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Theology of Home II: The Spiritual Art of Homemaking

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In this second installment of Theology of Home, Carrie Gress and Noelle Mering turn their attention from the home itself to the art of homemaking.   Though there has been a resurgence in the domestic arts and a desire to live a simpler lifestyle, the role of a homemaker is still unpopular. Viewed as an unfulfilling and even oppressive way of life, many women feel a sense o In this second installment of Theology of Home, Carrie Gress and Noelle Mering turn their attention from the home itself to the art of homemaking.   Though there has been a resurgence in the domestic arts and a desire to live a simpler lifestyle, the role of a homemaker is still unpopular. Viewed as an unfulfilling and even oppressive way of life, many women feel a sense of shame or futility in managing the world of their home.   Theology of Home: The Spiritual Art of Homemaking turns this misguided notion on its head, shining new light on the role of a homemaker as it relates the deepest truths of the Faith with an honest and fearless understanding of the modern world. Rather than looking to the 1950s for inspiration, Gress and Mering forge a new path by looking at the gifts women can offer those they love.   Filled with beautiful photography and interviews with several inspiring women, The Spiritual Art of Homemaking examines:   ·        what makes someone a homemaker and how we can look at the role with fresh eyes, ·        how the dots between our love for home and the role of caring for a home can be reconnected, ·        how we can reorient our purpose from achieving power for ourselves to caring for others, ·        how to bear fruit in the various ways in which God calls us, ·        how to foster the qualities that make us particularly adept and skillful at creating a home, ·        the nature of both physical and spiritual motherhood, ·        and how our Mother, the Church, gifts us the means to fulfill the role of a homemaker.   Whether single, married, or a working or stay-at-home mother, discover how to bring beauty, order, and vibrancy to the people and place you love most: Home.  


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In this second installment of Theology of Home, Carrie Gress and Noelle Mering turn their attention from the home itself to the art of homemaking.   Though there has been a resurgence in the domestic arts and a desire to live a simpler lifestyle, the role of a homemaker is still unpopular. Viewed as an unfulfilling and even oppressive way of life, many women feel a sense o In this second installment of Theology of Home, Carrie Gress and Noelle Mering turn their attention from the home itself to the art of homemaking.   Though there has been a resurgence in the domestic arts and a desire to live a simpler lifestyle, the role of a homemaker is still unpopular. Viewed as an unfulfilling and even oppressive way of life, many women feel a sense of shame or futility in managing the world of their home.   Theology of Home: The Spiritual Art of Homemaking turns this misguided notion on its head, shining new light on the role of a homemaker as it relates the deepest truths of the Faith with an honest and fearless understanding of the modern world. Rather than looking to the 1950s for inspiration, Gress and Mering forge a new path by looking at the gifts women can offer those they love.   Filled with beautiful photography and interviews with several inspiring women, The Spiritual Art of Homemaking examines:   ·        what makes someone a homemaker and how we can look at the role with fresh eyes, ·        how the dots between our love for home and the role of caring for a home can be reconnected, ·        how we can reorient our purpose from achieving power for ourselves to caring for others, ·        how to bear fruit in the various ways in which God calls us, ·        how to foster the qualities that make us particularly adept and skillful at creating a home, ·        the nature of both physical and spiritual motherhood, ·        and how our Mother, the Church, gifts us the means to fulfill the role of a homemaker.   Whether single, married, or a working or stay-at-home mother, discover how to bring beauty, order, and vibrancy to the people and place you love most: Home.  

30 review for Theology of Home II: The Spiritual Art of Homemaking

  1. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Guilbeau

    Absolutely beautiful. Thought-provoking and deeply catholic on the topics of home, motherhood, and beauty.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    As was the first Theology of Home, this is as beautiful in picture, word and feel as the first book. For those who embrace the title of Homemaker, whether you "work" outside the home or not, this book us an ode to the importance of the role of mother, wife, mentor and support system that can get lost in today's world. This book brings a quiet yet strong message on the significance of a woman's purpose as a builder of this world's future through our loving dedication to our family and our faith. As was the first Theology of Home, this is as beautiful in picture, word and feel as the first book. For those who embrace the title of Homemaker, whether you "work" outside the home or not, this book us an ode to the importance of the role of mother, wife, mentor and support system that can get lost in today's world. This book brings a quiet yet strong message on the significance of a woman's purpose as a builder of this world's future through our loving dedication to our family and our faith.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Brynna King

