Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Occupy the Home



The current trend to descend on a city park and "occupy" has brought forth some lively conversation and ideas from other homemakers. Andrea at   Rightthinker  has written a post showing the many things that need to be done in order to occupy your home and get it in livable order.  Lillibeth at The Pleasant Times has posted something about occupying, also.   My post today is about the advantages  of being home and minding your own business.   (1st Thessalonians 4:11) In order to control the home and the housework, it is important to occupy and own it, even the messes.

Looking  at your home as a gift from God, and showing your appreciation by making it clean, neat and beautiful, can help you look at it as a unique place, worthy of care and creativity.

Regard your home as a free-will offering to the Lord and to others, and a testimony of your gratitude for having a place to live. As such, treat it with enough respect to keep it orderly.

Each day, besides daily activities such as meals, washing dishes, laundry, or picking up clutter, include the cleaning of one other room in a more thorough way. Closets and hallways and bookshelves can count as separate rooms and take separate days.    A kitchen can be divided into different rooms, making the refrigerator a room to be cleaned when it is time to clean an extra room. 



When a room has been cleaned and put in order, move on to another room, but remember to "maintain" the previous room by routinely going through it and correcting anything that is amiss. As you add more clean rooms, routinely go through the other clean rooms and tidy them up. This is what I call maintenance, because it does not require completely cleaning or de-cluttering, or any deep-cleaning.  It just means restoring the room to its best.

Since Christian women are told in the scriptures to be keepers at home, they will need to have the time and the tools to do this.  More time can be found in a day if you can possibly stay home without too many outside interruptions.

In having time to be home and keep it up to a high standard, you refute the nonsense of those who say that a home can be cleaned on a weekend, and that therefore, a woman is not needed there all week. The fact is, even when a house is clean, a woman needs to be in it, paying attention to needed seasonal changes, and making it a daily shelter for its people. If there is no actual work to be done, the homemaker can develop new skills that will help her make it a better place. Making new curtains or re-covering a couch, or learning to knit and sew and cook, are things worth staying home for.

If we do not occupy our homes by cleaning them and making them orderly, they will be occupied by other things like filth and odor and clutter. Sometimes people do not know the risk they take when they neglect things that are their own responsibility. If they knew that there might be some chance of losing their home through neglect, it might increase their motivation to take care of it. There are several parables in the Bible that show the difference between someone who invests time wisely, and the unfaithful servant who is not diligent. These lessons can give a reasonable sense of urgency in our own realm of homemaking.





A cheerful heart will make the task of keeping house pleasant. When you understand that messes are part of living at home, and that cleaning them up is the reason you are there, you can approach them as though they were a matter of fact.  When you realize this is what you are home for, you can approach it as part of your responsibility, rather than as an inconvenience.



There is more to housekeeping that cleaning up a mess. There is more to homemaking than just being in the house, and there is more to child care than feeding and caring for a child. All these duties have to be approached with a thoughtful and spiritual attitude, as an offering to the Lord, and an act of charity and sacrifice to the people within your care. Each member of your family has a soul, and that soul can be affected in a great way by your approach to homemaking.  Neatness is not enough. The home must have an atmosphere of beauty and peace, which is more easily acquired by a homemaker who is actually home, occupying her own territory.



"...study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you..."

1st Thessalonians 4, verse 11




Be sure to look at Lillibeth's witty post on the subject here: http://thepleasanttimes.blogspot.com/2011/10/occupy-home.html

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't know how you could possibly write on similar subjects all this time and come up with superlative different slants on them..but you certainly do. Bravo Lady Lydia!! Please tell your daughter how I enjoyed her's too! Thank you, thank you, thank you. Sarah

Anonymous said...

there is an "occupy" movement in my area that celebrates hard work and enterprise, instead of creating strife over the wealth and work of other people.

Anonymous said...

Great post. The two blog articles that you recommended are also excellent. Thank you.

Dee

Rightthinker said...

Wonderful post! The lady of the house should really be in a place where her home is where she desires to be, more than anyone else..it becomes infectious! The husband will desire his home more than any other place..the children..family and friends.

So many men today seem to not even wish to be home. They find any excuse to carry on as children, constantly with their friends in all their free time. Then, you learn that the wife is rarely home, doesn't "care much for cleaning", and the home is often full of strife, unfinished (or even un-started) tasks and she has no joy for her role..who can blame anyone then, including teens, for seeking refuge elsewhere?

Anonymous said...

Your reference in 1 thess is one of my favorite verses as a homemaker. If everyone could take this verse seriously and live this way, there would be far fewer divorces, abandoned children, teenagers with too much time on their hands causing trouble and sassing back their elders. The economy would be better. It's no small thing to just mind your own business, pay your own bills, clean your own home, care for your own family, and be a decent citizen and neighbor...especially in today's climate. Not to mention being a good christian and helping those in need in the church. It would occupy all of the time that criminals and immoral people have to spend doing wicked things.

