As I type this, I have a pot of just blanched and diced tomatoes on the stove, cooking down before they will become tonight’s tomato soup. I have three and a half jars of diced tomatoes leftover that will be frozen for a later date. It’s not much, but my family is small, and I know that the fresh taste will be welcomed in a future dinner. As I type this, it’s Wednesday, and this week alone I’ve also baked Paleo banana nut bread, grocery shopped, made beef jerky in the dehydrator, cleaned, and packed boxes for our move.
I used to cringe at the word homemaking. I had deep untrue roots in my heart that said that what women did around the house did not really matter and that there were better things for them to do. My own mom was a working mom whose biggest strengths were in business, and I thought that to make something of myself I should exemplify the high-powered career woman who raised me. I’m certainly not anti- career or anti working- woman, but years of evaluating my strengths based solely on what assets they would provide me in the job world took their toll.
I wouldn’t let myself value the things that peaked my interest and fed my soul. Cooking was utilitarian. Solomon will say that when he met me he watched me throw three ingredients in a crock pot without any joy because it was a chore to feed my family. I loved to craft, but it wasn’t until this year that I could allow myself to consider how important it actually was to me – to my being– to nurture creative pursuits.
When I was in college I sat in a class where we discussed the arts that we saw our mothers / women before us engage in at home because they had no other outlet. In another class we evaluated a women’s painstakingly kept journal and lamented the fact that she could never become a famous novelist in her day. The feminist bent on these instances never answered the question: but what if she wanted to stay at home and raise her children? Or, but what if keeping a journal was enough?
Again, I don’t say these things to discredit the many women who were denied opportunities that they should have been given. But in this time in which I am living it seems that the pendulum has swung so far to the other side that we’ve lost grip on the fact that every women is allowed to be herself and pursue that which interests her. And if that which interests her is investing in her family, she should be celebrated, not scorned.
I used to think that women who blanched and canned tomatoes were bored and unsatisfied. But now I have become that woman, and I see that she is actually strong, resourceful, and hard working. That women works alongside her husband to ensure that the needs of her family are met. That woman lives and celebrates the small, cultivating beauty in a world that often fails to see it. That woman’s tasks are often without recognition, but “her children arise and call her blessed.”
So, dear friend, may you rejoice in the freedom to pursue your passions, no matter how insignificant the world may say they are. And may we always invest in our calling to serve one another in love.