Encouragement for Your Mother Heart From Edith Schaeffer.

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I remember learning of Edith Schaeffer through Carolyn Mahaney’s book Feminine Appeal, when she mentioned Edith’s book on The Hidden Art of Homemaking. As a brand new budding {and struggling} homemaker, I found the idea of homemaking as a form of artful expression and worship to God fascinating. It seemed odd but profound and over the years, the simple truth of creativity being a form of loving praise to God has continued to take root in my heart.

When I discovered that Edith had written a book on family just over a year ago, I found a copy and immediately delved in. As a mother who often struggles but whose heart yearns for the goodness of what God has to offer me in this role, What Is A Family? has just flowered seeds of truth in my soul. Wishes of my heart have been turned into convictions based on biblical truth, and as I have read through this gem of a book, all the whispers of what I thought motherhood could be have been shown to me as something possible, through God’s grace.

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If you need some encouragement to cast away doubts about this calling…

…to help you believe the truth about this work…

…to cultivate a spirit of humility and anticipation about mothering…

…to grow in inner strength and conviction to work hard each and every day…

…here are some gems to hold on to:

“A woman who puts aside ‘happiness and fulfillment’ as primary, and begins to think of the needs of husband and children, finds herself amazingly more fulfilled (if there is time to notice) as days go on.”

In comparing the effort many people take to preserve animals heading into extinction, Edith says:

“Over and over again, someone in a relationship needs to consider the family as a career, a project, serious enough to be willing to be the one to ‘scramble up over jagged rocks to feed the birds, so that they won’t become extinct’. The family is even more important than rare species of birds, and taking on the career of being a mother and wife is a fabulously rare lifework in the twentieth century, and a very challenging job.

A wasted effort? A thankless job? An undignified slave? No, a most exciting possibility of turning the tide, of saving the species, of affecting history, of doing something that will be felt and heard in ever-widening circles.”

And, the idea of the one chance we have with our little ones:

Time can never be brought back, and like money, it is spent one way or another. Once spent it is gone – except for the memory… A principal thing to write about in the notebook of our minds in the area of human relationships is: When people insist on perfection or nothing, they get nothing.

On creating the right kind of environment for a family to grow up in:

“There needs to be a homemaker exercising some measure of skill, imagination, creativity, desire to fulfill needs and give pleasure to others in the family. How precious a thing is the human family. Is it not worth some sacrifice in time, energy, safety, discomfort, work? Does anything come forth without work?”

I hope these have encouraged your heart as they have mine. There are so many deep and timeless truths to grow your soul in this book. I highly recommend it.

Have you read it? Have any of these quotes challenged you in any way?

If you go to my printables page, you will find two printables I have made with quotes by Edith Schaeffer. Please save and copy them for your home.

Why My Blog May Not Interest You.

You may have noticed words have been quiet around here. I haven’t deliberately taken any time off, nor have I accidently had a “blogging break”. It’s been quiet around here because I’ve jut been doing other things. And that’s where I will save you some trouble reading through this post to find out why this blog of mine has been stagnant/quiet/uninteresting/unviral {not that my blog has, or will likely ever, go viral}…

If you want popular…

up-to-date…

active on social media…

running giveaways…

offering free stuff…

…if you’re wanting a blog like that, as much as I want your company, that is not what you will find here. This blog is as old-fashioned as my own heart. And my blog may not interest you because, quite simply, I do life more than I do blogging.

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While I haven’t been blogging and working on my site, I have been:

  • Working on my home management skills and effort
  • Keeping up-to-date with work that requires all of my attention
  • Being worked on by God {ouch, truly} in my heart and for our marriage
  • Getting Christmas presents organised
  • Walking the kids and dog
  • So much spring gardening {weeds!!}
  • Helping Josiah settle into his two mornings a week at kindy
  • Having girl-time with Rosalie for the first time since she was born
  • Meeting friends and their children
  • Being encouraged and mentored by older women
  • Building relationships in our street
  • Working on more intentional reading time with the kids
  • Working on more quiet time with the Lord
  • Journalling more
  • Reading more

All in all, I have been too busy with this life in reality than the life of this blog. In some ways, I feel sorry for that; but at the same time, I am accountable to what has been entrusted to me in my day-to-day. Even though I have believed it for so long, my heart is growing in ever-deeper conviction that my family and our home is my ministry, my primary ministry. As enticing as it is to have recognition outside of family life, for words, for writing that I love, if I am pursuing that more than stewarding what God has actually physically given me, then something in me isn’t right – in my beliefs, my heart condition, in my understanding of what God’s revealed word is to us in his Bible.

Sometimes I have been afraid to word my beliefs clearly in fear of offending people who may not agree with me, but I don’t think I have been faithful to God’s work in my life in doing so. The testimony of my life is of God taking what was broken in me – broken heart, broken mind, broken family, broken body – and building it into something that has redemption written all over it. A big part of that redemption has been seeing how God’s original purpose for men and women – for their differing and complementary biological and relational purposes – is still true now as it was to the moment it all fell apart under the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.

And I want to no longer be afraid of spreading that message.

Elisabeth Elliot died having lived a life dedicated to the glory of God. She was a sinner, but a sinner redeemed with the purpose of reigniting the heart in women for God’s true purpose for them: relationships and nurture, whatever marital status they are in. And as a woman who is married with young children, my priority before God is to give up my life for them.

I have but one opportunity to please God in this way.

I have but one opportunity to love well in this marriage to this man.

I have but one opportunity to give up of myself to my two children.

This may not please you, but this is the message my blog will tell. And when I write, I will write when I have the time. When I feel that I have spent time with the Lord, when I have provided to the needs of my family. That may give me a few times a week, or like recently, once in a month. But if you continue to follow my blog and keep friendship with me, I promise to encourage you with the convictions laid deeply on my heart and so, hopefully and prayerfully, you may be able to love your family well, too.

There are some great and talented women who are able, because of their life circumstances and personal abilities {that I so lack} that enable them to love their families well and blog regularly. These women offer encouragement and exhortation in biblical womanhood and I thoroughly recommend you read them if you need more frequent words of encouragement:

Courtney at womenlivingwell.org

Stacey at thefarmgirlinitiative.com and abidingwoman.com

Sally Clarkson at sallyclarkson.com

Rachel at thepurposefulwife.com

Kelly at generationcedar.com

and Rebekah at faithfulwiththelittle.com

I’ll leave you {til next time!} with some pictures of what we have been doing lately from my Instagram page {which I update more regularly}: