Book review: The Hidden Art of Homemaking

lghidden-art-of-homemaking.jpgLast week I finished reading The Hidden Art of Homemaking, by Edith Schaeffer. It had been quite a few years since I last read it and, as I was feeling the need for fresh inspiration as a homemaker, I thought it would be worth my while to give it a re-read.

I was not disappointed. Not only is this book packed with practical applications and ideas for expressing the creative impulse that lies within each of us, it is the sort of book that first and foremost reminds one of Whose image we are created in after all. To say that I was stirred up by it would be an understatement!

One of my favorite themes was that of making art right in the middle of situations and moments that we might otherwise consider drudgery. The author appropriately chides many of us who often feel like we aren’t reaching our full potential while we fail to use our abilities, ideas, and creative expression right where we are, whether that be home or school or work or the missions field or any variety of places. Personally, I was freshly reminded that the many evenings each week that find me home with the children, minus Daniel or other grown-up companionship, should be full of expressed creativity on my part. I should never say, “It’s just the children…” and then spend the evening pining for something greater or better, but I should be constantly looking for how I can use the talents God has planted within me in every moment of life.

Very appropriately, the crowning chapter is, in my opinion, the last one (Schaeffer is a good author, after all!). Certainly I had been reading and chewing on the many good thoughts and challenges issued up until then, but at this point I had to stop and take full stock of my heart and my motives. In this final chapter– Environment— she discusses the fact that not only have we been created with the capacity to create art, but we are an art form. Who we are– our attitudes, thoughts, behaviors, appearance– and what we bring to every conversation and dwelling place affects the people who live and work with us. When we are thoughtless of others and only look out for our own choices and freedoms, the environment we create, the art of who we are, is far less than what God has intended and desires for us.

I could share many, many excerpts from this book that are impacting the way I am going through my days, but instead I will simply challenge you to read it yourself. I have no doubt that God will use it to re-inspire and renew you in expressing your Hidden Art, wherever and with whomever you find yourself.


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