This book is much more serious than the last book I reviewed, but Margaret Kim Peterson’s Keeping House: The Litany of Everyday Life has been a big source of inspiration for me as a Christian and as a homemaker. Every person makes a home, whether single or married, and our homes can reflect what we believe about God and each other. I read this book much slower than others, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. It is full of tons of quotes I want to share with you, but I’ll restrict myself to a few, so you can read the book for yourself.
The concept of participating in a bigger story, being a part of living out the Gospel in our home was a inspiring thought for me. It definitely elevated vacuuming and toilet scrubbing beyond the realm of menial tasks that must be done, and reminded me that there is a bigger purpose to why I keep house for our family.
We start by clothing the naked in our homes – doing laundry, replacing worn out clothes. We start by feeding the hungry in our homes – preparing meals, ready with spiritual nourishment for hungry souls. Then, we open our doors and feed and clothe those the Lord leads to us (or those He leads us to). The home is designed to be an “outpost of the kingdom of God.”
As I read this book, I was inspired to look at keeping house in a different way. It was not just a drudgery, but actually a meaningful celebration of life and order. Margaret Kim Peterson does an excellent job explaining how the litany (a form of prayer) is like the daily, repetitive tasks of housework. “When we have prayed through a litany, we may not have prayed at great length about everything of concern to us, but at least we have covered the bases.”In the same way, the laundry is not finished forever, meals must be cooked, and dishes must be washed. “As we engage with the litany of everyday life, we engage with life itself, with our fellow human beings, with the world in which God has set us all, and thus with God himself.”
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