Sunday, April 26, 2020

A 'Taste and See' Kind of Homemaking ~ Guest Post by Elizabeth Mary

"O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him."
Psalm 34:8

Have you ever been in the middle of a book when, all of a sudden, you read a line that just speaks right to you? Well, that’s happened to me only a handful of times, but most recently, it happened when I was in the middle of a Christmasy novel. It was a book about how a young woman’s search for her biological father had led her to a small village in England. There, she met a kind and warmhearted tea shop owner, and the two quickly became close. They would share conversations over tea and developed quite a sweet friendship. One day, the older woman was listening to the young woman share her heart and she lovingly offered her these words…

“You are a woman drawn to home and hearth. Never doubt the happiness such simplicity can bring you.”

And that, right there, is what spoke to my heart. It was as if those words had been written for me; as if they were a little reminder to my heart that valuing, cherishing, and loving the home is a good, good thing. A noble calling and a beautiful gift.

We are living in such strange times right now. And oddly enough, one of the answers to this strangeness is that folks need to stay home. For me, this isn’t anything new or difficult or strange. My mom raised me with a deep understanding of just how important home and family are. She was the “oddball” out of everyone we knew in that she chose to make her life’s work within the home. She decided that she wanted to be the one to teach and raise my sister and me, and I am thankful that the love of home was instilled in me from a very young age.  I was always that little girl playing house, dreaming of the day when I would be able to have a home and family of my own. (That dream is still very much alive in my heart, even in my midtwenties!)  

As I grew older, I began to see the home in a deeper way. The rhythms of homemaking became a way for me to see God’s goodness in a “taste and see” sort of way. It is in the midst of what some may call “mundane” moments, that I believe God is most present. The reality of Christ’s existence, I believe, is profoundly evident in the most ordinary of things. When washing the dishes and gazing out the window over our sink, seeing the little birdies on the tree branches outside or the squirrels chasing one another through the garden. When I am chopping fresh veggies and sautéing them for dinner, as the aroma of such yummy goodness fills the air. When I am quietly putting away clean, folded laundry, or making my bed and carefully making a place that is cozy and comfortable, or as I simply take a ramble through our garden admiring the vast beauty of God’s creation. These are the things that remind me of God’s goodness.

In these strange days, I believe the home is even more important, including the daily rhythms that allow us to make our houses into homes, and homes into havens. This is a privilege and a holy one at that. Homemaking is a holy calling, and everyone of us is called, in some way or another, to be a homemaker. We need to see our homes as sacred places and realize that we are treading holy ground within the four walls we call “ours.”  A “taste and see” kind of homemaking realizes that the little things are filled with much more meaning than we can comprehend or see at surface level. It knows that in every meal we prepare, in every dish we wash, in every load of laundry we fold, for every candle lit, with each jar of fresh flowers we sit on the kitchen table, we are showing His love and goodness and grace to those with whom we live. 

We all have the power within us, by His grace, to dive headfirst into this “taste and see” sort of homemaking. It doesn’t take money or tons of extra effort, but it does require a bit of creativity, a desire to live it out and the welcoming of His grace to come and do its job. Now is the time to make our homes the peaceful, fun, loving, gentle places they were always meant to be. Whether or not this is something you’ve delved into before, this is a blessed, beautiful adventure. Tasting and seeing the goodness of the Lord is one of the secrets to the rich, abundant life. The simplicity of home life and the value that comes from living quieter and in a more gentle way…these are gifts that far too few experience. And yet, right now, while we are supposedly “stuck” at home, why don’t we seek to cultivate a richer, more beautiful home life? 

You see, when I read those words in the Christmasy novel, I was reminded that there is so much happiness to be found at home and that the simplicity of home rhythms are rich gifts, indeed.  Our world doesn’t live this way, nor does the world value home…except for maybe now…but, I believe with my whole heart, that this is what God desires for us. To love home and family. To build a life that is centered around the home and hearth, cherishing simple, gentle ways of living and to cultivate beauty in all the spaces, even the tiniest nook and cranny, so that we may truly “taste and see” His goodness. And, dear one, I believe that the home is perhaps the best place on earth for His love and grace and goodness to be tasted and seen.

Laura Ingalls Wilder said it best…”Home is the nicest word there is.” She was right, and may we make it to be true of ours! 

Bless you, dear readers! May God’s grace fill you with inspiration and encouragement today as you seek to cultivate a warm, cozy haven for your family, making it a refuge during these strange times. 

