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Collected Quotes on Domesticity and Diligence
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Bio: Verily Valerie
Valerie is a 39-year-old, single, Reformed Christian lady who lives in Baltimore. She doesn't remember a time before she knew and loved Jesus, but she does remember accepting John Calvin into her heart in March of 2000. Valerie is a member of Christ Reformed Evangelical Church in Annapolis.

Though her career aspiration is to be a housewife, Valerie has not yet found anyone suitable who wishes to hire her for employment in that field (or, more properly, anyone suitable has not found her), so in the meantime she earns her daily bread working in communications editing, writing, print design and website management.

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Kyriosity’s Collected Quotes on Domesticity and Diligence

Domesticity and diligence are two areas where I need a lot of encouragement, so I've begun this collection of quotes to help spur myself (and perhaps some of you) on to love and good deeds (Heb. 10:24). Got a good quote to recommend for the collection? E-mail it to me at valerie [at] kyriosity [dot] com!

The Home despot

Sora Colvin

From Parah, "Diligent Hands Will Rule":

With two weeks of school left, Aedan has been running out of steam. He asked last night if he could just be homeschooled for the rest of the year, and failing that, if he could just stay home today (Monday). I told him that if he was at home, I'd make him work, but that didn't faze him. I can't blame him, really; he does not get enough sleep and has to get up at 6:00 a.m. every day to drive to school with Matt. By the time the rest of the family is up Matt and Aedan are usually gone.

Anyway, at 6:00 a.m. he managed to look blear-eyed and miserable enough (he has had a cold for what seems like almost the entire school year) that Matt let him go back to bed and take a "sick day". Aedan enjoyed his extra sleep and was chipper and cheerful during our later morning breakfast and family worship. And, true to my word, I made him work. He wasn't able to do any of his schoolwork until Matt brought it home, and I think he'd been hoping to spend most of the day playing, but except for an hour or so lunch break I kept him busy in the house and out in the yard all day.

He was waxing downright poetic at lunch. "It's a strange thing," he announced, "but when I'm lazy, I'm unhappy for no reason, and when I'm diligent, I'm happy for no reason." I raised my eyebrows. "Well, actually, there is a reason," he admitted. "I don't think I've ever been as diligent as I was this morning. And I've never deserved my broccoli soup more!"

Yes, son, God made you to work, and the satisfaction of a job well done is a pleasure to be savored. As is the rest and good food afterward. We had a good talk about his tendency to find "lions in the streets" and "hedges of thorns" in his work too. I was glad to see him identifying the poor fruits of sluggardly behavior of his own accord. It is good to see him growing in wisdom as well as stature.

Toni Cunningham

From a comment on BadgerMum's blog:

My mother and most women I think (including myself) simply hate the monotony. There's so much I'd rather do! Theologically, when I'm doing an annoying housework task, I try to think of how God cleanses us over and over again in our sanctification. What if he left us filthy and just let us get worse and worse instead of forgiving us over and over? Our homes should be an extension of that biblical reality, so that helps me. ....

We don't own a dishwasher to my agonizing consternation, and whenever I find myself complaining about the dishes, I remind myself of how Joni Earekson Tada said she would love to be able to do dishes. Jay Adams also said that dirty dishes are a reminder that the Lord has provided a whole lot of food.

George Eliot

From Middlemarch:

You must be sure of two things: you must love your work, and not be always looking over the edge of it, wanting your play to begin. 

And the other is, you must not be ashamed of your work , and think it would be more honourable to you to be doing something else. You must have a pride in your own work and in learning to do it well, and not be always saying, There's this and there's that -- if I had this or that to do, I might make something of it. No matter what a man is -- I wouldn't give twopence for him -- here Caleb's mouth looked bitter, and he snapped his fingers -- whether he was the prime minister or the rick-thatcher, if he didn't do well what he undertook to do.

Gerard Manley Hopkins

From The Principle or Foundation:

It is not only prayer that gives God glory, but work. Smiting on an anvil, sawing a beam, whitewashing a wall, driving horses, sweeping, scouring, everything gives God some glory if being in his grace you do it as your duty. To go to communion worthily gives God great glory, but to take food in thankfulness and temperance gives him glory too. To lift up hands in prayer gives God gory, but a man with a dungfork in his hand, a woman with a slop pail gives him glory too. His is so great that all things give him glory if you mean they should. So then, my brethren, live.

