Thursday, April 06, 2017

Freely Provided at Home

(Picture from Pinterest)

Hello Ladies,

This is a subject that has been mulling in my head for months. My main problem is getting it into an understandable script! I know what I mean, but a concept like freedom at home is difficult to explain in a culture inundated with the word "free".

In today's discussion I will use the word to mean the act of giving freely of your time and effort, and it may be more easily explained in a video.  

Women at home provide comfort, safety, social life, nutrition, clothing, teaching, and a myriad of things for their families. They are the family historians, the social directors, comforters, caregivers, in charge of food and clothing and housekeeping. They are the gift-givers and the family social security in many ways.

Things that were once exclusive to the home are now available elsewhere. No longer does a person expect to have a sweater knit by his mother, most meals at home at the table with family members, social life provided by close relatives, good teaching, the development of personal talents and skills and spiritual training from the home.
All the things a woman "used to do" , from grammar-teaching to vegetable gardening have been given a lot of competition in the commercial world.

Consider the things that are provided out of free will and love at home by the woman:

Handmade Gifts
First Aid and Comfort to the Sick
Garden food
Manners training
Social life
Hospitality to her family and others
Soother of hurts and woes
Earning money by her own handmade products
Beds, breakfasts, overnight stays
Tour guide and driver
Aid to the poor, the lonely and the troubled at heart.
A worker in the local church, helping with women's and children's Bible classes, weddings, memorial services, and family reunions.

Compare how the commercial side of life has created many of the products and good works the woman at home does for her family. All the things in this list are produced by some one else, for sale. Who needs the women at home?  

Because everything she provides is provided by other sources, she (or others) may feel it is not necessary for her to be home. After all, what is the difference between buying these things and providing it all voluntarily out of the goodness of your heart at home? 

Here is why I call this "double jeopardy."

A woman who is content at home is bonding with her family by all that she does with them and for them. One day a child will fondly recall the special family meals and celebrations, the family inside-jokes, hand-knit sweaters, home-made clothes and quilts.

*If she gives in to the pressure to go to work outside the home, she gives up her time.

*In return for her time she is given money.

*Because she is no longer home providing goods and conveniences, she spends the money on things.
(I doubt she gives it all to a local charity or to the church. She has to now buy every good and service she used to provide with her own hands.)

*Because she has no time for homemaking, everything the family requires in the home has to be bought.

*These things are produced elsewhere by other people or robots. 

*These things do not bond her to her loved ones, they only create a detachment. There will never be the same fondness for a manufactured gift as a hand-made item.

*I call this double jeopardy because her burden is double when she goes to work.

*The woman leaves her home where everything she did was a free-will offering. She then is rewarded with wages, but she has to spend them on the way home from work to provide the comforts she once freely supplied when she was at home.

*Her work place and co-workers become her social life. She no longer has time for family life or church life or old friends.

*While in the home full time she was free to pursue interests, outdoor activities, etc. without regulation. At work, she is regulated.

*She loses the time with her loved ones. She loses the time formerly spent on thoughtful care of her family.  She loses the money she traded her time for. She loses her talents because she has no time to create and practice her skills.  She is robbed several times over.  It is hard to explain why this is so confusing, partly because most people do not see it as confusing, but as a simple exchange for wages. Real, natural life is not that complicated. It takes mankind to create this double jeopardy and make women think they are not trading anything or giving up anything. 

 What may seem simple to some people, is a tragedy to the thinking, spiritual, creative woman.What was once given freely from the heart is now purchased from someone else (or a robot) from money got by working for someone else (or maybe a robot).  How impersonal can this way of life be? 

 Compare this to the sweet days at home. Even in hard times, the home has richness, the family has bonding and loyalty.  The string that links the woman's heart to theirs is weakened when she leaves the home to work for someone else. 

This does not have to be so.  The world will go on beckoning to the women that they have something for her, but she needs to ask what the price will be in exchange. A whole day's work for a wage that is immediately spent on things that a day at home could provide, at less expense.

Ladies, this does not have to happen.  Just because there is work out there, and just because there are products and services, does not mean you have to give  up your home life for it. The world will not stop doing it, so there is no use trying to put a stop to the replacement of the woman's homemaking skills. What you can do is refuse to take part in it. Here are some ways to do this:

*Enjoy being home but enjoy being with your family when away from home.

