Edith Schaeffer's book The Hidden Art of Homemaking ought not be mistaken as a guide to homemaking but, rather, a visual aid to the potential creative arts of this realm. The premise of the work is that God, having created all that exists, is an infinitely creative being. We, as the product of his work, therefore ought to also mimic creativity in our lives.
Schaeffer describes in great detail the vast potential of creativity present within areas of: music, painting, sketching, sculpturing, interior decoration, gardening, flower arrangement, food, writing, drama, creative recreation, clothing, integration and environment.
I enjoyed the author's encouragement to not be limited by our surroundings when dealing with the aforementioned subject matters, but to embrace it in utilizing it in its fullest capacity. She paints a picture of a live lived with intention of transforming the drabness that can be the ordinary into something truly beautiful. While maintaining awareness of conditions of ample resources or few, the author attempts to relay the vitality of participating in each creative art.
Although the author does a sufficient job at conveying her vision for homemaking as an artform, I felt the overall work was nonsubstantial and circuitous. Within each chapter she spends an overwhelming amount of time in detailing the many, many possibilites and neglects arriving at any conclusivity. The author is transparent in the writing, which is conveyed as a long stream of thought. She does reference biblical passages at times, but I'm uncertain as to the truth in usage. For instance, she bases attire standards on Matt. 6:28-34. I personally have not come to conceive this passage to be indicative of God's desire for us to present ourselves in aesthetic attire. I, on the other hand, have come to understand God's desire to be our hearts. Interior decor and other subject matters within the book are also treated in a similar fashion.
Overall, I felt the idea of painting homemaking as an art was brilliant but the execution in writing could've been better (namely far more concise and crisp). Though the book is a mere 215 pages it took me nearly two months to complete. The wordiness of the extensive descriptions and possibilities contained in each chapter really weighed down the reading experience. I would almost be interested in rereading it for it is highly inspirational in it's theme, but the act of reading through it poses to be more of a begrudging task than enjoyment for me currently.
I would probably not recommend this book to anyone looking for a concise or conclusive writing on homemaking. On the other hand, if anyone is seeking subtle inspiration for viewing homemaking in an artistic eye or embracing creative means of aesthetic appeal regardless of his/her circumstance, then this book would be one I'd pass along.
Have you read the book? What are your thoughts?
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