Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Value of a Homemaking Mentor

When I grew up I remember my mother teaching me how to cook. She did the majority of the cooking for our small family of three and would teach me simple things like how to scramble eggs or make cookies from a box mix for Dad when he got off of work.

I am so grateful for that instruction because little did I know I would have to take the little that I learned and now I am feeding an army at least three times a day. I no longer cook in the small frying pan but now almost everything is cooked in bulk and big pots and pans.

I watched her make meals for my dad on time, I watched her care for him. I watched how she neatly folded everything into the drawers with care. I was learning from her example.

I am so glad that my mother took the time to teach me the little things--like how to darn a sock, how to iron my dad's clothes for work, and how to dust around the house. I use these skills on a constant basis now. I also remember that I would come home to a clean, well-ordered house and she was always there for me, ready to talk about my day and find out how I was doing. She was well organized and didn't waste time in her home!

Now that I am grown, I understand how important it was for me to have seen that. Now don't get me wrong, my home is not immaculate and far from perfect like my mother's home was, but she did set a standard for me that I will never forget.

But let me just say, that if we were not taught to 'keep house' when we were daughters in our own homes, don't dismay! There are boundless sources of researching tools available today from the libarary to the internet (check out Flylady). There is no reason under the sun why we cannot better our homes for the glory of God and for our precious loved ones. It is one more reason we should be lovingly teaching our daughters how to 'keep' their fathers homes, so they will be fully equipped when they are sent to take care of their own homes one day.

Does this mean our homes will be spotless all the time? Of course not! Children exist and life happens, that is the reality. But we must remember that our priorities lie not in the cleaning and ordering of the home, but instead with the people that live within that home.

For example, we should not get so caught up in our cleaning that we are neglecting our family and their needs for the sake of cleaning. We shouldn't yell at our children when they are making a mess of all our hard work and we should not get so angry at our husbands should they happen to leave their clothes on the floor instead of putting them away.

It is much better that our homes are not perfect than to have quarreling and strife in our relationships with those most important to us. It is within our hearts that the first cleaning must begin! And from it a home that is filled with the spirit of peace, love, order, joy will come forth...a place where Christ is center.

Encouraged here?

Please also check out my book True Christian Motherhood.
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Images: Let's Enjoy Beauty


Unknown said...

I was blessed with a mother who taught me homemaking skills, as well. What I learned from her gave me a good foundation for learning and growing as a wife and mother.

Thank you for this lovely post... I certainly want to give my daughters this kind of legacy!

Ann at eightacresofeden said...

I loved this post June, especially this line 'There is no reason under the sun why we cannot better our homes for the glory of God and for our precious loved ones.' My home is not immaculate and evidence of children is everywhere but I do my best to keep it clean and orderly without stressing too much about the cobwebs in the high rafters or hand prints on the windows. What I struggle with is what my attitude should be when I see/enter homes that are always in total disorder/chaos when we visit (dirty as well as cluttered). I try and pretend not to notice, try to work out the reasons why they don't seem to mind living like that. I enjoy their company but feel so uncomfortable in their surroundings. Any advice June? You can also feel uncomfortable/unwelcome when you visit a home that is so perfect you pray that your children don't drop any crumbs for fear the owner will stand over them with a dustpan and brush in hand as they eat their biscuit from a plate (yes, that has happened to me in the past!) In between the two extremes there is a beautiful balance and I think you captured the essence of that wonderfully. My homemaking mentor was Emilie Barnes, I gleaned so much from her books that I still apply today.


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