Saturday, February 26, 2011

Making a House a Home

How many times have we heard men say they don't care about frills and fluffs and curtains and rugs and knick knacks in the making of a home. If they were to live somewhere on their own they wouldn't care about such stuff. So, if that is the case then why do women, not all probably, but most I would imagine care about those things? Why do men build and buy houses for women to decorate and make into a home. How many times have you heard the saying, "this house needs a woman's touch." Probably not too much anymore but it used to be quite a popular phrase.
My husband is concerned about the stucture of a home. Is everything working? How about the plumbing, the furnace, and the other things that are needed to keep the house working. My husband makes our home a sound and solid house by making sure everything is in working order, and  I am ever so grateful.
 I, on the other hand,  like to make sure everything is in it's proper place and in order. I like to make sure it is kept clean. Oh, don't get me wrong there are times when this house gets pretty messy, but I can't stand it for very long.  I get very caught up in not just the house being clean but also, the arrangement of furniture and yes knick knacks and such things as are the curtains hanging right. Are the beds made and do the bedspreads match the curtains and is everything set just right so nothing is in the way when you walk in the door of a room or hopefully the counters aren't cluttered if I want to set something down? Is the laundry done? The floor swept and vacuumed and so on.
Alot of these things that women find themselves caring for is just making the house a home, decorating, making it comfortable. When we don't care about those things life is hard on everyone. I am talking here to women that are homemakers. If a woman works fulltime outside the home (being a fulltime homemaker is a job too) then life is different. There is much more of a sharing of these chores. On occasion I will work several days in a row at the hospital and after I am done I continually ask myself, "how do women who work fulltime keep up their home? Their husbands have to help," but that is a different subject for another time.

My son and I were watching The Swiss Family Robinson the other day and I got a kick out of this scene. Here is a family marooned on what they think is a deserted island. No one is going to be seeing their home. The wife is alone with three boys and a husband and she wants a home so they build her one. At first it is not very sound. It is unsafe, so she is upset and they then build her a much safer, sturdier home. Watch.

Don't you love it. The men made the home sound and sturdy and she gives it the woman's touch. I find it funny where she notices the curtains that the men put up. She says they don't belong there. When my husband and I were first married and we were moving in, we bought some groceries and our cupboards were totally empty and he put something in one of the cupboards. I don't remember what it was but I said to him, "that doesn't go there." It was funny to both of us because there wasn't anything in any of the cupboards but in my mind I already knew where everything would go. I automatically was making a home.

In a home economics book, The Mode dated 1935, I found the following:
"Each home is individual and must be so treated in order to express the personality of the occupants. As every object in a room is useful, it must be so placed that it will be convenient and comfortable for the user.
To illustrate, lamps should be placed near chairs to be useful in reading and working. Arrange a room so that from the entrance it appears inviting; ... Arrange furniture in a room so that it is perfectly balanced as this gives a restful effect."

It also said this:

"After you arrange or rearrange the furnishing in a room, stand and view it critically from different positions in the room. Judge its appearances by thinking of such questions:

1. Does the room express homelikeness and hospitality?
2. Does the room serve its purpose?
3. Do the furnishings harmonize with the near-by rooms?
4. Is there a feeling of rest? Does the room naturally express the art principles of design?
5. Is the arrangement of the furniture correct, convenient and comfortable?
6. Are the curtains hung correctly?
7. Are the pictures arranged and hung right?
8. Are there just enough accessories or does the room appear cluttered?

Isn't that what we want in our homes a feeling of restfulness and peace. We want our families to be comfortable at home so that they don't want to leave in the morning and are grateful to be home at night. That takes cleaning and arranging and decorating. Things we wives and mothers as homemakers can provide for our families.

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Dear Lord help us to educate our family for your glory.

"Since parents have conferred life on their children, they have a most solemn obligation to educate their offspring. Hence, parents must be acknowledged as the first and foremost educators of their children. Their role as educators is so decisive that scarcely anything can compensate for their failure in it. For it devolves on parents to create a family atmosphere so animated with love and reverence for God and others that a well-rounded personal and social development will be fostered among children. Hence, the family is the first school of those social virtues which every society needs."--Gravissimum Educationis (one of the documents of the Second Vatican Council)

Helping and Loving Our Neighbor

Corporal works of Mercy
Feed the hungry

Give drink to the thirsty

Clothe the naked

Shelter the homeless

Visit the sick

Visit the imprisoned

Bury the dead

The Spiritual Works of Mercy
Admonish the sinner

Instruct the ignorant

Counsel the doubtful

Comfort the sorrowful
Bear wrongs patiently

Forgive all injuries

Pray for the living and the dead

Good Samaritain