Really appreciate this post! Thank you!

LadyLydia said...

I do think it is important to be home even if you have no children, because just cleaning up after two people---you and your husband can be a full time job if it is being done as it should be done. A swipe at things here and there is not really housekeeping, but caring abotu the things in the house and treating them carefully, cleaning and arranging them, storing things that need to be put away, and adapting to the changes in the family over time, takes daily attention. There is no reason to believe a house only needs cleaning on weekends, and there is no reason to believe that a woman only needs to be home on weekends. It takes some personal experience at home to figure out what needs to be done. Every home will be different, but every home will need attention, daily, if the couple live there daily.

LadyLydia said...

That, and other verses like it, are what great civilizations are built on. Other verses warn not to be a burden on others, not to pilfer or be a free loader. A lot of people think a homemaker is not pulling in her load of work, but she is. If she does not keep house, someone has to be hired to do it. And also, if she is not well, she can still be a keeper or guard of the home, guiding others to do her bidding in the care of the house. We used to be a people of independent means, not expecting anything from anyone else (unlike the protestors in parks) and our fathers who came home from WW2 would have been ashamed to do something like that. In fact, every family usually went through struggles and poverty before they found ways of working and improving their lot. In their lean years, there is no way they would have complained or made anyone feel sorry for them. They refused to take charity, and didn't want to be "beholden" to anyone. Does anyone else remember those days? They had personal didgnity and did not want to be thought of as freeloading. If you helped someone, you had to make it look like something besides charity in hard times, by allowing them to trade something or do something for you. No one wanted to take anything, and there was no demanding of rights or entitlement. Even the poorest of people would say they were rich in other ways. If you have ever seen the movie "Cinderella Man" you will see a character much like the ones that USED to live here, who was so self conscious about accepting help, that he paid back the welfare office when he got a job.

Anonymous said...

To those who always say that homemakers should use their time to do volunteer work, I tell them I am doing volunteer work. My homemaking and child caring is volunteer, from my heart, for pure love.

Michele@A Quiet Gracious Life said...

My husband and I were never able to have children and I feel *so blessed* to be able to be a SAHW. One thing I've noticed since leaving the work-world many years ago is how much less often I catch colds or flu. That has been a HUGE blessing.

So yes, even w/o children in the home being a SAHW is a worthwhile thing to do. :o)

LadyLydia said...

Michelle and others: I agree with you about colds and flue and all the illnesses you get by working in the public. They subside dramatically when a woman stays home and stands over her own cooking and does the laundry and all the things she needs to do. You can open a window and air out your house if you need to and you. Families are often immune to one another's germs, whereas you can get something from someone else in public, easily. That is one reason I object to babysitters and daycare, especially with other children around. Children at home are safer from that.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia

What a lyrical post, especially the last paragraph!

I differ a little with with you on one point, but I think you might like my grounds for doing so. You have often stated that when a mother is away from the home, it's hard to keep it clean and tidy. In my experience, the homes where mother is working away are spotless and lovely monuments to good taste, with beautiful sofas and pristine carpets -- nary a toy on the floor. They all look like IKEA catalogues. I used to feel humiliated by their spectacular perfection, until I realised -- these homes are clean because NO ONE IS HOME TO GET THEM DIRTY.

The parents and children are out from 7.30 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m. each day. There's no shaming clutter in these immaculate homes, because they are empty.

My place could do with a lot of work -- a LOT -- but I began to notice the things people say when they visit: "I love your house, it's full of interesting things ... It always smells of something tasty in your house ... It's so cosy and comfortable here ... I'm so relaxed, I could fall asleep here ... My children don't want to go home...Have you got any bread/cake/ice lollies/biscuits?"

That's what people mean when they say "lived in". And it's easier to have a home like that when you're in it!

Kimberline said...

The last poster described homes that were pristine for a working woman. I've seen that, yes, but I've mostly seen chaotic homes where the family dashes in, then dashes out without picking up after themselves because they are always in a hurry to get to some OTHER place besides home.

My husband works in the banking industry which is now largely dominated by working women. Most of them spend up their entire paycheck on daycare and housekeepers and the cost of working. They are very unhappy women and at some point realize that their "bigger, nicer home, two newer cars and the boat," really aren't worth the toll it takes on the family. It seems those situations where the wife "has to work" to maintain a certain lifestyle leads to a lot of resentment between the husband and wife. She is mad that he had to have the boat. He is mad that she has to have a work wardrobe, lots of makeup and regular visits to the beauty parlor for hair cuts. He is mad that they have to eat out a lot because she is too tired to cook most evenings. They created their monster situation together, but they each blame the other.

