Monday, August 19, 2019

The Four Little Tasks of Home

Library of Congress: 1918 - Robert Carmer Hill house, New Jersey

It is nice to have a set routine of work to do at home.  One can go about the day with a remembrance of certain housekeeping duties that are necessary for each day.  Then, during the many breaks for rest, or visiting with guests, or a pleasant talk on the telephone, one finds refreshment and courage to go on.  The times of work and the times of rest, done with quiet courage, provide happiness in our homemaking.

The Four Little Tasks of Home

1.  There is the breakfast hour, which includes tea-time. First we prepare the meal and set a table.  I often set up a tray- table and sit in the parlour before anyone else is awake.  I am an early riser so I have my tea while the sun is just beginning to rise.  I enjoy this quiet time of resting from the brief bit of morning work.

Later, when the family has their eggs and toast, or fresh baked muffins with fruit, it is time to do the dishes.   We wash the table and the counters and do the sweeping.   All the work of tidying and making things neat are part of the breakfast duties.

2.  Often, during the morning hours, we do the laundry or the dusting and vacuuming. Each day has its special work.  It may be Wednesday is for washing floors. Perhaps Thursday is for cleaning the bathroom.  The mid-morning hours are a good time for many of us to do these special duties of making a home look pretty.

3.  The Lunch hour is such a wonderful time to stop and rest.  We put out a fresh, clean tablecloth.  I love my white-and-teal checkered cloth.  It looks so homey and old fashioned.  We can set up our plates and napkins. We can do this even if we are just serving grilled cheese sandwiches, pickles, and chips!  It makes the lunch - work like a reward when we sit at that pretty table and rest and eat while we enjoy the family.  Next we do the sweeping and the dishes, much like we did in the morning.

4.  The dinner hour is such a precious time in the day.  I often start working on the evening meal at 3 in the afternoon. I work slowly and take lots of breaks. Sometimes I peel potatoes and start getting a little casserole ready to bake.  Other times I might do much of the work for a pan of lasagna. I like to put these pans of prepared food in the refrigerator and then just take them out to bake when it is just about dinner time.  That way I get a great deal of rest between all the work.

Sitting with the family and hearing the blessing (or the prayer before the meal) is such a peaceful experience.  It is lovely to just sit and enjoy dinner at the end of a long day.  Then the work of tidying, doing the dishes, and sweeping the floor happens.  We make everything look neat and pretty. But I do not like to rush.  I do not want to just "get the work over-with." I take my time and go at a steady pace.  The work of cleaning and accomplishing the beautiful work of making a neat home makes me happy.  It also brings peace.

These four tasks of homemaking do not take a great deal of effort.  They may seem simple and ordinary.  They may seem mundane.  But if we dress up in something pretty, wearing an apron, and keeping our hair up in a pretty style, we may find ourselves enjoying the work.  I have an old blue-and-white gingham apron that I love to wear. It is getting old and ragged. I will have to make a new one this coming fall.  I need a fresh supply of lovely aprons to wear as I do the housekeeping.

When we look extra nice as we do our work, we can find joy in the labor.  Doing the little tasks of keeping house, each day, with a feeling of contentment, will bring a true feeling of comfort and happiness to the family.  It will help them feel welcome and loved in a happy and simple home.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

Training Children - Nobody Wants to Clean a Messy House.

Frugal Wisdom - Why The High Cost of Food?

Family Life - The Secret to a Happy Home.

Find Home-keeping Inspiration, in Mrs.White's book - For The Love of Christian Homemaking.  Paperback, 274 pages.

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


Kay said...

Dear Mrs. White,
I so enjoyed your post for today...I thought of you this morning as I was working along slowly. Your way of thinking and slow, methodical way of doing things helps me so much. i have heart problems and I am nervous much of the day from the irregular beats. Just reading your posts seems to calm me and assure me that it's okay to just take my time! I have never found any other blog online that I like as well as yours. You are precious and a true woman of God. Last night after church I went back through your archives to read and enjoy the serenity of your little letters to us...please continue to are a blessing to me! God bless you & your family.
In Christ,
Kay W.

