Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Titus-2 Homemaking Lessons Inspired by Jane Austen


According to her great nephew Edward, Jane Austen was "a good daughter, a delightful sister, the most perfect of aunts, what better record could there be of a single woman? Her literary work never stood in the way of her home duties..." Perhaps her "home duties" isn't what comes to mind when we think of dear Jane, however, she shares much on the subject through the beloved books she left behind. Today we highlight five Titus-2 lessons which are inspired by Miss Austen!


#1. Practice Makes Perfect

"Catherine would make a sad, heedless young housekeeper to be sure," was her mother's foreboding remark; but quick was the consolation of there being nothing like practice."
~Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Though many of us were not brought up to be homemakers, you can take heart that practice does indeed make perfect! The key is in developing the proper habits.  Author Elizabeth George speaks of being intentional about homemaking. She said she "loved reading, brooding, and watching TV. But one evening I heard a Christian woman I admire say, "I don't do anything sedentary!" I thought about that statement for days, and I finally made a pledge to be more active, to keep moving..." 


A few things my mother impressed upon me which I think are priceless, are in fact very simple concepts. They just require follow up ("moving" so to speak) and are in regards to the kitchen. As it is the center of the home, it requires the most maintenance. If we can focus on keeping our kitchen orderly, our entire home will function more efficiently.


  • Number one, do not go to bed with dirty dishes in your sink (sorry, I know you didn't want to hear something this blunt and obvious!). You will be creating an un-pleasant domino effect for the remainder of the week that will affect the whole household and throw it off balance. A clean kitchen means a fresh start to each day and a promise for a more manageable one!
  • The second tip is to clean as you cook. If you take out the tub of sugar, put it immediately away. If you barely use an item, give it a quick rinse and place it directly in your dish rack (I always keep my dish-rack out on the sink for this very reason -- it is the catch-all for the cleaning as you cook method). Leaving piles of mess in your kitchen is very overwhelming! It is much more manageable to maintain as you go along.
  • The third concept is to fix your bed and dress every morning. Your bed makes up the bulk of your bedroom and with that being tidy, it sets the stage for "neat" in your home! With you being "tidy" every morning, it sets the stage for wanting your home to be "neat".


If you are interested, you will find a few more simple priorities here along with some list-making motivation here. Remember, practice makes perfect!

"Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me--put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you."
~ Phillipians 4:9 (NIV)



#2. Live Within Your Means

"Imprudence or thoughtlessness in money matters would be unpardonable in me."
~ Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice

"They must retrench; that did not admit of a doubt... She drew up plans of economy, she made exact calculations, and she did what nobody else thought of doing: she consulted Anne, who never seemed considered by the others as having any interest in the question. She consulted, and in a degree was influenced by her in marking out the scheme of retrenchment which was at last submitted... Every emendation of Anne's had been on the side of honesty against importance. She wanted more vigorous measures, a more complete reformation, a quicker release from debt, a much higher tone of indifference for everything but justice and equity."
~ Jane Austen, Persuasion


In Persuasion, we see the heroine (Anne) attempting to remedy the financial stress her widowed father and sister incurred in their lavish lifestyles. And here also, Jane Austen shows us the example of a crowned and honorable wife! For "while Lady Elliot lived, there had been method, moderation, and economy, which had just kept him within his income; but with her had died all such right-mindedness, and from that period he had been constantly exceeding it". A wife's frugal endeavors do make a difference and can make or break a home! I have seen many with a hefty paycheck lose everything and those with meager funds are able to maintain what they have because of good stewardship. Should you like to discover a lifestyle of reform and "retrenchment" (as it is alluded to in the regency era), here is our guide to Prudent Living the Pretty Way.