One woman my husband worked with told me that she was so humiliated by the state of her house that she "cleaned the night before the cleaning lady got there."

A couple of the women spoke of how in their family there is HIS MONEY (he pays certain bills and has his own lifestyle) and HER MONEY which pay for certain things like the childcare, 2nd car, and the housekeeper. She works full time days, picks up the kids from daycare and gets takeout for dinner. She has her own separate life apart from her husband.

It isn't worth it but they can't imagine a different life than the one they chose for themselves. It sure seems a very complicated and exhausting lifestyle.

And last, let me mention the women who have a chaotic home life because when their job promotions set them above the husband in pay and position, he lost his motivation to continue to provide and became a house husband, albeit a pitiful one who STILL has to have someone come in to watch the kids and help with the chores. All those women did was trade places with their husband...and he really doesn't LOVE being at home. Some of these guys have really lost their manliness in my eyes and have become layabouts because they have been disrespected by wives who rose above them and then looked down on their jobs and earning potential.

Something is really wrong with a world where these things are not only acceptable, but are the NORM!

Anonymous said...

I enjoy the way you put my feelings into words. Bravo! Homemaking is my joy and life. I don't want to do anything else. However, now that our large family is raised, my husband wants me to work. After 30 years of working for this slower time, he now expects me to go outside and make a contribution. Wow! I thought raising 7 children,learning to be an excellent, organized homemaker, homeschooling, authoring several homeschooling resources, writing several cookbooks/homemaking books, and mentoring several young mothers was contribution enough. Perhaps I ought to do it and expect him to clean and cook 50% of the time. If he wants feminism, he can have it. But then again that attitude seems contentious. Maybe I should show him Bible verses and such then ask him to prayerfully reconsider. Any advice?

Gail @ The Imperfect Housewife said...

You put it so eloquently! Thank you for this. I'm a "messy." I don't enjoy it and am trying to change it. I've always known that I clean house so that little hands can make it dirty again, but you have really challenged my status quo. I know I can do this and do it to the glory of God. Thank you for the encouragement and reminder that I stay home for a reason. Part of that is to nurture my physical structure, the other part is to nurture those who live in it. :)

Mrs. Q said...

Lady Lydia,

The good posts keep coming. I have wanted to comment on so many but haven't had the time. Thank you for blessing us with your writing. It is always an encouragement.

Sarah said...

Kimberline's comment really rang true. Most of my friends are working wives and mothers, and their homes are in a constant state of chaos. When I go to their homes, it just feels like any other building--there is nothing about these places that feels like a true home. Everything is neglected and I always feel the urge to leave because the environment feels so unwelcoming. One friend in particular spends a great deal of time outside the home. She commits her time to her job and various extra-curricular activities for her children. She puts very little time and effort into homemaking. When she does make time for housework, she becomes overwhelmed at the amount of work to be done and ends up doing very little work. Unfortunately, her young daughter will never have the opportunity to learn any homemaking skills because she does not have an example to follow. I think it is so important for women to occupy their homes and be an example for the next generation. Homemaking is so much more than cooking and cleaning--it is creating a warm, welcoming, and peaceful environment for yourself and others. Being home full-time allows women to pay attention to the details that make a home special.

BTW, I have been following this blog for such a long time, but I have never left comments. Lady Lydia, I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog. It is refreshing to read on such subjects while the rest of society seems to be going in the opposite direction. Thank you!!

LadyLydia said...

I agree that being absent from the home most of the day makes less housekeeping. Do not these people change clothes daily and put them in the laundry? Do they use the shower and towels, soap, daily? And do they sleep in their beds nightly? It seems there would be a bathroom, kitchen and bedroom to clean daily, and laundry to do, but maybe they do that on weekends? If they do it on weekends, how much rest do they get? It seems rather hectic to be home cleaning on weekends. If you clean as you go and do it daily, you can have less work on weekends and be free to have company or go somewhere with the family. Rushing around all week and then doing housework on weekends must make housework so unpleasant that women will not desire to do it.

Also, children need to see their mothers conduct an entire day at home and observe what all they do to get meals on the table, to clean up, to guide the home. They will not understand how to live at home, and will be restless, if they do not see this in their mothers.

Mrs. A said...

I have felt the same way as Mrs. Q :) Actually, my home is still nowhere near what I would like. I also want to learn new creative things. I never have time because after the homeschooling I am ready to relax and I just do enough chores to get by the most important things that are pet peaves to my husband if they aren't done. Overwhelmed and overextended seems to be my lot even though I don't work outside I feel like I do. I know I need simplification but I don't know where to start. Thinking about it makes me feel tired, and then if I have energy, my baby might start crying for a feeding. I really, really, do want a smooth running home and include my 8 & 6 year old daughters in some chores but I am too inconsistent with them. I need a routine with them that is flexible enough for the spontaneity of MIL's and hubby's needs or whims that I can't confidently say no to. Love, Mrs. A

LadyLydia said...