    Man. This book was a breath of fresh air in my life. It’s taken me a bit to write a review because of how much I loved experiencing this book and didn’t know whether I enjoyed it so much because of the season I’m in, or because it’s actually a really good book (I’m choosing to believe it’s both). While I am not Catholic (and this book definitely is), I enjoyed learning more about Catholicism through the writing and images, and while I didn’t agree with everything theologically, I also felt like Man. This book was a breath of fresh air in my life. It’s taken me a bit to write a review because of how much I loved experiencing this book and didn’t know whether I enjoyed it so much because of the season I’m in, or because it’s actually a really good book (I’m choosing to believe it’s both). While I am not Catholic (and this book definitely is), I enjoyed learning more about Catholicism through the writing and images, and while I didn’t agree with everything theologically, I also felt like there was room for that. Mostly I felt validated that my decision to stay home and care for my home and children is worthwhile, and that just because I can’t see the immediate fruit of this choice, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t any. For any woman (whether working at home or not), who is looking to understand more about homemaking in a spiritual sense, whether that is with children and family you have, or people that are in your sphere of care, I would highly recommend this book. “This book is an invitation to reconnect the dots between home and home making, to help us hardwire the concepts of homemaking as the deeply purposeful art of sheltering and nurturing the souls of others, offering them a place to grow into the people God intends them to be.” (P. 14)

  4. 5 out of 5

    Katie Marquette

    This is a beautiful book. While the first Theology of Home collection focused on the Home, this edition fouses on the Homemaker. I almost found it deeper and more intimate, with the detailed, raw portraits of women throughout the book and the emphasis placed on the spritual realities of homemaking and motherhood (both spiritual and physical). Filled with stunning photographs, lively anecdotes, theological truths, and cultural observations, this book is as thought provoking as it is visually sati This is a beautiful book. While the first Theology of Home collection focused on the Home, this edition fouses on the Homemaker. I almost found it deeper and more intimate, with the detailed, raw portraits of women throughout the book and the emphasis placed on the spritual realities of homemaking and motherhood (both spiritual and physical). Filled with stunning photographs, lively anecdotes, theological truths, and cultural observations, this book is as thought provoking as it is visually satisfying. Well done!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Molly Lackey

    Let me begin by saying that what was good in this book was really good. I found parts of this to be helpful, insightful, and encouraging. That said, I also have a lot of problems with this book that prevent me from being able to rate it more favorably. For starters: I listened to this on audiobook. For a book that is all about how women are busy homemakers who can find intellectual stimulation and spiritual growth in the midst of chores, including through the use of YouTube lectures or *audiobook Let me begin by saying that what was good in this book was really good. I found parts of this to be helpful, insightful, and encouraging. That said, I also have a lot of problems with this book that prevent me from being able to rate it more favorably. For starters: I listened to this on audiobook. For a book that is all about how women are busy homemakers who can find intellectual stimulation and spiritual growth in the midst of chores, including through the use of YouTube lectures or *audiobooks*, this book had the absolute worst audiobook production I have ever heard. The editing was absolutely atrocious, with long, aching gaps randomly in the middle of sentences, multiple repeats of sentences and phrases, obviously spliced together audio cuts with radically different EQ and room sound, and by far the worst pronunciation errors I have heard in a book on tape. I groaned aloud multiple times at the unbearably bad audiobook experience. I was nearly driven to abandon the book, but ended up listening at 1.5x speed and powering through because it was so short. I do not know whether the publisher did the production or the authors self-financed, but regardless, putting out a nearly-unlistenable audiobook when you talk endlessly about the female need to multitask and redeem time is like a slap in the face. Additionally, I came away with the sense that this book must be a loose collection of essays arranged in a coffee table book rather than anything resembling a coherent narrative. Even without the numerous audiobook issues, the prose felt disjointed and flighty, rarely staying on a truly unified topic for longer than a few minutes. Peppered throughout were random, verbose phrases that didn't really communicate anything. I hold a master's degree and frequently read graduate-level books—it's not that I don't know what the authors are talking about, it's just polysyllabic fluff. I could have gotten over these issues, though, if the content had been better. Again, what was good was good, but there really wasn't much of it. Another reviewer remarked that this book is less about homemaking than it is about motherhood. It's also less about homemaking than it is about a very traditionalist Catholic incessantly launching into Marian soliloquies, complaining about some cultural thing that is already becoming dated, and putting down Protestants whenever possible. As a confessional Lutheran, I found this exceptionally grating. I read plenty of Catholic stuff, and much of it I find useful and edifying. Gertrud von le Fort's The Eternal Woman, a book which I have read, is a great example of an unapologetically Catholic book with which I did not always agree, but which I found helpful and eminently more useful and edifying than this book. The caricature of Protestants as severe, joyless snobs is just that: a caricature. Catholic authors would find that Protestant readers would be far more open to their books if they stopped putting the worst construction on us and our actions. What was good was good, but you can find it in other, better books.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Maxine

