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Thursday, September 8, 2011

The importance of homekeeping

His mother kissed his plump, brown cheek.
I was recently introduced to a gem of a little book, The Nest Among the Honeysuckles, as I was perusing through the findings of Happy Hearts Homeschooling. 
This sweet book was published in 1855 by the American Sunday School Union and is full of stories for little children which illustrate Biblical living. 
After printing and binding the book last night, I sat down to read a bit of it so as to be familiar with it when I begin to share it with my little children. I was so delighted and encouraged to find the following passage concerning the "stay-at-home-mom", that I just had to share!

Our robin has been a keeper-at-home ever since those four bluish-green eggs demanded her attention. She has occasionally left, for a few minutes at a time, to procure food and drink, or to take a little exercise; but she has never forgotten her quiet abode, and the duties which there require her almost constant presence. She loves the green fields, the leafy trees, and the clear blue sky, and delights to hop about with her mate over the fresh grass and the clean gravel-walks; but better than all she loves those pretty eggs, which lie so cozily in the bottom of her straw-built nest.

Before she commenced house-keeping, she was very fond of travelling, and many a mile has she wandered, over hill and valley, in company with her friends. She assisted at concerts, and was universally admired; but she had the good sense to give up these enjoyments without a murmur, when higher claims called for her undivided care. Whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well; and the robin will doubtless be repaid for the unwearied patience with which she performs her unostentatious duties. Some people are inclined to think domestic labour dishonourable, and the cares of house-keeping a burden; but our feathered friend is wiser than they. She does with her might what she finds to do, and she does it heartily. Every act of duty, faithfully and cheerfully performed, is acceptable to God; and his children do his will when they endeavour to attend to their various occupations in such a way as he can approve. If all house-keepers felt that, in attending to the different departments of their work as they should be attended to, they were honouring Him who has made this care necessary for the comfort of families, it would be a blessing to themselves, and to who all who dwell under the same roof with them. We cannot consider any thing which we do to please our heavenly Father of small importance, and no favour can be degrading which he requires of us.

We may all learn a lesson from the robin who lives in the honeysuckles, and we shall see how she was rewarded for her devotion to the employment which Providence assigned her. The wisest of men, in describing the character of an excellent woman, says: "The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her." "She will do him good, and not evil, all the days of her life." Our feathered friend's husband is absent much of his time (as most gentlemen are obliged to be) from his well-ordered home; but he always thinks of it with pleasure, and hastens to it whenever he can find time to do so. Sometimes he only stops a moment, but it is a precious moment to them both, for their hearts and interests are one. They are cheered, in their separation, by the pleasant memories of these brief interviews, and by bright anticipations of future enjoyment.

I have observed, Mr. Robin thinks it of importance to look nice at home, as well as when he is abroad. I have seen him alight on the walnut-tree, and carefully arrange his toilet, before going into the presence of his wife. She must feel complimented by this delicate attention, indicating so high a regard for her, and such anxiety to preserve her esteem. I should not wonder if she was a little proud of her handsome husband. However this may be, I am sure it is her greatest happiness to deserve his respect and love, and honourably to perform all the duties which devolve upon her in her married life.

American Robin


  1. We have had a mama robin build her nest in our honeysuckle for two springs now. I would like to repost a section of this fitting description on my blog with your permission. I will certainly credit you and your source. Thanks! Love your large family mothering blog!

  2. This looks really neat. Thanks for sharing this little gem. I bookmarked it so I could go back and print it when I have time!!

  3. That is a treasure!

    Thanks for sharing it!


  4. I enjoyed reading this. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  5. "I have seen him alight on the walnut-tree, and carefully arrange his toilet, before going into the presence of his wife."

    I have to confess, when I first read this, I thought the author was referring to "Daddy Robin" putting the toilet seat down when be was done. I realized my mistake, but the thought still makes me giggle. :)

    I'm thankful my husband attends to both meanings of the word "toilet." :)

  6. Meghan--that makes me giggle too!