Saturday, June 5, 2010

What is Mother Culture?

What is Mother Culture?

    A few weeks ago Dean called me from the basement. “What is it?” I asked as I reached the bottom of the stairs.
    “Look at this,” he said. He was standing in a puddle, holding a flashlight and pointing above his head to a slow-leaking flex-pipe. “I’ll call the heating guy in the morning,” he said.
    Next to the puddle was a small stack of soggy boxes. We examined the state of things inside them and found that much of our stuff was ruined. Somehow I didn’t mind very much. “Now we have less stuff.” I said. Some of the contents were fine. I came across cassette tapes of talks we had delivered to homeschool conferences. The word “cassette” tells you how old they are. Two were marked Mother Culture 1999 - the year we spoke in Massachusetts and Maine. “What on earth are we going to do with these?” I said.
    The man-of-the-house does not, and I emphasis “not,” like getting rid of things but he did say, “We have CDs from other conferences . . . somewhere in all this storage . . . we’ll keep those.”
    “If we ever find them.” I replied. I often lament the amount of storage we have.

    Why have I chosen to devote an entire hour on the subject of Mother Culture when I am asked to speak? I do it out of sympathy. It is not uncommon for a self-sacrificing mother to feel overwhelmed or live on the verge of exhaustion. Therefore, it is just as important to encourage a mother with ways she can nurture her soul, as it is to supply her with tried-and-true ideas on how to foster “The Gentle Art of Learning” in her children.
    Early in my homeschooling experience I paid attention to something I found intriguing. I don’t’ remember where I read it but I jotted it down to ponder it further. It was a quote by Billy Graham. He said, “Mothers should nurture their souls so in turn they can nurture the souls of their children.” This, my friend, is what I call Mother Culture. Every homeschool is comprised of a child (or children) and a teacher. Although the focus is on the children some of what she does for her children she would do well to consider doing for herself.

How have you nurtured your soul this week?


  1. Dear Karen,

    I enjoy reading. I read books that are encouraging and that continue to bring me back to Our Lord! Then, I spend a good while with HIM! It is the only way I can nurture myself for the day ahead.



  2. Maria,

    Intimacy with our Lord is so enriching isn't it?
    I also feed my soul with books, fiction and non-fiction. I am particular about fiction because, like you, it needs to place some value on some virtue or other. Even if the book does not opening acknowledge God our Father, an understanding of the Christian world view by the author makes the reading worth the hours I spend in my secondary world.

    Karen A.

  3. I am enjoying "Lessons at Blackberry Inn" right now! Wonderful book. Last year I read "Pocketful of Pinecones".
    So glad to see you have a place to share your heart and ideas. I have been inspired by your books and Miss Mason's to homeschool our five precious blessings!
    Christie C.

  4. I so new at this that the "comment" thing confuses me. I wonder why two different names appear on the comments. Also some comments escape me.
    It is so good to hear that you are enjoying Blackberry Inn. Today's post pictures Emma Cook's dress (of sorts). Miss Mason's words are indeed inspiring. So much of what she wrote in her original writings holds true for today.

  5. I sat on my deck yesterday morning, finally cool enough in the morning to enjoy being outside. I read my Bible, the account of creation and the fall, and then I looked at my new Victoria magazine.

    I walked away from that hour feeling refreshed.

  6. Deanna,
    Your mention of Victoria magazine reveals your fondness for old-fashioned beauty. May I say that I enjoyed seeing the Regency period dresses you made for your girls and yourself? Something "pretty" can be part of girlhood and womanhood even while living frugally.

  7. Karen,
    I also enjoy the Victorian Trading Co. catalog. It's got some really nice things in it as well.
    You had commented about my name being different at the top of the comment and different at the bottom. I'm new to this too, but I imagine it's because when I signed up, I used my first name, being Anna! BUT~ I go by my second name Christie (Christine)!
    I have enjoyed watching the deer in our yard this week. I stood looking out of my kitchen window, whilst washing up the dinner dishes, watching a doe and her young fawn eating apples from the tree in our yard. It was so peaceful and I thank God for all of His wonderful creation!

  8. I'm glad I went back to read some of your older post. I have struggled of late to keep my head above the water of life. The reminder to "nurture my soul" was like someone on shore throwing me a ringed life preserver. Thank you.

  9. How I wish that I could find your convention tapes. I see the picture of the cassette tape of your speech at the Maine convention. But so glad you have a CD of Mother Culture. Thank you for sharing your talents and insight.