Mrs. Schaeffer starts this final chapter in The Hidden Art of Homemaking with an interesting claim that each of us is an art form and creates an environment around us.
The people who live and work with us must interact with the environment that we are creating. Mrs. Schaeffer says:
“Our conversations, attitudes, behaviour, response or lack of response, hardness or compassion, and faith or our continual despondency, our concern for others who have to live in our ‘environment’. Enthusiasm and excitement infect other people.”
I have often said that when I look nice I feel nice and work better. I have always tried to get up and get dressed nicely for the children. After all, my home is my “job”. I need to treat it with as much respect as if I was going out to an office job. We all work better when I start the day this way.
We can also affect those around us negatively. Think about how the day goes in your home when you wake up grumpy, let the schedule get off and crab at the children.
Another thing to consider is that we do not have to let a need for frugality prevent us from creating a pleasing environment for those around us. Think of this example given by Mrs. Schaeffer of the need for thoughtfulness in creating a beautiful environment.
“There were some Africans who were with us a couple of years ago, who sat in our bedroom talking to my husband before they left. Each of them had been in some sort of a mission school and now were in European universities on scholarships. Each of them at some time or another had come in to the homes of missionaries and had observed various things during their boyhood. They each made a similar comment which impressed me deeply. Each of them said that the thing which had turned them away from Christianity was the lack of beauty in the missionaries’ homes – and they were speaking of physical beauty.”
What a sobering story to make us think of the importance of making our homes a beautiful environment. After all, God set the example for us when He created a beautiful world for us to live in.