Helen Keller

Unknown source:

I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.

Charles Kingsley

Unknown source:

Thank God every morning when you get up, that you have something to do that day which must be done....Work will breed in you temperance and self-control, diligence and strength of will, cheerfulness and content, and a hundred virtues which the idle never know.

Martin Luther

Unknown source:

The maid who sweeps her kitchen is doing the will of God just as much as the monk who prays, not because she may sing a Christian hymn as she sweeps but because God loves clean floors.

Unknown source:

God pays no attention to the insignificance of the work being done, but looks at the heart which is serving him in work. This is true even of such everyday tasks as washing dishes or milking cows.

Unknown source:

What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow.

The Lutheran Prayer Book

Send me, O Lord, into the tasks of this day rejoicing. Teach me that I labor to Thee, that I eat and drink to Thy glory, that I think and plan to the ends which Thou hast laid before me. Do Thou strengthen me that I may become willing to sacrifice for others. Teach me to look upon my life today as given me to help my fellowmen. Let me see in my profession, in the need of those who depend on me, in the want and struggle of the world about me, my field for loving service. Remind me again that my life, my speech, my faith is nothing without love. Grant that I be ready to forgive, quick in sympathy, earnest in my rejoicing with those who are happy, and zealous in bearing the burdens of my fellow-men. In Jesus's name, Amen.

Mike McKenna

From the Rockbridge Reporter:

I always tell my children, you never get bored after too much work, you only get bored after too much fun. It's an overindulgence in pleasure that creates the sense of a lack of fulfillment in our culture. yet people who have meaningful work to do can take joy in the doing of their work. Truly, work is a gift from God, and there is joy in receiving and delighting in His good gifts!

Cheryl Mendelson

From Home Comforts:

It is scarcely surprising then, that so many people imagine housekeeping to be boring, frustrating, repetitive, unintelligent drudgery. I cannot agree. Each of its regular routines brings satisfaction when it is completed . These routines echo the rhythm of life, and the housekeeping rhythm is the rhythm of the body. You get satisfaction not only from the sense of order, cleanliness, freshness, peace and plenty restored, but from the knowledge that you yourself and those you care about are going to enjoy these benefits.

Terry Pratchett

From The Wee Free Men:

If you believe in yourself and trust in your dreams and follow your star...you'll still get beaten by people who spent their time... working hard and learning things and weren't so lazy.

Edith Schaeffer

From The Hidden Art of Homemaking:

The fact that you are a Christian should show in some practical area of a growing creativity and sensitivity to beauty, rather than in a gradual drying up of creativity, and a blindness to ugliness.

Thomas Szasz

Unknown source:

The greatest analgesic, soporific, stimulant, tranquilizer, narcotic, and to some extent even antibiotic -- in short, the closest thing to a genuine panacea -- known to medical science is work.

Margaret Thatcher

Unknown source:

Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It's not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it's when you've had everything to do, and you've done it.

Nancy Wilson

(More here from Mrs. Wilson)

From Femina:

In one of the books I was reading recently, there was an offhand comment about how there are really only two kinds of women: the princess and the pioneer. I was struck by the wisdom and insight in this observation, and the more I thought about it, the more it seems to really sum up how women generally handle life. We either are the kind who are willing to roll up our sleeves and dive into the business at hand, even if it is something we have never done before; or we are looking around for the people who are going to be taking care of us.

From Femina:

Women are called to manage their homes (1 Tim. 5:14) ; this pleases God and keeps the adversary from speaking reproachfully. Women who make homes keep God’s word from being blasphemed (Titus 2:4). The way I understand this is that a home that is well managed is a positive glory; a home in shambles is a poor testimony. But this is not to lay a guilt trip on women; rather, it should inspire us to view our seemingly mundane tasks as a truly worthy calling that God uses to transform the world. We often think of homekeeping as drudgery. But God says it silences our enemies. That is something potent. God always does things backwards from what we think. This requires wisdom.

From Femina:

God has adorned us with the gospel. Now we, by faith, can adorn our homes as an outworking of the glorious gospel.

From The Fruit of Her Hands:

One time when my children were still very young, a woman stopped by for a visit. “How do you keep your house so clean?” she asked. I thought for a moment, and I remember answering, “I work really hard—all the time.”

Page created May 24, 2007.
Last updated September 18, 2009.