So to start I will share some helpful insight from a GREAT book that I got for my birthday from my sis-in-law Rachel. The book is called Home Comforts The Art & Science of Keeping House, by Cheryl Mendelson. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about keeping a home and all it entails...it's one of the best I have read on the topic.
Here is a brief insight on Neatening, the author brings up the "broken window" theory which I had never heard of, but it shed a lot of light on why I have such a hard time sometimes keeping things neat. Without going into as much detail as the author I will paraphrase the meaning of the theory, then share the authors short description of how it's applicable to keeping home. The broken window theory is a theory that was shown by situations seen in several neighborhoods. Studies had shown that if a window was broken in a home and not repaired this suggests to "wrongdoers" in the neighborhood that no one cares about the home, which then leads to the home being at much higher risk of being vandalized. Stay with me now, before you get too confused and question how this could possibly have to do with keeping home...let me give you the authors explanation. It's a long quote, but I think you'll find it humorous to see how her examples are really pretty accurate to what we experience in our own homes:
The broken window theory certainly applies to every individual home, and the reason why it does is clear. When people are cooperating in maintaining a household, the domestic equivalent of an unrepaired broken window can result in a chain reaction that eventually sees the home in complete chaos. It happens like this. Someone is reading in his favorite chair while sipping a cup of tea, after slipping off his shoes to get comfortable. His wife hands him an important piece of mail, and after reading it he walks off to make a telephone call, leaving behind the mail and the torn envelope, his novel spread to mark his place, his shoes, his half empty cup, and the chair looking nicely sat in. He does not return to this chair for the rest of the day, forgetting his tea and novel after the telephone call and getting involved in something else. Now the "window" has been broken in this room. Anyone who walks in will feel entitled to add more disorder because the room is already slightly even if pleasantly, disorderly. The next person therefore leaves her stack of papers at her chair and throws her sweater on it. After something like this happens four or five times, the room is littered, and the disorder soon spreads to the next room. Or say one person does a lackluster job cleaning up after a meal. Some dishes or pots or countertops are left unwashed. Everyone who walks into the kitchen afterward feels entitled to add to the mess, leaving a glass and plate on the counter or more crumbs on the table. (After all there are already a dirty cup and bowl; two more won't matter.) The same chain of events can happen with chores. He did not market, so I will not (or cannot) cook or do the laundry or vacuum. It can also happen when you live alone, and you can find yourself responding to your own breaches of order or routine with still more disorder and disruption, In each case, the household is soon entirely out of control.
So you may ask, how can such a chain be broken!? If your anything like me you can relate to such instances, and I thought it was a problem that could never be fixed! Alas, there is hope to such a dilemma; the chain of the unbroken window can be "broken".
In order to learn this and apply it to my own life I am going to post a weekly "Keeping House Hint" beginning with the pursuit of neatness. The author does a great job at providing hints for keeping your home neat, without making it undoable, uncomfortable or unliveable. So starting next week you can look for my hints on a weekly basis, I don't have a specific day that I will do this, so just keep a lookout for it ;)
Please remember, even in things such as domesticity, we are still a people dependent on God's grace. I know I must constantly remind myself of this when I am weary or feel like I am failing at a task, especially with homemaking. Let us cling to this truth as we pursue after these things:
"whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. " 1 Peter 4:11b
So if you decide to pursue after domesticity and things as such, do it heartily for the glory of God!
* Note for the men who read our blog: I know this is not the most popular topic that sparks interest in most of your minds, but you may even find these tips helpful in serving your wives or families ;) No pressure, but I just wanted you guys to feel included to read along, even though the title is "Keeping House Hints" the topic of neatness can be applied to anyone's life, male or female.
Now for my last portion of my post...I know it's been a long one (thanks for hanging in there) but it's been so long since I have posted I must make up for lost time:
Essie's Peach Cobbler
Preheat oven to 350
Cream together in bowl:
1/4 C butter
1/2 C sugar
1 C flour
2 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/4 t cinnamon (optional)
Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture alternately with:
1/2 C milk
Mix until smooth. Grease a 10x5 or 9x9 baking pan. Spoon batter into pan over:
4 sliced peaches ( you can use many other fruits besides peaches such as berries or cherries)
Sprinkle top with:
2-4 T sugar
Bake for 45-50 minutes. Serve with cold milk,whipped topping, or ice cream.
Mmmmm!Lew and I made this a few weeks ago and it was def.my favorite cobbler recipe! The topping is a little cakey, but not too cakey....and it's really moist!