Thursday, May 31, 2018

A Covered Bridge and Graceful Living in Rural Vermont

A Covered Bridge on a Back Road in Rural Vermont - Photograph taken by Mrs. White's Daughter

For the past few weeks, I have been going on little journeys with my oldest daughter and her two small children. These are for necessary appointments and errands.  We have been driving through the beautiful rural countryside.  The scenery is so peaceful and pretty.

On a recent drive, in a spot where there was virtually no traffic, I asked if she would stop and take a picture of a covered bridge before we drove through. (She has a better quality camera than I do. - gentle smiles.)

I have been focusing on the beauty of our surroundings, rather than worrying about the housekeeping I need to do back at home.  Sometimes I will return home and get right to work on sweeping, laundry, and making things look inviting and comfortable.  Since I have been going out so often lately it is extra tiring.  I have to keep reminding myself it is okay to take a nap when I need to, even in the passenger seat of the car on our little drives.

Over the years I have learned to find a way to keep our home neat no matter how busy we are.  This does not mean things are always spotless.  Everyone makes messes every single day.  The neatness has something to do with being graceful and in being a lady.  We work hard to keep our dignity and manners.  Our homes need similar attention.

Good manners and gracefulness means that we take time throughout the day to tidy up, to cheerfully smile as we make a pretty home out of routine messes. We sweep the kitchen floor a few times a day.  We wipe down the kitchen table and counters after each snack or meal.  We do the dishes and make the bed before accepting an invitation to go out.  We do this because it is good manners and because it what a gracious lady would do.

But this all can get very tiring if Mother does not know how to work in a slow and steady way.  She will get stressed and wear out if she does not remember to take precious little breaks.  These can be rides in the countryside with the family, or they can be an afternoon rest on the front porch.  A little walk in the garden after morning tea is a lovely way to take a break.

A routine of resting after creating beauty in one's home will bring peace and contentment.  This is like a bit of culture and quiet to nourish our daily lives.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

A Lesson in Home Economics - Feeding the Family.

A Restful Retreat - The Privacy of Home Life.

Thrift - Retirement Planning for the Poor.

Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 


Sunday, May 13, 2018

Remembering Mothers

We have beautiful weather here in rural Vermont.  We attended church services this morning.  The message encouraged we mothers in our work of building up the Christian home and family.  Our Preacher shared a little about the life of Monica and her prayers. She was the mother of Augustine. She never gave up on her wayward son.  His conversion  was an incredible blessing to her, and to all the world.

After the service, all the mothers and grandmothers were given a beautiful flower plant.  It was a sweet, and precious time.

I am having a great deal of trouble typing so this will be very short. I have an injury so part of my hand is bandaged  making it difficult and time consuming to write.  (I am trying not to cry in frustration as I type this!  - gentle smiles)

But I just wanted to share a little with you about flowers.  Late last fall, my oldest (grown) son planted some pink tulip bulbs for me, in a small garden spot in the side yard.  My husband had bought them for me.   The package showed a picture of beautiful pastel pink tulips.  I have been waiting all winter to see them.  They just came up a couple of weeks ago.  I could not wait to see the flowers, and waited for the buds to open.  It finally happened, this Mother's day morning.   But they are  not the pretty pink color I expected. I was disappointed, but the red is still pretty and I am thankful for their beauty.  I will look at them all season, each year, and be thankful for the dear husband who bought them to make me happy, and the precious son who planted them for his beloved mother.

All this beauty, in the church and in the home, this special day, has me very grateful for all we have. It is a privilege and an honor to be a wife and mother.   I just wish I could put some flowers at my mother's grave.  Her resting place is on the other side of the country, much too far away.  But I will take some extra time to thank God for her, and for both my grandmothers who I dearly loved.

This is the perfect day to rededicate our lives to godly living and of being an example of virtuous womanhood to the next generation.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

The Mother of D.L. Moody - Poverty in the 1800's.

A Happy Home - Serving Mister.

What Many of Us Crave - An Ordinary Life at Home.

Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 


Friday, April 6, 2018

Old Fashioned Duty of a Homemaker

"The Reading Lesson" painting by Knut Ekvall, 1800's 

I was listening to an old sermon on my kitchen radio the other day. The minister was preaching about the duty of a Christian.  He talked about what makes a good Christian.  At first we are inspired and excited about our Christian life. . . perhaps we go to Bible study and hear a good sermon.  We go out and start living for the Lord based on inspiration. Well, then this feeling (or mood) starts to fade away.   If we base our actions only on our feelings, it will not last.

If we still go to church, read the Bible, and pray, even when we are not inspired . . . even when we don't feel like it. . . we are doing our duty.  We are building character. We are doing what is right no matter our mood. This is what makes a good Christian.

Do you know what makes a good Homemaker? The same principle of doing our duty as a Christian applies here.

What makes a good Homemaker?

It is when she does the dishes, makes the meals, does the laundry, makes the beds, tends to the children, and cares for her husband, no matter her mood. She does not give - in to laziness, or self-seeking ways of wasting time.  She does her work regardless of whether or not she is inspired.  If she does her daily work, she is a good homemaker.

She can be an amazing homemaker by going a bit further.  She can do this all cheerfully, enjoying the work because she does it as unto the Lord. She may sing hymns, pray as she goes, and make the home look inviting and pleasant because she wants a happy place for her family to live.

My grandmother, from what I am told by my father, was an incredible homemaker who kept a clean house and always did her work. Whenever she visited our home, or we visited hers, she was always tidy and kept her things lovely.  Her gracious presence was admirable.  She was a preacher's wife (in the 1930's) and the mother of 7 children.   She did not have the distractions we have these days - such as television, computers, or cell phones.  She kept to her business of home-keeping.  She was a loving wife and mother and a good Christian. She did her duty, and that is what made her great.

Now of course duty can get depressing if we have not love.  To keep peace and joy in your life, seek the beautiful life of a close fellowship with the Lord.  This will help us stay calm and steady no matter what storms or trials are raging in our life.  We can do our work regardless of the mood of the world around us.  This is incredibly important!

I have found that singing old time hymns make me happy.   Reading the Bible makes me happy.  Going to church makes me happy.  Doing my Christian duty brings happiness.   When we do our duties of housewifery, we will find contentment and happiness as well.

Being a good Christian and a good homemaker will bring you that peace and joy.  They work beautifully together.  This old fashioned duty is what makes amazing, godly homes.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

I will do my Duty - No Matter What it Cost Me.

A Lifetime Commitment - Living on Mister's Income.

Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

A Spring Visit

Library of Congress:  Leaving a Methodist Church Service on Easter in 1943, St. Augustine Texas

I have not been on the computer very much over the last couple of months. My Internet has been unpredictable.

Very soon we will have lush green landscapes and many sunny days here in Northern Vermont.  Spring is always cheerful. It is something to look forward to.

We attended a lovely Easter service this past weekend.  The sanctuary was packed and the sermon was encouraging.

I have not been writing much, due to exhaustion, but hope to get back to it soon.

I hope all is well in your homes.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Lessons from Mother - A Home Without Clutter.

You Can Do it!  - Housekeeping with a Will.

A Lesson in Home Economics - Feeding the Family.

Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 


Monday, February 12, 2018

The House Comes First

Library of Congress:  Mr. and Mrs. John Herlihy at home, 1942 Montana 

I have been thinking lately about how empty many neighborhoods are these days.  There are all kinds of houses and apartments that are left without a keeper for most of the day.  It is hard to imagine driving through a lovely neighborhood, on a weekday, and seeing no children playing, nobody taking laundry off the clothesline, no families on the front porch, and nobody tending the front walkway. 

What is causing all these houses to be empty?  Could there be a loss of love and appreciation for home?  

I love this quote by G.K. Chesterton: 

“There are two ways of getting home; and one of them is to stay there. The other is to walk round the whole world till we come back to the same place ...”

Empty homes seem to be the modern way of life for our culture.  Babies and children are in daycare and parents are at work.  Grandparents do not commonly live with their grown children anymore like they did in the past (particularly in Italian homes). Can you imagine what a help it would be if grandmother lived at home and could help care for the children and tend the house?  It would be a blessing to her as well as to the family.

The Christian Home, a godly home, has tremendous value to our well-being.  It is to be a restful, pleasant place.  It must be cultivated by someone.  Someone must be the keeper, the one who "keeps the home fires burning."   Someone ought to be home.  Mother is the ideal (and Biblically appointed) keeper.  

