Happiness is Homemaking

happinesshomemakingblogWhile going through some books the other day, I came across a tiny book that made me smile. Happiness is Homemaking is a small paperback book written by Ella May Miller and published in 1974.

Nearly four decades ago, when I got married, my mom’s best friend insisted I take her copy of the book with me. I read the tiny book with delight over and over again. It became my mentor when I was a young military wife living almost 2,500 miles from home.

I was passionate about keeping house and being a stay-at-home mother. I often turned to the little book for ideas and inspiration. The tattered pages and wrinkled cover bear witness to the fact that it was well used.

We moved 13 times in 14 years, and I still remember each humble little apartment, trailer, and house we lived in. Each move became a new adventure, as we set off in our used Ford Pinto overflowing with cardboard boxes.  I couldn’t wait to get settled in and make each new house a home.

I happily decorated each place with simple items, many of them handmade. Cross-stitched samplers, lovingly stitched during quiet afternoons while babies napped, adorned the walls of each room.  Crocheted blankets brightened up worn second-hand furniture.

The kitchen table often sported a centerpiece of fresh flowers, lovingly picked by tiny fingers. Treasures found at yard sales and flea markets breathed life into humble military living quarters.

I remember the joy of setting the table for our evening meal with the dishes I had collected in my hope chest since I was a young girl.  I searched food-splattered pages of old cookbooks and women’s magazines, most handed down from my mother and grandmother, for new recipes to try. We savored many comforting soups, stews, and casseroles on our meager grocery budget.

I loved smelling a pot of soup simmering on the stove or homemade bread baking in the oven while curled up on the sofa reading to chubby-fingered toddlers who insisted on turning each page and requested the same storybooks be read over and over again.

Finding happiness in homemaking is not something you’re likely to hear about today. It’s not likely to be the buzz on social media, and it probably won’t be trending on Twitter anytime soon.

Caring for your home is a gift of love you give to your family. It’s all in how you choose to see it. Joy, happiness, and contentment can be found in the daily routines of everyday life.

Even cleaning tasks, which may seem mundane, can be therapeutic . Seeing the rewards of a clean house makes all the work worthwhile. Laundry can seem like an endless chore, but you are providing your family with clean clothing.

I’m grateful I was able to experience the simple joys of keeping house and being a stay-at-home mom. I would not trade it for anything. I won’t dismiss the fact that raising children and staying home is not without its share of struggles. However, I can honestly say it was the most satisfying thing I have ever accomplished. I would not trade it for the highest paying career or position in the working world.

Life has changed now. The children are grown. My husband left unexpectedly. I have health problems, and I’m working full time to make a living. I enjoy writing and the part-time medical transcription work I do. I’m thankful to have work I can do from the comfort of home. However, I miss the days when I was just a homemaker and mother.

I look back with fondness on that time. I took great pride and pleasure in my homemaking and mothering role, and I felt a contentment and peace unmatched since that time. I believe I felt that way because I was doing what God had called me to do; I had accepted the high calling of motherhood and homemaking with joy.

As I gaze upon the tattered green book from days gone by, I’m once again reminded that happiness really is homemaking. Creating a comfortable and loving home is not drudgery or a menial task. It’s a high calling that God entrusted to women.

She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness ~ Proverbs 31: 27

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