I read an obituary today. An obituary of a young woman in her 40s. A single sentence, listing her occupation, leapt from the screen.
She was a homemaker.
It felt so important. It feels so important. Because it is.
Making a home is to bring beauty, rhythm, harmony, order and comfort to one’s own family. And to guests. It is an act of hospitality – the supreme act of earthly hospitality.
Home is where our security is. It is where we run to when we have good news to share. It is the place we long for when we are broken.
Home is a scent, a flavour, a texture. It is the way the sunlight glints off of the beaded fringe on a lampshade, or how it slants into the room on an early spring morning. It’s how the kitchen smells on Sunday afternoons. It’s the squeaky stair – the Number Ten step.
Home is the way the beds were made with hospital corners, and the towels folded just so – and the soft smell of the powder stored in the linen closet. It is the way that there always seems to be a brownie, or your favourite jam for toast and tea. Every. Single. Time.
Home is late night talks, and good advice. It is a place always ready with a hug, or to nurse a wound. Home is where your favourite recipes, and home remedies are. Childhood pranks, hide-and-seek, bubble baths. Every “first” is home.
Home is the same Christmas ornaments for all your life – even the paper ones you made as a child. It is the culmination of years of family habits, and history, and memories. Home is grace at meals, family prayer time. It is extemporaneous exclamations of praise, and expressions of sorrow and compassion.
All these things are the purview of The Homemaker.
She goes about her daily tasks: keeping laundry going, cleaning floors, cooking meals, dusting, making beds, painting, organizing, gardening, shopping… She teaches you your prayers, she prays with you at your bedside, and for you when you are away. She creates traditions around family celebrations and holidays. She marks them all in ways large and small. She makes Home beautiful. Every day, every month, every year.
It can all just seem to stretch endlessly on with no particular purpose, no end, the means to nothing. Homemaking can seem to serve only itself – to keep a house clean and orderly, to keep the family fed. It is small and hidden.
It is, in fact, glorious. Simply Glorious. And Gloriously Simple.
The Homemaker, in partnership with God, lays the foundation of earthly life. Her work makes all other building possible. It is what shapes our families for generations. Homemaking is the underpinning of life. All of it. The physical, emotional, spiritual.
Home is what we are built on. And it means everything. Homemaking is a blessed vocation. The Homemaker is a blessing.
“Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband, too, praises her… Acclaim her for the work of her hands, and let her deeds praise her at the city gates” – Proverbs 31: 28, 31