Monday, January 9, 2012

The Danger of being an Unproductive Housewife

Prisca Bunau-Varilla at Home with Her Mother, Mme Herve Alphand Knitting

There is a danger in having nothing to do. Many housewives get bored at times, when they don't have a sort of vision. They need to be creative, inventive and productive.

Recently I read a post describing a barrenness in life. This is an emptiness. It made me think of a withered fruit tree that is unprofitable. This kind of barrenness can cause intense depression, misery and sadness. (It can also be caused by doing far too much that we are no longer producing good. This, too, is unproductive.)

We all know that when our children are idle, they get into trouble. But with Mothers, if we don't have something  to do, we spiral into sadness. A dark cloud comes over ones life.

When the housewife is sick or incapable of doing anything, she may read or have visitors while she is recovering. She is still being productive while she heals. But the housewife who is perfectly well, needs to find things to do that she enjoys, or that creates something.

The Lord said, "Occupy until I come." Did that mean to keep busy? To keep producing?

What about "Do all to the glory of God?"

And certainly we are commanded to rest one day of the week, and also to rest at night. It is a special, deserved rest that feels rewarding after accomplishing much, in our own small way,  for the Lord.  

I wonder if being productive  - whether in prayer, Bible studies, visiting others, creating, baking, caring for babies and children, or what have you, we are creating a fruitfulness in our lives that will bless us, and those around us.

Yet there is another danger  - it is far more serious. It is the danger of doing too much. It is a danger of taking on the whole world and destroying a restful spirit. It can make one angry, physically ill, and depressed.

In other cultures, such as Italy, family is the center of life. The people work, but at a slower pace.  I also read a lovely passage from "Stepping Heavenward." The main character, Katy, was so overburdened with household tasks that she was ill and irritated. Her husband soothed her, advising her to take on only the work she was capable of. He said something like, once you feel yourself getting upset, or burdened, stop at once to rest, and be refreshed.

We are to be productive, but the ideal way for that is to do it at a steady, calm pace. This is a mysterious sort of way. It is keeping busy in an almost romantic way. It is determined, but tender. It is cheerful and pleasant, and produces lovely things in the heart and life.

Mrs. White

When you are very worn out - Have a Jane Austen Day.

The Day I made a restaurant-style Breakfast at Home.

Don't read this until you do your chores - Only Rich People Have Clean Houses.

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Deanna said...

Well put!

April's Homemaking said...

This is just the post I needed to hear today! Thank You :)

Mara Wildflower said...

What beautiful words, which gave me good food for thought as well as encouragement! Thank you. :)

Jessica@MakingHomeSweeter said...

So true. FYI - you are the only blog that I subscribe to by email so that I make sure I get to read it every morning, it's such an inspiration for my day. Thank you Mrs. White :)

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