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Women Living Well Blog: Becoming a Domestic Artist

Women Living Well Blog

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Becoming a Domestic Artist

In The Hidden Art of Homemaking Edith Shaeffer says "I believe there is both an art form and a way of life, an atmosphere and a form of showing consideration, as well as a subtle way of providing education and inspiration in artistic areas that is being lost altogether if the meal table always has a bare center - or a bottle of milk and a jar of pickles."

I agree. There is much a woman can to do set the atmosphere and tone of the home. Some of those things are done with her tongue:

1. Words of gentleness and kindness
2. Words of praise and affirmation
3. Words of grace and forgiveness
4. Words of truth and wisdom
5. Words of faith and hope
6. Words of gratitude and joy

But then there are physical things we can do to set the tone in our home:

1. Turn on soft music
2. Light a candle
3. Bake cookies
4. Place fresh flowers on the dinner table.

As Alexis grows and becomes a domestic artist, it is my job to train her in the arts. The hard part is that I feel like I am still learning myself - and so we are truly learning together on this journey!

On page 344 of Polished Cornerstones, it suggests that I have my daughter "Pick a bouquet for the dinner table or make an interesting centerpiece with other materials such as shells, dried flowers, candles etc."

So we read some of Proverbs 31 together, discussed the virtuous woman and her influence on the home. We looked at her industrious ways such as her sewing her tapestries and beddings. Then Alexis went outside and made our family a beautiful centerpiece. We have been enjoying it for over 5 days now! She is seeing what a large influence she can have on the entire family and the praise she receives for blessing us in this way.

Monday, I encouraged women to be mindful of their husbands at the dinner table - but Edith Shaeffer reminds moms to be mindful of their children also,

"Instead of saying "Oh it doesn't matter, it's only the children", when you are alone with children for a meal, it is important to say the opposite to yourself. "I wonder what the children would enjoy the most? Being surprised by something special on the table - a mirror with that new toy duck on it, and some stones around the edge, so that it looks like a pond, lighted by candles in crystal candlesticks, ...something that will look like lamps near the pond? Or would they rather have a choice since they are the ones to be considered tonight...shall we have the green cloth, or the pink?"

Moms, remember your influence. Simple macaroni and cheese can be made special with just a few fancy folded napkins and a centerpiece you have created. Role model and train your daughters to become like the Proverbs 31 woman, a domestic artist, to the glory of God.

Walk with the King!

works for me wednesday at we are that family

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Blogger Lisa Grace said...

It's so beautiful that your little one is turning into such a beautiful young homemaker; I am learning myself from yours and others blogs about dimensions I've never thought of on the homemaker journey. I'd not really thought about letting my little ones make their own center pieces, but now I think we'll do that this week. Thanks!

July 21, 2010 at 8:53 AM  
Anonymous Martianne said...

I love this post and am inspired by it. I am still learning (and trying to teach) my young ones, too. What a wonderful job you are doing. I will need to check out the resource you mention.

July 21, 2010 at 8:57 AM  
Blogger Kari said...

What a wonderful reminder that our environments can shape our interactions! Thank you. :)

July 21, 2010 at 9:56 AM  
Blogger carebear7951 said...

That is very inspiring...although at this point in life (with two little ones added to my two BIG ones) I'm doing good to get the table cleared for dinner. Oh, wait...did dinner even get made?
Sometimes we eat way too late because the baby is crying...and and get the picture.
But thanks for the reminder to teach my daughters to be a huge part in not just the "drudgery" part of our work as homemakers...but the beauty part too. :)
Your daughter is adorable...and her centerpiece is BEEEEautiful!

July 21, 2010 at 10:07 AM  
Blogger Milk and Honey Mommy said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

July 21, 2010 at 10:11 AM  
OpenID servantsheart said...

I love this post! It makes me want to go home and pick some flowers for the table.

July 21, 2010 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger Milk and Honey Mommy said...


I have allowed so many opportunities to slip by. I always tell myself that they are young and I can teach them tomorrow. My children are young, but now is when I need to be doing exactly what you have mentioned in your post. At almost ten years into my marriage, I'm still learning the art of domesticity. My daughter and I will definitely be learning side-by-side, but I am starting now because she is young and for me, I just need to hurry up.