Mrs. A. (Cousin Rosemi) I noticed on your blog you are in an organizing and de-cluttering mood too! Angela at Rightthinker has good posts for ladies with children and babies who want to have a clean house. Lots of good tips there. Children tag along with a tactful trainer (Gwen Web: "Training Up A Child," 1979) so they can follow you around as you keep house.

Anonymous said...

Yes Lady Lydia, I sure do remember when men were like the man in "Cinderella Man" and life then was normal. Not the upside down 'normal' of today. I can't help but scratch my head and wonder if I am living in the Twilight Zone now a days. People did not go around bragging either about their purchases or raises etc. They did not want to embarrass other people and money matters were one of many things that were private. Neither did they tell anyone within ear shot their troubles. I wish I had a book with it all written down that told of how it was [only a short time ago] compared to now. I will never understand how many things could change so fast. Oh Lady Lydia, you are so much better at saying and describing things than I am, but oh how I wish others who do not understand could get into our minds and memories and know actually what we saw. Life had its usual difficulties as it always does, but morality and civility was so prevalent. Among other things. Back then if one was tackless it was unusual. Now it is normal. What happened to us?
Does anyone have ideas for Anonymous whose husband wants her to work after raising 7 children for 30 years? She wants to know how to tell him she needs to still be at home. Perhaps someone can point out other posts here on this subject that will give her answers. This issue has been discussed before. Thank you. Sarah

Anonymous said...

I too love this post, Lady Lydia. And 1 Thess. 4:11 is the verse I have been claiming. I find that though it is just my husband and I (and 3 house dogs), I am as busy as when the children were home and we were homeschooling. See, then I had their help - now I have to do it all on my own and I was shocked at first how much they did! I have my routine pretty down pat and I look forward to each new day and I thank God every morning that I can get up and do my work. I've been bedridden 3 different times in my life with severe pain, so every day I can accomplish my work I am so thankful!
blessings - carol

LadyLydia said...

Sarah, the world was up to its same old tactics back then, but we were not as exposed to it. Children had real childhoods without fear and knowledge of the darker side of life. Homes were kept free of the sordid and the corrupt, although it did exist. Most of our knowledge about how to live, came from grandparents and parents who believed the Bible and lived it. The media has played a huge part in broadcasting the things that demoralize us. In order to make a nation feel that it has no worth, it must be demoralized first, and that is what is happening. You can restore sense to life if you do not listen to all the rotten things that are going on (and always have gone on). If you can keep your home free from the rudeness and the casualness and crudeness, sloppy living, etc. that prevails today, you have a barracade against the culture.

LadyLydia said...

She can go to work when she gets all the work at home done that she needs to and all the other things done at home that she has always wanted to do. She can go to work when her husband washes the dishes, cooks the meals, does the laundry, cleans the bathroom, irons, sews, sends out invitations for hospitality, sorts through all their old boxes of things that need to be gone through, does the grocery shopping, vaccuums and washes the windows. If her husband wants her to have another job (for the home is a job) he should get another job first and lead the way; show the example. She does need to tell him that she cannot go against her beliefs, and show him in the Bible what she believes and ask him if he thinks she can have a conscience that is right with God if she breaks those commandments to women. What she should do is all based on the scriptures as her authority and upon her true duty and responsibility. I see in the Bible that the responsibility of men is to be providers for "their own" and the duty of women is to be keepers at home.

Anonymous said...

It really gripes me how people expect older women to recycle themselves as laborers in the workforce outside the home, especially after putting in decades of dedicated work and love in the home. After the children are gone, she ought to slow down and enjoy life. Do men expect to get another 50 years of work out of their wives? Why not slow down, now that the children are gone, and enjoy a relaxed home life? Is it all about money? I expect it is.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia

What interesting testimonies. I also find that children from our street end up at our house -- adding to the mess! -- because I can clean up that afternoon or the next day. It's easier to be spontaneous if you are around a bit more.

Perhaps the two-job homes in my neighbourhood are tidier because the children are not encouraged to use paints,clay and other craft items. Instead they have computer games etc. We are also into our telly in the UK.

Joluise said...

