Updated: Feb 19
Photo 1: Gayle's home is full of reminders of her faithful God.
Photo 2: During Covid shutdowns, Gayle inherited some chickens and her love for keeping these happy hens grew so much she now has a new generation growing in her spare bedroom.
Photo 3: Her home also is adorned with mementos from her family's time on the mission field.
Photos 4, 5, & 6: Though she doesn't decorate as much as she used to, Gayle still enjoys adding seasonal touches throughout her home, especially for her grandchildren to enjoy when they visit.
Click the link below to hear Gayle's story of home.
Full Episode Transcript
Hello, homemakers and welcome to The Art of home podcast where we are exploring how homemakers cultivate a place to belong. I'm your host, Allison weeks. I'm a wife. I'm a mom to four grown up kids. And this is my 30th year of homemaking. That's right three-zero, 3 decades of homemaking, bliss, well, mostly bliss. This is the season three finale of The Art of home. And I just want to thank you so much for listening for sharing and for following. You have helped us reach some amazing milestones this season, including gaining listeners in Africa and South America, which means we now have listeners on every inhabited continent, and we have practically doubled our listenership in the past 12 weeks. So thank you. Thank you. Thank you. If you're a new listener, welcome. Here's a couple of things about me just to let you get to know me as your host. One thing I hate and two things I love. I hate the mall. I just can't even with the mall. And that's so strange, because I was an 80s teenage mall rat. I mean, I hung out at the mall every single weekend; full makeup, best outfit, cruising through the mall with my friends, checking out the boys. I did all of that. But now as an adult, I just I can't stand it. I don't know. I'm claustrophobic in there. I'm not really a fan of the salespeople who chase you around and want to straighten your hair and put lotion on you and that kind of thing. But I love to go thrift shopping or antiquing or junking or garage saleing, any of that kind of thing. I love the thrill of the hunt. I love finding a great old dish or an old book. Or even if it's not something that's really old and valuable, just a unique home decor item that won't look like everybody else's who shopped at all the same department stores. And I love cookies. I will take a cookie over cake, over pie, over a bowl of ice cream, over a candy bar any day. Give me all the cookies please. So now you know these fun facts about me let's meet today's guest. We are happy to present this homemaker portrait of Gayle Wills. She's a veteran homemaker of 39 years who has raised two kids and now is caring for her elderly father in her home. In her early homemaking years, Gayle was a brand new believer and she had a deep thirst for learning more about God. So we talked about how she balanced that desire to want to just study the Bible all the time with her responsibilities as a wife and a mom. We talk about her role now as a caregiver for her father. We swap gumbo recipes, and we spend some time talking about both sides of a mentor relationship. Gayle has a vibrant faith and it comes across so evidently in her story. There is one thing I want to let you know Gayle needed some time to think about her answer to the top three homemaking tips question and I forgot to circle back and ask her the question again while we were doing the interview. So she kindly sent me an email the next day with her tips listed out and I will share those with you at the end of this episode. So make sure you stick around. So whether you're cleaning out your filing cabinet or trying to pair all the mismatched socks in your house, I know you will enjoy Gayle's story of home.
I am here with my friend Gayle Wills. And we're going to talk about Gayle's homemaking journey. But first, I'd like to talk a little bit about who you are today, Gayle,
Who I am today. Well, I've been married for 39 years. I have a full grown daughter and son that live in San Antonio and four grandchildren. I also have my 91 year old father living with us now for the last year and a half. And I work three days a week. And I'm a medical Aesthetician and I work in San Antonio and I love what I do.
Great. That's awesome. Okay, well, let's go back to the beginning then. So when did you first become a homemaker?
I first became a homemaker when I was 28 years old, and I was a new believer. And at that time, I just really carried on a few things that my mother showed me the first 12 years of my life were amazing. I had an amazing mom, who was a very gifted homemaker at that time. And part of our journey was not just our home, but inviting people into our home and always caring for other people. So she taught me a lot of things, how to cook, how to really be kind to others how to give to others. And she was an amazing mom. And she was a wonderful witness to me as far as loving her children and loving her family.
That's awesome. That's great that you had that example in your life. So what was your hardest thing to learn as a brand new homemaker, it sounds like your mom gave you some skills and you did know some things. But what was really particularly challenging for you.
