Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Kitchen Martyr

Pink and Blue Kitchen and Breakfast Nook

I was just scrubbing my dimly-lit kitchen tonight. It was so pleasant in there. Yet I am tired and worn out from a long day. As I cleaned, a calmness came over me. I was listening to Clair De Lune  on CD. It made me think of being a Kitchen Martyr. (gentle smiles)  I worked and slaved in the kitchen, but enjoyed it tremendously because the music comforted and soothed me.  When I was finished, I looked around at the pleasant rooms - my kitchen and my parlour. Everything was put back "to rights," and looked lovely. All the work was worth it.

I read somewhere that housewives in the 1960's spent an average of 4 hours a day cleaning their homes, compared to 2 hours a day for modern housewives.  I was amazed. I realize that mothers are often ill, or they are very busy, but if we could fit in more housework in our days, we would really enjoy the effort and the result.

I will leave you with this thought from Mathew Henry - "It is the duty of those who have the charge of families to look well to the ways of their household.  The affectation of state and the love of ease make many families neglected."  The love of ease, is something I am constantly fighting against!

Mrs. White
(From Nana's computer)

For mothers of little ones, I always took naps when my babies did. I cleaned while they played nearby. They always giggled when I vacuumed! For more on this, see "Keeping House with Small Children."

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Hurricane Irene

Al Fresco Afternoon

We had quite a storm throughout the east coast of the United States! Vermont, where we live, was hit by Hurricane Irene as well. Many roads are still closed. There was flooding and loss of power. We are high up in the mountains, safe and unharmed! Our house and our property are also just fine.

However, on the night it was hitting our area, we had an emergency situation. My husband and I had to rush out the door and drive for several hours. I prayed the entire time that the Lord would hold the storm until we got back home. I was amazed that we were able to complete our mission and we are all back at home and safe.  Thank God!!!!!

I know many of you were worried, sending e-mails and messages. Thank you so much for your kindness and well wishes!

I am still without a computer. I am writing less and less. But still trying to find a way to get to borrowed computers more often so I can write my little visits here!

Hope you are all doing okay!

Mrs. White

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Sum of Godly Motherhood

A Puritan Girl at Prayer

Someone asked Mother Teresa if she ever got discouraged working with the poor in Calcutta. They wondered if seeing no success in her daily tasks ever made her feel like she wasn't doing worthwhile work. Her answer was that she was not called to a mission of success, but a mission of mercy - a mission of work.

I see this as what we mothers are doing in the home. We are laboring in difficult fields, training and caring for our children. Sometimes we encounter stubbornness, willfulness and foolish decisions, as our children learn and grow into adulthood.  They don't see all the work we do behind the scenes - we struggle with drought, too much rain, wildlife and a multitude of weeds who come in and try to destroy our crops. We toil in these fields on a daily basis and often we don't see success. We wait. . . and we pray. . . and we beg God to give us patience and mercy so that we can continue on each day. But we rarely see our results until many years later.

The Bible says that children rise up and call their virtuous Mother blessed. Often, those same children do not  realize the sacrifice and toil and prayers that went into all her work. They also don't realize all she did, through all those years, as she submitted to God in her work, with all trust and faith, that these very acts, helped create the virtuous character she possesses in her old age.

Mrs. White
(Written on a borrowed computer)

The Very difficult days - No Income and the Basics of Life.

With tears - To Encourage the Downcast Housewife.

The Joy of Charity - The Good Deed Money.

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Amish Values for Your Family - Review

Book - Amish Values for Your Family  by Suzanne Woods Fisher

Publisher - Revell

Paperback, 184 pages.

This lovely book was written in a way to encourage modern, "English" families to live with old fashioned Amish values, without having to become Amish.

Each chapter includes a short quote of wisdom from the Amish. There are also stories of Amish life. Next, you'll find real life examples that we can use in our modern society. There are also charming quotes from "Sages" taken from an Amish publication called, "The Budget."

I'll share a quote from page 26, "Very few burdens are heavy if everyone lifts." - Amish Proverb.

One of the stories, on page 22, was so sweet. It described a day for Hannah Miller, as she cared for her young children and went about her tasks. She had a sick baby and chores that had to be done. Her husband was supposed to help the boys with an important chore, but he had been delayed. The boys had gotten all muddy and a mess! But the sweet lesson learned was precious! The book is full of such stories, on all kinds of topics - from money to education and so much more.

