Monday, April 29, 2013

Book Club: The Hidden Art of Homemaking Chapter 2

Cindy is hosting a Book Club discussing The Hidden Art of Homemaking by Edith Schaeffer.  Please join us!

Chapter 2 is an extension of Chapter 1, and a bit of a rebuke: do something!

We've been reading The Christian Almanac at the table in the evenings. This chapter reminds me of a recent quote from Chesterton in that book, "If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly."  As I looked up the quote to add it here, I found this lovely exposition of what Chesterton meant and think it ties in beautifully.  It is for the amateur, generalist, and hobbiest.

Back to Schaeffer's gentle reminder.  We should do something.  See that which is not lovely and make it lovely.  Her encouragement to start small and gently is good.  Don't expect perfection or to be able to do everything ('cause you can't!), but stop turning a blind eye to the shelf of crafty stuff that's a disaster or the empty wall that needs a painting or the shelf of unopened cookbooks.

So, looking for beauty.  We read about William Billings in the aforementioned Christian Almanac.  When he mentioned Billings wrote the song that begins "Let tyrants shake their iron rods ..." it reminded me that I have a CD with that piece.  Early American Choral Music vol 1 and vol 2 (it's on vol 2).

And they're beautiful.  I sought the CDs out and played the song for my family.  I've been listening to the CD since.  I love the hymns we sing in worship, but must admit that excellent (male!) a capella singing of lyrically strong and God honoring music is a joy to hear.  It was a chance to add beauty to our day.

I need to do more of that.


  1. So glad you highlighted this CD. I realize that the conductor (hillier) is a performer in one of my favorite albums, Home to Thanksgiving.

    Adding to my Amazon wish list, I enjoy background music on occasion and appreciate your suggestion.

  2. Thank you so much for mentioning those albums, Dawn! I bought them both. :) Volume 2 includes several Psalms we sang at the church we went to in college that we miss singing, and my husband's been complaining that all the hymn CDs I've gotten so far have vibrato sopranos. :) These are perfect. And, I wouldn't have thought about turning on music as adding beauty (maybe because I haven't read ahead....). I tend not to because it feels like just more noise.

  3. Sometimes, Mystie, I agree that it is just more noise. But sometimes it levels everything out. I hope you listened to some of the samples because there are women singing, they just are balanced so nicely that the male voices seem featured to me. Give me a strong bass/baritone over a tenor every day ... But any robust male singing is so beautiful.

    Anna was recently telling me that in her home growing up Classical music was almost always playing and how she loves it. Mrs Austin, in the L'Engle books, also played Classical music by mood. If there's a fictional mother I'd like to be it's Mrs. Austin. I want to make more oportunities for music. I find though that my kids are more interested if we've read about the composer first (or during .. Classical kids CDs have been great for this) so when I realised I had it available it was, as Mama Squirrel said, serendipitous.

  4. Playing it right now on Spotify. Very nice.

  5. Dawn, I enjoyed that Chesterton exposition, especially the way he defined an amateur as someone who does something for love, not for money.

    We used to play classical music sometimes during lunch or art time, but we got out of the habit. I think that early exposure instilled a love of classical music, and I am thankful for that. I really should make it a habit again, especially as I peeked at Chapter 3's title, and we will be reading about music. :-)

    I am looking forward to checking out these CDs!

  6. Beautiful music playing in the background of our day can definitely inspire/motivate creativity in our lives.
    These cd's sound wonderful - thank you for the recommendation!

  7. I love that Chesterton quote. Many aspects of this whole topic remind me of various things he said, because he was an artist, and a philosopher about art. Very helpful post!


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