'“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’"
~ Luke 14:28-30


"...a prudent wife is from the LORD."
~ Proverbs 19:14a


3. Mothers Matter

“A mother would have been always present. A mother would have been a constant friend; her influence would have been beyond all other.”
~ Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Here we see the sorrow of Miss Tilney, to grow up without a mother! How many children today have them and yet still grow up without them? You make a difference dear mother. Your presence makes a house a home! It is your arms that a child finds comfort, it is in your words that a child finds instruction and it is in your actions that a child learns the ways of the Almighty. Your motherly investment of time and energy will not go void. According to the Holy Word, these are beautiful raiment for your child. 

"... do not forsake your mother’s teaching. 
They are a garland to grace your head and a chain to adorn your neck."
~ Proverbs 1:8-9

"He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children.
Praise ye the Lord."
~ Proverbs 113:9


4. A Wife is a Good Thing

"Lady Elliot had been an excellent woman, sensible and amiable; whose judgement and conduct, if they might be pardoned the youthful infatuation which made her Lady Elliot, had never required indulgence afterwards.--She had humoured, or softened, or concealed his (her husbands') failings, and promoted his real respectability for seventeen years; and though not the very happiest being in the world herself, had found enough in her duties, her friends, and her children, to attach her to life..."
~ Jane Austen, Persuasion

Dear, precious, homemaker and wife, you are a good thing, a crown, and a jewel in God's eyes. Although Lady Elliott "had been an excellent woman, sensible and amiable; whose judgement and conduct, if they might be pardoned the youthful infatuation which made her Lady Elliot, had never required indulgence afterwards", we see in the quote above that she had made the best of her poor marriage circumstances. Like the Proverbs 31 woman, she did her (in this case) unworthy husband "good and not evil all the days of her life". I would like to think that she did so unto Him who created her (Colossians 3:23). Let us all do the same! 

"Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD."
~ Proverbs 18-22

"A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband:
but she that maketh ashamed is as rottenness in his bones."
~ Proverbs 12:4


5. There is No Place Like Home

“Ah! There is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort.” 
~ Jane Austen, Emma

"Nothing was so likely to do her good as a little quiet cheerfulness at home.”
~Jane AustenPersuasion

There are many interesting places in the world to see, many wonderful outings to be had! But in the end, where does the heart crave to rest the weary body? Home. It is the place where we nourish our loved ones, practice creativity and cultivate comfort and love. It is assigned to women by the Almighty to keep and to guard (Titus 2:4-5). There is no place like it when it is filled with His sacred presence and our care and devotion.

"And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation,
and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places..."
~ Isaiah 32:18


Thank you for visiting with us today! If you enjoyed this article, you may also be interested in reading Titus 2 Homemaking Encouragement Inspired by Louisa May Alcott and Frugal Homemaking Lessons from The Great Depression Inspired by Janette Oke. In the meantime, I will leave you with a final bit of inspiration from Jane... 


"Give us grace to endeavour after a truly Christian Spirit to seek to attain that temper of Forbearance and Patience, of which our Blessed Saviour has set us the highest Example and which, while it prepares us for the spiritual happiness of the life to come, will secure to us the best enjoyment of what this World can give. Incline us Oh God! to think humbly of ourselves, to be severe only in the examination of our own conduct, to consider our fellow-creatures with kindness, and to judge of all they say and do with that charity which we would desire from them ourselves."
~ Prayer Written by Jane Austen
All the fine print. This post may be shared with some or all of the following link-ups: The Art of Home-Making MondaysModest Mom Monday'sMonday's MusingsMake Your Home Sing MondayGood Morning Mondays,  The Scoop, Tuesdays with a TwistRaising HomemakersWise Woman Link UpHomestead Blog Hop Wow Us Wednesdays,  Coffee and ConversationHomemaking ThursdaysHome Sweet HomeOur Simple HomesteadAwesome Life Friday Link Up and Create, Bake, Grow & Gather. Thank you lovely ladies for hosting these. This post may contain affiliate links (which are merchant links that help to support this site at no additional cost to you if you purchase an item through them).

