Duty and Rest in the Home

Visiting by the back fence at Mrs White's Vermont Estate

Many of us can get run down very easily.  There are times when mothers are forced to labor much harder than normal. Perhaps the baby is sick or there is some crisis that causes us to help other families as well as our own.  We end up laboring in a frame of mind that is called - duty.  There is a dimness around us - the light of rest is too far ahead for us to see.  We often do not notice that we are run down until the time of difficulty has ended.

I have just come out of such a time.  To some degree, it has lasted years, with bits of rest throughout.  But now the house is quiet.  There is a calmness.  Most of the children and grandchildren have settled into their own lives.  Not as much help is needed from me.

This sudden change has been fascinating to me.  It took me about a week to regain the house, and restore order.  Now everything is neat and tidy and pleasant.   I notice that I spend my mornings in leisure.  It seems extremely lazy to me and has made me wonder if I am still recovering or am I, in fact, simply lazy? (gentle smiles)  But once the early morning hours have passed, I start to do a chore or two. I might dust or vacuum. I might do the laundry.  I might handle some paperwork.  I realize I do a great many things in a day, but tend to have much time to rest.  

This rest was not possible while I was in a state of crisis as I was helping grown children and grandchildren for all those years.  Yet, I delight in the memory of it!  I love the time I had without rest even if it did cause me to become run down.  It was a blessed time for a season that had me so busy here at home, that I actually stopped working in the kitchen. (gentle smiles)

I cannot remember when I last made a home cooked meal or baked something.  That was my whole life here at home, but my energy was needed elsewhere.  I had grandbabies who needed their "Meme," so someone else in the house did the kitchen work.  During this time, of course, I was able to "order tea" from the kitchen "help" (one of my children).   My lunches were made and brought to me by the kitchen worker.  Meals were prepared for the grandbabies while I oversaw and tended their daily care.  I did much cleaning, bathing, laundry, and baby care, but did not cook or bake.

Now, for the last few days, I have been in the kitchen looking at bags of sugar and flour and realizing I have time and energy to bake muffins or make a batch of beef stew.  But my courage is weak.  I am so used to being overwhelmed and trying to pace myself, I worry that I might get too tired from the effort! (gentle smiles)

I realize that once I get in there and start cooking and baking, while listening to old country sermons on the kitchen radio, I will delight in the effort!  I hope this will happen soon.

In the meantime, I am still spending time helping with grandbabies, homeschooling a teenager, and taking care of my home and family.

One morning, very soon, I hope to get up and have the strength and the will to work in my beloved kitchen.

Mrs. White

From the Archives -

A joyful time, 2 years ago - Walking the Gardens with Baby.

Won't you join our little club? - Mother's Benevolent Society.

A Gentle and Necessary vocation - The Basics of Lovely Housekeeping.

Mrs. White's special book for Homemakers - "Mother's Book of Home Economics."

An Invitation - Subscribe to The Legacy of Home and have it delivered directly to your email. 


Share this

Related Posts

Next Post »