Friday, 4 January 2013

Joyful housewife

One thing I have determined to do this year is to slightly change my approach to managing my home, this is the meaning of housewife - a woman who manages a home, 'wife' being in the old English sense of 'woman' (like midwife, fishwife, etc).

I have a tendency to perfectionism tinged with defeatism.  So if I haven't time to make it perfect I get rather despondent and don't want to do anything.

My focus must be on why I care for my home.  It isn't to impress visitors with my perfect decor and my shiny skirting boards and the fact that I've spring cleaned all my cupboards (though that is a lovely feeling :) ).  It is for God and for my family.  It is finding joy in the small things, offering hospitality not to impress but to love, it is creating a haven in this chaotic world, it is finding beauty not in things that cost money but in things that matter. 

It's about finding peace and blessing doing chores that others see as a curse and a bind. 

In order to find joy even during trying times, such as recently with our bout of sickness. I felt so tired caring our littlest when all she did was cough all night.

Only God can provide that stability, that strength, and that comfort.  It is love for God and love for our husband, our children, our family that drives us on.  It is for that which makes it all worthwhile.

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice. My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me. ~ Psalm 63:1-8

Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. ~ 1 Thess 5:16-18

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. ~ Philippians 4:8

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; ~ Colossians 3:23

She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.  Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her. ~ Proverbs 31:27-28

NB: All the paintings in this post are by the Victorian artist Helen Allingham.


  1. The other day, while I was working on the quotidian tasks, I had a small personal revelation.

    May authors who uphold the quotidian focus on the cycle and compare the repetition to cycles of life and find comfort in that.

    A small phrase that I read somewhere (I can't recall where) suddenly struck me in conjunction with the quotidian.

    The phrase was talking about the creativity of God and how our creativity was an imitation of His and how in a way it was our part in the restoration of creation. I don't remember where the author came out on his argument but suddenly, I saw the quotidian in a new way.

    What if we approached those daily tasks as acts of restoration? Certainly, in a perfect world, dishes wouldn't become so impossibly dirty and carpets wouldn't attract filth and soap scum wouldn't become a persistent stain that is nearly impossible to remove.

    The quotidian is simply a restoration process, one that we know will not last because of the reality of sin but one that honors God's original creation and one that reminds us that one day God will permanently restore our world. It is an act of appreciation and thankfulness.

    1. You mean it's making beautiful what is unsightly, making clean what has been stained, making usable what has been rendered unusable, like the work of salvation?

    2. It's amazing how so much we do, if we thought about it, reminds us of God in some way. :)

    3. That came out wrong...I mean there is so much in life that reminds us of God and His mighty works. :)

    4. And reminds us how much He loves us and that He made us in His image. How can we not desire to be closer to Him?

    5. Therein is our completeness because it's what God intended from the very beginning isn't it? For nothing to be between us and God.

      And also, how far sin has driven us from honouring God. We were made in His image, How much I do that is far from what God intended sometimes is overwhelming.

      Thank God for Jesus! If it was just up to me...well. I have to focus on the hope I have in Christ, His Holy Spirit Who dwells within me, and the Word He left to teach us. Keep moving forward...

  2. I had to come back and comment again because your post has stayed in my mind today--as good writing often does--and as I was dusting and cleaning the glass on my pictures I was thinking of your post and I started really focusing on what I was doing. I appreciated the beauty of the art and how thankful I was to have such beautiful things in my home.

    I'm wondering if perhaps one of the biggest keys is being in the moment. Most often we're just trying to get through with something so that we can move on to the next thing. I think doing that often ruins the precious present moment and we lose little moments of joy along with our peace.

    1. Thank you Mrs B! That is so true, I'm always rushing round trying to get things done so I can do something more fun and so housework becomes a horrid inconvenience.

  3. I love your statement, "It is finding joy in the small things, offering hospitality not to impress but to love, it is creating a haven in this chaotic world, it is finding beauty not in things that cost money but in things that matter." Thank you for encouraging me.:)