37 comments:

  1. When I saw the title of the article, I thought, "Be still my heart!" Just what I need to infuse my homemaking responsibilities with beautiful thoughts and spiritual nourishment! You did not disappoint, dear JES! Would LOVE such a series!

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  2. Dear JES...oh...this was such a beautiful post and so graciously written too with so many delightful Austen pictures and quotes! I was very excited to see a Jane Austen inspired home~making post pop up in my reader and I thoroughly enjoyed my visit with you today...you share such wisdom and a joy for home~making...thank you!
    I did not realise Jane Austen shared quite so many pearls of wisdom in her wonderful novels...they are among my very favourites and now I can read them with a renewed appreciation! {{smiles}} I too would dearly love more posts such as this one! {{smiles}}
    With love and blessings on this lovely Wednesday afternoon...
    In Christ,
    Kelly-Anne

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  3. Dear JES,
    Like Candi above, I too was very excited when I saw the title of the article! I couldn't agree more with the points made in this post. (I think each point could be its own post!) I would love a series like this- the beauty of the Regency era combined with wisdom that lasts throughout the ages. Thank you for the inspiration this morning!
    With love, Kelsey

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  4. What a wonderful post! EVERYTHING I love to read about. : ) Your whole blog is just so uplifting, encouraging, beautiful, and inspirational. I always look forward to it. Thank you!

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  5. A series would be lovely! Looking forward to more. :)

    As I have aged and an old car accident knee injury plagues me I have found that a stool in my kitchen provides a place to sit and prep vegetables and such so that I can continue to be productive but can also rest a bit while working. Sedentary, sort of, but it has helped me so much.

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  6. Yes! Yes! Please continue....such a beautiful approach to what has become an uncommon calling.

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  7. I thank you from the bottom of my heart, darling JES, I've loved this post of yours so, so much !
    I'm a fan of Jane Austen and I'm in love with every work of hers, every word of hers is so very precious to me and the photographs you've posted, taken from the films that have been made from the most known masterpieces of hers, oh, I so love them too !

    Wishing you a most pleasant remainder of yor week, cherished friend,
    I'm sending blessings to you across the many miles

    XOXO Dany

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  8. Yes! Please continue!!! Looking forward to reading more.

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  9. JES, I dearly loved this "little article." Yes, please do continue! And if I were a bit more presumptuous, I would ask (demand?) to know when we may expect the next installment in your series! :) Blessings to you, Nancy D.

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  10. I love this post! I especially loved the prayer at the end and saved it.

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  11. I could read this over and over, and never tire of it!
    Beautifully said.

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  12. Yes, please continue your wonderful articles on homemaking and being a mother and wife as we are to be.

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  13. Love this post, JES. I have two granddaughters that are teens, and last year while there were staying with me for a few days I discovered they had not seen any Jane Austen films. I was shocked to say the least, but I quickly remedied that with the help of YouTube. ;) Now, we have two more fans in the family.

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  14. Such a wonderful collection of very helpful hints from the amazing Jane Austen! You have written an excellent article, and I love all the quotes you shared too from her books. I agree with you about the kitchen, and keeping it clean as you go, and clean before bedtime... that advice alone is priceless! It helps to start the day with the kitchen fresh and ready for another day. Appreciate your wonderful posts JES, your ability to put together beautiful posts like this is an inspiration :)

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  15. I enjoy your posts so much and look forward to each one. Thank you...you are a treasure. God bless, Norma

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  16. What a fun, unique, and encouraging post! I SO SO LOVED this post, and would more definitely, absolutely love to see more posts like this! While I've yet to read a Jane Austen novel, they are on my reading list. I love the old-fashioned, olden day type of books and time period and have heard uncountable things about her writing...all good, of course {{smiles}}

    Thank you for this encouragement and inspiration....it was just what I needed for a little boost and sunshine this midweek!

    Joy and blessings,
    Elizabeth

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  17. JES,
    I love this and would be delighted to see more! All of the words just feel right.
    Also would you be able to email me I have a recipe I would like to share with you that you may not have and would go well with your Depression Era cooking.
    XOXO
    Vicky

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    1. Thanks Vicky! I would love to see it!