I generally don't comment on these topics as i know most of your readers will not agree with me at all. My mother worked as a teacher to make sure we had regular income as my father was starting up a farm. We lived in a wonderful warm Christain home with home cooked meals, a clean and tidy home and lots and lots of love. My mum had time to make all my clothes, knit and do many other things. My mother taught me many things and thanks to her I run a very organsiesd home that is clean and tidy (no chaos), I cook all our meals, I wash my clothes three times a week, I have a large garden that I manage plus a vegetable garden. I make my own bread and jams etc.. I am also a mother to 2 grown sons and I help them, when required. I work full time in a senior position.

Many of my friend are just like me. Even though many women may struggle, there are many who can keep a very clean and tidy home and work. I don't want to sound like a super woman, but I also have time to do crafts, read and relax. It comes down to being organized. And no, I don't do everything on the weekend, I spread things out during the week. My weekends are for family and gardening ( a hobby) and those activities I enjoy. I do a little housework each day and it all gets done, it really isn't a difficult or time consuming task and beleive me, I don't like mess or dirt.

Anonymous said...

This is an excellent post that I am printing for my homemaking notebook.

As a homemaker, I have noticed that when it is necessary for me to be out for most of a day, the home is not nearly as nice to come home to as when I am here all day to get things done. Just one day out makes a big difference.

You stated that women need to realize they could lose their homes through neglect. There are other ways women can lose their homes and find themselves in less than ideal circumstances. The current housing "crisis" has many living in apartments for longer than they had planned, or less than ideal situations in their own homes. I think these types of articles are particularly helpful for people in such situations. A less than ideal situation is where a lot of attention to cleanliness and order make the biggest impact. The suggestions in this post can be followed by anyone with good results, regardless of their living situation or income. It is wise to start making the most of whatever home we have to work with as homemakers in the past always did.

Anonymous said...

When I first came out of the workforce after marrying my husband, I had tremendous guilt about not doing anything 'productive' all day. Now, 30 years later, I am totally confident in being at home with no children to care for. There aren't enough jobs to go around now anyway as it is. And I have much to occupy my time. As the last poster states, I am acquainted with a woman in her late 50s who has raised several children and cared for a home and husband, and now she is working in a fast food restaurant as a server! I'm not sure this is totally her own idea, but my daughter said it is a shame to see her on her feet all day, dealing with rude customers, earning very little, and coming home exhausted. She and I agree that she should be home serenely enjoying the fruits of her years of raising children and caring for her husband and home.

LadyLydia said...

The visitor to America from South Africa said that he only stayed in homes when he was here, and that none of them had televisions. It could be that they are using the web for what they want to read, or they are more conservative. In general, he said, people were not paying attention to television, even though there were some in the airports.

A home is to be lived in, and messes will be made, but there is a big difference between clutter and filth. Filth is accumulated because the family does not clean the house or wash dishes and laundry. There have been reports of places so filthy that your eyes sting before you even get close to the house. Also some people have been evicted from their apartments for having too much trash, being too messy, or having an unclean apartment.

Some time social services will take away a child or old person from a house that has gone over the limit of filth, and has been complained about by neighbors.

Having a clean home does not mean you wait for a grueling and uncomfortable, unhappy cleaning day. Just clean as you go, or pick up as you pass by , and clean up after yourself. It will make a big difference in the effort.

Anonymous said...

The Bible says that women are to be keepers at home. It does not force them into the workforce, like many people are trying to do. I'm always astonished at the push for older women, who have served a life time of excellence in the home and family, and helped their husbands succeed, to get them into the 9-5 jobs. Are they going to work them like work horses til they drop? They are still needed at home, even if the children are gone. There is a lot to be done to help the next generation. I suspect a lot of it is simply about money, and that the husbands have forgotten how their own mothers stayed home and kept house into old age. If the lady whose husband is wanting her to get another job would have his parents give him a refresher course in how to live and what marriage is all about (husband provides, wife is homemaker), they might be able to straighten him out. One thing she can do is not panic, and do stay home. You have a right to put up your feet. How many diapers did he change and how many babies did he nurse? HOw many homeschool lessons did he teach? You can't put a price on that. You deserve retirement.

LadyLydia said...

To the lady in Australia,

While there are those who can do what you are doing, and of course, anything is possible--a woman can go to the moon if she likes and a woman can be P.M. if she wants----but my belief is that I cannot promote that kind of thing because I am committed to what the New Testament teaches to women in the Lord's church. By that, I mean that the apostles taught that women in the church were to be different than women outside the body of Christ, in that they were to be discreet keepers of the home, and to teach the younger ones to do the same. SOme people take the Old testament verses on the Proverbs 31 woman and turn her into a work horse that sells real estate and still has a clean house, but in closer examination of the passage, it shows that she gives her hand made garments to the MERCHANT who then sells it in the market. She does not sit in a shop all day and do business.

