Homemaking: Why It's Important for Teen Girls Too

Anastasis Faith

           Today we have a special treat on the blog! Alicia A. Willis, published author and friend of mine, is here to talk to us about a super important topic: homemaking.

Why Homemaking is Important for Teen Girls

           If you think it's just for grandmas, this is definitely a post you will want to make time to read. 

           But first, let me introduce Alicia!

Homemaking Why It's Important for Teen Girls TooAlicia A. Willis is a homeschool graduate and an avid historian. From an early age she has had the desire to write family friendly, accurate books about the past. When not writing or doing endless historical research, she enjoys singing, being a church pianist, and teaching music. She and her husband live in Tennessee. She is author of Grace Triumphant, among other books.

1. What IS homemaking? Why is it important? 
           Home is a special word. It can mean anywhere—anywhere that family and friends are gathered or even just a temporary dwelling place one chooses to call home. Thus, homemaking is a special task, a privilege. It's important because the very idea of home doesn't exist without a homemaker, someone to brighten up a presence with all of the little things that make a place special and comforting.

2. What practical advice do you have for teen girls in this area?
           Learn everything you can now about caring for a home. Learn about organization, cooking, decorating, cleaning, and entertaining. Learn about the art of hospitality. All of those things—those little touches, graces, and tips—culminate and develop a person into a homemaker. 

3. What is your goal in homemaking?
           Making people feel welcome and comfortable is my goal as a homemaker (and this applies to my family first.) I think the art of homemaking is built on thinking of others. It's also built on delighting in the things God has given me to enjoy and unique way He gave me special likes, dislikes, and interests. If you think of homemaking as making other people comfortable and simply enjoying the place God gave you to live, you'll find you'll do more and more to brighten the special place you call home.

4. Is homemaking just for marriage? How do teen girls practice homemaking today?
           It's definitely for teen girls too! When I was a teenager, I shared a room with my sister. People often migrated to our room and just liked to sit and chat there. I received so many remarks on how quiet, peaceful, and fun it was to look at. You can do that too! Make whatever place you call your own a mini home. Make it a place of peace, quiet, and containing all of the 5 senses. Make sure all of the 5 senses convey a spirit of loveliness. Soft music, gentle scents, organization, and little touches of beauty (like flowers or a candle) can do wonders toward making your little space a mini home. After all, the spirit of home is not in a house, but in any place you choose to make it.

3. Do you enjoy homemaking? If so, what do you enjoy about it?
           I do. I love it! I particularly love making my home organized and smelling fresh and flowery! All-natural cleaning is fun for me, since I make my own laundry soap and cleaning sprays. I also love decorating in my own unique style (I'm something between Joanna Gaines, the Pioneer Woman, and a coffee/tea shop.) My favorite thing, though, is making the home comfortable for my husband and welcoming to my guests. I want their preferences and comfort to be above my own expectations of cleanliness or decorating. 

4. Any other pieces of advice in this area?
           Homemaking is a life-long art. It's developed by experience, reading, and looking closely at the comforts of others (and yourself!) Never stop studying or trying to make your little corner a home.
           Thanks for having me, Anna!

 I hope you enjoyed this interview! Take a minute to hop over to Alicia's blog and get to know her a bit more. Share in the comments any questions, thoughts, or stories! 

You Don't Have to be Perfect

Anastasis Faith
I stepped onto the stage. My heels clicked on the wooden platform. The lights were bright, and focused on one thing.
The beautiful, shiny black Steinway & Sons piano.
The room was full of high school students like me, their families, Baylor University professors and students.
It was the Baylor Summer Piano Institute student recital and I was performing next.
I hadn’t been nervous much before I sat down at the piano. I kept thinking about how, after I played, I could go home and sleep in my own bed after an intense week of piano.
It was a week long camp. People always gave me a funny look when I told them I was going to Piano Camp. They often said, “Piano Camp? How is that a thing?”
Each day was full of piano lessons, piano electives, piano practicing, piano theory, piano concerts—piano. We practiced four hours a day.
And here I was, at the end of this intense week, about to perform the piece I’d spent so much time on.
I smiled as I bowed to the audience, and sat at the bench. I scooted it forward a bit and adjusted the height. My heart pounded.
My fingers trembled over the keys. What if I made a mistake? What if I forgot a passage? What if I embarrass myself? I caught myself. Don’t think like that. You know the piece and if you have a memory lapse, you know you can jump to the next section.
I took a deep breath.
My fingers took their position.
Another deep breath.
I played.

