Friday, March 21, 2008

Home: The Woman's Realm

The home is the perfect career for a woman. It is here that she owns the things around her, many of them gifts from loved ones. It is here that she creates a routine based on the needs of her family. Here, also, she is free to enhance the beauty and comfort of the dwelling, according to her own desires. No one can hold her back from career advancement, for she can learn new things and implement them whenever she likes. She can find ways of saving money and still live richly, but a career at home has rewards beyond money. During her tenure as a homemaker, she develops untold amounts of skills and talents. Resourcefulness and creativity are more likely to develop during uninterrupted days at home. One of the greatest motivations of being a good homemaker is being able to experience the results. It is very uplifting to the emotions to have a clean house that has a feeling of joy and beauty in it. Sometimes little corners that have been arranged with love and care, become the focus of photography or art, such as these paintings by Susan Rios. I have sought many paintings from the online art stores and have yet to see very many paintings glorifying women in factories, offices, institutions or other places of work outside the home. The 19th century paintings nearly always portray women doing something of a serious and peaceful nature at home.
When the mistress of the house confidently assumes her role, home life gets better and better. She provides for the family a safe and lovely place to dwell. She makes the house look good, feel comfortable, and smell sweet. She learns all the ways of her home, and from that, figures out how to remedy problems and rise to certain challenges. She looks around her to see things that need to be done. She does things without waiting for someone to tell her. She needs no supervisor. By instinct, the ant and the spider industriously make and provide for their homes. By instinct, women can manage her home.
Married women and daughters at home do not require a committee, a study, a group, a march, placards, or an act of Congress in order to be liberated. It just takes one woman at a time taking up her God-given role in the home. It doesn't take a lot of noise or slogans or any kind of a "women's studies" class to convince the next generation that a woman functions best as queen of her home. What it takes is persistant attention to the tasks at home, discerning the most urgent to the least important. It takes women who are willing to live the role of homemaker. Standing around arguing with friends about the viability of such an occupation will not prove a thing. Doing it will.
When you come home, life will be more exciting and fulfilling if you will determine to do it excellently, not half-heartedly. You will have sick days, for sure, and there will be times when you need more rest. There will be interruptions and emergencies, but at least you will be there to tend to them.
Though she keeps an eye on the time, a woman at home will not be in any particular hurry. This is a great advantage to her health and her mental state. Being at home gives her a chance to think deeply about what is important. Though she is the social director of the home, keeping track of appointments and expected company, she has the power to curtail that side of her life just because she feels the need to. She is not obligated to let the public into her life, yet she can chose the people she wants to associate with. She is not obligated to keep the same hours as the rest of the world, but she is free to make a schedule for herself if she sees the need. That is perfect freedom.
I realize there are women whose husbands are gone during the brightest parts of the day and it can get lonely. I've always drawn great comfort from the women of the past who kept so busy at home. Nearly all of them could make something with their own hands. They had an absorbing interest in life. I think this is important for all women to know, so that they can be content when there is no one to talk to. Most of the time, when a man does come home after being around people all day, he just wants to relax and not talk much, any way. That is why having some interests in life that can be pursued from the home, are such a great advantage.
Being home is like owning a little world of one's own. Inside that world, there is freedom from all the things that oppress us in the rest of the world. Here there is freedom, but from that freedom, a woman at home can influence the world in a great way.
There are many houses that remain empty all day while both the husband and the wife work. I believe many women would like to be liberated from the workplace and be given freedom to be home. They would much rather live in a small place of humble stature and be able to live on their husbands earnings, than have to be away from home every day just to pay for it. I hope all who are in that situation will take hold of the liberty to be homemakers, a liberty that Christ already gave women in His will, and come home. Home provides freedoms for women that no feminist movement could ever guarantee:
The freedom to rest when needed.
The freedom to create without the rules and regulations of the employment place.
Freedom to develop family ways and humor distinct and apart from everyone else.
Freedom to sing aloud, laugh, and talk about important issues with the family, without censure.
The freedom to take sick days without losing your job.
The freedom to conduct your day according to your personal needs.
The freedom to dress as you really want to, without the dictates of current fashion.
Freedom to learn new talents and skills and do with them as you like--keep, give away, or sell at your own price.
When you are home-based, you need not compete with the traffic of the working world, and you don't have to fill your gas tank so often.
Quotes about the home:
No money is better spent than what is laid out for domestic satisfaction.Samuel Johnson1709-1784, British Author
A hundred men may make an encampment, but it takes a woman to make a home.Chinese Proverb
Home is a place not only of strong affections, but of entire unreserved; it is life's undress rehearsal, its backroom, its dressing room, from which we go forth to more careful and guarded intercourse, leaving behind us much debris of cast-off and everyday clothing.Harriet Beecher Stowe1811-1896, American Novelist, Antislavery Campaigner


Lynn said...