*Have your own dinner theatre, your own poetry readings (make up your own poems) and fashion shows (sew your own clothing or do something creative with thrift store clothing)

*Make your own family videos to enjoy watching later. By the time you collect a few, it will take an entire evening to watch them. They can be instructional, entertaining, or family history.

*With your family's art work, create your own art gallery and invite your family and friends as guests, serving them your own healthfully prepared snacks.

*Make meals from natural products, with your own hands. Have your own family cooking shows.

*Make your own cards instead of buying commercial. Be happy to sit at home and write a letter to someone.

*Make up your own entertainment with your loved ones so that they do not crave the world's offerings. Most families are better comedians and actors, anyway. You can have a lot of deep belly laughs with your own family entertaining themselves.

*Write your own stories in little folded papers and have your own family book reviews.

*Become candidates for mayor, garden planning,  and country council in your own home. If you have older children, this is an absorbing activity and helps improve the place.

*Hang washed laundry on the line when possible. It gives clothes a fresh scent, and the sun sanitizes them. There is a lot more to this activity than putting clothes in the dryer, that is for sure. You just have to experience it yourself, as it is difficult to explain.

*Have your own county fair. We have done this before. Everyone prepares and entry, blue ribbons are hand made, and cash prizes are provided. 

*Go on walks. Rest more. Play more. Partake of the tea ceremony. 

*Plan trips within a reasonable distance and take a travel-diary with you. There are all kinds of ways of making it more than it seems.

*Go to antique stores and re-sale stores and look for things of interest that are not being made anymore.

*Learn new skills. I know a family whose children grew up learning something new each month and today those grown children can do just about anything or they will figure out how.

*Write your own songs and make up your own music. Guitars and fiddles are more portable than pianos, and everyone can have one, and play together.

 Learn to sing acapella and get used to singing in harmony.  What you hear constantly blasted in public places is so dismal. We can do better; much, much better. Even a child can make up a song and sing it better.  We can even write new hymns for our families to sing.

*The home is so varied, you can teach your children how to run a restaurant, a bakery, a shop or a ship. For a few years, we used the back porch as our shop, supplying it with items we no longer used, or new things we made. Our friends shopped there too.

*Pretend to be housekeepers and gardeners. Its a wonderful way to keep the place in shape.

*Hire your friends to provide services and products, or trade.

There you have it, ladies. You don't have to trade your time for wages and your wages for things, You don't have to give up being the lady of the house, residing gracefully at home.  

To those who say they need to go to work for "a backup plan" I say, God already gave us our backup plan in the family unit. Of course, there are those who want you to think there is no other back up plan than whatever they provide, because they want your time and your money.

 He has graciously provided the family as the ideal way of making a life and creating provision. The husband and father should be appreciated for all he does to provide for the home so that the wife can stay home and manage frugally.  When the man and woman are interdependent rather than independent. he provides and she protects his provision, fiercely guarding his earnings so that they don't go to the spoiler. 

I do not need to remind you of the many places in the Bible that show the importance of the women in the home. They provide the stability and reassurance the men need after working out there in that crazy world. One lady said, "The working world was making my husband and me crazy, so I quit work. I figured there was no sense in both of us being crazy." Her time was quickly filled up keeping the home. There is a lot more to it than people know and the only way to understand it all is to do it yourself.

As we are so accustomed to having everything on demand, it will be an adjustment to slow down and let the home be the center of life, but we can at least try one small thing mentioned here and see if it will not bring a sense of well-being.


This is not to say a woman has to make every stitch of the family clothing, grow crops for food or cook every meal. The point of the message was to avoid the control over her life by those people outside the home who think she should be regulated, with the sly offer of money as a reward; money which will never ever compensate for what she is giving up.

At home she is not robbed of her time, the family money, or things. Once she leaves, she gains nothing except the "opportunity" to qualify for a larger mortgage.


ladypinktulip said...

This is such a wonderful post! Really great thoughts that bring our hearts and minds back to our little place on earth that we create. Oh that we would return to the old paths where the way is good. When I read an obituary of an elderly woman who has passed and it says things like "She loved knitting for her family. She was a quilter and gardener. She enjoyed making big family meals." I think to myself...there is no greater list of blessings. It's not the same when it says..."she worked 30 years for the school district". Home is Legacy. Love Kelly T.

Unknown said...


Anonymous said...

Indeed what you say is true, Lydia.