BIO: Elizabeth is a twenty-something gal living in Tennessee with her parents and sister. She writes and shares at Ponderings from the Inglenook, her cozy online corner. She is a self-confessed book girl, avid teacup collector and a believer that the earth is crammed with heaven. Her heart is to encourage, inspire, and challenge others to grow a slow, gentle life, with a heart centered around the joys of home, whilst being immersed in books, imagination and wonder. Seeing God in the ordinary, finding holiness in the rhythms of every day, discovering purpose in hidden places, cherishing simplicity, and delighting in the sweetness of small moments are at the center of her writing. You are very welcome to visit her at her Inglenook, on Instagram or YouTube, where the tea kettle is always full and candles are always lit to welcome the gathering of kindred spirits.



I recently subscribed to Elizabeth's blog, and I tell you, it is jam-packed with so much sweet comfort and encouragement.  Elizabeth is such a beautiful person inside and out, her writing is a Divine gift, and she is one of the most genteel young ladies I have come across in a long while.  It is so refreshing to see a young lady who has such a deep appreciation for Godly homemaking.  Our world needs far more like her!  Her words rang true in this post, and I hope you will drop by and visit HER BLOG where you will find many more such posts!

Praise God, we are starting to see at least a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel and a "flattening of the curve" in this worldwide pandemic.  Though many are still dying daily and the storm is still raging, things are improving.  For this, we owe ALL to the mercies of GOD, in spite of the blatant lies proclaimed here.  GOD is in control of all, and "He has mercy on whom He wills, and whom He wills He hardens." Romans 9:18  How dare anyone say that the reason things are getter better has nothing to do with God!  He reigns!  If He chose to allow things to get worse, they would have worsened.  Period.  He will always be in control, and His eyes "are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil."  I Peter 3:12
Let us continue to look to Him in these troubled times, and let's continue to use wisdom as we start seeing things open back up.  May God keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy continually, in Jesus' name.

28 comments:

  1. Elizabeth, what beautiful words to describe the joys and simple pleasures of home. You are a gifted writer and thanks so much for sharing. Thank you Cheryl for your continued encouragement. Blessings to both you and Elizabeth!

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    1. I surely agree ~ Elizabeth is an extremely talented writer. I just love to read her blog! I wouldn't be surprised to see that she has written a book one day. Thank you so much for your sweet visit and kind words, Pam! Many blessings to you, too!

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    2. Thank you so much, Pam! Your kind words were such an encouragement to me today ♥ I appreciate you taking the time to read my words! Many blessings to you!

      Grace and peace,
      Elizabeth

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  2. What a winsome celebration of the joys and privileges of caring for the havens God has blessed us with.

    For such a time as this ...

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    1. I agree, Linda! Thank you for your visit, and may God bless and keep you safe and healthy!

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    2. Thank you so much for your kind words, Linda! I appreciate you taking the time to read my post...blessings to you!

      Grace and peace,
      Elizabeth

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  3. Elizabeth, I can't begin to express to you how your words and sentiments struck a deep chord within me. The subtitle for my blog, Meditations of My Heart, is "Meeting the Miraculous in the Mundane." It is in the simplest, ordinary, everyday things we do where God can and will speak to us! And being a dedicated homemaker, taking pleasure in all the chores, big and small, glorifies God in a way that nothing else can. Kudos to your mother for putting your sister and you first, and to giving you such and appreciation for home and family. You are wise beyond your years, dear one, and that is not only a blessing to you, but a blessing to others!
    Thanks for your inspiration, and thanks, Cheryl, for sharing Elizabeth's gems of wisdom here!

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    1. Elizabeth surely is wise beyond her years. Such a precious person and blessing to us all! Thank you for reading and for your sweet encouragement, Martha!

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    2. Thank you so much for your encouraging, kind comment, Martha! I am thankful for the sweet words you shared with me ♥ I love the subtitle of your blog...even the simpliest and most ordinary of moments are opportunities for us to meet God. And I find that they are where we come to know His heart the most...in the still and quiet and hiddenness of ordinary days. (They are my favorite!)

      Thank you again...blessings to you!

      Grace and peace,
      Elizabeth

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  4. Dearest Cheryl,

    I just wanted to pop by and say a huge thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share a message on your blog. It is truly an honor to have my words posted here and I am so blessed and encouraged by the kindness and encouragement your dear readers have shown in the comments. I am thankful that our paths crossed in the blogging family...it is a gift to know you!

    Thank you again...hope your week is peace-filled and lovely!

    Love and blessings to you! ♥
    ~Elizabeth

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    1. Dear, sweet Elizabeth, Thank you SO much for your kind words to me today. They truly mean so much. We were so honored and blessed to share our space with you here, and we are so grateful to you for being willing to write this post. It was spot on and such a dear blessing! I am so thankful we met, too, and look forward to many more sweet visits together at our blogs. It is a gift to know you, too, and I send much love and many blessings back to you today!

