Friday October 26, 2007

My family is scattered today.

Copper took a vacation day from work.  He and Aaron drove an hour or so this morning to participate in a work day in preparation for our church’s Reformation Party this evening.  They will be down there working all afternoon.

Dani left before 8:00 this morning to drive the hour and a bit to Lisa’s.  As always, I am sad to see her go, but happy all at the same time to be able to send her to help.  Though she is not here in my own home, she is in the home of a dear friend, being Lisa’s hands and feet as Lisa looks well to the ways of her own household.  Are you remembering to pray for Lisa?  She is thankful for your prayers, I know.  The Lord has kept baby Grace safe in her momma’s womb, and the most recent report from the doctor is encouraging!

Will and I are having a quiet day.  We will leave here mid-afternoon to take the hour’s drive for ourselves, meeting Corin and her family somewhere for a quick bite to eat.  Towards evening my family will all be together again as we celebrate and remember an important date in our church history.  It should be a fun evening!

We had a lovely day yesterday, all of my treasures and I.  My children and I spent several hours in our favorite park with Corin and my sweet grandbabies.  The weather here is glorious, but we know that this will quickly pass. Corin and I made the “executive decision” to have one last park day Thursday to enjoy the weather while it lasted.  It was pleasantly cool in the shade, and not too hot for the children to play, and play hard, all afternoon in the sunshine!  They drank plenty of water, and enjoyed their time together immensely.  There were several times that we just laughed until we cried watching them!

Day at the park Oct








I have been enjoying my re-reading of Hidden Art of Homemaking.  There is such practical wisdom in Mrs. Schaeffer’s writing about the home.  So many times I have heard women offer excuses for their lack of making their living quarters a true home, which reflects their own tastes and creative talents.  The excuses include that the current home or apartment is “just a rental”, or that there is a lack of funds to do anything, or that they just aren’t “creative”, or that they don’t have the time.  In her book Mrs. Schaeffer says this, “Interior Decoration, as I intimated before, is not just one’s artistic efforts, but is that which your home (even if it is just a room) is.  If you are “decorating” with clothes draped on every chair, with scratched or broken furniture – it is still your interior decoration!  Your home expresses you to other people, and they cannot see or feel your daydreams of what you expect to make in the misty future, when all circumstances are what you think they must be before you will find it worthwhile to start.  You have started, whether you recognize that fact or not.”

Isn’t that wise?  It’s no wonder that I enjoy re-reading this book every couple of years or so!  I am so encouraged by her words in my efforts as a homemaker, and there is always something new to learn!

I’ve heard from a few of you recently about your living circumstances, some of which are, I’m sure, quite difficult.  Living in just a couple of rooms offered to you in the home of another family. Squeezing a large family into a small apartment. Or even traveling from city to city, living in hotel rooms, with a husband whose job keeps him on the road.  Mrs. Schaeffer’s advice still applies!

If you are between homes of your own, how about unpacking two or three pretty things that say “home” to you and displaying them wherever it is that you now reside.  If rooting through packed boxes isn‘t possible, perhaps you can find a pretty thing or two at a thrift store for the same purpose – a small glass candlestick to hold a scented votive candle or a lovely framed print to stand on a table or dresser.  If you are traveling from place to place, bring a few small things from home to make your hotel room seem more inviting.  Perhaps a pretty tablecloth to spread over the hotel room table, two or three framed photos, and a vase that you can arrange a bud or two purchased from a grocer’s display or a farmer’s stand.  Keep your surroundings tidy and pleasant to look at.  Arrange a pile of books or magazines that you are reading, or your children’s homeschooling materials, nicely when they are not in use.

Mrs. Schaeffer rightly reminds that wherever we are currently “living”, even if it is just for one night, that is our home.  When we go camping, I try to keep a neat “home” there, as well.  Shortly after breakfast I’ll head into the tent to straighten up sleeping bags, fluff and place our pillows, straighten up the laundry baskets that we use for our clothing when we camp, and sweep up the floor a bit.  This little bit of effort makes it much more inviting for us to enjoy a short nap in the afternoon, or to invite us back into our cozy “beds” at the end of the day.  We keep throw rugs or Astroturf at the door of our tent to help keep the dirt outside.  I keep the picnic table cleaned off and tidy it often throughout the day as we use it for meals, games, etc.  I wipe the dust off of my camping “kitchen” area before preparing meals, and I clean it thoroughly as part of doing the dishes after each meal.  I’ve even been known, in years past, to bring along a basket of silk flowers for our camp table!  Where you and your family are – that is home.

The girls and I were quiet again, too.