What was challenging I believe was just time management of course. Most women will say that, but also, you know, really thinking about us like my mom, I cooked breakfast. We had lunch, I cooked a full dinner seven days a week. And it's always coming up with different menus and different foods. And what do I cook and I had one real picky eater and one non picky eater. So that was very challenging. But also it was seemed like the days would go so fast. I had my children in private school, they never took a bus anywhere. So I had to drive them there. Same by the time I got home cleaning the house. It was time to pick them up again, then come home and cook dinner. But we had so much joy in our home so much laughter. And I had Focus on the Family. Oh, yeah. Back then with James Dobson. And just lots of good advice from his ministry that I did follow.
Yeah, that's a wonderful ministry I used. I use that as a resource a lot when I was a young mom, too, as well. So kind of going into this idea of balancing things and managing our time and our resources and whatnot. Did you ever work outside of the home while your kids were at home?
I did not. When they were in high school, I worked part time, but I was always home when they came home. Okay. And I loved it. And it was a blessing to me. And I loved being a homemaker. And I loved being at home. And I wasn't really career minded. You know, my whole goal in life was just to be, you know, a great mother and a great wife to my husband. So,
yeah. Were you involved in the kids school at all? You said they went to private school? So I know sometimes there's a lot of involvement required.
Yeah, we, of course, we helped with, you know, all the different school activities going on field trips, and they were in a private Christian school at that time. And we're very involved, and also very involved in our church. So we're working with children's ministry all a lot back then. They were Yeah,
that's awesome. So what did you find was the one thing that really helped you to get to where you felt like you, you were you were good at managing your time? Was there anything in particular,
you know, at that time, I was so thirsty for God's word, and I was really involved in precepts ministry, and I really believe just spending time with him making that time in the morning or in the evening, kept order in my house, sometimes definitely, we would get out of order, by all means we didn't have a perfect home. But it just brought me back to where I need it to be to a sense of calmness, and peace. And it was very, very, you know, God's word is so powerful. Yeah. And I just felt that he was my anchor at that time. And he really showed me just how to raise children and to love them, and to help guide them and direct them in their future.
precepts is a really great ministry. That was the first Bible study that I ever did. When my daughter, my oldest was just a baby, the Gospel of John working through the Gospel of John with precepts, and it's pretty intense. But I would say, if you really want to learn how to study the Bible, that's probably one of the best ones out there.
And what's so powerful about it, too, is that, you know, of course, when you get older and he forget so much, but when these trials come later in life, and everyone will have trials, the word in you and your heart and your soul and your spirit and your being, and it just comes forth. And you remember things that you learned back then I remember feeling very guilty, because all in I just wanted to I was a new Christian, I was thirsty. I just want to study the Bible all the time. And I was involved in those Bible studies for so so many years, I kept on thinking, well, I need to do more, I need to do more. But God had been there. And looking back and reflecting back, I say why he had me there.
So you were a new believer, and then you had children. How long after that? Did you start having children?
I was married once before. I had a marriage once before. I was living in New York. It was married to an artist and my daughter is from my first husband and we divorced six years later. And then I met my current husband now and we had our so he came into a full family. He did he did and my son I we had my son nine months, three weeks later. Wow. So we had an instant family coming up. And so yeah, so it was new to us. In now. I always knew the Lord. Before that time. I you know, I was raised in a Baptist church and I had my mom was hella sickness with my mom and back then and so I turned from God for so many years because she she wasn't healed. And he found me Now he kept on chasing me. And I actually I found him and I was in California. And so my husband came and picked us up my daughter, Nye and he adopted her when she was five years old. Wow. And so we just gave our life to the Lord and I had a miraculous salvation. It was overnight. My life changed. It was it was beautiful. And I knew that I knew, you know that the Savior was real in my life. So
that's a beautiful story. So you're committed to getting the word in and letting that in informed how you're going to run your days as a homemaker. Was it challenging to be consistent in that time in the Word?
Yes, at that time, my husband was so supportive, if I didn't have time during the day, he would come home, and he would play with the children. And just let me have that time. Yeah. And what was beautiful was that he just allowed me to be who God wanted me to be, and not who he wanted me to be, right much. And that's what he wanted me to be who God wanted me to face. Anyway,
I love that I love that you guys were intentional about making sure that you were able to get that time in. Even if it didn't happen first thing in the morning, that's really great about expectations, and homemaking, we often think it's going to look a certain way. And then we get into the reality of the day to day of, you know, doing the laundry again and cleaning the dishes again, but how well did expectations that you might have had going in match what actually ended up happening?
