"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."
On Friday, I was given the grocery money. I carefully put aside a small portion for savings and then planned what to do with the rest. I checked the ads and made my list. I bought extra bags of flour for baking muffins, pizza dough and biscuits. I bought marked-down meat for stews. Everything I chose would require more work from me.
When I finished the shopping, I was discouraged. I knew there was a week full of hard labor waiting for me at home. I knew it would take tremendous effort for me to make the food last and make sure my family had nutritious meals. I was devastated by the cost of groceries and I almost cried.
Sometimes I think about the families who happily enjoy a night out at a restaurant. I think about those who can buy anything they like. I remember the old days when we used to order pizza once a week, but that no longer happens. Yet, I have to realize that my work at home - the hard labor of endless laundry, scrubbing, sweeping, cooking, baking and washing is the greatest work a mother can have. I am living the life of my ancestors and I have it far easier than they ever did!
It was had work that built the characters of the citizens of this nation. It was sacrifice, service, endurance and patience that created virtue in the mind and heart. Mothers who kept the home running with their own hands were the hearts of this country.
Instead of being a wimp, I have to feel honored and brave! I have to gratefully work hard and thank God for my lot in life. I need to boost morale in the family. I need to be the example of virtue. I need to smile through my work and make it look fun, much like Tom Sawyer did when he painted the fence.
The other day, Matthew (18) was using a mop to wash the third-floor staircase. It is off in a corner behind our kitchen. John (13) heard the noise and came running. "What are you doing?" He asked his big brother. "It looks like fun!" Can you imagine that? We about died laughing. But it made me realize something. . .
Home should be full of laughter in the midst of labor. It should be the place where we faithfully work, side-by-side, as a family to keep the home running.
Instead of being in despair at all we have to do today, let us find ways to make it look fun. Let's make it a delightful adventure. It will be something to write about in the history books!
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.