The Hidden Art of Homemaking Book Club

HomemakingI saw at Sherry‘s the other day that Cindy at Ordo Amoris is hosting a read-along book club for the next twelve weeks or so to read Edith Schaeffer’s book, The Hidden Art of Homemaking. I had read this book some time in my early married years, and it had a great impact on me. I had been wanting to revisit it, and this provided the perfect impetus: it will be inspiring and enjoyable to compare thoughts with others while we work through the book. The idea is to discuss a chapter a week and then link up at Cindy’s to compare notes.

Sadly, I could not find my copy of the book! But I did find it online here, and that will tide me over until I can find mine or obtain a new copy.

As a young woman, I wrestled with the idea of wanting my home and even my dress to be attractive. Would we be more effective Christians if we spent less time on mundane, earthly things that will pass away and lived like John the Baptist? Edith’s book helped me greatly in that regard. In the first chapter, “The First Artist,” she goes into great detail observing God’s creativity and artistry in creation. When He created the world, He called it good. And even though it has been marred by sin, still “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” (Psalm 19:1). God could have made the world just functional, but He also made it beautiful, not only for our enjoyment, but also that we might see something of Him in His handiwork.

She also discusses the ways in which we’re created in His image, and a part of that image which will reflect Him is in the area of creativity and artistry. We’re limited by the fact that we’re finite and inherently sinful, whereas He is not, but still, we can reflect Him in these areas. In later chapters she’ll acknowledge that we have other priorities and limits on our time and finances, but she’ll discuss simple ways of incorporating art and beauty into the everyday, such as this incident when a tramp came to the door, and instead of handing a sandwich out through a barely-opened screen, she made up a nice tray complete with flowers. She’s not talking about investing big bucks buying high-end art, though there is nothing wrong with that if one can afford it: rather, she’s discussing having an eye and developing a taste for bringing beauty and artistry into even the mundane, to bring enjoyment to others and to reflect His beauty.

We’re also supposed to introduce ourselves with this first post. My name is Barbara. I became a Christian as a teenager. I’ve been married for 33 years and have three boys, one of whom is married, and only the youngest is still at home. No grandchildren yet! I’ve been privileged to be a stay-at-home mom ever since my first pregnancy. Maybe because I did not come from a Christian home, or maybe because God just wired me that way, I’ve had a heart for creating a truly Christian home since before I was married (I even listed homemaking as one of the themes of my life.) I think every woman is a homemaker, because every woman lives in a home, and her home will reflect her personality to some degree, whether she’s single, married, with children or without, and even at this stage in life when the nest is almost empty. My husband has often said that if he lived alone, there probably would be nothing on the walls, and he doesn’t always understand exactly why I have certain things there, but he likes the hominess of it. One of my most treasured comments on my blog was from him on this topic.

Besides homemaking, I enjoy reading, some crafts (mainly stitching and paper crafts), and writing.

Those discussing the first chapter are linking up here this week. I hope you can join in! Even if you can’t read the books right now, I’d love to hear your thoughts on creativity and artistry in homemaking.

12 thoughts on “The Hidden Art of Homemaking Book Club

  1. What a sweet note from your dh! My dh travels a good bit, and that makes me think about how coming home makes him feel.

  2. I first read this book several years ago and it made a big impression on me. I am so NOT a home decorator, so it was good for me to understand the importance of beauty in the home and the positive and godly role it can play. Maybe I’ll drag my copy back out and re-read it (again).

  3. I like the idea that part of homemaking and beauty-making is expressing our personalities. It will be fun with such a large reading group to see the differing personalities emerge as we explore the different chapters.

  4. Hello Barbara! I believe I am gaining so much more from re-reading this book in my later years (married 29 years now) than in the early years when I first read it. It was wonderfully eye-opening and affirming then, but even more so now.
    It makes me stop and take note when you say “we’re created in His image, and a part of that image which will reflect Him is in the area of creativity and artistry”. I want to bring glory to Him, The Great Artist each and every day, in all I do.
    Thank you for sharing today – looking forward to the weeks to come!

  5. Hi Barbara, so glad to meet you via the book club! I love that your ambition has always been to be a homemaker. It is a high calling, something I did not understand as a young woman.

    I especially love the part that you bolded: “God could have made the world just functional, but He also made it beautiful, not only for our enjoyment, but also that we might see something of Him in His handiwork.”

    Thanks for this post!

  6. Nice to find your post here 🙂 You know, my husband has said the same thing about putting pictures on the walls. He says pictures on the walls is a sign of human civilization, and that women keep men civilized. I suppose there’s some truth in that! I’m looking forward to digging into this book and re-assessing how I view my home and what I do with it.

  7. Pingback: The Hidden Art of Homemaking Book Club, Chapter 3: Music | Stray Thoughts

  8. Pingback: The Hidden Art of Homemaking, Chapter 4: Painting, Sketching, and Sculpturing | Stray Thoughts

  9. Pingback: Book Review: The Hidden Art of Homemaking | Stray Thoughts

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