As for being a teacher, I CAN understand that you can still keep house, because most of the people I know are homeschoolers, and they incorporate the housekeeping along with their teaching.

But I have to be careful not to endorse a way of life, as good as it seems, that is not in keeping with what I am committed to in the scriptures: a woman is to mind her own business and be a guide of the home. Once a woman has raised her family she needs to be showing by example what the younger women ought to be doing: guiding the home is their major concern. If an older woman holds down a job in the market place, she could be showing another example that young ones will follow, to their own detriment. Your children are raised and you don't have the daily mess to clean up, so you reason that its okay to work outside the home, even part time. However, these days, young women might think they can do that too, even though they have a lot of responsiblity at home. Then they try to burn the candle at both ends, and use up all their energy and have nothing left for their families.

Also, people have different energy and health levels. Some women might be able to hold down a job and still keep house. Others can be exhausted by going to work and have nothing left in them to keep house.

And women need to be careful not to divide their attention. Someimes they can get burned out and end up doing nothing. Its important to limit themselves to the focus of the home, which includes necessary shopping, extending hospitality, church involvement, and mentoring their own children and younger women that desire it.

I could not in good conscience recommend that older women go to work. I've seen how some of them are on their feet all day at work and breaking down their health and they have nothing left to give to their grandchildren or to the church. They are wiped out and once home they crash. Your own level of stamina may be good enough to do this, but I just can't recommend it , based on scripture. Again, I will say that even religious people like to hold up the Prov. 31 woman as some kind of super woman who works outside the home and still keeps house, but I don't think that is what the passage was intended for, and certainly, the New Testament church has made it simpler, as you can see in the various passages concerning the home.

Still, I congratulate you for being organized. It is possible that women get behind in that due to ill health or to events such as a death in the family, or care of an elderly parent who has moved in with them, or the birth of a baby.

LadyLydia said...

I would like to ask the woman who works but still keeps up with the housework, to reveal her schedule, as I find it interesting. Since you have no children at home, how often do you vacuume, and when do you wash windows, wash the kitchen floor, and such--do you have a strict schedule? What sort of things do you do to keep it in order, even though you work outside the home?

Anonymous said...

The "occupy" people need to be home minding their own business too. As your daughter's blog stated, you can do a lot more to change things at home, from your own telephone. I suspect the whole movement is a designed thing to distract people from several bills that are being passed behind our backs in congress, to keep the media presence away and focusing on the occupy the parks movment.

Sarah said...

In regards to older women going to work--there are many reasons why a woman is needed at home after her children are grown. In many instances, there are elderly parents who need to be looked after. They are usually placed in nursing homes, just as children are placed in daycare. If possible, I think the elderly are much happier at home with their families. I know this isn't always possible, but if a woman is home she can devote part of her time to taking care of her or her husband's parents. In the most ideal situation, the elderly parents could move in with their children. Before nursing homes, it was the family's responsiblity to care for aging parents. This is why it is so very important for a woman to occupy her home. Every family needs an anchor, someone who is always being a keeper of the home and tending to the needs of those who live there. Her home is a refuge for her husband, children, grandchildren, parents, and even the family pet. If a woman has a job outside the home, then she spreading herself too thin, and both her and her loved ones will suffer for it.

Anonymous said...

I like your post! I found it very encouraging! Thank you so much! Your encouragement is the best. Even though I don't know you in person, all your words of wisdom is helping shape the way I am a homemaker and the way I raise my children. You are a wonderful Titus 2 teacher- who stands firm to the word of God, which I just love. Thank you so much for your encouragement- please keep your wonderful posts coming! Your words of wisdom and strong Bible teaching is much needed and greatly appreciated. God Bless!

Joluise said...

To your question about how I manage a home and work for example when do I vaccum - I vaccum every day as I have a very fluffy indoor cat. I wash the clothes 3 times a week, I don't own curtains so no need to wash. Dusting is done once a week, bread once a week, gardening when needed, cook dinner every night, do the groceries once a week (on Fridays), bathroom and toilet are cleaned once a week or more often when necessary. I clean the fridge when ever it is needed. I don't have a set routine - I do things as they need doing. For example the veggie garden needed planting today so that's when it happened. If a person starts
off with a neat and clean house, it isn't difficult to maintain.

I am not speaking for all working women and I completely understand that this isn't for all women and not all women want to do what Im doing. I am a Christian and have grown up in a strong Christian home, however my mother worked and so do I whereas other family members are SAHMS. Interestingly I didn't search out my job, it came to me due to my skills and after much pray I accepted it. However I always make sure that my husband, adult sons and our home never suffers.

Michele@A Quiet Gracious Life said...

One thing I've observed from friends of mine who have children is as the babies arrive, the daughter could really use some help from her mother. But the mother is unable to help in any real, significant way because she has a job outside of the home and is unable to take time off.

