Friday, February 19, 2010


Elisabeth Elliot shared the following essay written many years ago by an unknown mother in one of her newsletters ( Elisabeth Elliot Newsletter, P.O. Box 7711, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48107-7711 -$7 yr.) She says while not too many women iron sheets these days, it is still possible to let many other things take precedence over the primary task.

"I am sadly concerned that thousands of mothers are so over-burdened that the actual demands of life from day to day consume all their time and strength. But of two evils, choose the lesser: which would you call the lesser--an unpolished stove or an untaught boy? Dirty windows, or a child whose confidence you have failed to gain? Cobwebs in the corner, or a son over whose soul a crust has formed, so strong that you despair of melting it with your hot tears and fervent prayers?

I have seen a woman who was absolutely ignorant of her children's habits of thought, who never felt that she could spare a half-hour to read or talk with them--I have seen this woman spend ten minutes in ironing a sheet, or forty minutes icing a cake for tea, because company was expected.

When the mother, a good orthodox Christian, shall appear before the Great White Throne to be judged for the "deeds done in the body," and to give her report of the master's treasures placed in her care, there will be questions and answers like these:

"Where are the boys and girls I gave thee?"

"Lord, I was busy keeping my house clean and in order, and my children wandered away."

"Where wert thou while thy sons and thy daughters were learning lessons of dishonesty, malice and impurity?"

"Lord, I was polishing furniture and making beautiful rugs."

"What hast thou to show for thy life's work?"

"The tidiest house, Lord, and the best starching and ironing in all our neighborhood!"

Oh these children, these children! The restless eager boys and girls whom we love more than our lives! Shall we devote our time and strength to that which perishes while the rich garden of our child's soul lies neglected, with foul weeds choking out all worthy and beautiful growths? Fleeting indeed, O mother, are the days of childhood, and speckless windows, snowy linen, the consciousness that everything about the house is faultlessly bright and clean will be poor comfort in that day wherein we shall discover that our poor boy's feet have chosen the path that shall take him out of the way to all eternity." --Author Unknown

Read the whole article, written by Tamara Eaton, here.
In fact, I found all of her articles to be so encouraging for homeschooling families! You can see her articles at Click on articles at the top.


  1. Great post! My sister-in-law has a plaque above her sink that says "Excuse the mess, we were making memories"

  2. Convicted. Thank you for the nudge.

  3. oh I love the plaque that Erin mentioned! What a great article and post! I love it! It's sometimes so hard to remember what really matters in our day to day grind, thanks : )

  4. Love the essay--mind if I share? I will link back!

    Many blessings...

  5. Share away! I just want to make sure the author gets credit! All of her articles are so good!

  6. Wow, that was a great read, and I too am convicted. Wow. Thanks for sharing Brenda.

  7. Onto my delicious link list you go- AGAIN!

    Thanks for sharing, Brenda.

  8. okay, this is exactly what I have been trying to say for about a year. This is what I mean and this is what I want! Thanks for posting!!!

  9. Elisabeth Eliott is a gem! I love this essay you posted. Thanks for sharing.
    Here is a recent post I did on the subject of Homemaking:

  10. What perspective...may balance be the fruit of prioritizing as we flesh out this calling of "mother". Great read and I intend to visit the author for further encouragement, gleaning and God~given words of wisdom.

    Blessings ~


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)