Friday, June 23, 2006

the best hidden art

Bedside, I keep a trove of favorite books. Re-reading a good book is not tiresome if it stirs the imagination. A few war-horses of mine, sure to please, are children's books. As part of our school curriculum, we just finished My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. I have pored over this one countless times over the years, beginning in the 5th grade. Another priceless children's classic is Heidi by Johanna Spyri. (Skip the maudlin movie: grab the real thing.) Anyone with me on these two hands-down perfect books?

For the mom-set, just in time for summer-reading, I bring you The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer. The subtitle is,"Creative Ideas for Enriching Everyday Life." If Edith lived down the street, I know we would be fast friends; she really clicks with me in all things artsy. This book makes a great wedding shower gift, which is a handy fact to mention in June. Here is an excerpt to whet your appetite:

"If the one who cooks is the wife in the family, her attitude towards the marriage as a whole should be to think of it as a career. Being challenged by what a difference her cooking and her way of serving is going to make in the family life gives a woman an opportunity to appraoch this with the feeling of painting a picture or writing a symphony. To blend together a family group, to help human beings of five, ten, fifteen, and sixty years of age to live in communication with each other, and develop into a 'family unit' with constantly growing appreciation of each other and of the 'unit' by really working at it, in many different areas, but among others in the area of food preparation, is to do that which surely can compare with blending oils in a painting or writing notes for a symphony. The cook in the home has opportunity to be doing something very real in the area of making good human relationships."

You can talk to me about paintings and symphonies, and you have my ear! There are chapters on music, interior decorating, gardens, flower arranging, writing, drama, creative recreation, and more. I turn to this book for all kinds of encouragement and inspiration, because my outlook on being the keeper of the home needs refreshing now and then. Let's face it: we don't get regular pats on the back from the general society in this department! Edith backs all her topics with solid biblical foundation: God is the ultimate Artist, and His art communicates.

So, be of good cheer, all you keepers of the home. Not only is your job (your career!) of great value, it can be fulfilling, challenging, eternally effective, and an honest reflection of the character of God.


Anonymous brietta said...

Thanks for another good post. I haven't read that book in a while... hmmm... come to think of it, I think I lent it to someone and still haven't gotten it back--some years later. Oh well.

Guess Amazon will get yet more business from me!

10:01 AM  
Blogger thisrequiresthought said...

I love your latest post, too.

So far, I have resisted having a Xanga-file in order to leave comments....maybe that should change!

10:16 AM  
Blogger Lore said...

Can i come home on the second of August? And can we go berry picking? and can I make pesto? and can we sit out under the trees with the hammock and the rocker? and can we watch the Banana ride her horse and listen to the man-child play his violin? and can we maybe go to birchbark? and can i bring two very important people home with me? and can we listen to NCPR in the afternoon and Bach in the early morning? and can we maybe eat dinner as a family once or twice? and can i just *be* for a week?

12:31 PM  
Blogger thisrequiresthought said...


anything you want, Missy.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Darlene Sinclair said...

Love that book -- I'm with Bri. I lost it a long time ago. Guess we both need to invest in a new copy, since my Louissa needs to read it, along with Julia, then Liana, then Camilla. Hmmm. Wonder if it will be around that long. The first one obviously wasn't!

7:01 PM  
Blogger Deb said...

I fell in love with My Side of the Mountain years ago when I first read it to my (then) boys. Having never read the other two books, I have no opinion, but the Edith Schaeffer book sounds like a good one for me to discover.

11:14 PM  

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