      I don't have your email but here is mine ~ pleasewritetojes@hotmail.com

      I look forward to hearing from you!

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  18. Oh, how I love reading your blog and this series, so sentimental..Thank you for keeping the woman in all of us. Yes , please post some more...would love it!

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  19. Gorgeous post, as always! I can definitely vouch for doing all the things in number 1. I have always cleaned the kitchen at night, tidied up as I cook and made sure all the beds are made in the morning. And, on busy or bad days, if this is all that gets done, it still makes a huge difference. Thank you for your inspiring words!

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  20. Dear JES- this is a wonderful article about homemaking. It is quickly becoming a lost art and your articles are inspirational. We live in a time where it's almost shameful to admit that one is a homemaker. It's become degrading when a young girl talks about her love of baking and to her friends and is met with ridicule. What kind of crazy world do we live in! Blessings to you, T

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  21. I love this post and I love Jane Austen. As always your blog inspires me. Thanks. Keep up the good work.

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  22. Oh, yes! I was reading the Jane Austen posts and Jeremiah 6:16 just kept running through my head. It is easy to stray from this purity and foundation based on God's Word as He directs wives and mothers. This world is full of distractions from those foundational truths. Thank you so much for your constant reminders that the main things are the plain things! And love the Jane Austen reminders! Makes me want to read all those precious novels yet again... ;-)

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  23. My first time visit here and I'm smitten. A lovely post with hints from Jane Austen. Beautiful photos. Inspiring thoughts. I agree with you about cleaning in the kitchen as you go, and dishes and tidying are done immediately after meals. Setting good habits in place go a long way to living a beautiful life.

    Wishing you glimpses of heaven in unexpected places...
    Brenda

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  24. Hello Jes, this was really lovely and very helpful. I enjoyed it so much and felt much peace whilst reading these words. We live in a world that is so much rush and bustle. I think it is so easy to get waylayed by everything outside of our homes that we are told we should be doing. I would love to see more of this type of writing and thank you so much for the effort you put into this lovely site I visit each week. It truely is like meeting a lovely friend each week for a chat and a cup of tea together.
    Blessings Gail.

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  25. Thank you for all the time and effort and care you pour into your inspirational and helpful blog. This post is lovely also, and I look forward to reading and learning more in this series. I need much improvement in my homemaking skills and feel quite overwhelmed at times. It's wonderful that homemaker's such as yourself lovingly share your knowledge and creativity with so many.
    Thank you again ~ Lynne

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  26. Loved this - thank you!

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  27. JES you hit the nail on the head every time! The colors, the photos, the subject matter, the writing style all suit me exactly. I love your style and your thoughts. This particular post really appeals to all my interests: I am a Jane Austen lover and a homemaker! Thank you for always creating beautiful, wise and Godly content to encourage and uplift. Hugs, Jennifer

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  28. What an absolutely charming blog post. I loved every word and picture, and appreciated all of the hard work that it took to gather everything. Now I need to have some tea!

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  29. Jes I just loved this especially ...Dear, precious, homemaker and wife, you are a good thing, a crown, and a jewel in God's eyes. Thanks for inspiring all of us to be the best homemaker we can be. I just wrote a post about how I always wanted to be a housewife. http://oursimplehomestead.com/i-want-to-be-a-housewife/

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  30. This was great! Thank you for sharing. I would love for you to do a series on this line.

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  31. This was wonderful Jes! Yes, inspiration from Austen and scripture is a perfect topic for a post! Love it!

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  32. I absolutely adore your blog!!! I have also been reading Elizabeth George's book A Women After God Own Heart! I love and adore Jane Austen! Your post just confirmed things in my heart... Hope you have a blessed week !

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  33. Love the passages out of Austen you picked Jes. I will feature this tomorrow at HSH!

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