They were always off. Yeah, I might plan something. And you know, when you have children, and you have a busy life, and back then it wasn't even as busy as it is now, you know, with the young families today, you get off track. And, you know, you just have to have the attitude. Well, you know, have my Heavenly Father said this, and He will guide me back, you know, bring me back, I like to use that example of being on the plumb line and straight, you know, the straight up and down the wall, and you might go to the right, he might go to the left, and then he just seems to be able to bring you back to where you need to be. So I didn't. Back then there was a little book called Don't sweat the small stuff. And if you remember that, and I loved it, because I remember things in there. Okay, well, I'm not gonna, you know, get too out of sorts over this, because it's going wrong. And there were times that I would get frustrated, of course, like everyone does.
What about any special challenges? Was there anything that was just really a big challenge in your homemaking journey that you had to face? And if so, how did you deal with that challenge?
There was my son, my younger son, we were at Bracken Christian School and Kate was a small class. So he really did get individual care. Back then we didn't know about attention deficit. And so he wasn't a straight A student didn't realize anything was wrong. And then we left this area and we transferred to Houston. And we were in a in I put them in a public school there and he just started failing everything. And we couldn't figure out why because it was ADHD was known back then. But ADD was a little different because he was well behaved he listened to the teacher he wasn't overactive and make good grades so we didn't understand really kind of what was happening and then we we did get them tested and definitely was had an attention deficit and the older he got you know, Thank God my husband is great in science and math because he would have to spend a lot of time you know, at the table after dinner and and help with them and it would take a lot longer. So that was a challenge for him. And then I loved history and English so I could help out in those areas. So we were kind of like a team as far as what he was kind of good in and what I was kind of good in.
Okay, let's talk about hospitality for a little bit. All right. So I like to remind everybody that we show hospitality of course, to people who don't live here when they come to visit us but we show it also to one another on a daily basis. The people that live in the home. So let's start there. How did how did you guys show hospitality to one another to make one another feel welcome?
As far as my family well, my my husband has a servant's heart. So definitely hospitality was you know, you get make my coffee for me in the morning. I, you know, of course, my thing was, you know, to make special meals for them, to make them feel special, you know, special celebrations. Whether it be you know, if they did well in school that quarter, and they had great grades we would celebrate, you know, when we would just kind of enjoy one another. We'd like to play games, you know, card games back then. And so, cooking was always around cooking for sure. Yeah, we might at that time I loved cooking and my husband loved cooking so Yeah, way, way above.
So you were able to teach your kids some cooking skills then?
I was you know, they paid attention but they weren't that interested to be very honest with you, but my daughter is actually an amazing cook. She's better than I am. She cooks these amazing gourmet meals and my son, of course, this thing's on the grill. We got that from his father. Yeah, yeah, I would like to say that we just sat down and did that. But we didn't she just kind of tick a tick off later in life.
Yeah, I think a lot of it is just, they watch you. And if cooking together was something that you regularly did, then that's probably going to carry over into their own families, as well, when they when they go out on their own. Well, that's cool. What about hospitality to other people?
That was our thing. So when I was at home with my mom, we always had a huge pot of food, whether it be gumbo, or, or whatever. And we always had neighbors over friends over all the time. And I loved it. I loved being around people, very social. So we entertained a lot over the years. Of course, the last couple years with this going on now you're not able to do that as much, but we loved it. We loved serving. We loved having people over and just serving them. It's it just really blesses you. And absolutely. And we have had wonderful small group ministries that we've been in and where we've cooked for one another and take turns at each other's home. And I have other friends that like to share meals. And so we we still do that. I mean, now just not extend as extensive as we used to.
Right. Right. Well, so just to let the audience know both of us are from Louisiana. That's right. So when you're talking about gumbo, you're speaking my love language. And I really think I mean just the people of Louisiana, we are known for hospitality. Like we just love to be around lots of people and feed lots of people and that's just what lights us up ..most of us anyway. But I have to ask you about your gumbo. What do you put in your gumbo?