My piece was fine. It was definitely better than my spring recital. But it wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t perfect, unlike many of the other students’ pieces.
I felt good about my performance—I could go home now and it hadn’t been a disaster. However, I would never be one of the best pianists.
 The mistakes I made in my piece made me laugh. Earlier I’d feared “defeat”—not being good enough. Not playing well enough. Embarrassing myself.
But at the end of it all, I laughed. Performing well in a recital seemed so trivial compared to what life was really about.
I learned that there is a beauty in imperfection. There is a freedom. I’m not bound to be “the best” pianist because I’m not even in the running. Many of my peers at camp practiced four hours a day back at home. I was glad if I could touch the piano every day.
There’s beauty in someone who doesn’t have a perfect outfit—but laughs. There’s beauty in someone who always winds up in super awkward circumstances—but laughs.
There’s beauty in contentment. Joy. Grace.
True, there’s beauty in being “perfect,” but who would you rather hang out with? The girl who comes in five minutes early, with perfect hair, perfect makeup, and perfect clothes—or the girl who rushes in right on time, putting on her makeup as she runs in, and laughing as she smears it?
Imperfection is more relatable. More relational.
It’s okay to not be perfect at something like piano when you feel God has placed more important things in your life.

I’m not saying to not put effort into looking good or doing your best. What I’m saying is that once you’ve worked hard, go with what you’ve got and don’t be afraid to not be completely put together. 
You cannot control your life—but you can control how you react to it.
My mom once said, “You want to be the kind of person who can laugh your way through anything.”
I think that is a very wise goal. On those days when nothing is going right—you slept through your alarm, couldn’t find your shoes, burned yourself and ruined your outfit with your $5 cup of Starbucks coffee when you spilled, locked the keys in the car—you can laugh at how ridiculous it all was.
And it all comes back to having our joy secured in Christ, being content in Him, and having our priorities in line with His will.

When was a time you were NOT perfect? When was a time you laughed at yourself? Any awkward stories? Thoughts? Share in the comments!

What I Learned When My Phone Was Stolen

Anastasis Faith
          Last year I went to Africa. Johannesburg, South Africa, is known for its high crime rate. We also had a two day layover in Washington DC, another high crime area.
          I always made sure I had a firm grip on my clutch purse that held typical wallet contents as well as my brand new nice phone. And I made it around the world safely with my belongings. Nothing was stolen.
          Until I got home.
          We got back to the States at about 10 am on a Friday morning. After we drove back and had lunch with our family, it was about 1 or 2 pm and we didn’t want to make jet lag worse by sleeping the afternoon away and being awake all night. So my sister and I decided to take a nap for a couple hours and then go up to our church for our inner city children’s ministry which would be exhausting and go late into the night. That way, we would be awake until night.
          I left my clutch purse in a not-very-smart place, but I’d left it there for the past like two years and nothing ever happened.
          At the end of the night, I went back to get it and it was gone. I searched and searched for hours, but it didn’t turn up.
          It turned into a huge fiasco, and you could imagine how exhausted I was by that time. 
          Let me tell you, it is a strange feeling to not have a phone, wallet, purse, or money anywhere. Plus, I couldn’t drive now because my license was in my purse.
          Long story short, we miraculously were able to recover the phone, but nothing else was ever found. The 6th grader who stole my phone claimed she never saw the purse.
          However, I went about two days without my phone.
          Okay, pause. Read that again.
          I went two days without my phone.
          And I’m not dead.
          Like, seriously.
         I survived.
          Yes, I’m being facetious. But when your phone is gone, the thoughts are flying through your head, “It’s gone. I’m dead. How will I text my friends?? How will I be able to keep track of how many steps I walk every day?? What about my Bible memory app? What about my Africa pictures??? What about Instagram??? Life isn’t possible without my phone!”
          I believe that we should not cling to our phones, but it happened to me when I wasn’t paying attention. Then my phone was gone, and with it a sense of security.
          Which is very, very silly.
          The other day I was gone all afternoon and forgot my phone at home. It was a weird feeling, but I kept having to remind myself, “I don’t NEED my phone. I can live without my phone for a few hours.”
          Throughout the mess with my stolen phone, I learned several things.

1. It’s just a thing. 

I can’t take my phone to heaven. Which means it’s probably not the most important thing ever. It’s just an item. Like a shoe. Or a pillow. Or a chair. You can get another one. Then again, you may not even need one.

2. There was a time that people lived without phones.

It is possible. You can live without your phone. People did it for thousands of years.

3. It could be a lot worse.

During that hectic weekend, the truths in the book The Insanity of God kept coming to mind. I had to be constantly reminding myself, “You know what? If a stolen phone and wallet is my worst problem, I am very blessed!” I want that to constantly be my perspective. People are being killed around the world for their faith. I can live without my phone.

4. It’s not about what happens to you, but how you respond to it.

Big and little things will come up in your day to day life. It’s not about what happens, it’s about your response. God is molding you and shaping you to be more like Him. He will use big and little trials. Pain and suffering will come. So don’t be surprised. Be prepared. It’s not about what happens, but how you handle it.

Do you feel like you are too attached to your phone? What are some indicators that you might cling to it too much? What are some possible remedies for that?

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