I first began my earnest journey towards gentle domestic living around the middle of 2014 after a few years of being unsettled within myself, feeling I’d somehow lost part of my identity when the children grew up and left home.
In 2015 I shared the idea of following ‘a year of gentle domesticity’ on my blog (HERE) , suggesting others might like to revive the gentle and oft-forgotten arts of embracing home-life and all that entails. A loud cry was heard from all corners of the globe, women everywhere were hungry to have their home-centred-hearts refreshed and validated. I was stunned at the response for I had imagined this was perhaps my own crisis, a journey for one. Yet, beautiful notes and comments flowed forth about a similar longing.
It seemed that for too long the simple and precious delight of being a homemaker had been made to appear trite and lowly, yet I believed the woman who loves her home and family and finds joy in the everyday living of a domestic life had value far beyond measure.
Walking this path over the last few years I have come to appreciate that you never quite ‘get there’. Intentionally living a gentle domestic life is a morning by morning choice and the fruit of our labours may not be evident for weeks, months or perhaps years – but it’s always worth the effort.
As the months pass by, the softness of a grateful and gracious heart begins to shine and others will notice. A new depth of appreciation for the people in our lives and what we’ve been blessed to have will richly increase our capacity for kindness, compassion, love and generosity.
We discover new skills, return to old ones, and along the way find more women who share a desire to ‘feather their nests’ and create a wonderful home sanctuary where crossing the doorstep is always accompanied by a sense of belonging, hospitality and welcome.
Living the gentle domestic life is not solely for the woman who spends each day at home, it’s for all women who embrace homemaking, whether they work at outside employment, are caregivers for relatives, volunteer a few days a week, work beside their husband on the farm, or like me are working from a home office.
The heart of a homemaker is ‘for’ her family and home, no matter her circumstances.
One example - for the busy working mother a simple act of throwing a fresh tablecloth over the dinner table and popping a few flowers from the garden into a glass jar between the salt and pepper shaker suddenly causes her heart to swell with satisfaction and the meal of BBQ chicken and salad from the supermarket suddenly doesn’t seem so bad because she’s changed the atmosphere of the meal and made the place where it’s going to be eaten one of warmth and care where the family can laugh and share about their day.
It’s really about doing what you can in the time you have with a gentle homemaker spirit.
Join me for the rest of this 2021 year as once again I pursue the ever-deepening call of discovering what our homes reflect about our hearts and how to nourish the atmosphere in ways that will bring blessing and joy and comfort to any who pass over its threshold and also to our own lives.
Personally I shall be confronting the hangover of over-consumption within our home, budget and personal purchases by choosing to live on less, using what we have first and learning new skills which I hope will be useful now and into the future. I have no high expectations to put upon my efforts, just a willing heart to embrace the small things that matter and remove the things that don’t.
I was raised by my Nana and Pop in a tiny one bedroom walk-through with outside bathroom and flower strewn front garden barely the size of a bathtub, so I’ll be drawing much of my own inspiration from the memories of that time, years where love was generously given, gentleness, laughter and gratitude were normal, hard work was accepted as everybody’s responsibility in life and housewives took pride in their homes whether modest or grand.
I remember there wasn’t much money but my grandparents provided well through the industry of their combined creative skills, but many of those skills I never bothered to learn or have long forgotten...for now. After all, it’s never too late to learn and life really can be an adventure.
Shall we journey this gentle domestic year together? I hope so.
This path, this journey of homemaking, fills me with satisfaction and hope in a way nothing else does, and today I want to make a commitment to you, my dear readers and friends, that as this year wanders it's own path that I shall endeavour to encourage you along the way to find joy, hope, satisfaction, sanctuary and even holiness, within your home.
I shall start by sharing "A Year of Gentle Domesticity" as a free pattern again.
I designed this pattern late in 2014 and stitched it onto a very pretty vintage doily before framing it and hanging in my sewing room as a reminder through the year to stay my course and pursue it diligently. In 2015 I shared the pattern for others to embroider as well.
Later that year I stitched the same design in blue, and again framed it for hanging, this time in my office as the house we lived in back then was large and I had separate office and sewing rooms.
Dear friend, here it is for you once more. Stitch it and frame it, place it in a position of prominence within your dwelling and be blessed as each day that small reminder grows and encourages your heart for home. Use the link below.
Psalm 3:5 tells us - "I lay down and slept; I awoke for the Lord sustained me."
What comforts me in this verse is that God will give me all the sleep I need, and when I lack longed-for hours some nights, He shall indeed sustain me to function next day. In all things HE sustains me and in that truth, that promise, I really find rest.
Use the link below to download this week's free postcard pattern.
Well, I have chatted enough today and should really get up from my desk now and go hang washing, let the chickens out of the coop so they can free range a few hours, and then begin chopping vegetables for tonight's dinner. There's also a pantry to empty so I can wipe all the shelving and then ascertain how many jars I need for emptying out the smaller dried fruit packs which lay here and there amongst my others stores. I am hopeful of having everything moved to glass by the end of this month.
What is on your homemaking agenda today? What are you planting in the garden this month? I'd love to hear from you.
Oh, before I go, news of Blossom - she has left Etsy and launched her very own website! You can even request items for her to make now. I'm so proud of her hard work and diligence. Go HERE to Blossom's new website.
Bless you heaps,