Well we most of time we make a chicken and sausage gumbo. andouille sausage. but I love shrimp gumbo. And so you know I love oysters I love crab meat, you know anything you want to throw in a gumbo. I love to do that also. And of course we make a brown roux, you know, and that takes most of time to cook. Yeah, it does. But my husband it's so funny because my mother, before she passed, she showed him how to cook gumbo also because he wanted to learn how to do that. And so now he's taken over doing the Gumbo and I make the jambalay. Okay, so I make the shrimp jamba and he makes the gumbo.
that's awesome. Do you put okra in your gumbo?
No! I do. I love okra in my gumbo and my mom's not a huge fan of okra in gumbo. She'll eat it you know if she's at my house.
I love okra and my gumbo too but my family, they don't like it. I love okra anything with okra I love. Yeah. So you know you have to again you still have the picky family members that like certain things right gumbo some foods, so we
and it's not like you can pick okra out of the gumbo really. I mean, it just kind of just becomes a whole big part of it. It's it's hard to eat around it. Okay, well cool. I was just interested in wanting to hear about your gumbo. Let's talk about the seasons of homemaking. Okay, how would you say that homemaking has changed over the seasons of your life?
Well, I think basically when your children leave and you empty nest, I don't like to cook as much you know, I'm not into cooking as much as I used to I definitely don't have to cook seven meals a day. But coming back to you know my father living here now there are certain foods that he has to eat and so there's you know, certain meals we have to make also for him.
Well, what about the transitions moving from one season to another? Was any of those particularly difficult for you? Some people say of course, the empty nest that was hardest, but some people you know, for them it was bringing that first baby home. What was the hardest transition for you?
Well, it was empty nest it was my daughter going away to college. And I think the first three months I was so depressed she was so depressed she was calling and we didn't know if she was gonna make it or not. And then of course if you just give it time they're like, what about Mom? Where are you? I'll see you later. Yeah, whatever. That was the hardest and then of course the baby leaving. But then they come back home you know, seasons two I don't know about your children now but you know mine came back to live with me and when they come back they like to kind of you know, tell you what to do. You know my son especially he was so funny because he was really grain and just remember when we were you know what time he wanted me to wash out the dog Buchanan things like that. So by the time they come home the second time you're ready for them to go off in the world. Oh, yeah.
We we only had one come back for an extended period of time and that was because of COVID He had to come back. And he came back for spring break for college. And then he never left. He wasn't able to go back to school. So he was with us for I guess about a year. And he loves to cook. But he likes to cook, what he wants to cook, you know, and he's very particular about how he's going to do that. And so I wasn't quite able to bring him in and you know, have him cooking a lot for us, because he's a bit of a messy cook. But yeah, it's he, he likes his independence, you know, and I don't, and I'm happy for him for him to want. That's what you want
them to leave and be happy and to go off on their own. Yeah.
Yeah, for sure. What is your homemaking look like? The season that you're in right now I know you're caring for your father. And so things look a little different than they have before. So what is homemaking look like for you right now in this season?
Well, you know, it kind of takes me back, as far as I'm cooking a little bit more now than I was when I was just my husband and I and that was just a wonderful time to. But it's the care of, you know, taking care of an elderly parent and trying to keep them safe during the season at time. So it's been a little stress on me to be very honest with you, it's, it's, I find it a little more challenging than I thought it would be, I enjoy him so much. I love it. I'm He blesses us, He makes us laugh. And that, you know, I also am concerned about him. I know, he took a bad ball last week, and so thankful didn't break anything, and just trying to keep them safe. You know, and so I have that protective mode over me again, like you do with your children. Right. And I wasn't expecting to kind of go through that season again.
that's really interesting. And this is fairly new, right? To have him with you all
a year and a half.
So are there any particular tips or things that you've learned that maybe there's a woman listening out there who is looking at caring for a parent? Is there any advice you would give her?
