Monday, April 19, 2010

Book Review: Keeping House-The Litany of Everyday Life by Margaret Kim Peterson

Book Description:
"Keeping house can be a very mundane activity. It is certainly repetitive, and the kinds of work that it involves are varied enough that few people enjoy all of them equally. But at the very same time, housekeeping is about practicing sacred disciplines and creating sacred space, for the sake of Christ as we encounter him in our fellow household members and in neighbors, strangers, and guests."
—From the Preface

Keeping House is a wide-ranging and witty exploration of the spiritual gifts that are gained when we take the time to care for hearth and home. With a fresh perspective, mother, wife, and teacher Margaret Kim Peterson examines the activities and attitudes of keeping house and making a home. Debunking the commonly held notion that keeping house is a waste of time or at best a hobby, Peterson uncovers the broader cultural and theological factors that make housekeeping an interesting and worthwhile discipline. She reveals how the seemingly ordinary tasks of folding laundry, buying groceries, cooking, making beds, and offering hospitality can be seen as spiritual practices that embody and express concrete and positive ways of living out Christian faith in relationship to others at home, in the church, and in the world.

Filled with thoughtful reflection and lively anecdotes, Keeping House clearly shows that housekeeping is neither a trivial matter nor simply drudgery. People need to eat, to sleep, to have clothes to wear; they need a place to play, a place into which to welcome guests and from which to go forth into the world. When we are keeping house, we are truly keeping faith.

My thoughts:
Keeping House-The Litany of Everyday Life by Margaret Kim Peterson brings a different perspective to housekeeping. Most house keeping books focus on the "how" to keep house, while in Keeping House, Margaret Kim Peterson shows us the "why" of keeping house. I found this book gave me a lot of food for thought, and I enjoyed the gentle words of wisdom it provided in how I look at keeping house.


  1. I keep a pretty clean house, and wonder why they write books like this.... is it because their house is a mess? Are they lazy and don't like to clean? I figure your home is a reflection of you, and I keep both neat, tidy and clean.
    Doubt this is a book I would like, but good review.

  2. I appreciate the author's perspective. But my house is in order. My housekeeper does the hard stuff (mopping, scrubbing, etc.) and my boys assist me with keeping things tidy during the week. I love my home, but my career, avocations & boys are my focus. So I will pass on this one.




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