I’ve been enjoying Elizabeth Foss’ recent series of posts on homemaking, especially this one. It’s a subject that has been on my mind quite a bit recently and these posts have really helped me to frame some of my thoughts.
I’ve been very blessed in having first my mom and then my dad come to stay with us in the past few months and they have generously taken on all the housekeeping chores I couldn’t handle as I battled high blood pressure in the last weeks of pregnancy and then the birth, days in the hospital, and recovery from my c-section. I’ve been blessed in having their help; but it’s also been frustrating to have someone else doing my dishes, putting food in my refrigerator, cooking my meals, washing my clothes, cleaning my house, and most of all tending to the needs of my toddler. In being deprived of the ability to do for myself and for my family, I’ve really come to appreciate my vocation as homemaker in a new way. It’s not just the lack of control, the annoyance that things are not being done my way, it’s also the feeling of loss of my ability to serve those I love most. I never realized how much of a gift it is to be able to thoughtfully anticipate their needs and to go about caring for them in ways little and great, many of which are never recognized.
I’ve never thought of myself as a good housekeeper. I’ve been fighting a losing battle against sloth. And I’m lazy about things like changing sheets and dusting shelves and scrubbing the bathroom. But I’ve come to realize how much more there is to making a home, things I took for granted being able to do until I suddenly couldn’t do them.
And I especially appreciated Elizabeth’s thoughtful caveats, gentle reminders about modifying our goals to suit the various seasons of our lives. Right now I need to hear that there are times and seasons in our lives when we have to let go of our standards. Without those reminders it might be all too easy to grow frustrated and say: it’s all very well for you but what you are saying simply does not apply to me. Instead, I am reminded that this is a season that will pass all too quickly and that I should treasure these days when I’m able to spend hours cuddling my new little girl.
Tomorrow my dad leaves and I am breathing a sigh of relief to finally once more be mistress of my own domain, and am groaning in fear, wondering how I will do it all by myself. I owe Elizabeth a debt of gratitude for reminding me that I can give my fears over to God, who is the true master of my household, and that he will give me enough strength to get through this too.
Good advice from Danielle as well.