Tuesday, April 20

What is Homemaking?

My eyes close as my head hits the pillow, little flutterings in the womb welcoming me to rest and sleep and the close of a long day.

What is being a homemaker all about?
Is it about perfection? Starched curtains and ironed bedsheets? Fancy meals and prim children and no toys about?
No. There is often not time for perfection in a busy day, but thankfully love is more important than perfection. Love bathes the imperfect, stinky toddler who took off his diaper in his crib. Love begins yet another load of laundry of sheets and blankets. Another load to wash, carry, hang, take down, fold and put away. Love as a motivation makes chores enjoyable and burdens lighter.

Love breathes forgiveness.
Forgiving the imperfect mama who kneels before her children and asks forgiveness for not being sweet and kind. For putting herself before them. Forgiveness is in the hugs of the chubby and slim arms wrapped around her in love.

Love tells stories of hard lessons learned, with a child on your lap listening. There is no pride in homemaking. Pride impresses with names and titles and stories of conquest and self. Love brings out humility and sharing shame for another's benefit.

No, homemaking has nothing to do with perfection or pride, but it has everything to do with hospitality.
Whether a cup of tea with one by the woodstove, prayers with a friend, or a houseful of noise in the evening, homemaking has everything to do with open arms. If someone needs a bed, a safe place, make it here. Make it your home.

You can make a home with little or a lot. We've managed to make a home, open our rooms, cook meals, share a table, birth and add children, and love each other anywhere from below the poverty line to well above it. Homemaking relys on creativity and heart more than money.

Love makes a home a place where people receive and grow in spirit. Homemaking is the art of sacrifice, of sharing love beyond our own, of being stretched and grown and left tired, but heart happy and contented at the end of the day. What is homemaking to you?


DM said...

Oh Hannah! That was beautiful. Just what I needed to read today. Thank you.

Michele said...

Once again you wrote out my heart on a page. Beautifully written, Hannah. Thank you.

Beth said...

Is that your beautiful Star Magnolia? My favorite kind of tree... such sweet fragrance.

There are days when "homemaking" is lovely, the children are all in good moods, and I manage to keep the house in some order. But most of the time, it is a picture of imperfection, and it's all I can do to make it through the day.

However, the moments of laughter, watching a child be extra kind to a sibling, the forgiveness we have in Christ, and knowing tomorrow is a new day brings great hope and satisfaction within my vocation.

Allison said...

Wise inspiring words...... and so true!

Celee said...

I agree homemaking is about the heart. It seems to me everything the Proverbs 31 woman does is because she loves her family. I just found your blog and am following now. I blog about homeschooling 5 kids with a 6th on the way and our many adventures.

Trudy said...

I love this post.

Anonymous said...

Homemaking, to me, has been a discovery and an uncovering. Realizing that I had been trained, subconciously by pop culture, to think staying home was to be subservient, uncreative, uninspired. A picture of a haggard woman, a slave to her brood and dominating husband. How wrong. My husband has given me a gift by being flexible with finances and willing to live with "less" so I could be home with our children. His constant support and encouragement and sacrifice proving to me daily that our love is a partnership-we truly do equal more than the sum of our parts. And our children! What an honor to raise these people so new to the world! And for every bit I give, it comes back doubled in the form of a good old neck-hug or seeing the older cover up the younger so he won't "catch a chill." Every so often I like to read through the Proverbs 31 description, and there I see someone not beaten down and under her circumstances, but someone who is fully herself, and more so, because of her selflessness. What a process, what a love.

Anonymous said...

Lovely. I also enjoyed reading the entry "In the world, but not of it."

To me, as a single woman who is striving to live in the "now" rather than pine for a husband and children, "homemaking" is the joyous time I get to spend baking, tidying, folding laundry, cooking meals, shopping for household necessities, decorating, and preparing to host the occasional guest, in between lesson plans on the weekends. Too bad that's not a job you can have full-time while single, at least not for your own home - I suppose I could work as a nanny or maid for someone else, but that's not what I want to do! :)

I do hope someday to be a homemaker to a home with more than one person in it, but I will get in a little practice at the non-people parts of it, and love and trust and serve the Father "while I'm waiting" (loved that song from "Fireproof!")