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  5. How wonderful to read the words of a young woman so happy to be home, content with homemaking and her little haven. A true inspiration and reminder of Gods love and beauty that surrounds us. A joy to visit and read this post today.

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    1. YES! Wasn't Elizabeth's post wonderful? I was so hoping she would share her views from a young perspective. It is so rare to find a person her age who has learned such a deep joy of homemaking. What a dear blessing she has been to us all!

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    2. Thank you so much for your kind words! I so appreciate you taking the time to read my post. Blessings to you!

      Grace and peace,
      Elizabeth

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  6. What a lovely and encouraging post, just what I needed this morning to jump start my day of 'doing' whatever.

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    1. Thank you for reading and for your kind words, Lorraine!

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    2. Thank you so much, Lorraine! I appreciate you taking the time to read my post and leave such a kind comment...blessings!

      Grace and peace,
      Elizabeth

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  7. Elizabeth, what a pleasure to read your lovely article. I agree with what you have written and have also felt that being "stuck" at home wasn't really such a bad thing as there are so many things to do here and it is nice to have the family around more. So many no longer appreciate the art of homemaking and it is good to read of how you value that ministry in the home. It truly is a ministry. Thank you. Gentle Joy

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    1. You are so right, Gentle Joy. It is hard to find a young person with such a love for home and homemaking. It really is a ministry, as you said, and the most noble of callings a woman could find herself called to, in my opinion. Much love and many blessings to you today!

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    2. Gentle Joy, thank you so much for the encouraging words! I appreciate you reading my post...yes! Being "stuck" at home isn't bad at all; there's always something to do and lots of enjoyable things to delight in! Most definitely ♥

      Blessings to you!

      Grace and peace,
      Elizabeth

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  8. Good Morning Elizabeth and Cheryl. I want to add my appreciation to the words of the other ladies who have commented here. I have often been laughed at and ridiculed because my heart has always been at home. Since I am 60 now, I was raised in the era where it was expected, for the first time, that women would pursue careers outside the home, so my goal of being a homemaker was frowned upon in my family. I did work outside the home for a time, but came back home 12 years ago with the happy blessing of my husband. I love being home. It gives me the time to cook, clean and pursue my hobbie of needlework for different charities. When our children were small, I was the Mom on the block who was always home and the haven for all of the neighborhood kids who's Mom's were at work after school. I always had a houseful of children who didn't want to go home to any empty house.
    Thank you for your wise beyond your years post today.
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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    1. I understand exactly what you mean, Betsy. We are so blessed that God allows us to stay home and fulfill our God-given calling, and we are so abundantly blessed to have the two dear husbands we do. Thank you for sharing your heart with us today and for your kind words. Elizabeth surely is wise far beyond her years. It is so wonderful to see this depth of perspective in one so young. Blessings to you, sweet friend.

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    2. Dearest Betsy, Your home sounds like the one that I grew up in...always the place for friends to hang out and play after school. It was certainly a haven for all the neighborhood friends and for my family, too! Thank you so much for taking the time to share such kind words...blessings to you!

      Grace and peace,
      Elizabeth

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  9. Hi, Elizabeth!
    Your words dance of the page, girl! And you touch my heart with your perspective. You are a gem and I want to read more!!! Thank you, Cheryl, for finding Elizabeth.
    Love,
    Mary

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    1. Oh, I am so happy to have found her, too! What a blessing this dear girl is! Thank you for your sweet visit and kind words, Mary. Much love to you, too!

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    2. Dearest Mary, Thank you so much for your kind, encouraging words! They were such a gift to me today ♥ I appreciate you reading my post and taking the time to leave such a sweet comment. Blessings to you!

      Grace and peace,
      Elizabeth

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  10. Beautiful post, you're a gem.. I'm popping over to yiur blog later tomorrow. Its night here in Oz you remind me of a sweet sister here.. she writes about your age.. I'd l8ge you to meet virtually..if you haven't already.
    God's blessing and keeping on you in your writing! 😊

    Thanks for sharing, and may God bless and keep you and all whom you love, in these changeable times.

    As Paul wrote: "We walk by faith, not by sight."
    Prayer hugs, Shaz in Oz.x

    {Wonderful Words of Life - Shaz in Oz}
    {Calligraphy Cards - Shaz in Oz}

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    1. Thank you for the kind words, Shaz! I appreciate you taking the time to read my post...blessings to you!

      Grace and peace,
      Elizabeth

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