Even though the same people are saying it is slavery being at home either don’t know or understand the freedom we have. Not only in Christ am I speaking of, but our FREEDOM of doing what we want, when we want to do it. You stated many wonderful things in which when my kids were younger we actually did!

On top of the many lovely things you listed, here might be a few more. Singing at your local nursing home, have an older/younger pen pal. You can also research on your computers or library for the health of family, gather more interesting book to educate yourself, rest when you feel weary or lay down when tired. Pursue hobbies, or what you feel passion about in learning. ( Example: learning herbs and tinctures, or being in a conversation by email with someone from another state about flowers)

To do nothing is my freedom too,though I would not recommend staying there. :o)

In a sense we have the freedom to stay home and take care of those in our home when sick as we are not on a timeline to work or have to miss work. Do the needs of the many (your home) out weight the needs of the few? (workplace) To go outside the home and work, exactly whom are we validating? Isn't a homemaker a selfless devotee to family? IF she works full time, how can a husband take care of her or protect her? Another man is in the picture. So then what exactly is the reason for him to marry in the first place?

My husband, on the other hand, does not have such freedoms. He is under a boss and manager to accomplish certain ideas or products that he has to either maintain or finish within a timeline for customers or others in the workplace when problems occur.

If we look closely at what Lydia points out, and at least do one or two she recommends a day, in a sense become a Proverbs 31 woman.

Fiona Ferris said...

I know exactly what you are getting at, Lady Lydia, and it brings up a more far-reaching example for me, the manufacturing industry.

Here in New Zealand, as I'm sure in the US, we have lost our manufacturing industry because this is now outsourced to cheaper wage countries. Skills that previous generations had are now lost. Factories that used to make shoes and clothing here are now shut down with the machinery being worthless, and skilled labour out of a job.

These days, most jobs are services. Working in a bank or a retail store will not help people hone a useful skill. There are a few, such as being a chef or hairdresser, but not many - most work in services.

And even though the products are a little cheaper than they used to be, more and more people are working to buy all that low-quality rubbish. Something is wrong with the modern world, how can we call this advancement?

Anyway, I did not want to descend into negativity. I love this post and all that you stand for. Thank you :)

Lydia said...

Fiona, yes, exactly. Outsourcing robs people of the innate desire to learn skills and th satisfaction o creating something. We should have literally dozens of shoe manufacturers that make molds for their customers feet and put shoes together on their own neighborhoods . But I g shoes on demand from foreign makes lessens the need and desire to have a lifetime skill the whole family including the wife can work in. I only know one family that has achieved this. One son is a roofer, another lays foundations, another a carpenter. I las are book keepers, and designers and company sales.nchildren clean up property for building sites. The other day we needed a hall floor put n and could find no one to do it so my 73 year old husband, myself and a man in his 60's figured it out, albeit awkwardly. It would make an amusing reality show watching them tottering around trying to get things measured and placed, losing their notes, laughing all the way. But what a robbery of skill when younger people go to work in business that takes them away from real life!

Lydia said...

Yes and with a private skilled business is the freedom to choose the materials or make them .

Sadly Many of us feel trapped in this way of life, even if we are home full tme!

Lydia said...

I think my parents had it right in the 1940's. They had no emotional or mental dependence on anything with a label, title, degree or a white coat. That generation looked at fame and success with half a smile, ignored it and did things all by themselves. They did not want the things the world tried to sell them. When I had my own home and family I did not have television and refused to buy anything that was advertised. If it was advertised it was my clue to looking for an alternative. Today I count it a victory if I can walk out of a big box store without buying anything. I remember how our parents taught us not to want the approval of others and how to be happy with who we were and be confident because of the family we were in, knowing they loved us. We are so removed from this attitude today. We do not have to run with the crowd anymore. Ladies can claim their place in the home where they can give freely with the heart.

Unknown said...

What a wonderfully written message! God has surely gifted you with many talents and much wisdom.

Unknown said...

Such a beautifully written message! God has surely blessed you with talents and wisdom. I enjoy all your posts, I have been reading for about 3 years.

anonymous said...

Yes I totally agree Lydia. My business venture only goes as far as baking cookies for a neighbor gentleman in exchange for the eggs his pet hens produce.

