We’ve been lovin’ all the home-talk, but now we’re going to leave home—only for two weeks!—for our annual family vacation. Sunday, the Mahaney clan will head for the hills of Tennessee and we hope you’ll come along via the blog. As in years past, we’ll post a picture a day so you can keep up with all the fun.
Meanwhile, you’ve sent us a lot of great questions about homemaking and we’ll try to prepare some answers for when we return.
As a parting gift we offer the Friday Funnies….actually, you have girltalk reader Tammy to thank for this one.
2008 at 2:40 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
Rhonda wrote in with a question:
I have always loved the art of homemaking. I am a single woman in my 30’s and work a full-time job.I am able to live out my passion by slowly learning creative and inexpensive ways to show hospitality to others. I have searched for books on homemaking, but have only found home-decorating books. Would you be able to suggest any books on homemaking?
We so respect your commitment to homemaking, Rhonda! And yes, we can recommend some great resources on the topic. We aren’t aware of one book that contains all you need to know to be a homemaker (wouldn’t that be nice?!), but there are numerous books on specific aspects of homemaking—cooking, cleaning, organizing, etc. Honestly, though, we’ve found the best practical help from other homemakers. There is a wealth of wisdom in those who are doing it well and so along with the books listed below, we recommend a lifestyle of learning from other homemakers.
Having said that, the following list is comprised of books focused on a biblical understanding of a woman’s role in the home, but many of them get very practical as well. We hope they inspire you and everyone else in your role as homemaker….
Anything by Elisabeth Elliot is going to encourage a woman in the home, but her memoir,The Shaping of a Christian Family, will give you a vision for the fruit a godly home can produce by the grace of God.
In Becoming a Woman Who Pleases GodPat Ennis and Lisa Tatlock (a single woman and a married woman, by the way) cover both a biblical perspective and practical help for homemakers (it even includes a budget form and meal plans!).
Susan Hunt devotes a chapter of her book, The True Woman, to “Domesticity.”
Married women will learn right along with the single women in Carolyn McCulley’s Did I Kiss Marriage Goodbye? Part three of her book, “Finding a Guide For Daily Life in the Proverbs 31 Woman” shows how to make the home a place of mission and hospitality.
2008 at 4:24 pm | by Nicole Whitacre
This email from a girltalk reader spans three generations and highlights the enduring influence of a godly mother’s example in the home, the importance of intentional homemaker training, and the redeeming grace of God in using our efforts—however incomplete we think they may be—for His glory.
May we all be provoked by this woman’s humble example and may she be encouraged by the fruit of her faithfulness in the lives of her daughters.
Thank you so much for your recent posts on homemaking. Although I was raised in a "traditional" Christian home with a mother who was very skilled in her homemaking abilities, very little of that was passed down to her daughters in an intentional manner or with a background of the Biblical foundation of homemaking. When I married, I could bake and cook with ease but found the daily tasks of homemaking to be tedious. Over the years God graciously worked in my life and I began to discover that there were Biblical reasons for caring for my home in a precise manner. Sadly, although my own attitudes were changing and caring for my home became more of a joy, I did not do a good job in passing that on to my own two daughters. Both of them are now married and are establishing their own homes. I see them struggle in certain areas of homemaking and know that I could have saved them much heartache and frustration if I had done my job as a mother properly. Thankfully, I have a great relationship with both of them and have confessed my sins of neglect and asked for their forgiveness. In addition, I try to help them learn to manage their homes now by cheerfully answering any questions they call me with, offering suggestions as they approach new seasons or responsibilities, and recommending books, web sites, and blogs that can help train and encourage them~ especially in the spiritual aspect of homemaking, not just the physical skills. So, thank you again for all of the encouragement that you have brought to our family. If it were not for the hope of the Gospel, I could become very discouraged over my failures to train my daughters properly. Instead, I rejoice in God’s gracious work in all of our lives and try to offer encouragement to any young homemaker that God brings across my path. I know that my daughters will do a much better job of training their daughters and thus another generation will be prepared to honor and serve God in the home.
2008 at 6:02 pm | by Carolyn Mahaney
The girltalk conversation has been all about homemaking lately. So many of you have written to tell us of your delight in and commitment to homemaking. Your example is inspiring!
But in addition to our example, we must also provide specific and intentional training to the next generation of homemakers. For in Titus 2, Paul urges the older women not only to “do what is good” but also to “train the younger women” to be (among other things) “busy at home.”
Sadly, while there are many women who are godly examples of homemaking—both single and married alike, I fear that many young women are not being trained to be busy at home.
Although written many years ago, this woman’s concern is more relevant than ever:
“The fact is, our girls have no home education. When quite young they are sent to school where no feminine employment, no domestic habits, can be learned….After this, few find any time to arrange, and make use of, the mass of elementary knowledge they have acquired; and fewer still have either leisure or taste for the inelegant, everyday duties of life. Thus prepared, they enter upon matrimony, Those early habits, which would have made domestic care a light and easy task, have never been taught, for fear it would interrupt their happiness; and the result is, that when cares come, as come they must, they find them misery. I am convinced that indifference and dislike between husband and wife are more frequently occasioned by this great error in education, than by any other cause.”
Moms of daughters—this challenge is first and foremost to us. Are we more concerned with our daughter’s present happiness or her future usefulness as a homemaker? Are we taking seriously our responsibility for their "home education"?
My prayer is that God would help us to be faithful to pass on the legacy of biblical womanhood to our daughters so that they would eagerly embrace our Savior’s call to what G.K. Chesterton calls, this “generous, dangerous, and romantic trade” of homemaking.