As I’ve been tweaking my blog header (again), I have come across several pictures of my Oma (German grandmother) who is my inspiration! She was the ultimate Hausfrau (homemaker).
As a child, I spent every summer with her (and my Opa until he passed away in 1986) in Germany. These are some of my favorite childhood memories:
My Oma cooked a hot lunch for us almost every day – because traditionally Germans eat their biggest meals at mid-day. The saying goes: breakfast like a king (hearty breakfasts), lunch like a queen (mid-size meal), and dinner/supper like a pauper (light meal). Because of her, I learned that food could represent LOVE. 🙂 Her food was home-made, cooked-from-scratch – hearty and healthy with fresh vegetables and real butter and the best ingredients.
My Oma had a neat, orderly home. She faithfully washed her windows, cleaned her rugs and floors, and hung her laundry on the line outside (or in the attic when it was raining). Her beds were THE BEST – huge (now called European size) pillows, feather bed comforters, and crisp sheets that she IRONED! Her towels smelled like the wind and sunshine. Because of her, I learned that a warm, soft bed was rest and peace and comfort.
My Oma & Opa scrimped and saved and budgeted all year for my visits, so they could indulge me. To help my parents, they bought my school clothes & shoes (and not just any shoes – they had to be LEATHER!). My Oma often got up early in the morning to get me fresh Broetchen at the local bakery. Very often on one of our outings, my Opa bought me ice cream or a little souvenier. Because of my Oma (and Opa), I learned how to be thankful for provision and gifts.
Although religious Lutherans, my grandparents did not teach me much about God. To them, religion was “private and personal” – one did not discuss it. Because my biological father and my mom were not Christians when they were married, they did not want me christened in the Lutheran church after I was born. This bothered both my grandparents, and after much insistence, they took me to be baptized (IE. “sprinkled”) when I was 6 or 7 years old. Though it did not have the same significance as the baptism by immersion I underwent after I personally accepted Christ as my Savior when I was 8 years old, it signified a dedicating me to God as a young child. It did not secure me a place in heaven by any means (nor does my second baptism; only my faith in Jesus can do that!). However, my christening was still an impacting thing in my life. It was an act of tradition and an unspoken faith. Because of my grandparents, traditions gave me a sense of family, and faith became a little more significant.
I am no where near the good Hausfrau my Oma was! I know I will never attain her standards, nor do I even attempt to achieve them. But because of my childhood memories, there are lingering effects that I want to pass on to my own family:
I love when they enjoy a meal I have cooked. I smile when they get excited over the clean, crisp sheets on their beds and sigh as they sink into the MANY pillows we all sleep with (though I draw the line at IRONING SHEETS – no way!!). I love finding a bargain on a pretty dress or some fun t-shirt or an item my children wanted and seeing their delight when they receive my gift. Most of all, because I have a personal, real relationship with Jesus Christ – one that my family is willing to talk about and in fact, wants to share – I love the conversations we have about serving God, about character issues, and about what they are learning from the Bible, at church, and at their Christian school.
As this generation’s Hausfrau, I hope to learn better how to give my family some of the same things I was given: good meals, comfort, provision, traditions, and faith.