Y'all!!! I just read a WONDERFUL book!! It's called Queen of the Castle- 52 weeks of encouragement for the uninspired, domestically challenged or just plain tired homemaker by Lynn Bowen Walker.
Why do I think it's so good? Read what Mrs. Walker says on page 5 of her book about homemaking. This is what I think about homemaking, too. It's more than just a clean home or homemade food. It's about... well, just read what she says here...
Homemaking involves people. It encompasses loving our children, nurturing their creativity, and helping them recognize their unique gifts. Homemaking is encouraging our husbands, admiring their finer qualities, and praying for them when they're going through a rough time. Homemaking is being a people tender, a "family manager," as author Kathy Peel calls it. It's caring about the people who enter our world and nourishing them with kind words, food perhaps, and a listening ear. You and I can change the lives we touch. We have the capacity to bring love and laughter and encouragement to those who enter our homes. It's a huge job.
My time to sit down and devour books has greatly decreased since we came home with Elizabeth. Homemaking is my favorite subject and all the books I have seen lately are thick and time-consuming. Queen of the Castle is broken down into 52 chapters. I can read one chapter in a sitting and actually feel like I accomplished some reading that day!! Plus, Mrs. Walker is so very real and encouraging in this book. While Martha Stewart comes across as larger than life, Mrs. Walker comes across like a sister- she KNOWS what it's like to try to juggle the demands of life and still somehow find time to clean her home, make homemade cookies, do special holiday projects with her family, etc. She's made mistakes and learned from them and she's had successes, too, and wants to share both with her readers.
Queen of the Castle has some really wonderful ideas for holidays and seasons, how to handle leftovers, flea market tips, etc. And she has some INCREDIBLE recipes in the book, too!!! Wait'll you see the recipe for French Dip in the Crock-Pot (page 225)- SOOO easy!!! Oh, and the chocolate butter (page 175). Yes, you read that right, CHOCOLATE BUTTER!!!!! And there are MORE excellent recipes, too!!!
I also really like all the wonderful quotes she has throughout her book (plus all the new words she teaches as the book goes along!!!). I think my favorite quote is from page 32 in her book...
C. S. Lewis once said, "A housewife's work...is surely in reality the most important work in the world. What do ships, railways, mines, cars, government, etc. exist for except that people may be fed, warmed, and safe in their own homes?... We wage war in order to have peace, we work in order to have leisure, we produce food in order to eat it. So your job is the one for which all others exist."
What I like most about Queen of the Castle, though, is the constant reminder to spend time with the Lord. There is Scripture throughout the book continually pointing readers to the fact that we exist, ultimately, for our Lord and Savior. We take care of our homes for Him and because of Him. I have other homemaking books, but this is the only one that comes to mind that talks about the Lord and takes us back to our relationship with the Lord. I appreciate this more than anything.
In the busyness of life these days, I welcome a book that points me to Jesus Christ, but that also encourages me in my calling as a wife and mother- as a homemaker. I am blessed, indeed, and Queen of the Castle reminded me of that blessing. Thank you, Mrs. Walker, for a lovely book.