Home...oh that they would be 'havens of rest for the weary'.
My sweet mother always made our home such a 'haven' when I was a little girl. It was a very clean and tidy home, but more than that, my mum also had, and has a sweet disposition and gentle ways, which created an atmosphere of peace in our home.
You might be surprised to know I wasn't raised in a christian home. I was raised with morals and we did attend a church a handful of times through my growing up years, but I had no proper instruction or any understanding about God, or if He was was even real. God simply wasn't a topic in our house.
I sought the Lord of my own volition when I was in my early 20's. I did have a childhood friend whose family was christian and I always loved being at there house. Her mum was a stay at home mum too...well the majority of mothers didn't work outside the home at all when I was growing up. That's just how it was in those days and if they did work (some must have :), I wasn't aware of it.
Please don't think I am condemning anyone who is a working mother, as I know many woman do need to work and there households wouldn't make it without an additional income. I just think it's ideal if a woman can be at home with her children. When my children had all grown up and left home I worked in a childcare centre for three years and during that time, my heart would often break when I saw children so very upset at being left there. Yes they were well looked after, there was plenty of toys, other children to play with etc, but still all they really wanted was mum...(always).
Our lives were simple. We wore handmade clothes. Mum cooked basic, nourishing meals from scratch and preserved our harvest each summer. We rarely had birthday parties or anything like that, that may have cost extra money. Christmas was special, but also simple. The big treat of the year in our home, was a summer holiday. This is what my parents saved for. We would go away for at least two weeks, touring around New Zealand, sometimes towing a caravan or in the early days, sleeping in a tent. it was enormous fun !!
But back to my home as a child.....I knew if I was troubled about anything or had a bad day at school I could tell my mum all about it. I'm thankful my mother was always there when I arrived home from school. She did have a part time job for a year or so, just in the mornings, but even that I remember as a child, I didn't really like. I felt safer if I knew mum was at home.
I vividly remembering returning home from school one day and mum wasn't at home and the back door was locked. My sisters and I were all in a panic and could not imagine what might have happened to mum. I can't even remember now what did happen, but it shook my little world at the time. I think the car had broken down ?? :)
Later in life, when I was married and had my own young children, my dear mum did start working full time, because my father had a heart attack and couldn't work. If she hadn't they would have probably had to sell their home. I found it very hard, as a young mum and always missed her not being around for me to visit or ask for her help. But I knew she had no choice.
Why am I rambling on about all this? Well I just wanted to encourage mum's who may be a stay at home mum, or a homeschooling mum, that what you are doing is worthy...so very worthy. You are creating a haven of rest, not just for your children but also for your husband. You may not have any children and still choose to be a stay at home wife, and I think that's just beautiful.
I often say to my husband when he returns from his job (which is quite a stressful work environment), that I am so thankful I don't work full time outside the home and that I can be here for him to quietly listen as he tells me all about his day. I see the stress roll of his shoulders as he talks and a quiet peace comes over him. Just having someone who listen is a blessing. We can be pleasing to the Lord in such simple ways, simply by being keepers of our homes and serving our families.
I'm so thankful to be able to be at home - full stop. I love to prepare meals for my husband and so look forward to him arriving home each night. I strive to have our home clean and tidy and to not be a frazzled wreck when I greet him at the door :) But..having said all that, we live a very simple and quite frugal life. We have an older home, built in 1880, that requires quite a bit of work and we do most of that work ourselves. We are currently painting the outside of the house !!! I preserve food that we grow, and make pretty much all our food, baking, bread etc from scratch. My husband cuts his own hair and he cuts mine. I have not been to a hair salon in over 20 years. I have never had my nails done. This just is not part of my reality. But I am still very joyful, content with my lot and feel blessed and thankful. I know many other woman also choose this sort of life. and know the same peace as me. It's a peace that God promises.
I truly hope this lengthy bit of writing will be an encouragement to someone. It was just on my heart and I wanted to share it :) Blessings to you all ~ Linda