I'm a peculiar breed of woman myself, indignant about pay inequity but crazy about Martha Stewart. Ephesians 5 (submission in marriage) doesn't make me squirm, but most Christian books written for women do. This one caught me off guard.
I should have known, really, since Schaeffer and her husband started L'Abri, which always seemed to me to be the hippy commune of the Christian world. Now that I've read the book, I'm hesitant to call her a hippy, but Edith Schaeffer is definitely not "the church lady." She's an artist and a thinker and a lover of God.
From my reading of it, the basic premise of the book is that we were made by and in the image of a beautiful, creative God. The family likeness should be evident in our personalities, in our appearance, in our homes, in our parenting, in our recreation. Our lives should overflow with music and delicious foods. We should be close to something green and living. We don't need to resort to frozen lasagna and Pottery Barn; we can create our own foods, furniture, and frills. We were made for beauty, and we can bring beauty home.
I'm dedicating this week to making myself and the spaces in which I live my life a little more beautiful, to using my gifts and expressing myself in the life God has given me. Here are some of my ideas:
- an urban garden-in-a-pot
- flowers on the table (even if they're the cheapest ones I can find)
- listening to more of a variety of music
- playing music together at home more often
- (gently) encouraging Tim to paint
- mercilessly attacking all ugly (dirty, messy) spaces in the house
- patching up where the dogs have eaten the wool carpet (!)
- creating an interesting centerpiece with beach stuff (shells, rocks, sand, wood)
- taking on food presentation as a form of art
- writing a letter to my grandfather
- reading aloud together (actually, we already do this at night)
- looking in the mirror at least once a day... and then doing something to make that mirror look a little better
- thinking twice when I get dressed (so that I wear sweatpants with intention and not just as a default!)
- keeping up our morning walks on the beach
Likely I will not get all that far on my list this week, and that's fine. Really this is my one danger in reading an inspiring book-- I get all excited, and then after a couple of disappointments, give up. I'm hoping not to give up this time, not on myself and not on beauty as a way of life.
My hope is to unleash life as I pursue beauty and creative expression, one day at a time.