I would, I would say just definitely love on them, make them feel like this is their home, you know, and pray with them. You know, share the Lord with them. They, I think sometimes when when people get older, they have more of a fear, they're closer to leaving this earth and just reassuring them where they're going. And, you know, again, just trying to bring a peaceful surrounding around them. And, and positive, you know, positive thoughts positive, you know, conversations, and kind of gearing away from maybe sicknesses or things that they've had in their past and trying to let them know that they do have a future. You know, they still have a future. Yeah. And they have, you know, a family that loves them. Like, they've lost everyone. You know, my father's lost everyone. He's lost his wife, his brothers, you know, cause families, it's just, you know, there's us and we're busy. And that's one thing he does say goes, y'all are so busy, and we are and no. And so it's just taking that time out for him. And, you know, sitting and talking to him. I've learned more about his past now than I ever knew that he didn't even discuss. So it's so much fun to hear about in other things to do when he was young. And I think that generation was just more private about their past. Right? So it's just learning I've learned more about them. So even in the challenges, it's been a beautiful, beautiful blessing and my husband has been so supportive. And that's important as being both on the same team with that.
Great. That's great advice. Are you writing down these things that your dad is telling you about his life?
Unknown Speaker 23:43
Yes! You know, my memory too, the older I get I can't remember.
I know your children will appreciate that you wrote that down. That's great. Well, thanks for sharing that. That's some good wisdom there.
We will get back to Gaylel's story in just a few minutes. Right now it's time for historical homemaker hints. This is the part of the podcast where we highlight some of the helpful and not so helpful hints doled out to homemakers throughout history. Today's hens come from practical suggestions or mother and housewife by Marion Mills Miller, published in 1910. Are you looking to save money on your next decorating project? Well, you can skip the expensive storebought wallpaper paste and use Miss Miller's recipe to make your own. Mix flour and water to the consistency of cream and boil. A few cloves added in the boiling will prevent the paste going sour. This homemade glue combining water and flour or vegetable starch has been used since ancient times for all sorts of arts and crafts, including bookbinding Decapod, paper mache, and in modern times the political art form known as wheat pasting, which is basically plastering posters all over buildings and surfaces around town. The messages on these posters are often radical and political in nature, thus earning this homemade paste to the nickname Marxist glue. Gosh, who knew that wallpaper paste could be so controversial? So just so we're clear, I am not encouraging you to propagandize your neighborhood with wheatpasting, I'm just offering some DIY decorating resources over here. While we're on the subject of DIY, here's Marion's recipe for cleaning silver. Boil soft rags for five minutes. Nothing is better for the purpose of this than tops of old cotton stockings in a mixture of new milk and ammonia. As soon as they are taken out. ring them for a moment in cold water and dry before the fire. With these rags rub the silver briskly as soon as it has been well washed and dried after daily use. A most beautiful deep polish will be produced and the silver will require nothing more than merely to be dusted with a leather or dry soft cloth. Before it is again placed on the table. I did find several DIY recipes for silver polish and silver cleaner. And some did involve ammonia, but none of them combined it with milk. And ammonia is really pretty strong, and certainly toxic to humans and to pets. You have to be really careful with ammonia, I would probably try a gentle cleaner like tomato sauce or baking soda or lemon lime soda. There are tons of tarnish removing and silver polishing recipes out there online that do not involve harsh chemicals. So give it a try. And finally, do you have a decanter or other bottle with a glass stopper that is stubbornly stuck in place. Here's Marion's method for getting it unstuck. Wrap the hot cloth around the neck of the bottle, thus expanding it. Or if this is not effective, pour a little salad oil round the stopper and place the bottle near the fire. Then tap the stopper with a wooden instrument. The Beat will cause the oil to work round the stopper and it should be removed. Now that is a practical and helpful suggestion. Thank you, Marian. That's it for today's historical homemaker hints. As always, please remember this segment is for entertainment purposes only. And I leave it to you the listener to determine the safety and soundness of this advice. Now back to Gayle's story.
Alright, how are you intentionally passing on what you've learned to the younger women who are coming behind you?
Well, I've been involved in Bible studies where, you know, I've been a group leader. And you know, I've also mentored mentored women and counseled women and past years, and especially at the last church and I was involved in. And so I believe, basically, it's just, you know, just letting them know that this time and season in life, for your children, when they come home, just make sure that they feel safe. They have somewhere to, you know, safe to go to. And also, be careful what you discuss. I think this new generation, we openly talk a lot more about things that are happening in our world, but children can't receive that right now. They need to know that they're in a safe environment, that they have a Heavenly Father and parents that are going to love and protect them. And I'm not saying they should not know anything, but just to kind of just be a little cautious of what you tell your children and what you share with them or what they might overhear you talking about.
