Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A reminder I found in the Corrie ten Boom book

I have a learning disability when it comes to being a housewife.  I love being home and being with my family.  Teaching the children is definitely a calling directly from the Lord.  I would never want to give it up.
But in all honesty, I've always been a bit of a slob.  I have a box full of homeschool encouragement books that do their best to instruct moms on how to clean, cook, decorate, and organize your home.  Things that don't come natural to me.  I mean...I can do it but not like some housewives can. 
So after I gave myself a browbeating for the condition of my is spring cleaning time you know.  I came across this wonderful part in the book I'm reading to my 5th grader, Corrie ten Boom Heroine of Harlem  by Sam Wellman.  God must have planned for me to read it this day.  It spoke directly to my spirit encouraging me when I was feeling inadequate.
After a short time working away from home as a teenager, Corrie comes home to keep house for the family.     
   "She didn't get comfort from the acts of cleaning house and cooking like Mama and Aunt Anna did.  Her goal every day was simply to finish the work faster than she did the day before.
   Mama bluntly told her, "Housework is not fulfilling for you, Corrie."
   Papa said, "Yes, Corrie. You need more.  What about the new Bible School that just opened in Harlem?" 
So she went to Bible college.
Later, Corrie talks about a "great turning point" in her life.  She was twenty-eight years old.  Her sister, Betsy, helped her father in the watch shop and Corrie was still doing the housework. 
Well, the book says...,
   "The change started innocently enough. Betsy got the flu, so Corrie helped her father in the shop.  She greeted customers and worked with the bills and correspondence.  As Betsie got better, she began picking up Corries' duties in the house.  Sensitive, artistic Betsie was much better at housework than Corrie.  She had a special touch, like Aunt Anna.  It was painfully obvious to Corrie.
  But the reverse was true too.  Corrie was much better at working in the shop than Betsie had been.  God surely arranged this insight.  And to make it a source of joy and not consternation, they each loved their new role.   Without a moment's hesitation, they exchanged duties."
   After Corrie established a system with the shop's bookwork, "she asked Papa if she could work on watches."
   "You're the only one of the children who ever asked me that but if you had been the fourth I would still say, 'Yes, of course you may.' I will teach you."
   "Corrie was trained by the best watchmaker in Holland", her father, and he even "sent her to Switzerland to work in a watch factory for a while, but soon she was back.  With Papa's help, she became the first woman watchmaker licensed in Holland.  Her specialty was the new rage: wristwatches." 
My first thought mean there are actually women who are fulfilled by housework?  But then I thought about it...and I knew some...relatives and friends.  Then I realized that all these years that I have been feeling guilty over my lack of fulfillment in "keeping house" and all along a woman I deeply admired, Corrie ten Boom, was the same way.
I talked over all of this with my husband.  I think he knew it all along.  We talked about some of my strengths and he likes those.  And he's not at all upset with the condition of the house like I am.  God certainly gave me the perfect man, didn't He....


  1. I know what you mean. I try to want to keep a perfect and lovely home...but other things just give me more fulfillment. I work hard to keep things from overtaking us. Chelsea is a big help here....
    God certainly made us with differing strengths and likes. That is most likely a very good thing when we are married to someone who truly "gets" us.

  2. Emily is my organizer. Every now and then I walk into a room and say "Hey, Em...can you do your 'thing' in here." And in minutes she has it cleaned up. Not that I don't keep trying...someone has to try. I just keep finding things I would rather do. So...where do you want to go today?

  3. Chelsea is always in our kitchen. Doing the dishes and cleaning up. It is my weakest link. After all, it doesn't call to me if I walk away.....