But, this book caught my eye. I had already read a few books by Francis Schaeffer, a Christian philosopher and this was his wife. I was curious to find out what she had to say about homemaking because I grew up wanting to be a homemaker when I finally settled down and got married.
A Book that Changed my Life
The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer is a book I have read many times since I first bought it in my college days. When I was single, it helped me to make my dorm room a home. In later years, this book inspired me to create a home for my family.
Over the years, I have read many books on homemaking, but this is my favorite! Edith Schaeffer is my heroine. She devoted her life to creating a home to nurture her husband, children, and all the people they ministered to in their chalet in Switzerland. From freshly baked bread to lovely music playing, Edith decorated her house carefully, filling it with art, laughter, beauty, and good books.
Why do I love this book so much?
The book opens with a chapter on the First Artist, the Lord, showing how the Lord is an Artist, filling our lives and the world with His beauty to communicate that He loves us. We are made in His image, artists who can create too. What joy we can experience as homemakers when we seek to imitate the First Artist by bringing hidden art into all areas of homemaking.
Each person God created has at least one hidden talent that can be cultivated. This artistic talent can be used in the area of homemaking. We might be photographers, poets, songwriters, illustrators, printers, bakers, cooks, flower arrangers, interior designers, landscape architects, seamstresses, quilters, musicians, singers, or basket weavers.
After 25 years of marriage, I am now raising my daughters, preparing them for their future as wives, mothers, and homemakers. This book is now part of our homeschool curriculum. My daughters take a homemaking class in high school with this book and the Bible as the textbooks. They read a chapter and do a project related to the chapter. Here is a list of chapters with the assignment topic next to each one.
- The First Artist
- What is Hidden Art (visit an art museum)
- Music (make a family song book)
- Painting, Sketching, Sculpting (watercolor painting of a house, Thomas Kinkade-style with lights in window)
- Interior Decorating (create a dresser-top or table-top still life)
- Gardens and Gardening (plant a garden)
- Flower Arrangements (silk flower arrangement)
- Food (bake bread)
- Writing: Prose and Poetry (write a poem about family)
- Drama (make up a skit about your family and videotape)
- Creative Recreation (plan a family picnic, including menu and activities)
- Clothing (decorate a T-shirt)
- Integration (Interview an older relative & collect old family recipes)
- Environment (make a collage about home)
Edith took delight in making everything beautiful for her family. She set the table each night lovingly, giving careful attention to the centerpiece. Even putting food on a plate can be a work of art. Color, texture, and shapes combine together to make a beautiful picture. Serving dishes and table linens are another piece of the art masterpiece created for the family to dine.
Cultivate a Taste for Beauty
Listening to good music, all kinds of excellent works, cultivates a taste for beauty. Edith reminds us that music is not only to listen to, but also something for family members to create together. Family members can play instruments, sing, and write songs together.
What fun it would have been to grow up in the Schaeffer home with treasure hunts, family song fests, and lots of intellectual discussions. Memories were made and treasured. I think the desire to create a museum of memories for our husband and children is inside all of us moms. We work hard to make holidays, birthdays, and other celebrations special.
Integration is the combining of generations, instead of segregating everyone off into their own corners of the world. God created the family to be a kalidescope of ages, giftings, personalities, and abilities. Enjoy the family with all its variety, seeing the family as an art masterpiece.
If you are interested in our homemaking class, God's Girls 105: Homemaking, a one-credit high school life skills course, is available at Amazon. The E-book is available at PayHip or Currclick.
As homemakers, we have the privilege of serving our families: fixing meals, tidying the house, doing laundry, and creating memories. Sometimes those things can feel like drudgery, but these simple tasks communicate so much love and allow us to imitate Jesus, the perfect Artist.
Remember that next to you feel weary.
It is only when we are filled with Jesus, that we can bring His Presence into our homes to create that joyful and peaceful atmosphere we all desire.
We have another resource to help you grow as a homemaker: Jesus, Fill My Heart & Home Bible Study and God's Girls 105: Homemaking. Jesus, Fill My Heart & Home is available at Amazon. The E-book is available at PayHip or Currclick.
Be blessed in every way!