Monday, October 3, 2011

Creativity in Homemaking

I've given a lot of thought lately, to why I have suddenly taken to 'homemaking'.  I literally find myself worshiping while cooking and doing the dishes.  And even vacuuming on my hands and knees with our mini shop vac (only way to go by the way).

I've spoken to so many women who find it drudgery.  I was reading this blog post by a woman who loves the Lord with all her heart and believes her job is to be a wife and mom, but she admits, she doesn't like it.  That seems to be the norm in the church today.   I used to seethe when doing the dishes.  I used to feel so sorry for myself when cooking the 6th meal that week for the family.  I used to get so mad at Drew for sitting around while I worked like a slave.  I used to think my life was so boring and inane.  I wasn't doing anything interesting or fulfilling.  And it was miserable.

Now granted, there are many situations in life that make it all harder.  I spoke with one mom whose youngest is allergic to everything and even touching the wrong thing can make the child anaphylactic.  So spending hours in the kitchen, on things that may or not kill your child doesn't make for conducive worshiping times.  And working full time and 'fitting in' time in the kitchen also saps the 'fun' out of it.  As does having too little money to even be able to afford the cheapest 'healing' foods out there.  Unfortunately, junk food is often cheaper.  And there are many other situations which make this harder.

Thankfully, those are not the situation for me.  Every morsel of food I bring into and prepare in my house, I know will glorify God by helping myself, my husband and children to heal and be healthy.  Time to prepare food is scheduled comfortably into my day.  It's downright fun to cook that way!  My kids seldom complain anymore.  Most of my food actually, finally, tastes good nowadays.  I know we will sit down as a family for lunch and have uplifting conversations with the whole family.

Radical Homemakers pointed out an obvious, but often missed, point.  God intended the role of a wife and mom (Proverbs 31 Woman) to use one's creativity and skills (Ok, she didn't mention God or Proverbs).  It used to be that the mom was the family doctor, the nutritionist, the teacher, saver of resources, scheduler, trainer, producer of most things used by the family.  It was a lot of work and stress, but it was also very fulfilling.  No one else could do her job.  She was needed!  But over time, esp after WW II, that changed.  Doctors came onto the scene.  And the role of doctor was relegated to the professionals.  The public schools, meant for the poor, became the norm and moms lost the role of teacher and trainer.  In both cases, she became the 'scheduler' to get them to the doctor and schools on-time.  Not a lot of pride or creativity in that!  Enriched factory foods were advertised by the tv and the doctor, as being the best way to care for your family.  So rather then coming up with beautiful, nutrient-dense, healing, whole foods for meals, the mom went to the grocery store, picked out the 'best' of the processed foods, and came home and heated them up and served them.  No real thought, no need for thinking or creativity.  Clothes were bought instead of made in the home.  Creativity and thinking and knowledge have become less a necessity for the modern mom.  And I think, in the process, the joy of the job has been stripped away.  It has become menial and slave-like.  Just doing what the latest fad says to do.  Buy the most enriched bread for the lunches.  Play the right music, enroll the kids in the best combination of extra-curricular activities.  But  none of them need her, other then money and chauffeuring.  And who wants to be provide money and car service?  How demeaning!

It's no wonder intelligent, educated women don't want to take on the roll of homemaker!  What a waste of perfectly good resources.  One is better off teaching large groups of people, or in an orphanage in Africa, or even in corporate America, where you can be a witness to others who don't know Christ. 

But.... God, no doubt, created the role of wife and mother, and expects wives and mothers to fulfill them. And, to do them with an attitude that is pleasing to Him.  So the problem can't be in the role.  And with so many people struggling with their attitude, there must be something deeper that is wrong. 

This, in no way, is meant as a denouncement on those who don't enjoy the task.  I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that I could  not have gotten to the point I am, without the Holy Spirit's directing.  I did not do it on my own, but rather it was done for me.  Frankly, it was forced on me and I fought it for awhile.  But now, of course, I'm so thankful!  It gives me a whole new outlook on life, and it's so much more fun to find joy in the house work I need to do anyway. 

Imagine if YOU, as wife and mom, were solely responsible for your husband and children's well-being.  Imagine if they would only learn if YOU taught them.  Imagine if there were no doctors and you had to keep them healthy yourself.  Imagine if who they became as adults, was fully dependent on you.  That is a LOT of responsibility.  That is scary.  And, I believe it is the truth.  God holds the parents responsible for their children.  And wives for their role as helpmeet to their husbands.  They must be intentional in who they delegate the role of teacher and nutritionist for their children and husband.  Because when you stand before God, 'but....' won't cut it.

Maybe if we were able to figure out how to use our God-given talents, skills, passions and creativity to INTENTIONALLY care for our family, we'll find joy again, in our God-given responsibilities.

Last night at church, God ever so graciously reminded me, yet again, of how important my role is to his plan for this world.  We had this amazing former terrorist speaker at church last night.  And he gave some pretty depressing statistics about how in 50 years, the world will be predominantly muslim-controlled.  But his answer was to not feel fear, but to KNOW that our God is in control.  And he stressed multiple times that we esp need to get our children prepared for this.  To train them to know and love God with all of their heart, so they can 'love their muslim neighbors' to Christ. Wow!  

Maybe not also.   Life is never easy.  Simple, yes, easy, no.

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