I agree that grace is more than unmerited favor and is definitely God’s influence. I’ve studied the definition a lot because of my background. What I reacted to in her definition is the implication that having a beautiful home is ministering God’s grace to others. If that’s true, then having a not beautiful home is being ungracious. I strongly disagree with that. I’ve been in far from gorgeous homes on the missionfield and that did not in anyway stop the hostesses from being gracious. Beautiful artwork is simply not an option for many, many Christians who live on dollars a day (we had a family in our church who one time had something like 2 dollars for the week to take care of a family of 4!) Even candles for “ambience” are a luxury many in the world cannot possibly afford.
And, Sally implies that this is the basis of the definition of grace. That’s just not true. We aren’t saved by God causing delight. We are saved by God’s grace — giving us that which we do not deserve. 🙂
But I recognize that because of my background and experiences, I’m extra sensitive to these issue and most people could probably read it without hearing what I hear. 🙂KeriJParticipant
Missus Leata, you’re not alone. As much as I appreciate Sally’s heart and ministry, many of her books made me uncomfortable as well, for the reasons you and others mentioned. (and I owned quite a few )AmandaParticipant
“New-agey” is exactly what my pastor-husband thought when I read him portions from Life-Giving Home. Sarah’s contributions to that book- especially all the stuff about “incarnation” were just…..weird, to us. I LIKE candles & tea & all that (oddly enough- we are also a homesteading, Little House wanna-be family, complete with free-range chickens & saving up food for a year!). The practical ideas I got from her were inspiring to me. But I felt unsure about some of the theology. Our church is more on the conservative end, theology-wise, so maybe that is part of my hesitation. And I also only read the one book, and I don’t think I ever finished it!BenitaParticipant
Another thought I had regarding women in 3rd world countries.
My husband has been in the “homes” of those who live in garbage dump slums in India. They barely had anything, let alone anything we would call lovely.
However, most of them went out of their way when visitors came to set out the few tea cups they had and offer something to eat no matter how little – or revolting! They did all they could to make the guests feel welcome.
They would scrub the dirty concrete floor and wash the one little mat everyday and try to keep their little square room as good as they could get it. They had the same heart that Sally is speaking of, they just present it according to their own resources.
Again, I feel it is the heart, not the resources. We could accomplish the same thing with a package of crackers and a plastic cup of water. Even that can seem beautiful if done with love and the right heart. Reminds me of some of Edith Schaffer’s writings on the art of homemaking. I never found that offensive or exclusive. She was simply encouraging us to do the best with what we have.
Again, just my thoughts. Of course, in the end, if Sally’s writings don’t appeal to you, find someone’s that does.
See, I would very seldom actually scrub everything for company. But I would open my house and serve with love. I don’t try to keep everything as good as I can because I homeschool and I wouldn’t have time for my kids if I did that. That’s why I feel panicky with these teachings. To me, it just points out what I can’t do. 🙁KeriJParticipant
I was reminded of this thread today. My house was a wreck and we ate on paper plates. But I spoke kindly to my kids when it was difficult for me to do so. I have had other times in my life when the house was beautifully decorated and I was a crank to live with. Tea cups and candles cannot be the focus for me. Our hearts and our lives have to be the priority.alphabetikaParticipant
” That’s why I feel panicky with these teachings. To me, it just points out what I can’t do. ?”
MissusLeata – there is a whole pile of books and philosophies I choose to avoid because of this same emotion. We are all gracious in different ways, according to how God calls us. I feel no shame in just not reading certain things if I know they will create in me a feeling of inadequacy, especially in the area of homemaking. Rest easy!Melanie32Participant
Agreeing with Alphabetika!
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