This is such a beautiful post - thank you.

yoshi3329 said...

wow I've never heard homemaking in such a good light before! Thats why I like coming to your blog I learn something new every time I come! Beautiful pictures!

Anonymous said...

Lovely post, so inspiring. Thanks.


Loving Her Beautiful said...

Wow! What a magnificent post! Just the opening paragraphs alone are brilliant -- and it keeps getting better! I wish all young ladies could read this as they make life choices (I hope this isn't overdone coming from a man). But I can assure you I feel truly loved when I come home (after reluctantly leaving to go away to work) to find a loved and blessed place -- and person -- awaiting me. Thanks for writing!

Cherish the Home said...

Another inspiring and lovely post. These are my favorite kinds that you write, I always feel more energized and refreshed after reading one of your special posts.

This part especially blessed me:

"They had an absorbing interest in life. I think this is important for all women to know, so that they can be content when there is no one to talk to."

Many Blessings and Happy Easter,

Anonymous said...

Very inspiring post, Mrs. Sherman. I particularly liked this sentence: "When the mistress of the house confidently assumes her role, home life gets better & better." I could not agree more, & I think we women need to focus on that word "confidently", & remember that approaching our job with a great deal of trepidation, & a kind of lack of commitment, sends the message that we somehow don't give it the honor we claim to want others to.

I'd like to thank BILL, if I could, for his remarks here. No complaints from this homemaker that your words were perhaps "overdone". I think they show a great deal of appreciation for your wife's devotion! You're both very lucky!


Anonymous said...

I feel very blessed to be home. If one were to meet me in person - I am just an average woman on the outside. I don't dress fancy & I don't have wealth or even much in the way of material goods - an older home, car & clothing to match. Perhaps in many circles I would be overlooked or even considered to be poor, which is okay by me.

However, on the inside, I have much peace & contentment about being home. As a young single woman I worked many years in the business world & had a lot of unhappy experiences. I know there are many women who have to work (& of course there are many that don't need to but choose to). But I will say that I don't miss that life at all. I don't miss the backstabbing, the competitiveness & insincerity, the extreme tiredness and difficulty to manage it all.

I would not trade my present life for any of that ever again. Are there moments of difficulty - absolutely, just as there are many of the same I'm sure for those who work - but to me it seems so much easier to be home. I love being able to orchestrate my day as Lady Lydia mentions, especially having health issues. What a blessing it really is and I am so thankful. I wish the same for many women to have this peace & sense of belonging.

Anonymous said...

Well said! Thank you for such a wonderful post. I dream of one day being able to be home full time. Keep up your encouraging words!

Sue said...

This is my favorite kind of post that you write. You write about God's will for women and what is truly in their hearts like no other and I thank you.
When I am having discussions with young people about this specific topic your words often come to my mind and help me present the case for becoming keepers at home. How I wish these truths had been presented to me many years ago.

Anonymous said...

Dear Lady Lydia,
Thank you for a wonderful post! These kinds of posts are my favorite, and they are so needed. I've been home almost a year now, and truly I have never felt more "liberated". I am free to use my time and God-given talents and abilities to focus on the realm of responsibility assigned to me by God-THE HOME. I flourished as a career woman because I had strong organizational skills,knew how to plan my day and supervise my staff, and had a strong work ethic. However, I could never apply this to my homelife. I was exhausted at the end of the day and could not put the same energy and time needed into keeping my own home-the one place where my skills were desperately needed! Even though I was successful at work, I always felt like a failure. Now I know why. I believe women are given a natural instinct to "nest" and manage things on the home front. Consequently,most working mothers still do the majority of the housework. It's rarely 50-50. My husband would put in a 10-12 hour day, come home and crash on the couch. In his mind, his workday was over! Most working mothers do not have that luxury, and single working mothers have it even tougher. Now that I am home I can concentrate on the one task that has always brought me the most fulfillment-keeping the home. I'm not rushed, have no deadlines (other than the ones I set for myself)and make my own schedule(with my husband's input) I can give my attention to the details that elevate this life from being more than just mere existence. Since there is a lot less money, I am forced to be more creative. Many friends and colleagues thought that I would be bored after a few months, but far from it-there'always something to be done or improved upon. Homemaking is a full time job, and women who have to work are working a double shift, every day. I have many friends still in the work place, and some are so rushed, so burdened and stressed, that maintaining a friendship is becoming difficult. I find myself doing what you mentioned in your post-curtailing many social activities and visits. I mind my own business (and there's plenty of it to mind!)and no longer chime in on the "man-bashing" sessions my friends and I would engage in. This has been a wonderful time of renewal and self-discovery for me;I am growing closer to my family, and am not willing to let others invade that. I am guarding my new life and I am very reluctant to expose it to the stresses and crises of my stressed- out friends. This is new for me. Maybe you could comment on how to deal with the inevitable changes that happen when women come home. I don't want to alienate my friends, but I feel I must guard my new-found peace at any cost. God bless you, dear Lady!