    This book is beautiful. The binding, pictures, cover, fonts- everything works together to make this book a work of art. The focus is in the homemaker. To bear good fruit we must have good soil. I thought this book was much better than the first.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Shelby Poinikiewski

    Pretty pictures. Not really what I was hoping for. It should be called "Theology of women" or "women's role in homemaking" or something. It talks more about women, pregnancy, mothering, than homemaking. Not super inclusive of all the other Catholics who aren't moms but are still interested in making a house a home and incorporating our faith and spirituality. Meh. Pretty pictures. Not really what I was hoping for. It should be called "Theology of women" or "women's role in homemaking" or something. It talks more about women, pregnancy, mothering, than homemaking. Not super inclusive of all the other Catholics who aren't moms but are still interested in making a house a home and incorporating our faith and spirituality. Meh.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kerianne Noel

    Theology of the Home II is not merely beautiful to hold and glance through - it is full of the kind of truth, goodness and beauty that inspires one with the conviction that what happens in the home and what women have to offer the world ripples into eternity. It is one I can see myself returning to occasionally for a quick dose of inspiration. I can‘t speak to how it would appeal to Christians outside Catholic circles (I suspect it would depend on how you already feel about the church) but there Theology of the Home II is not merely beautiful to hold and glance through - it is full of the kind of truth, goodness and beauty that inspires one with the conviction that what happens in the home and what women have to offer the world ripples into eternity. It is one I can see myself returning to occasionally for a quick dose of inspiration. I can‘t speak to how it would appeal to Christians outside Catholic circles (I suspect it would depend on how you already feel about the church) but there are positive take aways that apply well beyond Catholic circles. I love the anecdotes of Saints and modern Catholic women which, while interrupting the flow of each chapter‘s main thread, spoke to the diversity within the church herself: the women and photographs of the domestic spaces they occupy reflect the fact that the Catholic faith is one that is practiced all over the world. I also appreciated that homemaking and domesticity were not exclusively discussed in terms of stay at home motherhood and that the experiences of working and single women were also given consideration. I went back and forth between a four and five star rating, but settled on five as I think the creators of this book did what they set out to do really well. This rating therefore reflects my opinion of this book not in comparison to the great spiritual writers but more in comparison to other coffee table type books.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Robin Carroll

    This book claims to be a book about the spiritual art of homemaking. This book is actually a coffee table book with reasonably pleasing photographs with long form essays seemingly taken from old blog posts about culture war topics such as staying at home instead of working. Move along to better fare if you have an actual interest in the spiritual art of homemaking.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kylea

    Let me start by saying, this book is very beautiful. Both the photographs and the prose. It had a great many insightful thoughts to share, and I truly appreciated the encouragement and ideas strewn throughout. That being said, I am not Catholic. This book came recommended to me by someone who isn’t catholic but found a lot of genuine knowledge of faith in the home to be shared. And I agree to a point. I found a lot of good tidbits and stories and points that were very well written and I agree wi Let me start by saying, this book is very beautiful. Both the photographs and the prose. It had a great many insightful thoughts to share, and I truly appreciated the encouragement and ideas strewn throughout. That being said, I am not Catholic. This book came recommended to me by someone who isn’t catholic but found a lot of genuine knowledge of faith in the home to be shared. And I agree to a point. I found a lot of good tidbits and stories and points that were very well written and I agree with. I even learned some new things. However, I would not pass this book along to someone new or immature in their Christian faith. There were so many references to Mary as a figurehead whom is prayed to, worshipped, revered, and called Queen. This is grossly wrong. If you have read the Bible, you will know only God is to own that position of being worshipped. Mary was only ever human and a sinner. I could have overlooked a couple inferences of Mary worship/prayer, but it was scattered many times throughout. Obviously, the authors are Catholic and I knew this, but going into it, I was told the focus was not on Catholicism. I should’ve known better. So 3 stars. Because I did learn some things, but it was shadowed by the heavy Catholic influence of worshipping and praying to Mary. “In the spiritual physics of service, the more deeply we seek to serve Him, the more fruitful will be our service to others.”