Yeah, that's really, that's a really good advice. Yeah, that's something I wouldn't have considered so good. That's a good word. We're going to go into a time of rapid fire quick answer about home making tasks. This is just for fun. You can do a single answer if you'd like or you can tell me a story if you want. So, on the topic of home making tasks, one that you love.
I love making dessert. Okay.
What's your favorite dessert to make if you could pick one?
My family they like white chocolate bread pudding.
white chocolate bread pudding? I've never heard of this before.
You have not?! You're from South Louisiana and haven't heard of white chocolate bread pudding?
No! I mean, bread pudding, you know, of course. But how do you make white chocolate bread pudding?
Well, you make it the same way you would make regular bread pudding except to use white chocolate morsels and sugar. confection sugar, okay. Warm water, and butter.
Butter. Of course butter Oh, my gosh
and you just mix it all and just pour it on top and it absorbs into the bread pudding. And that is always our favorite.
That sounds amazing.
It's my father's favorite.
Is it that so? Can you share the recipe with us? Yeah. Okay, good. Okay, we'll put that on the blog. That sounds yummy. Okay, so how about a home making tasks that you hate?
Yep, I agree. One that you grew to love?
believe it or not, I've kind of grown to love, I like cleaning now more than I used to. Not that I'm spotless homekeeper I'm not. I'm clean. That's about as far as it goes. But I love playing music. I love music. We love music. And so I just kind of go into a different little world when I'm cleaning and listening to music. So I kind of thought about that question before and it's cleaning.
Great. So how about a homemaking fail? That stands out in your memory?
Oh, trying new recipes. Meals that were awful. Yeah. Seeing my kids expression and my husband's. I'm thinking that they probably turned out wonderful and they did not. I think that's definitely a homemaking fail for me.
Yeah, was it? Because do you know why you failed at them? Was it because you didn't follow the recipe right, or it just wasn't a good recipe to begin with? I'm just curious.
I think both. Definitely. You know, of course you can buy the wrong type of meat. That's true. And it could be real grisly and stuff like that. Yeah, but the fun thing that my family loves to laugh about are I can do pies. I can do bread puddings, but cakes. I make the funniest cakes. They never come out. Right. They always come out flat. I don't know what even a box cake. I don't know. I am doomed with baking cakes.
You're cursed with cakes? Oh, my goodness.
My husband bakes the cakes now.
Hey he makes the Gumbo and he bakes the cakes. He is a keeper. That's awesome. Well, what about a memorable homemaking achievement?
I think on special when the children were younger, on special days, we would, you know, we, my husband, I would kind of like dress up and we would serve them like for New Year's Eve. You know, we had a little menu for them and let them choose which foods they would have. And we would act like their waiter and waitress and you know, just special things with our kids. That is so fun. And that's for special memories for us. And my daughter brings us up occasionally.
So everybody got dressed up. Right? And y'all were the server's right.
My husband doing our low tuxedo type thing I wore a little dress and you know with an apron and then we would just pay like we were there waitress in their server. And
that is a really great idea, especially for, like New Year's Eve. Because when you have younger kids, it's not that's a hard it's hard to get a babysitter on New Year's Eve. Right? So you want to have a special time with your kids. And that's really a good idea. I love that.
And then with my grandchildren right now we their favorite thing is we play flashlight wars, you know, we play hide and seek at night turn all the lights off have they're all have flashlights, and even though they hide in the same place. Whenever they come over, in fact, they're coming over tomorrow night. They always say can we play flashlight wars? I said, okay, so
Oh, that's really fun. Yeah, that's cool, fun. Well, we're going to end our time today reflecting on the art of home. Okay, that's what we're all about here. At this podcast, we want to elevate the work that we do in the home, in the eyes of the homemaker, but also in the eyes of the culture and say, This is important work this is, this is an art that you have to practice, you're not automatically good at it. So how do you feel like homemaking as an art?
you know, it, I think homemaking is one of the most important things in anyone's life, you know, to have a home to go to that someone is definitely there to help you get through the day to make sure, especially with children that you know, they go off to school and that they're fed and you know, just things that we've learned when we were younger, just passing that on. Yeah, you know, to our children. And then of course, hopefully they'll pass that on to their children.
