1.14.2007

Flower Arrangements


As promised, this post is #2 in my series on Edith Schaeffer's The Hidden Art of Homemaking...
Probably my favorite chapter so far has been "Flower Arrangements."I did not have high expectations for this chapter...I really wasn't even sure that I would like it or find anything useful in it. But of course I was wrong - Edith could write an essay on how to use Post-It notes and I'm sure that I would learn something. :)

Here are some highlights:
1 - Flower arranging is an art in which anyone can participate, regardless of degree of talent or time or money. And the capacity and materials available to us were given by God who values beauty - beauty is important to God. We are not just allowed to create beauty: in doing so we express our personhood as image-bearers.
2 - Schaeffer repeatedly insists on the importance of the home's atmosphere, that it must facilitate and encourage communication because human relationships depend on it. And that the trend of the "home becoming non-existent can be countered only if those of us who want to be sure our little spot is really a home take very practical measures to be sure that is is just that, and not a collection of furniture sitting in in some sort of enclosure being protected from wind and storm."
3 - Thoughtful details and table centerpieces are not just for guests...the tired husband, the grumpy teenager, the whiny toddler, the lonely roommate...everyone will benefit from the "warmth of knowing that someone has taken thought and put some originality into preparing the place where food and conversation are going to be shared." This resonated with me and I started to understand her point about enriching everyday life, not just putting time and effort into special days or company days or birthdays, but making every day a little bit more colorful and happy.
4- Related to #3 above was her point about how to approach mealtimes alone with the children (which, due to Ryan's job, is without a doubt in my future): she challenges her readers to not have the attitude "it's only the children" but instead to put time and effort into preparing something that will be meaningful to them. I remember lots of times hearing my mom say that (and I mean no offense to my wonderful mother) and being just a teeny bit disappointed. I probably never would have remembered that had I not read this book however, the point is valid - children will notice and appreciate being valued and made to feel special. And children who grow up in a creative atmosphere will be inspired to appreciate beauty, express creativity and live aesthetically.

And I know this is getting long but bear with me , one more long quote:
"You cannot expect to have a close relationship with a teenager who, after all, is the same person as the two year old you stuck crying into bed, the three year old you spanked and shoved aside, the four year old you wouldn't listen to, the five year old you never shared beauty with, the six year old you found boring, or you 'trained' never to butt in, but never gave time to make a cosy and beautiful background out of which you could talk to him or her."
So I'm convinced: if putting just a small bit of thought and effort into daily life will help me stay close to my husband and children, if it will communicate how much I love and value them, that they are worth the time and extra effort, then count me in...

On another note, THANK YOU to everyone who has prayed for and asked about Charlie. He is doing so well!! He has been sitting up for about a month now and is now a pro - no more falling over! :) He has also been "commando crawling" (kind of slithering, crawling w/out being up on all fours) for awhile now, probably over a month, actually. And he is now starting to get up on his knees and rock, staying on all fours for several minutes before getting back into commando mode. He's really fast now so I don't think he's motivated to learn a new mode of transportation. :) He's also wanting to stand up and he's trying to move his feet and walk. And just this week, he's learned 2 new tricks: he can go from crawling to sitting on his own and he's trying to pull up on stuff!! His mind is obviously very ahead of his physical abilities...he has nearly injured himself about 15 times today trying to pull up on very unstable objects, including the side of the bathtub while it was full of water! And he tried to pull up on the shelves inside the door of the fridge when I opened it to grab something out of it. Crazy! He's changing so fast!
Happy MLK Day!
PS - Just as I was finishing up this post and about to head to bed, Ryan's pager went off. Apparently people are dying all over the place so he just left for the hospital. It's 11:51pm and he just worked a 14 hour day. Poor guy. Why didn't he decide to be a dermatologist? :)

3 comments:

Jill said...

Your table setting is exquisite! My kitchen table is currently littered with papers and binders and books. I should probably give Edith a read.

maryanne helms said...

em-

Great job embracing your inner decorating diva. I mean it! It is such a joy to make your home a place of creativity and individuality. It can really enhance ministry opportunities, making a place where others want to be....

Marlo said...

What an encouraging, inspiring post, Em!
I really am headed to Amazon right now to get that book! *highfive*