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My sweetheart and I are celebrating our 29th anniversary this week, so my thoughts have turned toward home and family.

I am not sure when I first came across the phrase “keeper of the hearth.”  I just know it resonates with something inside of me.  I am a wife and mother, and my job is to keep our home warm and inviting- just as a hearth was the warm, cozy place in homes of the last century or two.  I refuse to apologize for my choice of “careers” when I could have gotten a higher degree, or become any number of things that have worldly titles attached.  Yet, contrary to popular opinion, there is nothing wrong with my ambition, and I haven’t let my brain turn to mush!

I keep a home, not just a house.  Anyone can keep house.  I feed, clothe, shelter, teach, advise, and provide a refuge from a world which has turned its back on the values I espouse.  Those who enter hopefully find a family who supports each other, laughs a lot, and works together to create a place for the nurturing of souls.  That is why I choose to be a “keeper of the hearth” rather than anything else.  What else could be so important that I would give up a chance to touch lives, and “lift up the hands which hang down?”

So when you ask me if I work, the answer is yes.  Everyday.  I turn leftovers into soul-satisfying meals, stretch a budget to encompass my family and those in my path who need my help, act as a library for anyone looking for wholesome, entertaining media, and my couch can turn into a doctor’s bench at a moment’s notice.  No job or secular assignment can match that!

What do I get from all this?  Peace, a closely knit family, a husband who is allowed to be the man of the house, yummy, nutritious meals; a godly home, loyal friendships, and, ultimately, the possibility to experience the joy described in Proverbs 31: “her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.”  Maybe then the heaven I worked so hard to create here will be carried to a place where it will never end.

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