Thursday, April 26, 2012

Still Extolling Domesticity!

I have had the JOY of working in my garden for two hours, for four days straight! (No, this isn't my garden, but it looks a lot like it :P.)

Perhaps you don't realize what a singular event this is. There are many impediments to overcome to make this happen.
The largest obstacle is my health. I have erythromelalgia--burning feet--and they cannot be in direct warm sun for even a moment without serious consequences. The swelling and burning leads to even more painful skin-splitting between and under the toes, and I must alternate between cold-salt-water soaks, cold packs from the fridge, and a fan blowing on my feet throughout the day and night in order to keep the pain down. This is added to my fibromyalgia, which means I tire easily and get crampy stomach and nausea if I overdo it. So when God sends the rain or clouds while I stand in the garden, allowing me a little more time to work, I frequently breathe a "eucharisteo--Thank you, Lord!"
So in my journey to contentment in the home, God has been so gracious to use this illness to make me so. I consider it a privilege just to have the strength to be a domestic, day-to-day.
I am a fairly-well-read, well-educated, intelligent woman. Bored? Are you kidding? There is so much scope for the imagination here! I can ponder the character of Christ while I dig up roots from the ground, noting that there are besetting sins in my own life that I need to root out. I meditate on Christ's words about a seed that falls to the ground to die, and I am reminded I am called to die daily. I find myself thinking about my grandfather Julius Hansen, and how he kept a beautiful garden when I was a little girl, and how I loved to walk through it with him, watching him prune sickly leaves and water roses and fuchsias.
Can any nitwit run a household? Well, not very well. It takes creativity to make a house a home. It takes organizational skills, a servant's-heart attitude, an entrepreneurial spirit. Proverbs 31:10 says, "Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies." Evidently such women are rare, hard to find, and highly-valued by the Lord.
So to that young wife or mother out there who is finding it boring to be at home with young children, take heart. Pray that God will open your eyes to wonder of the world inside your own four walls or your postage-stamp-size yard. Let your imagination soar, and find ways to involve your children in the adventures you cook up for them, whether in the kitchen, the garden, the bedroom, the laundry room, or the park. Joy, contentment, and love is there, waiting.

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