Lydia said...

You are such an inspiration to me. Thank you so much!

Mrs. Anna T said...

Dear Lady Lydia,

I don't have powerful enough words to express just how much reading this means to me, only two days before I make the transition from joyful home-focused daughter to a happy, contented new wife! My dear new husband and I don't have much money, and our home will be very humbly furnished and decorated at first. Yet it doesn't make me want to run away from home and do "something more worthwhile". On the contrary, I'm even more inspired to take care of my new husband and make our home a bright and cheerful place for him.

Victoria said...

Very beautifully written, I feel almost transformed! You have inspired me in my homemaking and reminded me that it is an honor to be at home.

I have seen many benefits since I have come home, but just a couple, health is a benefit I didn't realize, but since I left the workforce my blood pressure has come down.

Occasionally I will mention to my husband in the morning what I am preparing for the evening meal. Upon his arrival from work he will tell me he has been thinking of dinner all day!

~~Deby said...

Oh to have this taught in the ladies groups across our nations, in our churches, Life would change. This has been one of my most favorite posts of yours, a real keeper. Posts like these need to be read and re-read as we battle the naysayers of our days, often in our neighborhoods and our families and even some friends.
I plan to save this and re-read it myself.
Thank you for being bold enough to step out on these kind of issues.

Jennifer C. Valerie said...

Thanks you for the wonderful reminder of all that is good about staying home. I enjoy it so much and reading your post reminded me of the freedom that I have to be all that God would have me to be without the restrictions of the working environment. May God bless you as you continue to paint the word pictures that inspire, challenge and encourage women to take their rightful place and home and revel in it.

Mrs. E said...

It is such a comfort to come here and read views which are commonly shared by many. Thank you for sharing your inspiring posts!

Mrs. V. said...

Bravo and Amen! A woman in the home can give a quality to the work that she does that is simply impossible for a working woman to equal. Our homes are sacred ground and we should respect them as such by allowing the lady of the house to be just that! If we do not attend to these things, then who will?

JKaye said...

Thank you for this inspiring piece. I want to memorize the first paragraph because it has so much wisdom in it that I need to be reminded of throughout the day. The line that jumps out at me is, "It is here that she creates a routine based on the needs of her family." I do love being available to serve MY FAMILY, rather than a boss or other co-workers. My family does find it is very nice having me at home now to help them deal with the little needs or big events of the day. Sometimes, however, I begin to resent their unplanned intrusions into what I have decided to do for the day. And sometimes they resent the fact that my being at home means we have less money for this or that. We all are having to make adjustments to this new way of life, and that's probably a good thing for us to experience. We are learning to work together and accommodate each other in ways we didn't have to do when I was working outside the home.

Anonymous said...

Thank for such a wonderful post. I always laugh when I think of how I was so "free" when I worked. Yes, I was very free sitting in a gray cubicle staring at a computer screen all day from 8:30 to 5.

I enjoyed reading everyone else's comments also.


Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for another inspiring post! I always feel renewed and refreshed when I read what you have written. Please know that what you are doing is so important!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this and all your similar entries. Today was my last day of work to become a full-time keeper at home. There's a lot to do, and I appreciate your continued encouragement. I'm very overwhelmed at the moment!!

Sibyl said...

As always a wonderful post. I remember when I was able to come home permently (16 years ago). I remember my husband telling me that lots of women would be jealous of me. I could not understand. It has taken me quite a few years to figure it out. I can make my own days. There are days I can do so much around my home. Other times things just don't get done but there is always tomorrow. I am very blessed that my husband knew that I belonged home to take are of our family. He worked nights so he was home asleep during the day and he could tell when I was home and when I wasn't even if he was asleep. He could hear me working around the home through the walls. He always told me he appreciated me being there.

Thanks again for your site. I so appreciate it.


Thespia said...

This really freed my heart. Thank you so much...I hope this can be me, one day.

Anonymous said...

"Keep watch over your vineyard--your home and children. Remember that this is the sphere that God has given to you. When you are enticed away from this realm, you move out of God's perfect will. The Shulamite woman said, 'They made me the keeper of the vineyards; but my own vineyard I have not kept!' (Song 1:6) Don't get side-tracked looking after other people's vineyards when your foremost task is to look after your own." from Nancy Campbell, "Above Rubies," Issue 73.

Mrs. K's Lemonade Stand said...

I loved your posts! Wonderfully rich in truth!

Anonymous said...

Another encouraging article. Thanks for reminding us of how blessed we are to be at home.

Something that you might enjoy:

I love his poems about home and family.

Unknown said...

I was finally able to get through. The site wanted to freeze on me.
I hate to miss your blogs. They are so inspiring and true. Just b/c there isn't an actual paycheck w/the homelife doesn't mean our job is demeaning. It's better.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful! I want to print this up and keep it somewhere where I can re-read it. :o)