Home can almost be like a hobby. It is where we spend our time decorating, cleaning, dusting, and greeting visitors.  It is a place to provide wholesome, nourishing meals, clean laundry, and a comfortable bed in which to sleep.  It is a place to rest and spend time with the family. It is a place of security and contentment.  There is much to do in order to keep it happy.  Some people spend a great deal of time on hobbies.  These hobbies are times of entertainment and recreation.  If a large portion of that time was spent in the care and love of home, it would be an enjoyable place to be.

We need a priority of home. The House must come first. What we do there each day builds memories we will cling to in later life.  Let them be good memories.

Here are some practical ideas to bring life back into our neighborhoods by tending our homes:

1. Arrange your schedule so you can be home more often. 

I sometimes see teenagers roaming the streets looking for mischief.  I wonder if it is because nobody is there to make a real home for them.

2. Make a list of daily chores and do them.

We are constantly tempted by distractions to do many things. The television, computer, telephone, invitations out, craft projects, and reading are enjoyable but must have their slot of time.  The chores have to be completed before we have the fun.  (dishes, laundry, sweeping, meal preparation, etc.)  

3.  Simplify your possessions.

We will always need to sort clutter.  Things come in each day and we must discard what is not necessary.  It is a tremendous waste of time and energy to have too many things in our houses that we do not use or need.

4. Avoid spending money.

The greatest trouble in the home is the lack of careful use of money.  In our culture we are constantly tempted to buy, to shop, to spend. Do not yield to this temptation. Do not give in.  Learn to spend money carefully and as little as possible.  It is better to have money saved "for a rainy day" than to have a financial calamity hit and cause you to fear the loss of a comfortable home. 

5.  Don't leave home until you make your bed. 

I know this sounds simplistic, but the simple act of making your bed will help inspire a clean and orderly home.  I do not want to go out on an errand or to an appointment, unless I know I have done my work at home. This starts with making my bed.  

6.  Evaluate how you are spending your time.

If you are busy with too many outside commitments, this will often cause you to neglect your house. You will be stressed out and anxious.  If we do not have the time or energy to maintain a happy, neat home, we must stop all the extra activities that take us away from our main work at home. This will help make us sweet with a gentleness of spirit. 

7. Enjoy your labors.

Decorating and cleaning the living room and then sitting down to admire your hard work is a blessing.  When you are outside tending the laundry on the clothesline, enjoy the serenity of the fresh air, the retreat - like feeling of doing wholesome work in a lovely setting.  Find happiness and joy in the work of keeping the home.  

8. Do pretty things.

We ought to present meals in an attractive way.  Set the table with silverware, napkins, real dishes, and present the food in pretty serving bowls.  This will invite the family to want to come to the table and enjoy eating together.  Make the work look pretty. Make the home look pretty. Do you hair nicely and wear a lovely apron.  Make home a pretty place.

9.  Make it look like a Christian House.

There are paintings and wall art full of Scripture and quotes from great ministers of the past. These types of decorations will inspire you and your guests.  At the very least, each Christian home ought to have the 10 commandments posted by the door. (You can type these up directly from Scripture.)  We have them there as a rule of life, something that we love and find joy in observing.  

10.  Keep Love Strong.

A house of forgiveness, mercy, kindness, charity, and love will be a happy home. These are daily acts that must constantly be in service.

11. Keep dust off the Bible.

The foundation of a godly home is the Lord.  The Most important part of good housekeeping is daily Bible reading.  This ought to be done alone and with the family.  It does not have to be formal, but just picking up the Bible and happily reading will bring a great blessing on the home. 

This is all "housework" and it is wonderful work that we can enjoy.  When home is our priority we find joy in our daily lives.  This provides a happy place for our children and families.  A great deal of our recreation and entertainment can come just by keeping house.  If more mothers could do this at home, wouldn't we have lively, pleasant neighborhoods?

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

We Must Learn  - To Earn and Not to Spend.

This is What many of us Crave - An Ordinary Life at Home.

The Greatest Use of a Mother's Time - A Humble Parlour as a School of Theology.

Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 


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