For sure. The work that we do in the home is repetitive. And it can be mundane, and it can be just like drudgery, basically. So how can we view that work in a way? How can we bring beauty to the work that we do in the home? How can we find beauty in it?
You know, it is you know, it's definitely a part of who we are as women in to do the things that we do like can to do the things I think it's a wonderful, just look at life as our as far as things that we love things that we don't love, but both of them make us stronger, you know, things that we enjoy, we're gonna really get into those things and they kind of just help us to get through the day and know that we've done something that we've loved but also that we've conquered something saying that we didn't love, you know that we we did something we're involved in something in our home, and maybe we didn't enjoy it. But we did it anyway. And that at the end of the day, it's done. It's finished and to just have the right attitude I think about it. Just know it's part of parenting, and that's part of having a home.
Yeah. How is your walk with the Lord informed the way that you view your work for your family, your service in the home? How is his example helped you to find beauty in this work that you do?
Well, it's definitely, you know, just to show them love and just to have order in the home and a life and just to go to him, when things aren't going the way that I expected to go, the day was unexpected, or my child is having a problem at school. And I would say seek him, you know, seek God with your whole heart and your soul in your mind. And he just opens those doors up for you. He just shows you the way gives you wisdom and knowledge that we cannot ever even really conceive on our own. And, to me going back, as I look back, I did that a lot more than I thought I did. And, again, there were days that weren't good. No. And that I, you know, there were days I didn't got to him, ya know, and it didn't work out. And that always when I came back around, and I went to my heavenly father before him before His throne, and that's when things just became orderly. And I felt I felt peace about it, I felt comfort about it.
How do you feel like homemaking is valuable to the greater society? As we know it's valuable to our individual families. But what about society as a whole?
Society as a whole, it's like I said, home, you know, being a homemaker, you know, there there is going to be good, there's going to be bad with it. But I think it's just showing other people and being supportive. I think, you know, what's wonderful, but I see about women today is that they do support one another. They might not be as close as maybe we were when we were younger. We're always with people every day. And now it's more on social media. But sharing sharing what is good sharing what is difficult with one another and having someone to counsel with having someone to mentor with. And your life is very important. And it's a very important season, especially at this time right now.
Yeah. You said you did get you were involved in some mentorship programs in the past with your church right before so you felt like that was a valuable thing. Now, were you more on the mentor side or the men were you being mentored?
When I was younger, I was being mentored I worked. Actually, you know, when I was younger, when the kids were in school, I did have a like a little part time job, I called it a part time job. But it was really a mentor and I went to her house. And her name was Kay. And I'll never forget her. She was just, she was terminally ill. And I learned so much from her and so much knowledge from her. And to also just tips from her how she was a mother when she and her younger years. And now she handles her day. And when I would look at her day at her terminal illness and compare it to my day. I realized that maybe my day wasn't that difficult, you know. And so that's, that's wonderful. Because, you know, so wonderful memory, and I just, you know, as we're speaking, I just remembered that about her.
So you went into her home to help her out with things. But that was a gift to you, to give you a whole different perspective about your life.
And God is so good, because I would have never realized that, you know, I never thought of that. You know, I went there to help her. And she, in so many ways helped me.
Well then speak for a bit to the woman who's on the other side, now that you've experienced the other side as well, being the one doing the mentoring to a younger woman. What advice would you give an older woman when she maybe is starting that down that road? And how can she be the best mentor she can be to a younger woman?
Well, I think it's very important to be able to listen to someone, you know, we're all in a different place with the Lord. And as a new Christian, I was so brand new and sometimes you talk to someone and maybe they're just you know, have, recently given their life to God and, just to be patient with them. Not not judge, you know, sometimes, you might be shocked. I know I was shocked a few times, but just to love on them and just to bring them back to God's word. You know, everything goes back to God's word and prayer and praise and thanks. And I learned at a very young age to be thankful for good times and thankful for bad times. And I believe God has anointed us for both, you know. He's anointed us for the good, he's anointed us for the bad. So basically, I share my testimony with them. I felt like if I could come through my life with what I went through as a young teenager, that, you know, I sympathize with them. But once they see what I went through, and how the Lord changed me, and I overcame it through His grace and mercy and love, then I realized that, you know, to share that with them was real, real, real important, to give them that piece of who I was, and to be transparent. Because we're all so imperfect, you know?
