The Hidden Art of Homemaking – Chapters 13 & 14

Integration and Environment

Hidden Art Book Study 2

We are reaching the end of our wonderful study through The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer. Those of you who’ve been following along each week may have noticed I did not get last week’s post up and so this week I’ll share thoughts on both chapters 13 and 14. If you are new here, you will find all posts in this series listed HERE.

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There has been a recurring theme of communication throughout this book, this study. You could almost title it ‘The Hidden Communication of Homemaking’ or ‘The Communication Arts of Homemaking’. These last two chapters are no exception.

Mrs. Schaeffer, I believe, is looking beyond integration and segregation in the world around us, and is looking longingly to the day when there will be no such things. A time when this world will be no more and those who belong to the Lord will be spending eternity in heaven. I long for such a day as well. But I’m not sure I have the same vision of heaven as she does.

There is mention of speaking the same language, wearing the same white robes, holding the same objects in our hands. This does not seem consistent with the Great Artist, God the Creator and the work of His Hands. I think she’s confusing ‘sameness’ with ‘oneness’.

My family, for instance, is one family. We have many children, but no two of them are the same. Our daughter married an African man, and their children have dual citizenship in the US and in another country. Our son, who was raised in the country, married a city girl. They live, work, and are raising their children in the big city. We are one family, but we are not all the same. This is the picture of integration to me.

Our church family offers up the same opportunity for integration. Young and old, men and women, short and tall, strong and weak – we make up one body, but we are not and should not all be the same. The more we segregate, branching off into our little groups of ‘sameness’, the farther we get from ‘oneness’.

Zinnias 1

ย If ‘integration’ and ‘segregation’ were hot topics in Edith Schaeffer’s day (the 1960’s and 70’s) , the word ‘environment’ would be a hot topic these days. But, like in the previous chapters, she takes a unique and fresh look at things. We are challenged in chapter 14 to consider ourselves as an environment. She says,

“. . . we are an art form. I do not mean that we produce art consciously now, but I mean we are an art form, whether we think of it or not, and whether we do anything about it or not. We are an environment, each one of us. We are an environment for the other people with whom we live, the people with whom we work, the people with whom we communicate. . . we ought to consider this fact — that whether we choose to be an environment or not, we are. We produce an environment other people have to live in.”

I’ve heard it said that as the woman of the house I am the one that sets the tone of our home. “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy!” Ever heard that one? I expect there’s more than a little truth there. Our attitudes, whether positive or negative, are contagious. Am I creating an environment — physically, spiritually, emotionally — that is nurturing and uplifting? One that brings glory to God?

HIdden Art, Environment - Apron Strings & other things

And so we come to an end. It seems to me to be a rather abrupt ending. I would have loved to have one more chapter where the author would weave together all the creative beauty in a glorious tapestry (from another book, another post.) I guess she thought it best to leave it to the reader to do that for themselves.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working through this book again. I’ve also ‘met’ some amazing ladies through this study. Please visit them at Ordo Amoris. Thank you, Cindy, for being such a wonderful and gracious hostess!

This post also linked up at some of these wonderful places.

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  1. Mama Squirrel says:

    I like your alternate title suggestions!

  2. I concur with you on the aspect of difference and diversity (I hesitate using that overused word) in the human experience — I would say the drive for sameness, the push for conformity, is one of the major problems of contemporary 21st century American society — in the churches as well as outside of them.

    You are right — God has made unique, beautiful personalities that can learn much from each other, as long as we accept that we are all different in some ways, and in others, all the same.

    • Thank you, Carolyn, for stopping in and sharing your thoughts. I agree. My heart is saddened by many things I see around me. But, still, there are beautiful things happening as well, all for the glory of God, and I’ll celebrate those. Even thought we still have battles to fight, the victory is His!

  3. Thank you thank you thank you for a reminder for me to read this book. I have it and have read it off and on over the years. I need to go back and finish it. It is so full of sweetness! Edith Schaeffer’s writings are so full of wisdom!

    • Oh, yes, pick it up and read through! I confess, the first time or two I read this book, I did not finish it. I’d get excited about jumping off and being creative that I’d get burned out. I very much enjoyed just soaking it up this time around. Many nuggets of gold are found between the covers. I hope you are able to get back to it.
      Thank you, Amy, for stopping by and leaving your sweet comment ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Thanks for linking up at Essential Fridays. Blessings.

  5. I think your statement is so profound and so true. “The more we segregate, branching off into our little groups of โ€˜samenessโ€™, the farther we get from โ€˜onenessโ€™.” I have never thought of myself as an environment before. Interesting concept and quite the challenge! Thanks for linking up at Friendship Friday. I hope you’ll come again. I appreciate your point of view!

    • Thank you Sylvia, for your sweet comment. This book study has stretched me, and given me opportunity to grow in many ways. I look forward to seeing you again soon ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Yes, fortunately or unfortunately, our attitudes are contagious. That should spur us to abiding in Him, that those attitudes might be HIS attitudes!

    It has been a pleasure to study The Hidden Art of Homemaking with you!

    • You are right, Cheryl. In Christ, I have the joy I want to spill out from me to others.
      Thank you for your sweet comment, ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve also enjoyed this study, and finding the place where you write here in the blogsphere. I hope to be visiting often!

  7. Thanks for joining, Linda!!
    I like your observation that we are more tuned into environmental issues today than integration. That is something to think about because our race relations are not better just maybe the way we think about them.

    • Cindy, I’ve enjoyed so much going through this book study these last couple of months. Didn’t know if I’d be able to keep up, but having you ladies reading and commenting along with me really helped. The pace was just right and the timing perfect. It’s been a joy making new friends and learning from you and the others. Blessings!

  8. Loved reading your thoughts. Pondering the difference between sameness and oneness is interesting and I’m sure I’ll be chewing on that for a while…

    • Hi Heather ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for stopping in and leaving your comment. All through this study I’ve not been sure how my thoughts have come across printed out here in my little space. Reading through this book again has left me saying just what you said “I’ll be chewing on that . . .” It’s been wonderfully thought-provoking. Have a blessed week!

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