"You'll hear from me early next week." Um, right. Guess I have to eat my words on that one!
This week came in with John's happy and safe homecoming, (Whew! It's good to have Daddy home again!) and is going out with a flurry of activity. Tomorrow is a big day for me since I will be teaching a class on housekeeping. Yes, that's right, housekeeping.
The issue came up among some of my women friends here who have never really been taught the art of housekeeping. Instead, from a very early age, they have been told, "Study! Study! Just study! Get good grades! Test well on exams! Study, study, study!" Many women who do finally test well and beat the odds to attend university end up suddenly moving out on their own with very few life skills. Washing clothing, keeping their rooms clean and organized, managing their money . . . many young women are just completely inexperienced in these areas.
I am happy to say now what I complained about as a young woman: my mother was very diligent about teaching me the arts of homemaking. She consistently taught me not just what to do, but how to look ahead at what would need to be done, not just how to do things but why to do them. My mom had great methods of keeping house that made sense and now I find myself passing on her requirements to my house helper! I have also already started working with Clara Anne and Chloe on basic things like putting toys away neatly, learning to put their dirty clothes in the hamper themselves, straightening their clothes drawers, etc. It's just as easy to put things away and do things well as it is to throw things on the floor where you have to pick them up later, or end up tripping on them, or whatever! As well, my girls are already learning that it is more fun to play with things that are organized and sorted well. If we want to get out the tea set, but half of it is missing or scattered under the bed, it's not so fun. But when we want to play with the tea set and everything is in the basket where we usually store it, we can sit down and play, having a good time right away without having to search for things. And that's just one example!
My mom's methods and requirements didn't always sit so well with me, however. I can remember one distinct conversation where I was airing my grievances (read: complaining) about having to do yet more laundry, while my brothers got off scot-free with no laundry chores to speak of. "Mom, why don't they have to help? And I already know how to do laundry, I've done it a thousand times!" Her response was clear, "Well, Rachel, you will be running a household some day and they will not. It's good practice for you."
Well, Mom, you were right. Now I actually really enjoy the tasks of keeping our house clean and organized, finding that it makes our home more comfortable and usable. I also now see more and more scriptural principles to apply in this area. In fact, the title of my class is: "Keepers of the Home: A b i b l i c a l Approach to Housekeeping."
So tomorrow night about 15 friends will be arriving, ready to hear what I have to say (in the local language, too yet)! Oh my, talk about out of my comfort zone! But addressing this topic is meeting a real need and I am excited to do it.
Lots of other news and pictures to share, but they'll have to wait until next time, since the night is already getting late! By the way, the meeting is happening at our house tomorrow night--partially because I have a feeling that everyone wants to actually see if I practice what I preach! No pressure there, ha ha!