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.