Kathleen in IL said...

This subject - and the comments - have "bothered" me. Why is it so many feel that if there are no children in the home, there is no "mess"??? I'm thinking of the lady whose husband wants her to go to work now that they have no children at home. There is a VAST difference between "homemaking" and "housekeeping". For years I worked and SAID I "kept house", but it was not truly "homemaking". And I agree with the commenter who said that lady deserved time to relax now too!

I'm not always good with expressing my thoughts, and I feel I've missed something here. But I had to say at least the above.

I just shake my head.

Kathleen in IL

Anonymous said...

Lady Lydia

I read with a heavy heart all the posts about older women working outside the home after raising kids and taking care of the home for years. Yes , thanks to feminism even in our churches, husbands are now more comfortable saying he requires his wife to work. After all he is head of the household.
Also, it is even a harder pill to swallow when some well-meaning Christian woman proudly proclaims loudly that she "works because he told her too and she is obedient to the head of the household"
I see the other husbands nod happily and I cringe and feel small. Does anybody have an idea what to do in such a situation especially when one's husband already is making a fuss about one working after the children are out of the house?
Mari

LadyLydia said...

Daughters are needed at home. They have observed in their formative years the inner workings home life and when they get old enough to really do it, they should be allowed to stay home and contribute to the running of the house. It is a big job, if it is being done right. On the surface it may look as if there is nothing to do and no reason to stay home, but if you investigate the inside of the closets and shelves and rooms, you can always find something to clean out, sort, repair, replace, re-paint, or re-arrange. If a family is blessed to have a daughter, they should have a lovely home, for she will contribute a great deal to its care.

LadyLydia said...

The best thing a homemaker can do in the face of pressure to leave her home to go work somewhere else, is to be confident and calm and go about her business of making home life comfortable. Sometimes men think they can recycle their wives and get another life time of work out of them by sending them to work in an office or a store or driving a taxi, but they are not aware of the changes in a woman's life, or in her body. There will be a time when she just will not have the stamina to go out there and deal with the pressures of work, and still maintain her sense of order at home. A woman's attention will be divided, and there is so much more to be accomplished at home, even when there are no children. She should shrug off any attempt to get her to leave, and be stedfastly devoted to her home and family. In later years needs to be available to her grown children when they have their babies and when they need her help. If she is at work she cannot be available on a moment's notice.

I speak from the view of a country woman, since I live in the country. It would be ridiculous for the farm wives I know to get jobs in town, as it would cost a lot in gas and transportation, wear and tear on the car, and the distances would make it impossible to be home at all. They would leave home before breakfast and arrive home after dinner, and then have only a few hours sleep and barely turn around when they have to leave again. There is enough to do at home, and it is the women who will have to educate their won husbands on the matter. Some men can be appealed to by showing them the cost of the woman going to work and comparing it to the things she does now at home that you would have to pay more for. Other men can be reminded about what the Bible teaches. Some men want to please their peers and look good in a world where everyone else's wives are working outside the home, and they will have to just accept the fact that you have made the decision to stay home. After all, would they want you to demand that they quit work just to stay home with you because you do not like the company he works for? By the same token, a man who asks his wife to work is asking her to leave one company and go to work for another one. JUst say that you have enough to do at home without taking on extra work for someone else.

LadyLydia said...

I do not think anyone should deny women the opportunity to stay home and guide the home. If you are in doubt about what there is to do and how you can actually save money and make a profit just by being a good, frugal homemakers, read Cheryl Menolsen's book, "Home Comforts", which is like a textbook that should be taught in schools. Women at home guard their husband
s paychecks and make sure that there is no waste and that they do not pay for things that are not necessary. They have the freedom to hunt for bargains and they do not have to rely on prepared food that costs more. There is much more to it, but those are a few examples.

Anonymous said...

I have, since coming home full time, considered my work at home to be a ministry. That includes homeschooling my children. God is my employer, whether I have children in the home or not. When my youngest finally leaves home, I expect to continue in the employment of the Lord, through my homemaking, or whatever supportive role I can do for the church. That might mean helping at a crisis pregnancy center, a nursing home, or helping in spreading the Gospel wherever I am, as long as I keep my Savior's commands first priority. And He did command that women be keepers at home, as well as be a support to His church.

Just because a woman can seem to manage working full-time without neglecting her home and duty to God and family does not mean she should.

Jane

Anonymous said...

In response to Michelle's comment, I completely agree- mom's are much needed at home when there adult daughters start having children.Now that I am an adult with my own children, I wish my mom was at home. Moms aren't needed any less even with adult children with their own families. Daughters and daughter in laws would love help with the children and the care of their homes and extra adult company and lovely Titus 2 encouragement!

