Saturday, March 26, 2011

Beauty in the Home

Village in the Antrim Glens, Glenarn, Antrim, Northern Ireland

Looking around right now, I see a home that is "lived-in." What that means to me is that I have not done my work. I have not kept up with things over the last day. I have not made the effort to make things look pretty.

Sometimes, I would rather sit in a comfortable chair, eat Stella Dora breakfast treats, drink tea and read a book. But I cannot do that every moment of every day, so I must get up and do some housework.

Cleaning and maintaining a home is like tending to a beautiful flower garden. There might be thorns that harm and cause pain. You might slip on the damp ground, after a storm, and get hurt. You might need to use some extra strong soap to get rid of all the accumulated dirt. There is labor behind the beauty. This labor is literally hard work.

But even in the process, we can create peace and pursue joy. We can smile and take the time to do our best work. We can add a few extra touches here and there to go above the call of duty.  We can work despite the grumpiness of human nature that surrounds us.

Just a few minutes ago, I decided I had to get my work done. First I went to the shelves of our library and selected a sermon to listen to. I found "In a Father's Footsteps" by Charles Stanley. I will listen to this in the kitchen while I clean and sparkle, and then plan our supper.   I will also choose an extra pretty apron to wear. I think I will use my Edwardian Apron this time. I will also put on the pearl necklace that Nana gave me the other night, after reading my post on Classy Homemaking. It will add just a little touch of class to my outfit. (I am wearing a skirt, top, sweater and slippers.)

Making preparations for my work puts me in the right mood to delight in homekeeping. There is beauty in the Home, but only if we make it happen by our efforts.

Mrs. White

* Edited update - I realized my copy of the sermon was a DVD (not a CD), so I had to choose another sermon. This one is "Saints in Heaven Watching us" by the late, Dr. John R. Rice and is just wonderful. 

Encouragement in what matters - What Sundays Used to Mean to Housewives.

Remember that Mother Makes the Home.

A Checklist for you - A Beautiful Clean House in just 30 days.

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



Anonymous said...

I love your picture today! I grew up in Northern Ireland, and it is (in my biased opinion) one of the most beautiful spots in the world. We are planning a long-awaited trip there in a few weeks, and your picture helped me remember the goal for all the spring-cleaning & speed-home-schooling!
Have a wonderful day,

Anonymous said...

Mrs. White,

You always write such inspiring posts for Homemakers, and this one is without exception.

Yes, there is beauty in the home, but we as Homemakers need to work at providing that beauty - by laboring with love to serve our families willingly.



Cassidy said...

What a beautiful, encouraging post. It's Sunday now and I don't do all my cleaning on Sunday but I am going to try and do some work just to make tomorrow not so dreadful because the kitchen mainly is a mess right now. When I'm done with a good day's cleaning, going above and beyond, I'm tired - but it's that "GOOD" tired that I love feeling so much. And a knowing in my heart I did all possible to bless my family.

Blessings, Cass

Anonymous said...

Hello !

I have been enjoying your blog. It is very inspiring!
I am in a bit of a slump. I am so very depressed. I am at 34, I have 4 boys aged 11, 9, 7, 5, with another baby due in August.

I want to know two things. Why should I clean my house, and why should I keep it tidy? I wish I enjoyed cleaning, but I just really feel stressed out when I do it. If I enjoyed it like you do, then I wouldn't mind doing it. Nobody notices if I clean, unless I don't do it for a while. And tidying is a joke. We live in a 1000 sq ft home, and it gets messed up faster than I can clean it. I've decluttered like crazy. I have the kids help when I am too tired or if I feel it is something they should be cleaning up, like a spill they made or a mess they made.

Life just is not at all what I thought it would be. I just feel like stopping and looking around me and saying , this is it?
I had dreams when I was young. I wanted kids, a happy marriage ( an I would say it is lukewarm). I wanted a beautiful home ( bigger than this). And now that I am here, and it just isn't what I thought it would be. Homeschooling isn't at all what I thought it would be. And I know I am not thinking right, but it is like I am in thus deep, bitter, angry pit and the sides are slippery, and I can't get out.


sandy16502 said...

To Monique, I have been where you are. Please, learn from my mistake and take yourself to your doctor and tell him what you wrote here. If you are too embarassed, write it out and give it to him or her to read (that is what I did). Get some help. You do not have to feel this way. You have a chemical imbalance. I never knew how good life could feel until I got some help. I thought life was to be endured but now I know the joy in life. Don't wait 50 years like I did. You owe it to yourself and your family to feel better. You will probably even discover that the heat will get turned up on your marriage and it will no longer be lukewarm. I promise better days can be ahead. If you need to chat I give Mrs. White permission to give you my email address. Hang in there:)

sandy16502 said...

Mrs. White,
I have printed out your 30 steps to a beautifully clean house. I think I might be able to follow this and not become overwhelmed. i especially like that you noted it does not all have to be done in 30 consecutive days because I know that won't happen and when it doesn't I usually become discouraged. Now I know I don't have to put that pressure on myself. As they say, the perfect is the enemy of the good. Thanks for the help.
And, please don't be so hard on yourself. You don't deserve it.