Friday, July 10, 2015

Duty and Rest in the Home
Visiting by the back fence at Mrs White's Vermont Estate

Many of us can get run down very easily.  There are times when mothers are forced to labor much harder than normal. Perhaps the baby is sick or there is some crisis that causes us to help other families as well as our own.  We end up laboring in a frame of mind that is called - duty.  There is a dimness around us - the light of rest is too far ahead for us to see.  We often do not notice that we are run down until the time of difficulty has ended.

I have just come out of such a time.  To some degree, it has lasted years, with bits of rest throughout.  But now the house is quiet.  There is a calmness.  Most of the children and grandchildren have settled into their own lives.  Not as much help is needed from me.

This sudden change has been fascinating to me.  It took me about a week to regain the house, and restore order.  Now everything is neat and tidy and pleasant.   I notice that I spend my mornings in leisure.  It seems extremely lazy to me and has made me wonder if I am still recovering or am I, in fact, simply lazy? (gentle smiles)  But once the early morning hours have passed, I start to do a chore or two. I might dust or vacuum. I might do the laundry.  I might handle some paperwork.  I realize I do a great many things in a day, but tend to have much time to rest.  

This rest was not possible while I was in a state of crisis as I was helping grown children and grandchildren for all those years.  Yet, I delight in the memory of it!  I love the time I had without rest even if it did cause me to become run down.  It was a blessed time for a season that had me so busy here at home, that I actually stopped working in the kitchen. (gentle smiles)

I cannot remember when I last made a home cooked meal or baked something.  That was my whole life here at home, but my energy was needed elsewhere.  I had grandbabies who needed their "Meme," so someone else in the house did the kitchen work.  During this time, of course, I was able to "order tea" from the kitchen "help" (one of my children).   My lunches were made and brought to me by the kitchen worker.  Meals were prepared for the grandbabies while I oversaw and tended their daily care.  I did much cleaning, bathing, laundry, and baby care, but did not cook or bake.

Now, for the last few days, I have been in the kitchen looking at bags of sugar and flour and realizing I have time and energy to bake muffins or make a batch of beef stew.  But my courage is weak.  I am so used to being overwhelmed and trying to pace myself, I worry that I might get too tired from the effort! (gentle smiles)

I realize that once I get in there and start cooking and baking, while listening to old country sermons on the kitchen radio, I will delight in the effort!  I hope this will happen soon.

In the meantime, I am still spending time helping with grandbabies, homeschooling a teenager, and taking care of my home and family.

One morning, very soon, I hope to get up and have the strength and the will to work in my beloved kitchen.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

A joyful time, 2 years ago - Walking the Gardens with Baby.

Won't you join our little club? - Mother's Benevolent Society.

A Gentle and Necessary vocation - The Basics of Lovely Housekeeping.

 - To find out more about this blog, or Mrs. White, please visit our About page. -

Mrs. White's special book for homemakers:
Paperback, 200 pages. 


Shani said...

Dear Mrs. White,

You are one of the least lazy people I know, so cease worrying on that account. You are settling into a new normal, and that is going to take time. Also, as your daily stresses fade away, your body will require a lot of TLC and extra rest. This is normal. As I'm writing this, I am on a couple of days of doctor mandated rest for a physical condition that is the direct result of far too many years (and years) of external stress and pushing my body far beyond what its reasonable capabilities were. While I could sit here and be grumpy about all that I'm unable to get to, I choose instead to see the love and compassion that my sons and husband are showering me with. Right now there is a 17-year-old sat beside me on the sofa reading a school assignment, and during every book change he pauses, asks very lovingly if there's anything I need, and usually drops a kiss ony cheek or tells me he loves me before picking up his next assignment. I choose to be in this moment, not the moment of what-could-have-been, and my days are far richer because of this simple attitude adjustment. I've chosen the unhappy route far too many times in my youth, so I know the difference.

All this to say, rest. Heal. Breathe. Enjoy an uninterrupted thought or three. Life's new old routines will ease back into place for you when it's time. Enjoy this time for the gift that it is.

With love,
Mrs. Skutt

I Am: Anna Lovely Day said...

I simply wanted to leave you a note that your posts bring me back to home. You are the one email that I do not delete without reading. Most bloggers I have followed over the years are using their blog to promote their books that they had published because of their blog. I don't feel that pressure to buy with your posts. Family and Home is what is important. Thank you!

Grace and Tea For Me said...

Mrs. White:

I enjoy your blog and look forward to stopping by to visit. Your picture is so pretty. I assume your weather is a bit milder there then down here in the south. My son just moved to Maine with his family, so I will be able to see your "neck of the woods" in the fall. I bet it will seem quite chilly to me. :)
Please have a lovely day and may the Lord bless you richly!

Thank you for sharing your blog!

Mrs. B

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. I too have been in this place, and for six years now, with short rests in between. Mothers do get worn out. When my husband retired, I thought that maybe things would change for me, but the call from grown children who need me can't be ignored. I am so glad you wrote this, as it puts things into perspective. The Lord has given me the health and strength to do what I need to do, but oh, after 8 children and 45 years of mothering, I was so looking forward to other things. But the grand babies are delightful, and I do get so much joy from them as well as the suffering in seeing my daughter battling with 3 illnesses including cancer, and my daughter in law with terminal cancer. Every day I pray for the grandbabies who may never remember their mothers. However, God is good with little miracles and tons of graces along the way. No doubt God has His plans. Thank you for this powerful post. From Australia

Gentle Joy said...

Recovery does take a lot of time.... and satan loves to attack us with guilt... but God's ways are best and it helps to remember that He allows such. There are times of amazing work in the kitchen... and then very little.... our work changes... but it is all good when done as unto the Lord. Great post. :)

Karen Del Tatto said...

As I read your post, I find myself where you were for many years. This is all new to me having come out of a brief empty nest period where my afternoons were spent in the Word and in prayer.

Now my daughter, son-in-law and four month old precious granddaughter live with me and my husband and the house is always, always busy. I am cherishing these moments because I know they won't last forever.

I was most intrigued, however, by where you find yourself now, knowing that some day I will arrive at that place too. I could see myself becoming hesitant as well, wondering if I would not have the energy or even the desire to jump into an activity. But your ending thoughts give me encouragement to jump right in, when the time comes. :-)

aspiritofsimplicity said...

Perhaps many women face that as their "nest" empties. How sweet it will be for you to be able to get back to creating in your kitchen.

Naomi said...

Mrs. White...I am not quite in that season of complete rest because we still have two older children living at home. I am still very involved in their lives and am enjoying this season. It will pass before I know it and I will have time to do other things I enjoy but, for now, I am embracing where God has me in life. It's a good place. Thank you for sharing your thoughts at Monday's Musings. I always enjoy having you. :-)

Unknown said...

Dear Mrs White, I so appreciate you sharing this with us at Good Morning Mondays. Our lives have seasons and with different seasons come change, some welcome, some not. Enjoy the rest involved in this season, only God knows what is coming next. Blessings to you and yours.