Anonymous said...

Older men do not realize too that their wives are guarding their health. As we have for years. As we get older we get aches and pains and since we are home we can be there to offer comfort to them. I am there as he is there for me, at doctor visits to hear what the doctor is instructing us to do. I rearranged my time so he can have peace to nap. Rearranged furniture so he has easy access with a walker and such. My husband is facing an operation. He will be in need of much help for months. Who is going to be home to help him if I am not here? Would he rather hire a stranger? If I was to stay home that money could be saved. If I worked, I would be at work wondering and worrying how things were going for him at home. It is only common humane sense for me to be home . For us this was never questioned. Sarah

Anonymous said...

As always Lydia, a very encouraging post. Don't stop. Some will learn, some will hear, some will change.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to comment on the lady who works outside the home and still seems to have time for everything, including relaxing. I am a working mom (unfortunatley), with 3 children. Two of the children are grown and one is a young teenager. My son is engaged but still lives at home and works, my daughter is married but lives with us during the week with her baby because her husband has to work 4-5 hours away and cannot come home during the week. My day starts around 5:30, I get up and usually go to the garden and pick whatever needs picking, then come inside and get my youngest up. I also do alterations and make jewelry to sell so I work on that while she gets ready, I also cook my husbands breakfast and fix his lunch for work. I then take my daughter to school-40 miles round trip. When I get back home, I the n get ready for work and get there at 9:00. It is very busy all day and I don't get a lunch so I eat standing up and I don't sit down one time during 9 hours of work. I get off at 6 o'clock, rush home and finish the supper my husband has had to start. We eat and wash the dishes. My daughter needs help with her algebra and I don't understand it so we go next door to get help from a retired schoolteacher. Meanwhile, my family is working on whatever I picked from the garden, when I get back we finish the homework and then I start on the veggies and finish up sometime around 11:00. What I'm trying to illustrate is this-you cannot give everything 100%. It is impossible.I'm exhausted, irritable, and just not happy. God know our limitations and that is why He planned for us to be keepers at home. Through this blog I have been convicted and will be coming home in 9 months! Praise God!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia

To the sister who is rushed off her feet and stated:

"Through this blog I have been convicted and will be coming home in 9 months! Praise God!! (time,12:11 PM)"

I don't know about "convicted", you need to be booked into a spa for a weekend of R & R, dear! I'm tired out just reading that daily schedule!

So many women live like this, and for every "Superwoman" who can "do it all" and come up smiling, there are a thousand, perhaps ten thousand more who are TATT and drowning under a pile of washing up ... Then their husbands wonder why they don't feel like romance, or even sharing a quiet meal together.

PS TATT = Tired All The Time, a term coined by the newspapers in the 1990s to describe the exhaustion, irritation and stress suffered by this generation of overstretched wives and mothers.

PPS TATT isn't just for mothers with a second outside job. It could happen to you, dear homemaker, if you book your kiddies into every activity going or run to church every time the door is open, because you don't want to "just" stay at home, cooking and cleaning.

PPS If you don't want to "just" stay at home cooking and cleaning, please feel free to come round to my house and clean my place as well -- there is plenty here to keep you busy!! (Or, now that the nights are drawing in, get the children under the duvet with a plate of biscuits and read a chapter of "The Railway Children". Make a memory!)

Suzanne said...

Oh, I so heartily agree! I thank God each day for my home. It's not the biggest or best but it is ours and it is home to us. We all love coming in the door:-)

Anonymous said...

If one has not been able to occupy the home but has loved it and done one's best, what next?

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia

I think the lady who posted at 5.12 am asked an interesting question.

If I remember it correctly you had, for a while, a Bible quotation "She has done what she could" as your heading for the blog.

There are many ladies who are ministering the best way they can in difficult circumstances. DL Moody's mother was left a widow, and he looked up to her for what she did for him.

The challenge presented by this blog is to take every opportunity to "occupy the home", and not be ashamed of the ministry of motherhood. If as a widow, or in some other circumstance, you are limited in what you can do at home, then do all that you can, and God will bless your efforts.

However, many women are heedlessly flinging themselves into situations that they could avoid, because everyone else is living the crazy, 24/7, dual-income, helter-skelter lifestyle. There are not many people out there warning young mothers to be wary of following the crowd.

I would urge readers of the blog to read it carefully. Mrs Sherman does not comment on your individual situation in her posts, but outlines general principles or patterns that can be seen in the Word and in the world. It's up to us as readers to discern what to do in response to what we read. For example, I love to sew, but I shan't be making the pumpkins in her recent post (even though they are sweet), because what I should be sewing is a coat for my daughter!!

I hope my comments help the other lady a little.

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