Thursday, April 11, 2013

"The Blue Bowl" and Thoughts on Making a Home

The Blue Bowl

Blanche Bane Kuder

All day I did the little things,

The little things that do not show;

I brought the kindling for the fire

I set the candles in a row,

I filled a bowl with marigolds,

The shallow bowl you love the best-

And made the house a pleasant place

Where weariness might take its rest.

The hours sped on, my eager feet

Could not keep pace with my desire.

So much to do, so little time!

I could not let my body tire;

Yet, when the coming of the night

Blotted the garden from my sight,

And on the narrow, graveled walks

Between the guarding flower stalks

I heard your step: I was not through

With services I meant for you.

You came into the quiet room

That glowed enchanted with the bloom

Of yellow flame. I saw your face,

Illumined by the firelit space,

Slowly grow still and comforted-

“It’s good to be at home,” you said.

Blue rimmed bowl from Goodwill
Marigolds from Lowes 
I read this poem many years ago and it has always stuck in my head.

I'm not a Susie Homemaker and it's really hard to keep the house clean, orderly, and pretty when there are 10 people still living in the house.  But I try.

I think the core of the matter is consideration: thinking what the other person might like. What matters most to each will vary, whether it is clean laundry, or a well-cooked meal, or a blue bowl with golden marigolds gracing the table. 

African marigold
(much larger bloom than the others)
Not every person will be appreciative of our efforts, whether in the home or elsewhere.  Our work may go completely unnoticed or even be criticized.  Your loved ones may not say, "It's good to be home!"  Gratitude might not be in their vocabulary.

This is not the time to give up.  Try to understand what they want and make your reasonable effort to bring them joy and peace in a way that fits them.  Watch for the little clues about what they like.  Listen to the hints and the suggestions.

Just don't get stuck in a performance trap. Your worth is not tied to their approval.  You have been created by a Gracious God who treasures your presence and your efforts.  You have dignity no matter what anyone else thinks.

Do the things you need to do for others just because it is right and good, and we are all called to serve with love and diligence and confidence.  

Sometimes the sanctuary and beauty you create will be for yourself.  Taking care of Mama is the right thing to do, too.  If you are overwhelmed and exhausted and emptied out, you will have nothing left to give -- and what good that be?  Nurturing yourself is good for your whole family.  Like my old t-shirt said, "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!"

What do you think?  Leave a comment!

With love,
Virginia Knowles


  1. I loved the poem!!! So beautiful and heartfelt. And I agree - the little things make a house a home. Food for thought.

  2. That is a beautiful poem and so were your encouraging words. Thanks for linking up with WholeHearted Home this week.

  3. Very inspiring. Thanks.
    Have a nice day.


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