Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Industrious at Home

Library of Congress: Sitting Room at 121 Henry Street in Detroit, Michigan, 1915

There is a lot of confusion about what goes on in an average home.   Modern families are distracted by television, home theaters, video games and the features of cell phones.  Sometimes, we are so busy with these types of entertainment, we forget what it is like to be industrious at home.

A day may start with opening drapes and shades. There might be a time of morning Bible reading - a little chapel in the quiet seclusion of home.   Next, some housework is started. Perhaps tidying up the rooms, starting laundry and then beginning a simple meal of breakfast to serve in a formal- sort- of- way at the kitchen table.  Do people still put salt and pepper or cream and sugar on the table, to share a meal with loved ones? Or does everyone grab food and run?

The mid morning hours are for general housekeeping. We clean the kitchen, dust, vacuum and straighten beds.  Once the house is in order, it may be time to sit and take a little break. Perhaps it is tea time? Or maybe time to chat and visit with the ones at home, while doing some knitting, embroidery, mending or sewing?

Lunch hour is like opening a little cafe for a time.  Some homemade food is prepared and lovingly served at the table.  We take a break from our home labors and join together for the noon meal. A prayer over the meal begins the time of fellowship. 

Before long, some may need a time of rest. Little ones are off to their naps after some time outdoors in the fresh air.  This break is helpful to prepare for the afternoon and coming evening.

Dinner is usually started in the early afternoon.  Some have helpers at home, while other homemakers do the work alone.  It is an exciting time - deciding what to make for the family's evening meal!

While food is baking in the oven, or simmering on the stove, we may find some time for reading and sipping on tea.  My mother-in-law always had fresh coffee which she enjoyed throughout the day.    We may do some last minute cleaning, finishing up the laundry, tidying rooms, and cleaning up the kitchen as we work at a more leisurely pace. 

Just before the dinner hour, it is time to wind down the day.  Sometimes guests stop by to visit.  We enjoy their company while we continue our industry.  If they arrive at a time when we can take a break, we may serve a little cake and tea and delight in the joy of being home.

Soon the family is seated at the table. Prayers are said. Conversation is started and the meal is enjoyed by all.   This relaxing time of eating together at a formal dinner, with napkins, and salt and pepper placed in the center of the table, is a delight.

At this dinner table, and throughout the day,  no one is secretly texting a friend.  No one is rushing off to play video games.  No one is talking about the television program they are missing out on.  No one is ignoring the family by endless phone or computer conversations.  Why? Because none of those things have been invented yet . . .  in this little home of industry. 

The evening hour has come. It is time to gather for family prayers and Bible reading.  Everyone has a bedtime. There is order and structure.  Everyone knows what is expected and they yield happily.   Once the day is finished, we look back and think what was done in this house that is anything special?  What was done that was industrious?

This home was full of service and love and old time family values.  This type of home is priceless!  The residents in this place, and the goings on there, will have a tremendous influence for generations to come.  We just need Homemakers willing to continue the tradition of being industrious at home.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

It need not be difficult - Simplicity of Old Fashioned Housekeeping.

There is more glory and honor in this than anything else - The Mother Who Isn't Busy.

Once we got married, we took one of these  - A Vow of Poverty.

Find Home-keeping Inspiration, in Mrs.White's book -Mother's Book of Home Economics .  Paperback, 312 pages.

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


Nicole said...

I love this post! It makes me feel all and fuzzy inside. And it reminds me a little of our home, although there are a few too many electronics.

Unknown said...

It is so nice to see you posting again. I pray you are feeling better and have rested. Your lovely posts touch my heart.. each one is special. God bless.

Sherri B. said...

I so enjoyed this post..we all could do with a bit more quiet time with all of the modern distractions. xo

suzannah said...

it makes me want to get up and start decorating and homemaking my own house.. its warm and fuzzy feeling all over with happiness, but sadness because I cant be a full time stay at home wife nor have biological children.

myra said...

Just this morning I was needing some encouragemnet with my homemaking and wondered if there would be a post from you today. Oh it is just what I needed! You inspire me so much to keep at it and create a lovely home and environment for my family. Thank you!!!

Rhonda said...

I love this post too, thank you

Debbie said...

Mrs. White, I thought of you today as I wrote a post on The Simple Church. I hope you'll visit and tell me what you think of my explanation of a simpler time.


Kathy said...

Beautiful! Thank you for sharing! I haven't been feeling well, and I was worried about a checkup, so your posting made my day.

Deanna said...

Lovely post by a lovely Lady!
God bless,

Suanna said...

I enjoyed reading this look back in time and thinking about what I should do to make my day more industrious.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your gentle and inspirational words. I love reading your posts because they encourage me to remember the truly important and lovely things of home and family.

God bless!


welcometomyfrontporch said...