House becomes Home

Growing up
As a woman to feel the load of taking care of your own home is something that awakes you from being a girl towards becoming a woman. For me it was a pure shock and when I asked my mother once about this when I was still a child, she answered me: well this is the fate of a woman. This made me even more puzzled.
Because of this I decided to learn homemaking as handy as possible. To do things in the home as effective as I could. I really did not enjoy cleaning, and all the other things as doing laundry, cooking (was OK once in a while), but always!!The only motivation that I had in the beginning was: I like a clean house. I like a clean bed. I like a cute and cozy home. I like to have a good meal, for I like food. In fact: I had to grow up!
We need a vision
We all need to develop a long term vision for anything that is necessary and good. So just a bit of thinking and getting my act together and most of all develop a vision for the fact that it is YOU who has to do it. This has been quite a struggle for me I must admit.
I loved to study and I was able to learn 3 professions: I became a lab-technician, I was able to have a little business for chiropodist and later I got my masters in biology. I studied very hard. The different professions had to do with the fact that I married the first time with the love of my youth who got leukemia when we were engaged. His leukemia became chronic after acute and I decided that I needed a business at home in order to take care of him. Two weeks after he died I got my diploma for chiropodist. My first husband wanted me to do this. In this very horrible time of my life I succeeded and received my diploma.
A new beginning
After the death of my first husband some time later, I studied biology. During my studies I met my husband with whom I have been married now for almost 35 years and we got 3 beautiful grown children and 1 very lovely granddaughter. After birth of our son we came to believe, that Yeshua is Messiah. A faith we did not hear from in our youth and we learned by reading the Bible including the new Testament.
Life takes its course
How life can take its course: we all have our stories. But making a House a Home has been to me as I already said not easy because of the continually amount of work.
I have deep in my heart complained and it really did not do me good. May be the remark of my mother about the fate of a woman gave me extra trouble.
It was the example of my mother to persevere that helped me and I was able to create an orderly home. I always cooked good meals; I took care of all the laundry always, etc. And now I love getting my home orderly even more than I ever did.
I tell you all this to be encouraged and try not to focus on the work and the negative, but develop this vision to persevere and work towards a goal of raising your family in the power of God.

I had to change

Coming to know the Lord and feeling loved and forgiven by Him has changed me. I have often said: I clean my home at the first place to honor the Lord. At this time of my life the amount of work in the house has decreased. The children have left the house after growing up. Normally they fly like birds out of the house. Suddenly the ache in my soul of missing them so badly has also another side: suddenly there is more time to do other things. After the pain of missing my dearest children I start to enjoy the free time that suddenly becomes very precious. Now I can see how important it is to persevere also in making your House a Home.

Becoming a model yourself
I feel proud when my daughters ask my advice. It feels so great. I can also share with them my own struggles and how to persevere for God’s sake and our family. I am proud to see how my daughters make cozy homes for their families.
If we persevere and do God’s will we ourselves become a model to others around us.
A little support makes us fly like birds
I have learned and taught in our studies for women that there is an incredible difference between men and women. They are two halves that are together a unit. They complement each other. But still I believe a husband should support his wife as much as he can especially when there are little children and if fact as much as he is able to. I really advice this in marriage-counseling in our congregation. We as women are very vulnerable and husbands need to understand this. On the other hand if our husbands take care of most of the income they too have quite a heavy load on their shoulders. We as women should understand this too.
However a little help can make us fly like birds and make us want to take care of our families. A little love and support is enough for most of us.

Woman of valor

At the start of Shabbat my husband sings for me Proverbs 31:10-31. This is a beautiful Jewish tradition. This text reveals us much about the “woman of valor” that it portrays. In verse 27 we read: “She looks well to the ways of her household. And she does not eat the bread of idleness. Through the teachings of Torah the picture and calling of us women how to become a woman of valor becomes clearer.
From this verse we can draw some conclusions:
1. A woman of valor takes care of her family and not only the physical needs, but she also watches the attitudes and actions of her family (the ways they go). Taking care of the home does not mean that a woman does all the work by her self. She needs to be a good manager of her duties and puts also others to the tasks (I lacked in this part);
2. In order to be able to watch your family’s behavior you have to be a grown-up and you have developed spiritually and matured. In that case you are able to watch the ways of your family and are able to influence them in such a way that they feel loved and supported. They themselves develop healthy relationships at the first place with God and also with their family and friends;
3. In verse 26 we see that a woman of valor is able to teach kindness of  “torat chesed;”
4. A woman of valor is able to show the loving-kindness of our Creator to her family. She disciplines, but even more she shows love and compassion.
5.She is a hardworking woman and she uses her time very well. In order to reach the goals we see above there is only one way and that is: hard work.

This homemaking column is meant to exchange little things that can make our homemaking easier. If you have something that you would like to share with us, please send us an e-mail with your insights and we will place it if it suits the purpose of this column.