*Disclosure - I received this book for review purposes.*

Monday, August 15, 2011

Only Rich People Have Clean Houses

A View of Harriett Tubmans House

"Our homes should be neat with a swept sidewalk leading to the front door." - Emilie Barnes

Have you ever thought that only rich people have clean homes? When we consider the idea of poverty, we imagine dingy, dirty, tenement homes and people wearing tattered garments. It is the image of being in dire straights with no money for soap or the basic necessities of life.

As we work in our humble homes, we must not have dirty surroundings. It is not only the rich who have clean homes. While they do have servants and housekeepers and fine things - we have our own labor, and we must take pride in a job well done.  We are like the Hebrew women spoken of in Scripture (by the midwives)  who were strong and hard working, unlike Pharoah's Egyptian women who lived a life of ease.  We can most certainly find a little time, each day, to tend to our homes.

A clean and neat home makes it a welcoming place.  But we must make the effort to work. Doing dishes, sweeping floors, doing laundry  - these are all necessary tasks.  I read about this elderly aunt who walked into the home of her grown niece. The Niece was the mother to 5 children. She was an excellent housekeeper. Well, on this particular day, she had a sink full of dishes and other housework she needed to do. But the Aunt found her resting in bed. She thought, perhaps she was ill, or expecting another child. She said, "Why else would you be laying down when there is work to be done?"  I have thought of that statement on many occasions. I would sit in my parlour chair and start to read a book, but remember those wise words. It would startle me into being responsible. I would clean my kitchen first. Then I would sit down for my break.

 It is a precious feeling, knowing I have a home I can make into a lovely place.  Yet I must do the work.

Mrs. White

For Home-keeping Inspiration, order my book - For The Love of Christian Homemaking

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Titus 2 Series: Being Obedient to Your Husband

Signing the Register
[Introductory Message:

   "Today, six friends and I are writing a series based on the biblical principles taken from Titus 2:3-5. We pray that the topics discussed will inspire and encourage you to draw closer to God and His plan for womanhood." The following is my part of the conversation.]
 Being Obedient to Your Husband

A traditional wedding vow, for a woman, always included the following words:

". . . to Love, Honor and Obey, until Death do us Part."

This was her contract. She was not only promising to Love and Honor her husband, she was promising to Obey him.

It was important that she carefully choose a man who she believed in. She was cautious about the man she agreed to marry. In the old days, there were no easy divorces. As a matter of fact, they were very rare. People took their 'word' or their Promise very seriously. 

You've heard the old songs, encouraging women:

"Stand by your man."  and  "Follow him wherever he may go."

The woman was the helper. She was to follow His vision for the family and for her life.

A startling thought from the Bible is in Genesis, where God tells Eve that her husband will be her leader. Scripture says the husband is to rule over his wife.   He is like her King.   We also see this solemn fact in the book of Esther. The King had sent out a decree:

"For he sent letters into all the king's provinces. . . that every man should bear rule in his own house. . ."

We are surrounded by worldly examples and it is hard to get our bearings. Modern wedding vows are written by couples themselves, rather than going by the standard contract. Some women are even boldly refusing to marry unless the word "Obey" is removed from the ceremony. These are the times in which we live. But we must remember that those are worldly, not Biblical, thoughts. We have to stand fast and follow the old paths.

You may wonder how to obey?  Today's women are finding it harder and harder.  But think on this:

Has your precious child ever broken your favorite glass? Have you gotten angry? Or did you let it go.

Has someone interrupted your day, making it hard to follow your scheduled plans? How have you responded?

Do you see that slowly our own will is being broken down? Do you see that our attachments to material things and our control of our lives changes? We learn, through these trials, how to yield.

One of the greatest things you can do in marriage is yield to your husband's plans. He will love and cherish and trust you, if you learn to follow that sacred marriage promise - to obey.

To encourage you, find old books or movies where old fashioned marriage is portrayed. One of my favorite books, which has been called by some as a "marriage manual' was written as a beautiful novel in the 1800's. It is called, Aunt Jane's Hero, written by Elizabeth Prentiss.  It is one of the sweetest books you'll ever read.