I would like to share with you that I have just not been feeling well.  I was down a couple of weeks ago, and woke up quite ill again Thursday morning.  I’m still not feeling great today.  This will all pass, I know, but I do not like being sick.  It’s sometimes hard to find joy and to have a thankful heart when we’re sick, but it’s not impossible.  Instead of having a pity party, I’m plugging along and taking care of the most needful things in my home.  I’m working slowly, and I’m sitting down frequently, but I’m still caring for my home.  This is really beneficial to me.  When I’m busy, I’m not really concentrating on how I feel.  When I do sit down to rest, and I must quite often, I find something gainful to do – knit, read, go over a school assignment with a boy, jot down some notes for ideas I’ve had, or answer a couple of e-mails.

I’m not overdoing, nor would I ever advise you to overdo during times of illness; but wallowing in self-pity has never done me much good either.  I can choose to look at the list of things that I’d hoped to get done this week that won’t get done because I’m just not up to it, OR I can choose to take joy in the fact that the laundry is humming along, there are a few items out drying in the fresh air of the clothes line, my kitchen is clean and neat and scented with lavender, and I’ve had the opportunity to read quite a bit and to knit several more rows of my shawl. Guess which choice I’m making?  I am choosing joy!

God bless you as you look well to the ways of your households!
Proverbs 31:27











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14 comments to Friday October 26, 2007

  • Choosing joy….that’s what I’m trying to do….

    Here’s a verse from the Habakkuk (3:17-18) that I just read this morning (actually 2 verses 😉 )

    ” Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls;

      Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.”

    So yes, it is a choice and we Christains always have something to joy in!

    Thank you!   Jenn

  • I ordered that book you suggested yesterday.  I can’t wait until it comes!  I have the week off of school next week, and I’m looking forward to getting this place in shape, and getting my household chores on a schedule that I can keep up with.  I’m SO excited.  Thank you so much for your help!


  • Jenn – Thanks for sharing the verse…You’re right it IS a choice and one that we can train ourselves to make a HABIT!

    Kathy – Yeehaw!!!  The book is great! I know you’ll love it! (the book Kathy and I are talking about  is SideTracked Home Executives which I have recommended often)

  • ..I stopped by to pick up a coffee cake recipe for tomorrow morning and saw your post! Pray your feeling better soon… Your post reminded me of Deuteronomy 30:19

    I know you’re having a wonderful time with your family!

  • I have Edith Schaeffer’s book on my nightstand, along with a couple others. Thank you for sharing just a few snippets of her Godly wisdom.

    Yes, I’m praying for Lisa and will continue to do so. What a lovely reminder for us by keeping her family’s photo on each of your posts. I really appreciate it. I was on bedrest for 1.5 months before the Princess was born. I didn’t have younger children and cannot imagine what a challenge it would be – but what a blessing to have Dani be her hands and feet. Lovely.

    I pray your church evening is wonderful. <><

  • Hope you’re feeling better! :sunny:


    Mrs. C

  • Praying for Lisa and also praying for you that you start feeling better. I am glad you grabbed a few last days in the park – you are right, one day it will be too cold. Your grandkids are so sweet.


  • Yes! I treasure my copy of Hidden Art. It is such an inspiration and source of encouragement.

    And hurray for Reformation Day parties! Our church’s is tomorrow afternoon, at a ranch in Grass Valley owned by a couple of our families. Praise God for beautiful weather to enjoy it in, too.

    Hope you are feeling better.

  • I do pray you feel 100% soon. It is never fun to battle illnes, but you are not letting it defeat you.

    I ordered Hidden Art of Homemaking a couple of weeks ago when you mentioned it and am enjoying it. I also got The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, but that print is TINY. I am truly LOVING The Excellent Wife. So nice to know a book reviewer!:giggle:

    The grandbabies look wonderful. TJ was here yesterday for several hours and I so enjoyed him. He is talking more and more everyday in full sentences. I am blessed.


  • Hi Cheryl.

    I love Hidden Art of Homemaking. We are having major work done on our downstairs so I have created a cozy home upstairs for my family.I hope you feel better soon.



  • Your church celebration sounds like a wonderful evening and reading the comments of Susan brings home memories of a time long ago…I grew up going to Grass Valley every summer as a young child to visit my Grandparents, I have found memories of that town.  I’ve been to Elk Grove as well!

    My prayers go up for the Lord to restore you and the continued prayers for Lisa are there.  I often think that the Lord allows those days of not feeling well to purposely get me to slow down.  It is usu. when I do slow down that my focus is more pronounced on Him and I can reflect that the Lord must have something else He wants me to focus on rather than my normal routine….

    Oh Bren, I love the Excellent Wife as well, it is one of my favorite books in my library.

    Thank you Cheryl for the well-wishes for this pregnancy, I truly hope I can make just as big an announcement 9 months from now!

    God Bless~~

  • yes, I turned my house into a home– and try to call housework ”chores” or homework- sometimes it is not favorite thing to do but I remember it is a way to bless the family and keep the house a home- do you notice when someone does not have a place to call home we say they are ”homeless” not ”houseless and yet we call our daily chores ”housework” ?

    huggles me

  • I’m sorry you are not feeling well 🙁

  • Thanks for this post. It encouraged me.