Mrs. Kincell's Review

I have been both a fulltime careerist and a fulltime homemaker. I was trained for the former. I remember times when

*I wished I had the equivalent of a “wife” so that when I got home from long hours at my job, someone would have dinner ready, my clothes clean for tomorrow, my babies home and taken care of, and my house clean. Instead this tired mom got home around 6 or 7, nursed a hungry baby, made dinner, ground baby food for the next day, cleaned up the kitchen, did some laundry, repacked the diaper bag, bathed the baby, tried to spend “quality” time with her, and fell into bed exhausted for three hours sleep before baby’s next feeding. Everything repeated starting at 6:30 A.M.

*I wished that I could work (my job) during the late afternoon and evening when I was tired. Instead I gave my fresh hours to my job and then when I came home tired, I got to spend time with my husband and children. Even though it wasn’t an option, I knew that if I could give those tired hours to my job, I wouldn’t be able to excel there, nor to keep job security, nor to feel like I was giving my best. (No one cared that I wasn’t giving my best to my family…)

That feeling wasn’t there until I had babies; the young, childless me had energy after work!These were the kind of things that I pondered over and over during the ten years that I worked fulltime. I slowly realized that a woman couldn’t do it all, despite appearances. And it was exhausting trying to.

Most of my colleagues didn’t really try although they told themselves they did. They either didn’t have babies; put off having them until they had fertility problems; or succumbed to “the best” daycares, bottle fed babies, and often divorce. Their older children looked more to their peers for models than to any adult. Parents easily sighed that there wasn’t anything they could do: “you know how kids are.” And everyone, I mean everyone, agreed that once they became teenagers they would rebel despite anything that could be done.

Don was finishing his degree at the end of my working years, and we both wanted me home as soon as we could; we would make different decisions if we had it to do over again. Yet, finally home – what I wanted for so long – things were different. There were no accolades and no one respected the mom they way they did the PT. Absolutely no one made me feel that what I did behind closed doors mattered. It was tempting in the beginning to trade a job for civic and church responsibilities, and I did my share of that for a few years.

I wasn’t prepared to manage a household. I could do quite well with the hired servants paid for with my big salary (like the “servants” who did much of the cooking before I put it in the microwave, or the “servants” who made my bread, or the “servants” who washed our cars). In order to stay home on one salary (in a society designed for two), I needed to fire all the “servants” and learn to do all that work myself. Except that I was not trained to do that work and so was not efficient at it.

I quit working fulltime 16 years ago. I’ve learned so much since. When I made the decision to pursue a career (actually I don’t remember ever entertaining any other thought), I had never learned anything about feminism and its influence on women my age. I was totally ignorant of the changes in expectations for women during the 20th century and I was a sitting duck for going in the usual direction without any thought of the cost involved. I didn’t know the difference between a consumer household and a productive one. And, in my profound ignorance and arrogance, I truly thought that being a homemaker required no real intelligence or preparation.

In the ensuing years of learning, I have often thought I would love to write a book explaining about REAL homemaking. Most women really have no clue. I certainly didn’t. Those who are home often still farm out much of their job so that they still don’t really do anything meaningful.

Passionate Housewives is much of the book I wish I could have written. Certainly it is written much better than what I could have, but it embodies many of the things I have learned and feel passionately about. In addition, there were new nuggets of encouragement and conviction that pushed me forward. A few times in my life I have read a book that was so meaningful that I would like to buy a zillion copies and just give them out. This is one such book. I would love to hand this one to all the homemakers I know and all the non-homemakers who think I’m a bit crazy.

Touched on in this book is the scariest thing I have learned in the past 16 years: that socialism is partially premised on these feminist ideas. Early in the 20th century, the socialists wrote that what was needed was to get children from their earliest ages into the government education system and to get women out of the homes. A breakdown of family ties and education would prevent the transfer of Christian heritage and thought to the next generation, opening the way for socialistic thought. That battle wasn’t won on the battlefields of WW I or II, but it has been won since as we acquiesced of our own accord. A quick read of the Communist Manifesto is not shocking; it reads like a report on the United States. We now demand the government provide daycare, preschool education, medical benefits, salary if we are unemployed, and the list goes on.

A woman may no longer depend on her man, but she certainly depends on Uncle Sam… Chalk one up for socialism; it appears that our soldiers may have died in vain. But we are oblivious. What the socialists could not win militarily, they have won by patience and dogma. We’ve been the slowly boiling frog.I challenge women to get out of the boiling pot long enough to actually study their history. Take an honest look at the other side. Don’t jump to conclusions based on ignorance.

A good place to start is a Scriptural study on women starting in Genesis 1 and 2. A second place to start might be this book. It certainly is a good place to be if you are already a homemaker. It contains much wisdom mostly absent in our society. Well written by both authors, I highly recommend this read!

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Cindy Prechtel's Review

“You deserve a break!”

“Why should you have to do all the caring for the kids?”

“You’re wasting your life being a stay-at-home mom.”

These messages and others are the voices of feminism that seek to undermine God’s high calling of being a wife and mother. These messages, whether spoken or inferred can be discouraging - especi- ally for homeschool moms who are not only mothering, but committed to teaching reading and even chemistry if needed! It can be easy to fall into a “woe is me” attitude that breeds discontentment and selfishness.

In this refreshingly honest and down-to-earth book, two godly women sit down to put forth a fresh vision for homemaking. The message of ‘Passionate Housewives, Desperate for God’, is one of HOPE! The authors are real, and scattered through this convicting and encouraging book are stories and glimpses into their very real lives.

They are quick to dispel the “perfect housewife” myth. You know the one - the 1950s happy homemaker vacuuming in her high heels and pearls. Instead, they take the reader straight to the Word of God, for fresh insight and pearls of truth. Be prepared to be chal- lenged - I found myself switching between this book and my Bible, highlighter in hand!

Both of the authors have a lot to say and they say it quite well. The book begins and ends with the fictional account of the life of ‘Carol’. It is kind of a before-and-after glimpse of her life as she first gives in to the message of feminism that permeates our society (and sadly, the church), and then as a woman set free by God’s Word to be all that He created her to be - completely ful-filled in her service to Him by serving her family.

‘Passionate Housewives’ is not a politically correct book! The concept of dying to self, of living to serve your husband and children as unto the Lord, is not a popular ideology in our society. You may not agree with every doctrinal position these ladies and their husbands hold, but you will, however, be blessed with truths that transcend denominations - and timeless wisdom desperately needed in this day and age.

This is not a “how-to” book. You won’t find ideas for successful home management, or picking the right homeschool curriculum. Here’s something else you won’t find - authors who expect you to be just like them. Oh, they hold firmly to their beliefs about many things, but when it comes to what a “perfect” wife and mother should be, well, they are quick to remind you to lay aside those thoughts of perfectionism and to be wary of comparing yourself with others, including them!

This book addresses so many issues of the heart, it is difficult to describe the breadth of coverage and the amount of hope and encouragement one will find in its pages. As I read, I had many “Aha!” moments and there were definitely places where I was convicted of falling for the message that I am somehow “missing out” on life by serving my family.

I was challenged to realize that I can be home with my kids, but not really “be here” in my heart. I have found the really good books are the ones that do more than cheer (although this book definitely inspires). The books that I put at the top of my “must read again” list are those that make me a bit uncomfortable, that cause me to examine my heart and propel me into the arms of God. ‘Passionate Housewives Desperate for God” is one of those books. I highly recommend it!

Reviewed by Cindy Prechtel