LeighSabey said...

Mrs. White, thank you for such a lovely post. I also find myself enjoying the simple routines of homemaking, although that last clean-up after dinner is a challenge. If I adopt your attitude of contentment and do the work in an unrushed manner, I think that will help.

Joyful said...

A lovely post. I'm still in the phase of learning to enjoy the process of house work. I do like the sense of accomplishment when work is done. Blessings to you.

janelle said...

I must echo the comments of Kay. I receive so much inspiration from your posts and I'm so very much enjoying your videos as well. God Bless!

Laura Lane said...

Good morning Mrs. White. Just sitting here taking a short break...with a timer...before I finish my housework for the morning. My schedule is changing dramatically, because my one remaining homeschooled daughter is taking a math class at the community college in the next town. I'm redefining how I want my mornings to look since she has elected to stay at school until she finishes her math and perhaps some of her science or history as well.

I hope you have a lovely day. Thanks for sharing how you organize your tasks. I'm also in a new house, and routines are different as well.

God bless you.
Laura Lane
Carthage, Missouri

Regina said...

Dear Mrs.White your post today is very lovely indeed. I do enjoy wearing a pretty apron while I work. Most of mine are homemade by me or someone else. Have a blessed day.

Evelyn Edgett said...

Lovely post as always. While I can't always segment my day as you do, I do try to keep a rhythm and flow to my work. That way I can move smoothly from one task to another, and I'm not jumping around, trying to start a task that isn't as high a priority.

Dianna said...

Thank you for sharing how you divide up your day. I agree with you that having a routine plus nice little breaks sprinkled throughout the day make for happy times.

Might I quote part of this article on my blog and link back some time in the near future? I would love to share your wisdom.

Billie Jo said...

Such a lovely post.
My favorite part was the reminder to slow down and not rush through our chores!
I really needed to hear that.
Have a cozy evening.

Amelia said...

Dear Mrs. White, Oh how I enjoyed my visit this morning. I agree, there is so much joy, peace and contentment in daily routines. *smile*

I have really become appreciative of aprons lately, I'm going to sew some cute ones up soon and start really wearing the ones I have. How many times have I wiped my hands or splattered a top...And if only I were wearing an apron!

The daily rythm of life is truly a blessing and joy, a place of safety in this world.

Have a sweet day! Love, Amelia

Deborah Montgomery said...

Mrs. White, you always make the simplest tasks sound so lovely. What an encourager you are! Thank you. I love the peacefulness of your posts. xo Deborah

Mrs.T said...

What a lovely, encouraging post! Thank you for sharing this.

One thing I have found, when I ask the Lord for wisdom for my day, is that often He gives me wisdom for how to tackle a task that has several parts to it. I find that He helps me to think through what needs to be done and to work through it in an orderly way. If another task may be dovetailed in with it, He often reminds me of that as well.

This is not to say I have "arrived" in the area of homemaking. I'm still very much a work in progress. But I thought I would just share that little encouragement with you.

Linda said...

Dear Mrs White, thank you for such lovely writing, which is so very calming, reassuring and peaceful. I've gradually been finding other woman of a like mind through blogs like yours and others. They really comfort me as so many woman where I live don't think or live like this anymore. I have always loved my home and consider it my best work to take joy in creating a lovely home for my family. It made me laugh when you talked about the state of your apron as mine are getting threadbare. Just this week I ordered some new pretty floral fabric online that was on sale. I've washed and ironed it and now just need to make some time to make new aprons. It's very exciting. I've been using my old plain ones for many years. Blessings to you ~ Linda (NZ)

Mother of 3 said...

Thank you so much for sharing with us at Encouraging Hearts and Home. I too enjoy preparing our evening meals and often start as early as breakfast time getting everything ready so I don't have to rush around as much in the afternoon or evening.

Elizabethd said...

Although I have followed your blog for some years, I have not been receiving any posts, for a long time.
There doesnt seem to be a followers button. Any advice please, as I do enjoy reading your posts.