Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A True Artist

"Winding the Skein" by Frederick Leighton
“There is an art to being a homemaker. For ourselves and for our families, it is important that we have a sanctuary—a place of refuge away from the world where we feel comfortable and where, if others come, they, too, can feel comfortable.”  
~Barbara W. Winder, former LDS General Relief Society president

Have you ever had those days when you feel that none of your efforts matter; days when the house is a mess, the laundry piles have grown into mountains, the kids are fighting and complaining, you are facing the preparation of dinner with an empty pantry and fridge, and the baby's been playing in the mud and REALLY needs a bath? 


Then this blog post is probably not for you.

BUT, if you have ever had those kinds of days, it might help you to know (I know it helps me!) that I have NEVER met a woman who hasn't. 

(Though if you haven't ever had this kind of day, would you please share your blog address and tell us how you do it all? Thanks so much.)

By the way, my life feels like the day I described above-- MOST of the time. It is a rare occasion when I feel like homemaking is an "art."  Far too often I just feel like a big, fat mess-- and there is nothing "artistic" about that, I assure you!

So on those days when I feel that I can never, EVER create that lovely, comfortable sanctuary that I've read about, I take a deep breath, say a prayer, and re-read a heartwarming quote like this:
“Every mother should endeavor to be a true artist. I do not mean by this that every woman should be a painter, sculptor, musician, poet, or writer, but the artist who will write on the table of childish innocence thoughts she will not blush to see read in the light of eternity and printed amid the archives of heaven, that the young may learn to wear them as amulets around their hearts and throw them as bulwarks around their lives, and that in the hour of temptation and trial the voices from home may linger around their paths as angels of guidance, around their steps, and be incentives to deeds of high and holy worth.” ~Frances E. W. Harper
The actual artistry of motherhood and homemaking is not featured in magazines or re-pinned on Pinterest. It's not even found in creating adorable crafts, decorating beautiful homes, delicious meals, or scrubbing our homes until they gleam.

The TRUE artistry of motherhood lies in the hearts, minds, and souls of our children and our husbands. What are those "amulets around their hearts" made of? How do we build and reinforce the "bulwarks around their lives?"

We should all recognize that the sanctuaries we are making for our families do NOT have to be perfect in order to be a comfort and a strength to all who enter in. They only need to be a place where the Lord and our sincere, loving efforts reside, and where we are doing what we can, when we can.

Sometimes the "masterpieces" that we think we're building fall down around us, and we have to begin all over again. But EVERYONE make mistakes. We will all have days when we lose our patience, where the floors are never clean, and the meals are late. And thanks to a merciful and tender God, we can repent, start again. A new canvas is ready for us each morning, "with no mistakes in it," as Anne Shirley puts it.

Our "masterpieces" are not yet finished-- and may not be finished in this life. But every color we add, every stroke that we make adds to the beauty of the final work that the Savior, the Master, Himself, will finish.

And that IS "of high and holy worth."


  1. Your post reminds me of C.S. Lewis' thought..."The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only - and that is to support the ultimate career.”


  2. I've been reading your blog for about year now and I've never left a comment. Today I want to thank you for your commitment to always blog about the positive and uplifting aspects of motherhood. I need this post.

  3. Rachel this was a lovely post.
    Even as a grandmother with no children at home I have days when the laundry is high and I haven't vaccumned in a very long time and my sweet husband ends up cooking dinner because I am too far behind.
    I loved the quote and the thoughts andit uplifted my soul today.
    Blessings to you and just keep enjoying your sweet moments of peace.

  4. Great reminders of our most important possession, our children and the way we can influence them best-in their hearts.

    I have been to "perfect" homes that are spotless and beautiful but they don't always have that feeling of comfort and welcome. It seems to be stronger in those homes that put love and family first. Sounds like you have such a home.

  5. A book you might like is entitled "The Hidden Art if Homemaking" by Edith Schaeffer. I liked it primarily because it really painted a word picture and helped me to get the feel for what the art of homemaking can look like and how it can make a difference in the lives of those who come into our homes. It goes beyond just aesthetics and really into the heart of it, in a practical way.
    I enjoy creating the heart of my home and finding beauty in the ordinary. Nice post!

  6. Thank you for the lovely reminder. Sometimes it's so easy to forget that things around the house will never be perfect, and that the kids are more important.


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