I am a book lover. I love them. I love bookcases full of them. My dream would be to have a room in my house that is totally full of built in bookcases...and a grand piano... ( dream big) :)
I was raised in the 70's and 80's. During that time raising daughters into homemakers wasn't exactly in vogue. I married knowing very little about homemaking or cooking. My mom did it all, and she did it efficiently. I was a little spoiled, I am not going to lie about it. I actually thought it was a punishment when she would leave a list for me to complete on Saturday mornings before I could jump in my black Camaro and hit the roads with my friends.
Then I got married to a very easy going and patient man. The first meal I cooked consisted of creamed potatoes. I used the wrong beaters for the hand mixer, and I successfully slung hot potatoes across the room and upside the back of my hubby's head. I can laugh about it now, and we laughed then, but I hated feeling so dumb!
I would like to say that I jumped right into learning during that honeymoon period, but I didn't. We both worked full time jobs and ate a lot of processed food. It wasn't until I began my homeschool journey that I started to see that I really needed to change some things. I met beautiful women with houses full of kids. They were making lovely homes, honoring their husbands, and of course, baking some awesome bread! I began devouring books on the subjects of homemaking, Godly womanhood, nutrition, and homeschooling. I couldn't get enough. Then came along blogs and the internet. Oh my! So many things that I just had to know!
Fast forward to the present time. I am now 46 years old. I have four lovely children, the oldest will be 21 soon, the youngest is 8. How in the world did that happen so fast? If I have learned one thing it is to embrace it all. Take it all in.....all of the dishes...all of the laundry...all of the cleaning. Do it with as much joy as you can. Your family will grow up so fast and you will never get these days back. Do you want them to remember their mom as a constant complaining and slothful woman, or a woman that ran a household that made them want to have the same thing?
So, I have complied a list of some of my all time favorite reads on the subject of Homemaking. These are the books that I will never give away, except to pass on to my daughters or my future daughter in law.
Some of these are out of print, but you can find them on various used books sites. I like these: Abebooks.com and Thriftbooks.com
Homemaking, by J.R.Miller This book was first published in 1882. I adore old books. I love this book because it speaks about the wedded life, the role of each spouse, and children in the home. It is old fashioned, but I think we can learn a lot from the way that they conducted themselves back then. I am romantic, I know.
The Hidden Art of Homemaking, by Edith Schaeffer Mrs. Schaeffer was the wife to the great Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer ( if you have never watched How Shall we Then Live, then I highly recommend that you do) What I love about this book is that her focus to me is that we should create lovely homes that are filled with beauty. God was the greatest artist of all, and he created the most beautiful things for us to enjoy. We should strive to create a home that is full of creativity and originality. Her chapters include music, paintings, poetry, flowers, gardening. It isn't a how to book of cleaning secrets, but a book about creating an atmosphere that is a haven to all who enter.
The Excellent Wife, by Martha Peace While not a homemaking book exactly, it takes a content wife to make a beautiful home. I was also raised in the time when feminism was raging, and women were being taught that being empowered meant not being in subjection to any man. However, we will almost always be under the rule of someone else, and want to please whoever that may be. I myself have been more concerned about pleasing my superiors (when I worked outside the home), more than trying to please my husband. The bible says that we are not our own in 1 Corinthians 7:4 it tells us: The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. So, this book helped me to see that I am not belittling myself by wanting to be an excellent wife, I am simply trying to be what God created me to be. We have a wonderfully peaceful home. I am not ill and discontented or feel that I am a "slave" to anyone. I feel that we are both happier than we've ever been. I have given this as a gift at wedding showers. It is sad to watch the women of all ages make fun of it....
Created to be His Helpmeet, by Debi Pearl I know, I know. This one can be controversial..I am sorry, but I like this book, I like that she just shoots it straight. Do I get brainwashed by every word? No, But I also do not throw the baby out with the bathwater. I am married to Mr Steady. This book helped me to understand him. It made me not sit around and wait on him to do everything. I want him to know that I am capable. If I can fix the washer, or the screen door, then I will do it! I am not going to pile one more thing on his plate. He works hard and long hours, and he pastors a church. In the words of Mrs. Pearl....Don't be a dumb cluck. lol
Large Family Logistics, by Kim Brenneman Okay, so I may not have a LARGE family, but I don't think this book only applies to families with 10 kids. My friend Stacy convinced me of that, and I am glad I bought it. It has 47 chapters on every subject you could encounter in running a home and rasing a family. My favorite was the chapter on Self Discipline....trust me.... I still have to press into not being lazy and self centered.
I will also add the Flylady's book Sink Reflections was one of the most helpful books that I have ever read. Period. I loaned it out, so I couldn't make a picture.
There you have it. My personal list of the books I consider to be some of the best to help you grow and become a better homemaker, and a better person too!
Linking up here: Raising Homemakers , Strangers & Pilgrims, Coffee & Conversation, Hearts for Home