds of the old music tells the family that Mama is busy in the kitchen. It makes them happy to know that, very soon, there will be something special to eat, and the kitchen will be clean and polished.
The Echoes from my Kitchen will become a memory for my growing children. They will remember all the work I did in there with love and creativity.
I was talking to Mr. White yesterday about baking pies. He wants a chocolate cream one. I told him I would try my very best to have a different homemade pie, or a special cake, for the family each Sunday afternoon. It will be a new tradition. Thinking of lovely things to do during kitchen time keeps things exciting!
There are many things we can do to make our kitchens homemade and special. We need to enjoy being in there. It should be our favorite place in the house. Perhaps some lace curtains or a vintage flower vase would add special homestyle touches. Or maybe a pretty basket for apples or oranges near the breadbox. Whatever pretty things you can find to make your kitchen unique will help you enjoy the work so much more. . . And the Echoes of your Kitchen work will touch the hearts of all who enter.
In this economy, many of us are struggling. There is a confusion added to this, about standard of living. We see magazine covers at supermarkets of beautiful homes and elaborately prepared foods. We see television programs about rehabbing houses, and making them "livable" with the latest upgrades. This is like an upgrade in standards, and it costs far more money than most of us can manage.
It used to be that thrift stores and churches had decent clothes available for free, or for a meager cost. Many mothers used to talk about the missionary barrel. When times were hard, they would find clothes and remake them with what they had at home. They made lovely things with their own efforts, out of cast-offs.
Mothers were able to create recipes based on what was left in the pantry, rather than what was for sale in the store.
Home repairs and maintenance was done to survive, with scrounged supplies, or inexpensive parts to make-do, for those with little money.
I realize we need certain skills to create out of little, but we can certainly learn.
Money used to mean something different than it does today. Money was for basic housing and basic needs, and an occasional treat, rather than for splurging and spending on what we want right now. [Or what we think we need in this confusing, consumerist, culture.]
We need a good does of the history of the family during hard times. We need to read about the depression-era mothers, the pilgrims, and the pioneers to find a way to overcome the culture of today, with dignity and grace.
This wholesome, family-friendly movie is about a wealthy executive from the city, who heads to a small town. He flashes his money, trying to sign a star, high school, ball player to his sports agency. He is met with integrity, kindness, and a steadfast resistance to his way of life.
He spends some time at a boy's ranch, which is an orphanage and is run by two amazing young people. Viewers are taken along with him to experience what life is like for those who are devoted to the Lord and His ways.
A few brief meetings with the town's pastor (played by Steven Curtis Chapman), is a blessing to watch.
We are also treated to an excellent town concert with the real Casting Crowns, who share an inspiring message.
The meaning of "ringing the bell," is absolutely precious!
Overall, this is an amazing movie and a surprising delight. It is something to watch more than once, and share with others.
How would you like a chance towin a copy of "Ring the Bell" on DVD?
To enter, all you have to do is leave me a comment, telling me if you have a favorite song of Casting Crowns.
4. Write a post, linking to this giveaway, on your own Blog. (This is worth 3 entries. Please leave 3 separate comments.)
*Please leave a separate comment for each entry.*
One random winner we be selected on Monday, May 6, 2013. (U.S. Entries only.) If I am unable to reach the winner within 48 hours, an alternate winner will be selected. Your entry is only valid if you include a way for me to contact you.
This contest is closed. The winner is - Nancy!
*Disclosure - I received this movie for review purposes. The giveaway copy will be shipped directly to the winner, from the marketing company.*
To find out more about my commercial breaks, please see my disclosure page.
I am the mother of five home-schooled children, ages 15 and up, and a Grandmother of 2. I have been married for almost a quarter of a century.
I am a writer, reviewer, who loves fashion, sewing,
reading, fitness and cleaning.
We live in an 1800's house in rural Vermont.