I do want to warn you. Many have scoffed and questioned the wisdom of obedience. They give the "what if" scenarios. Such as - "what if my husband wanted me to do wrong?" We can go on and on about that for hours. But the simple fact is, in most homes, these "what ifs" are not the case. We have to learn to give up the power of control, independence, self-centeredness, and self-righteousness. We have to learn to trust, depend, and serve. When thinking about obedience, think about lovingly following the guidance and plans of your husband, and you will do well.

Isn't it fascinating that this little "trial" of obedience (amidst the daily acts of life) train and discipline us for obeying the will of our Heavenly Father?  I will tell you this - the reward is greater than we can ever imagine.  But I will give you a little glimpse - peace, joy, contentment, meekness. . .and a sweet- tempered soul. . almost angelic. . . It is then that the light will shine through us to warm and comfort those around us.

Mrs. White

Titus 2 Series Writers:

["Please join the following ladies as they share their hearts with you."]

June Fuentes at A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Being Sober

Jasmine at Far Above Rubies
Keeper at Home

Heather at Raising Mighty Arrows
Being Discreet

Hannah at Cultivating Home
Loving Your Children

Mrs. Sharon White at The Legacy of Home
Being Obedient to Your Husband

Caroline at The Modest Mom
Being Chaste

Esther at Simple Country Life
Loving Your Husbands

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Safe from the Past - Review

Book - Safe from the Past- by Patricia Miller Mauro

Paperback, 135 pages.

Patricia shares her difficult past, in this brief autobiographical account.  She shares the poverty, heartache and trials of growing up in a broken home. Her story is one of triumph. She tells how she survived difficult experiences and credits her mother for teaching her these skills. Her will and determination enabled her to get a college education and work her way out of poverty and into a better life.   This is both a sad, and informative story. I appreciate Patricia's honest look at life. I can imagine how difficult it must have been to share so much of her past. I think the book will give readers a look at how people live in poverty. They will see the struggles with hunger, alcoholism and family relationships.  She grew up in a broken home.  It was not a loving Christian home, it was a sad and seemingly hopeless place. This kind of thing is going on in many homes today. Young people will be encouraged by her story. Older people will be inspired to help the less fortunate.

*Disclosure - This is part of a litfuse blog tour. I received a copy of this book for review purposes.*

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Afternoon Visit

Mid-Summer's Day

I've written about my computer troubles. It has been difficult trying to find a workable routine to write again. Normally, I write in the early hours before dawn. The family is still sleeping and I am able to take my time and enjoy a little writing visit.  Or, I will write in the late evening, when the house is all settled.

Today, I am at the library. I did most of my housework and homeschooling tasks. Now I have an hour or so, to catch up on computer work. It is surprisingly quiet here.

I just finished writing a post for a Titus 2 series I am doing with a group of dear ladies. All the posts will go live Monday morning.  I love being able to pre-schedule my writing! I wish I had learned about it 2 years ago, when I first starting blogging. It makes things so much easier.

I have several overdue reviews and other obligations I need to complete. But I have to take my time. I cannot rush or let any of it cause stress. Life is hard enough without any additional burdens. I've used the last week or two, to catch up on some lovely reading.

Do you remember my posts last winter about reading Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens? I spent many delightful hours, sitting by the fire, enjoying that large novel. It took me around 4 months to complete it. It was precious! Well, now I've chosen my latest winter book - War and Peace  by Leo Tolstoy. I started reading it last week. Mr. White was getting ready to mow the property, with the help of John (14). I asked if he needed my help. He smiled and said, "Sure! Go get a book and a chair and sit right there." He knows me well. (smiles) Just my presence while the boys worked, helped us all to be together and be happy.

I was inspired by a brief biographical sketch on Tolstoy, at the beginning of the book. It says that he was missing something in his life, and decided he wanted a family. He married a sweet lady and they had 13 children. It was during this stage of his life that he wrote, "War and Peace." His wife carefully made copies of his handwritten manuscripts and was delighted to help him in his work.

I still have a day full of adventures and must go. I have several things I wanted to write about, but hope I can get to them soon.

Have a lovely afternoon!

Mrs. White

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Housewife Contract

Woman Knitting and Listening To the Radio

When Mr. White asked me to marry him, I hesitated, then stated my one condition. I asked that I be allowed to be a housewife and never have to go to work. He agreed.

