"Your body is the first thing any child of man ever wanted. Therefore dispose yourself to be loved, to be wanted, to be available. Be there for them with a vengeance. Be a gracious, bending woman. Incline your ear, your heart, your hands to them.... To be a Mother is to be the sacrament - the effective symbol - of place. Mothers do not make homes, they are our home." from Bed and Board, Robert Farrar Capon

Friday, June 28, 2013

Thanks for Reminding Me

A kind friend forwarded this along to me,
with the heading "Just in case you're wondering what to do today..."

housewife painting
Young Housewife, Oil on canvas, by Alexey Tyranov(1801-1859)

Wikipedia:   "A housewife is a woman whose main occupation is running or managing the family's home—caring for and educating her children, cooking and storing food, buying goods the family needs in day to day life, cleaning and maintaining the home, making clothes for the family, etc... - Merriam Webster describes a housewife as a married woman who is in charge of her household. "

Proverbs 31:27 ~ She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Ephesians 5 Again

"'Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord' (Eph. 5:22).

Submission is, in fact, a discipline that all Christians are called to....
This principle of denying one's self for others – specifically sacrificing one's own desires for the desires of others – runs through out the New Testament: 'Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor' (1 Cor. 10:24). 'If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me' (Luke 9:23). The 'daily' relates this cross bearing to everyday vocations.

The wife is called to submit to her husband – not because of who her husband is, and certainly not because her husband is always right, but because Christ himself stands hidden behind her marriage. The phrase 'as to the Lord' reminds both husbands and wives that marital authority ultimately belongs to the Lord. In fact, when the wife submits to her husband – saying, in effect, 'not my will, but yours, be done' – she is submitting to Christ, who is hidden in her husband.

Submission does not mean that the wife has no influence with her husband or in her family, or that her will has to be broken, nor does it mean that wives have no say in family decisions. It does mean that a wife is part of a mission (sub-mission) with her husband. Missio is the Latin term for 'send.' A wife is sent with her husband in a particular vocation by a loving God actively involved in both of their lives.

Submission can be daunting and difficult. And to an extent, it should be, even as headship and 'giving himself up' are daunting to husbands.  These are spiritual disciplines, exercised not in a monastery, with its vows of obedience, but in everyday life.

Submission has to do with denying oneself and taking up the cross (Mark 8:34). It is an act of faith, of trusting God above our own perceptions. Here again we can remember just how close our God is to us. 

What makes this possible is that Christ is hidden in marriage, so that both the wife and the husband are submitting to him."

 The Office of Wife, Family Vocation, by Gene Edward Veith Jr. and Mary J. Moerbe, from pgs. 64-69

Friday, June 14, 2013

From-the-Hearth Recipe Link-Up

We are all always looking for more ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks (oh, and definitely dessert!), especially since many of us will be making those meals for people we love every single day for a very looooooong time!  So please share your recipes!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Authorship Perks

Last night after a long dinner clean up session during which multiple much-needed disciplinary actions were executed upon all involved (the oldest four), and after which those same oldest four were finally freed to skip out and enjoy the mild evening playing baseball, I was left alone in the house with the baby who refused to be put down and two little girls (one of whom was recovering from a 24-hour virus thingie) who wanted to get stories read to them and drinks of water.  Lots of stories.  And lots of drinks.

After forty-five minutes or so of this I stomped went outside to find my husband who was trimming trees in our yard and yelled out, "Are you ever coming in?!  All I have been doing for the last hour is holding the baby and trying to keep two little girls happy!"

To which my husband replied, teasingly -

"Honey, that's wonderful. That's all you need to be doing. Just read your own Mothers' blog and see."


Next post - How awesome husbands are.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Homemade Kindness

Just because they're my children does that mean I shouldn't say "Please" or "Thank you" to them?
Just because I'm their mother, does that mean I have the right to be short-tempered and rude to them?
Do I speak more kindly and patiently to a visiting niece, nephew, or neighbor child than to my own? 

I have acted many times as if I assumed a "yes" to each of those questions, but I am purposing, by God's grace and with His help, to be more aware of my tone and attitude in speaking to my children, and praying that I learn to be as kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving with them, for Christ's sake, as I would endeavor to be to any other person I encounter.

There is a passage from C. S. Lewis' The Four Loves that often comes to my mind on this subject -

"We hear a great deal about the rudeness of the rising generation... but in fact I have been far more impressed by the bad manners of parents to children than by those of children to parents.

....[Parents'] ruthless interruptions, flat contradictions, ridicule of things the young take seriously.... provide an easy answer to the question, 'Why are they always out? Why do they like every other house better than their home?' Who does not prefers ability to barbarism?"

Lewis goes on to explain how people excuse their bad manners with,  

".... [O]f course we don't want company manners at home. We're a happy family. We can say anything to one another here. No one minds. We all understand,"  to which Lewis explains, "Once again it is so nearly true yet so fatally wrong. Affection is an affair of old clothes, and ease, of the unguarded moment, of liberties which would be ill-bred if we took them with strangers.  But old clothes are one thing: to wear the same shirt till it stank would be another.

The more intimate the occasion [at home every day], the less the formalization; but not therefore the less need of courtesy.  On the contrary, Affection at its best practices a courtesy which is incomparably more subtle, sensitive, and deep than the public kind.... 

Affection at its best wishes neither to wound nor to humiliate nor to dominate....
You may tease and hoax and banter.... You can do anything with the right tone and in the right moment - the tone and moment which are not intended to, and will not, hurt. The better the Affection the more unerringly it knows which these are (every love has its art of love)."  (from pgs 42, 43, 44)

The little people that are growing up in my house, under my charge for a time, are God's children first before they are mineMy sons and daughters will grow up to be men and women and will, God willing, have families of their own.  Much of the sensitivity and gentleness they will have toward their own spouses and children they will hopefully have learned at home. 

"She opens her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness." Proverbs 31:26