Monday, October 13, 2014

Homemaking Perspective with Rachel Leitner

This month I was commissioned {by our girls-group leader} to interview and write about a homemaker. After much thought, I decided on a dear family friend. She lived here in Wisconsin for a while when I was around nine years old. After a few years, their family moved back to Pennsylvania where they now reside in a cozy, Victorian home near Cambridge Springs . Brother Matt and Sister Rachel Leitner now have four beautiful girls between the ages of nine and two.
After forty-five minutes of laughter, hilarious stories, and {on my part} frantic typing {our ridiculous laptop has a dreadful habit of deleting large paragraphs when you least expect it.} I present to you: A Homemaking Documentary - as rendered by Sister Rachel herself. ;)

One of the questions I asked her was this: "In this day and age, when homemaking and motherhood are considered demeaning and a waste of time, what encourages you in your day-to-day life?" Considering how most of the world views being a stay at home mother these days, some may find it surprising that one of her major sources of encouragement comes from random people when she is out and about with the children. They'll stop her sometimes and compliment how well the girls behave, or tell her "You have such a beautiful family. You're so blessed!" Her husband also takes the time to point out certain things and commend her. Just a simple "You handled that situation very well, today," can go a long way. For her, those are the two biggest encouragements. Another, is just talking with other wives and mothers - knowing that you're not the only one going through a certain situation is a welcome comfort.

Out of all the questions that I asked, and all the answers I was given, I thought her idea of "priorities" was my favorite tidbit. All of us (when the time comes) want to run a good, clean house, keep healthy meals on the table and have the schoolwork done. We'll all agree that these are noble aspirations, but the main goal in everything is to put your husband and children first. There is, obviously, a balance - a time to play, and a time to do the dishes - but what good is a sparkling, pristine environment, if it turns out young lives aching for a affirmation or a heart-to-heart conversation? "Childhood goes by so fast."

With that in mind, she also tries to make sure there's time in the evening to spend relaxing as a family - enjoying hot tea, eating popcorn and doing devotions together. Reading the Bible and ending with prayer is typical, but occasionally they watch a testimony.

Of course, it's always nice to have a few minutes to yourself, as well. When I asked what she did if she had a few minutes to spare, She said that things will often quiet down in the afternoon. Jokingly she mentioned that perhaps they should start supporting the local Christian radio station - when the audio dramas come on, that's when she has a few minutes to have a cup of coffee, finish a project around the house, read a book, or listen with the kids. Laughing, she added "and I'll admit, sometimes I play "Candy Crush."

She takes life as it comes, for the most part, leaving room for options. Meal ideas usually depend on what they're in the mood for, or whether or not she needs to use something up at that point in time. Grocery shopping is planned for once a week, and she tries to hit as many stores as she can in one trip, to make it count.

To a first-time mom, or a newlywed, she offers this advice: "Enjoy it!! You will have so many chances and opportunities to get agitated, but remember that time goes so fast. Submission, Patience, and a Meek and Quiet spirit are some of the most important character qualities to cultivate before marriage. Have the Holy Spirit that will lead you and guide you." In a wry tone she added, "You have to do a lot of repenting in marriage - you think you're a pretty good Christian, then you get married. One brother described marriage as two sharp rocks in a sack, being shaken together. One grinds the edges off of another."

On a lighter note, she shared a funny story from their courtship. "Let's see. The fall always brings it back to us, because we courted in the fall. When he {Matthew} pulled up in front of the house, for the fifth time ever, I was nervously sitting out on the porch waiting for him. As he was pulling in the driveway, he looked up and saw me. Of course, he wasn't paying attention to where he was going, and hit the curb. To top it off, he stopped the car, got out, shut the door, and left the van running."

Obviously, they were both pretty nervous. She also shares: "The one thing that I would caution other young girls, that I regretted about myself during courtship was this. You do get nervous, but don't get as nervous as I did. One other sister said it like this: "I didn't think that being in love would have me throwing up in the toilet!!" Enjoy your courtship. Those are such special days.

When God gave me a peace about the relationship, I didn't have that really intense nervousness, anymore. Before that, after every visit mom would always ask me - "So, can you live without him?" For the first couple of times I was like "Yeah...I think I could," but when I had that peace, I lived to be with him."
In parting, I asked for anything that she would want to say to us girls outside of the outlined questions. "Just know for sure that who you're marrying is the Lord's will for you. It grieves me when I see young people falling for worldly boys or girls. A happy home is a piece of heaven on earth - it couldn't be all that God would want it to be if you did that. Never settle for less than God's best for you. He has a perfect plan for you life. "


Anonymous said...

Hey! Nice 'documentary' that is:)
I wish to be a stay-at-home-mum too someday, the Lord willing, not sure about the homeschooling part though. In one message book Bro Branham says if a man marries a girl that ain't got enough moral to stay home and take care of a house and wants to work out in somebody's office, what kind of a housekeeper will she be? You'll have baby-setters and everything else. It's true. I guess that settles it, kinda..

Plus we should really pray for the Lord's will when we're searching for a mate, for sure.

I've been following your blog for a while now (a few months actually)and I like it! Its my little 'obsession' and my go-to-place when am taking a break from work:-)Nearly every other post of yours is refreshing to the soul. I have read and re-read most of your past posts (or all!) by now.
I encourage you to keep writing, as long as there’s just that one soul to read. You have such great writing skill, and to think you're only 18..-Amazing!
God bless you.
(all the way from Kenya!)

Anna said...

Thank you so much, Grace! Your encouragement is greatly appreciated.

Yes; whatever God took the time to tell us, we should follow without question. He doesn't waste words!