I didn't realize until many years later, how important that promise, that contract, meant to our lives.  We have talked about it over the years, laughing, smiling  . . . despite hardships, good times or bad. We always went back to that day on the Pier, at the ocean, when he promised I could be a housewife. He promised to take care of me, and our family.   This happened in the 1980's. Many women were working. While there were still housewives in my neighborhood, the majority of wives held jobs outside the home.  But my personal yearning, was to be a wife and mother. That was all I ever wanted out of life.

In this modern society, we are told that very few women are housewives. Frankly, I don't agree. There are many women committed to staying home with their families. There are even women staying home, tending to the house, being hospitable and taking care of husbands, even though they have never been blessed with children. Yes, it is okay to stay home even when there are no children, or when the children have grown!

I came across some sweet quotes, in my reading this week:

"My Mother's occupation and hobby, vocation and avocation was motherhood."

- Mary Higgins Clark (the famous suspense author) speaking about her own mother in "Kitchen Privileges" her memoir. (page 32)

"Mom never worked a day outside the home.  We were her life.  The house was always clean and comfortable, and she would always be baking cookies or bread or making something special for us to eat. When I went to college near home, I could count on finding her there, cooking, reading, knitting (needles and yarn were always close by or in her hands). She made an immense impact on our family."

- John MacArthur  - Servant of the Word and Flock - (from his biography written by Iain H. Murray)
(page 11)

Mrs. White

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Monday, August 1, 2011

The Chrisitan Home - Issue 26

Welcome to the 26th edition of The Christian Home, a weekly Blog Magazine posted every Monday morning.

Each article was submitted by various Christian Blog Authors. I am grateful for their participation. I hope you enjoy visiting them, reading their work and spending some time getting to know them at their own blogs.  If you would like to write for us, please see the instructions at the end of this post. For your enjoyment, there is a selection of music at the end of this issue. Please feel welcome to play the song while reading this magazine.

Mrs. White

[Edited update - August 24, 2011 - A new Issue will be coming soon. Stay tuned and thank you for your patience!]

Design and Decorate

Vases of Pink Tulips and Blossom on Table Laid for Coffee

Featured Columnist -Deanna presents Decorating on the Prairie and Shuffling Furniture posted at Home Haven Ministry.


American Dollar Bill Paper Clipped to Accounting Book

Featured Columnist - Kristen Hamilton presents Teaching Our Children About God’s Provision  posted at A Day in the Life.

Gardening and Flowers

Garden Room

Featured ColumnistBriana from  I Can't Decide, will be back with us again next week.

Home Business

Jersey City Family Working at Home to Assemble Lamp Shades for the Idealite Company

Featured ColumnistKathy Brodock from  Teaching Good Things, will be back with us again next week.

Modest Fashion

Jackie Kennedy, Wife of Sen, Cutting Out Newspaper Clippings Next to Open Scrapbook

[I am looking for a columnist for this section.]


Dinner on the Terrace

Featured Columnist - Heather from Marine Corps Nomads, will be back with us again next week.


Family Seated Around a Hearth

Featured Columnist - Angie Wright from Petra School will be back with us again next week.


Billy Graham with His Four Children and Wife, Sitting Down for a Family Supper at Home

Tamara Simmons presents Little Handprints On My Fridge  posted at Crafting A Legacy.

Julie Coney presents Growing Up posted at ~ a teaching heart ~.

Annie Kate presents Holiday Memories posted at Tea Time with Annie Kate.

Movies and Music

It's a Wonderful Life, Donna Reed, James Stewart, 1946

Featured ColumnistLaura O in AK presents Letters to Juliet posted at  Day By Day in Our World


The Godly Home 

Hometown Chapel

Featured Columnist - Molly presents Are You Still Afraid? posted at Dancing in the Light of His Glory.

Young Adults

Teenagers Pushing an Old Jalopy

[I am looking for a columnist for this section. It must be a young adult who is an established blogger.]

Gentle Humor

Peanuts: Never Ever EVER Give Up!

Featured Columnist - April E.  presents Did she just say that?   from ElCloud Homeschool: Busy Minds, Busy Hands, Busy Feet.


Thank you so much for reading!

To submit your work for consideration, or to find out more about The Christian Home magazine, just visit the about page.

The Entire Christian Home Series.

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