I'm so busy at home taking care of children, husband, home and garden that I wouldn't have the time to hold down a job.
And as for shopping at a big box store, I've heard many are closing now due to so many people shopping on-line. Victory for me too since now I'm not tempted by everything I see. hah-ha.

Even with all the work I have, I truly feel more freedom staying home and serving my husband rather then going to work each day and serving a boss who wants as much work from me as possible and has no sympathies for me if I'm not feeling well or had to stay up all night with a sick child. I don't have to bother with childcare, the purchase of work clothes, buying extra car insurance, ware on the family car, rush hour traffic, eating out each day. I may have a tea break whenever I like in the beauty of my own peaceful garden. At the end of the day I may be tired, but satisfied at all I've accomplished and my family is secure.


Feminine Belle said...

Per your last three comments.

In stead of posting in the comment section, allow me to encourage you to write an article about it. This all has affected us in many ways, but does not however, touch on your freedom of home.

Perhaps call it part II of Freedom?

Feminine Belle said...

ps. I would dearly like to read what you write on perhaps this part II and include what you have stated here or even say more. I bet you would have some unique perspective on it.

Dianne said...

Loved, loved, loved this ... thank you. I have had similar thoughts but unable to articulate them so perfectly. I am older now, in my sixties, and how I wish I had had these encouragements when I had a young family. I tried, though ... and had these same instincts, though haltingly. Unfortunately, I succumbed to returning to work part time while children were still young, and full time later on. These are regrets now. I want to mention also that your suggestions for activities were so sweet and such a springboard for many ideas to young mothers, I am sure. Blessings to you for your thoughtful and helpful posts.

Songsparrowgarden said...

Beautifully said. There is nothing to add to it.

Songsparrowgarden said...

Where I live. . . and even when I lived in Northern Indiana. . . we can not / could not hang washed clothing on a line in the yard. . against subdivision rules. Can you believe that? I cannot grow a vegetable garden in the subdivision. . . (I do anyway and so far no one has turned me in to the Village, but if they did, I'd have to rip it out.)

One of my old friends had a beautiful flower garden where she lived. . . it took my breath away to see it. But it was against the rules where she lived to have a flower garden so they told her to rip it out by a certain date - - or they would. She was forced to rip it out. . . . . Fortunately she moved / left after that. And I will leave too. . . over the next few years. But I do work.. I don't have the luxury of a supportive husband. . .or a family. And while I love the simple life. . .no one else here does. .. very sad to say.

Sharon said...

Loved the post.I used some of your ideas years ago to train my girls.I am the one that asked for your address. It is easier for me to write,than type. God bless,Sharon

living from glory to glory said...

Good Morning Lydia, I am taking a little break here while doing my home making and I wanted to tell you how well you were able to put this concept into words! I for one learned early on nothing is free, you must allot for everything. And when you leave your home, you lose time...
Time to love and to create and to rest and to provide emotional stability to the members of your family and to one's self! Women are chasing things that have no long term value.
I understand some ladies HAVE to work, but when we can stay home why do we give it up for just MORE STUFF?
The work force now dictated to us what and where all the time and about everything!
Now who is in real control??
Loved this post!!
Always, Roxy

Polly said...

This post is just wonderful.

Years ago I was working 60+ hours a week in an oppressive, difficult environment. I resigned (with relief) and I remember the feeling I had leaving on my last day: that I was now to be mistress of my own domain! It was a wonderful, liberating feeling and I've never looked back. That was almost exactly 12 years ago.

In college I remember trying to explain the housewifery I knew to someone who saw it through the lens of Betty Friedan. I tried to explain that my grandmother, and my aunt, were not just consumers. They were producers! They canned food, made things, grew vegetables, grew flowers, etc. Now I realize that my passionate defense of this type of homemaking was a subtle preparation in my own heart for the future that lay before me. I now am the one who prepares food, makes things, grows vegetables, grows flowers.....

We include a wide margin in our days. We read books together, build a chicken coop, grow flowers, make clothes (or most recently, my first foray into quilting--from scraps!), play piano, sing hymns, etc. This isn't drudgery! I practiced law, so I know drudgery. This is life-giving and fulfilling. I'm so grateful for the childhood that my children have.

I'm also interested in the little "shop" you had at your house. Please tell us more! I think that's a wonderfully fun idea. My daughter has already opened an Etsy shop--she's 6! But it's not stocked yet. :)

Housewife59 said...

An excellent and thought provoking post, Lydia. Thank you.