Your daughter did a beautiful job on the centerpiece. I also love how she looks quite the hostess in her attire. I'm still working on getting myself together in that manner. I appreciated your post the other day on shopping for feminine clothes. I've pulled out my sewing machine and was going to make some clothes for me, but I have decided to hit the consignment shops as you suggested and just make dresses, etc. for my daughter. I only have so much time and she will benefit more from me doing that for her while I’m also teaching her how to sew.

July 21, 2010 at 10:22 AM  
Anonymous Julie M said...

How wonderful that you are training your daughter to be a precious part of God's beautiful kingdom. Once again, Courtney, Thank you for brightening my day, blessing MY home as well as your own and creating a wonderful haven on the web that i come to daily for inspiration and wisdom. Bless you, bless you, bless you. Love Julie in Scotland. (wave & hug)

July 21, 2010 at 11:51 AM  
Blogger Mr. and Mrs. Smith said...

I, too, think that this is a very important aspect in a home. I work had to make my home beautiful and welcoming. My husband recently wrote his version of our love story and that was something he mentioned. He said, "The first time I walked into her home, I knew I wanted my home to have that feeling to it. I can't even explain the feeling, I just knew it was a home feeling and I had to have it."

So it obviously makes a huge impression!!

Here is the rest of the story in case you're interested! :)

Happy Wednesday!

July 21, 2010 at 1:59 PM  
Anonymous Amy said...

Lately we have turned a craft time project into a centerpiece--we had egg carton flowers in a vase and now tissue paper flowers. My daughter loves having it displayed and Daddy can see it and ask about it during dinner--knowing Daddy is proud is a BIG deal :).
--Also--your daughter is so adorable and I love her dress!

July 21, 2010 at 2:46 PM  
Anonymous Jot said...

Thanks for visiting my blog and for your kind words. I just watched your Rachael Ray segment. Wow! Keep up the good work! I read Edith Schaeffer's The Hidden Art of Homemaking years ago and recently recommended it to my 14 year old daughter. We're also reading through the book Girl Talk: Mother Daughter Conversations on Biblical Womanhood by C.J. Mahaney's wife Carolyn and oldest daughter Nicole.

July 21, 2010 at 4:57 PM  
Blogger Sunshine said...

Oh Courtney, how delighful your blog is. I just found you from a comment you left at Revive Our Hearts. I'm a follower of your blog now too. I'm a grandma to three little ones, and I want to tell you how very right you are in your heart and your life. This post was beautiful. How precious Alexis is. I love her sweet smile, her hair ribbons and her flowers. I also think highly of her Proverbs 31 mama. Smiles to you!

July 21, 2010 at 6:19 PM  
Blogger Denise said...


July 21, 2010 at 6:40 PM  
Blogger Stam House said...

What a beautiful centerpiece I love the "hidden art of homemaking" book :-) Way to go on training your beautiful daughter :-0

July 21, 2010 at 10:26 PM  
Blogger Dianne said...

This article describes exactly what I really struggle with. I'm not naturally gifted toward being artistically creative, but on the rare occaisions I am, it is always met with such a welcome heart from my family. They love that and I wish I was so much more that way. I've started putting some of the inspirational email blogs (like this one) and scriptures that would encourage me, especially in the art of homemaking and femininity, in a folder to keep in my kitchen where I spend most of my time. That way, when I need an extra pick-me-up, I can quickly open it and refer to some of the material for inspiration rather than go to the computer and waste time searching for it. I'm going to go pick some wild flowers with my baby girl for a bouquet today!!!

July 22, 2010 at 7:34 AM  
Blogger Christina said...

I love this post! It's so hard to remember sometimes that we're setting an example for our daughters and that we need to be training them how to be homemakers. In all the rush and hub-bub of the day, it's nice to remember that we should slow down and use every moment we can as a teaching tool. I have to remember that when I'm cooking dinner or doing the dishes and my 2-year old daughter wants to help out. It's not going to hurt anyone or anything to slow down and let her sit on the counter and watch or help dump in some ingredients! Thank you for the reminder and I love the pictures!!!

July 23, 2010 at 2:44 AM  
Blogger Brad said...

Enjoyed the practical wisdom here. And I appreciated the 1 Cor. 10:31 kind of fervency you convey as you bring the Gospel to your family through homemaking. Keep striving for joy in Jesus.

July 24, 2010 at 5:48 PM  

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