Homemaking is the art and science of creating and maintaining the home to be a pleasant and productive environment for the glory of God.
We've discussed the path to arriving at this definition in "What is Homemaking?" We've also looked a little closer at the terms "art, "science," "creating," and "maintaining" in "What is Homemaking? Part 2." Now, for the final part in which we'll look at the terms "home," "pleasant," "productive" and "glory of God."
Home: What is in a home? Would a home by any other name be as sweet? Clearly, this is a play on the famous line by Shakepeare, but the idea still applies. Is it necessary for a home to be a house? For some, a house is quickly inhabited after the wedding ceremony. For others, it's an apartment, a condo/townhome, a trailer, etc. Do these alternate residences demean the value of home created within the walls? Absolutely not! There are multiple reasons for choosing a particular housing arrangement over others. To put off transforming the environment into a loveing home while waiting for another situation is to forfeit the valuable treasure God has given you in placing you right where you are. Home is the place you and your family's heart dwells, regardless of the structure type. It may not be your ideal, but perhaps it is God's for you. The key is to embrace that notion and come to earnestly work within the means provided now.
This blog will focus predominately on creating a home in apartment/small space living. How do we create the comforts of home in small spaces, within a budget, and with upcoming changes in mind? In other words, I focus on making the most of the space while also incorporating cost-effective design elements. This focus, however, certainly does not eliminate the potential for applicability to other housing situations!
Pleasant: Do you look forward to returning home? Is the home and family unit a pleasant place to rest and reside? What is it that creates a welcoming home? I personally feel that the key is the relationships of the individuals who reside within it. Love is an interesteing thing in that it can be felt even when not blantantly displayed. Is the heart bitter, resentful, disrespectful, unloving? I assure you these sentiments permeate the atmosphere of the home even without spoken words.
In my viewpoint, "pleasant" can also mean aesthetics. Blank white walls are quite unpleasant on the eyes. Bare windows and bed covering leave much life to be desired in the room. Does one need to be an interior decorator or have a sizeable home decor budget to achieve visual appeal? Certainly not! There are many little simple elements that can be utilzed to add life and excitement to a space. Have pillows for the sofa? Use pillow slipcovers to add character and change the tone of the space! Even apartments will permit holes in walls for pictures. Pictures are the quickest and easiest way to add life (your story!) to the space. I love walking into homes with the pleasant faces of loved ones and times joyfully displayed!
So, the blog will focus on pleasant in terms of heart and aesthetics.
Productive: Did you know that one origin of teaching home ec within schools was to education women on how to be more producers than consumers? How do we get ourselves from living 'paycheck in, paycheck out?' We've got to learn how to work with our own hands to produce goods instead of constantly consuming them!
This is probably one of my favorite explorations of homemaking because it is so multidimensional. For instance, productivity includes subjects such as "going green" and "frugality." I don't focus on that which is the "greenest" or most inexpensive because I choose to focus instead on sustainablillity and quality. I also focus on getting multiple uses out of purchases. (For instance, I can use vinegar as fabric softener in the wash, dishwasher rinse aid, hair "conditioner," all purpose cleaner, and cooking. By doing so, I just eliminated at least four individual products I would've had to be a dependent consumer of!).
And so, the blog focuses tremendously on learning to be more productive. Being a gross consumer within the home is very counterproductive! Paycheck in, paycheck out. Furthermore, Proverbs 31 demonstrates the great potential of productivity!
Glory of God: Colossians 3:17 says, "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." How would my role in the home or in my family change if my "word or deed" was done "in the name of the Lord Jesus?" Herein lies the focal point of the blog. I can strive to my greatest ability, but if I have not done it for the Lord then I will have done it in vain. We're created to serve Him, and glorify Him with our lives. This blog focuses on doing so from the perspective of homemaking, but I in no means discount the many other modes of doing so! Regardless of the "how" the important part is the "why" and that should be answered simply- for the Lord.