July 3, 2011

The Hidden Art of Homemaking

Product Details
I've been running in circles where Edith Schaeffer's The Hidden Art of Homemaking is recommended reading.  I finally purchased a copy at the Women's Retreat in the beginning of April and have been reading through it slowly, one chapter at a time, though not daily.

I think I would summarize the book this way:  God is beautiful and creative; the people He created can and should reflect these attributes.  We can do so in our lives and our homes by tapping into the "hidden arts" with us, to the benefit of all who enter our homes and our lives,  and to the glory of God.

The first chapter is just wonderful, opening the reader's eyes to the beauty of God in his creativity and originality.  It's titled The First Artist and Schaeffer discusses God's creativity in ways I've never considered AND gently suggests that His image bearers need to express those aspects of God which are within us.  If you read no other chapter of the book, certainly read this one.

expressing a little hidden art
on our dining table
After that first chapter, Schaeffer explains what Hidden Art is in the second.  Her quote: I would define 'hidden art' as the art found in the ordinary areas of everyday life.  Each person has, I believe, some talent which is unfulfilled in some hidden area of his being - a talent which could be expressed and developed. (p. 31) The following chapters focus on specific areas of life and creativity - music, painting/sketching/sculpting, interior decoration, gardens/gardening, flower arranging, food, writing, drama, creative recreation, clothing, and integration - offering anecdotes and suggestions for expressing your own hidden art within them.

The final chapter is called Environment.  The content was different than what my 21 Centruy, "go green" mind  expected.  Rather than talking about taking care of the environment, she shares about the importance of taking care of you.  She says, we are an environment which is affecting people around us.  People who come across us or who walk into our presence, become involved. ... Whether we choose to be an environment or not, we are.  (p. 208)  It was a perfect end to the book, I closed it feeling inspired to be a blessing to those around me and to make my home place where people feel welcome and fed (physically, emotionally, and spiritually), because God has only given me my environment, namely me.  And I want to be a better steward.

My only criticism of this book is the title.  Formerly it was titled The Hidden Art.  Adding of Homemaking  led me to believe that it is a book only for women, and perhaps only women who are home all the time.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  She talks about roommates, singles, men, and women in her stories and suggestions.  So, if you're reading this and you are a person and you live somewhere, this book is for you!

Allow me to close with the last sentence of the book.  It goes without saying, too, that 'The Environment', which is you should be an environment which speaks of the wonder of the Creator who made you. (p. 214)

Blessings to you on this Sabbath day!

1 comment:

  1. wow...being the environment that speaks the wonder of our Creator is a tall order...not just looking beautiful but rather being forgiven and know that we are full of God's grace. i love reading your book reviews and hope to actually sit and read some of the books you discuss!!