Yeah. We're all in process.
We're all in process. And we have a wonderful pastor that reminds us, yeah. I never knew I was so imperfect until I went to that church. The closer you get to God, you know, as an older woman, the closer you get to the Lord, you realize how imperfect you are. But it's a beautiful thing, you know, because it humbles you.
Absolutely, absolutely. Well, what word of advice would you give to a young homemaker who's listening, just to encourage her that the work that she's doing, it really matters?
Oh, I can tell you that one thing that my children tell me all the time is that they're so thankful that they had me there, you know, as a homemaker, that I was home. And I know not all women can be at home, but you can still have that safe place for your children. You can still take that time out with them and give them time. Maybe not spend as much time on your iPad and on your telephone, you know, and just to spend more time and do more things with your children. It's very, very important.
I love that they've come back and they've said that to you. Because I think as moms, sometimes we sort of can beat ourselves up about the, we know all the things we did wrong, right? And we can tend to dwell on that. But when your children are older, and this does happen, they will come back and the things that they actually remember, they remember the good things. Yeah. And and often they remember what you remember is bad, they remember completely differently.
I know when I look back, I think we were a little strict in that area, especially on the eldest child, you know, that's, yeah, true. Yeah. And my daughter always reminds me gosh you didn't let me do that. And you, you were pretty strict to me. And. And as I think it's just something natural, that we go through, and that's okay. And that's okay. We're not perfect at all. And we all make mistakes, but the most important thing is that they feel loved and honored and cherished by you till the end of your day, and that's the most important thing that children need to know. And it gets you through anything. And I know that because of my life.
Yeah. Yeah. Great. Well, thank you so much for sharing about your homemaking story. It's been a real joy to hear it.
Okay, as promised, here are Gayle's homemaking tips, and lucky for you she was not able to stop at just three. So there's some great nuggets in here.
"Spend some time with the Lord, if not in the morning than at night after the kids are in bed. He brings order to the house. I had a list every day I prioritize the list and what I did not finish for the day I completed it the next day and make your bed first thing in the morning because if you don't accomplish what's on your list, at least you feel like you have done something. Surround yourself with positive influences. Like playing praise music when you're cooking and when you're cleaning. Have a safe friend, someone you can share the great parts and the challenging parts of your day with."
And I think that's where Gayle's experience with mentorship is such a great testimony to the value of friendships among women, whether it's in your church, your community group, your neighborhood group, PTA, being in a relationship with other women, both ahead of you and behind you brings such great perspective to our own experience like Gayle's friend Kay who was living with a terminal illness. Gayle said, I went there to help her and in so many ways she helped me. Isn't that just like God, He calls us to a life of service of pouring ourselves out for the good of others. And as we do that, he fills us up with what we need; perspective, joy, peace, purpose, compassion, and love. You dear homemaker were never meant to walk this road alone. You were made for community for other women who can speak wisdom, truth and encouragement into your life. I implore you to build some of those relationships in Real Life.
So here's your homework. Think about who could fill those roles in your life, the younger and the older. Maybe you already have those women in your life that is awesome. But maybe you're stumped. You can't even think of one name to put into that list. Pray, ask God to bring those women into your life, He will be faithful to do that. Now, if you've stuck around this far, you are a committed listener and we are so grateful for you. There's a couple of ways that you can give the show some love. Number one, share this episode with a homemaker you know, who could use some encouragement. Number two, leave us a review. It's super easy. Just scroll down in the show notes to love the podcast. Click on that. Follow the simple prompts for your platform of choice. And this works on any device Android and Apple. Be sure to screenshot a review and send us a DM and Instagram so that we can thank you properly. You can connect with us over there on Instagram and on all the social platforms. Just go down in the show notes to social and you'll see all the links to places you can find us. You can also send us an email contact at the art of home podcast.com. Again, resources as always are mentioned in the show notes and on our website. And if you want a peek into Gayle's house, just hop over to the art of home podcast.com/blog Well, that is a wrap on season three. We will be back in a few weeks with a special season holiday homemaking 2021 Until next time, keep practicing your art of making a home
Transcribed by https://otter.ai