  11. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn Page

    Things to note about this book review: 1) I am Lutheran, and this book is written by Catholics, and for Catholics. 2) I did not read the first book written by these authors. That being said, I quite enjoyed some of the points made by the authors. Traditional homemaking and the theology behind being a Christian wife and mother is something I am very interested in. The discussions on what makes a woman fruitful, especially, were very comforting to me. This is a beautiful book, even though I was read Things to note about this book review: 1) I am Lutheran, and this book is written by Catholics, and for Catholics. 2) I did not read the first book written by these authors. That being said, I quite enjoyed some of the points made by the authors. Traditional homemaking and the theology behind being a Christian wife and mother is something I am very interested in. The discussions on what makes a woman fruitful, especially, were very comforting to me. This is a beautiful book, even though I was reading the kindle edition, and the wide-margined formatting made it difficult to flip through. The vignettes of various women were lovely, but they chopped up the book (at least in the kindle edition), sometimes even in the middle of a sentence! Lastly, the theology was a bit lacking. The authors put forth Biblical principles, but rather than citing scripture, they use Marian tradition or quotes from church saints to back it up. I found this very frustrating. I don't know if I'd buy this book, but I might read it again if I came across it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Stef

    A beautiful book! Would make a wonderful gift for a single woman still discerning her vocation, or a young mom overwhelmed by life's demands. As an older woman I can't say that I learned a lot, but it's always good to see things from other women's perspectives. It helps to clarify one's vision, reaffirm choices made, and tweak where tweaking is needed. The only complaint I have about the book is the fact that some narratives were "interrupted" in the middle by pictures and a woman's profile or an A beautiful book! Would make a wonderful gift for a single woman still discerning her vocation, or a young mom overwhelmed by life's demands. As an older woman I can't say that I learned a lot, but it's always good to see things from other women's perspectives. It helps to clarify one's vision, reaffirm choices made, and tweak where tweaking is needed. The only complaint I have about the book is the fact that some narratives were "interrupted" in the middle by pictures and a woman's profile or an essay. I found that a bit distracting. Perhaps if there's a second edition the editor could consider putting the pictures/essays/profiles at the end/beginning of sections/chapters instead of in the middle.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Librarian Anna

    A beautiful, thought provoking book that really captures the feminine experience. If you're picking this book up with the idea that it's going to be a "how to" guide on homemaking then you will be sorely disappointed. This book goes far deeper than how to properly fold a fitted sheet and how to set a table. No, this book gets to the heart behind what it truly means to be a woman and a homemaker. Pulling stories and photos from women of all different walks of life alongside their own stories, Carri A beautiful, thought provoking book that really captures the feminine experience. If you're picking this book up with the idea that it's going to be a "how to" guide on homemaking then you will be sorely disappointed. This book goes far deeper than how to properly fold a fitted sheet and how to set a table. No, this book gets to the heart behind what it truly means to be a woman and a homemaker. Pulling stories and photos from women of all different walks of life alongside their own stories, Carrie Gress & Noelle Mering do a spectacular job of reconciling the thankless load of women with the eternal value of their work. Highly recommend! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️☆

  14. 5 out of 5

    Crystal

    The photos were nice but there was less "meat" to the book because of them I think. I felt the topics could have gone a bit deeper. Each topic only really had a few pages given all the photos and multiple insert stories. The separate stories were very jarring and distracting to my reading of the chapter. I did not care for the layout of this book at all. That being said it is worth the read but see if you can borrow a copy. As a women it was uplifting to read but I didn't take away any concrete The photos were nice but there was less "meat" to the book because of them I think. I felt the topics could have gone a bit deeper. Each topic only really had a few pages given all the photos and multiple insert stories. The separate stories were very jarring and distracting to my reading of the chapter. I did not care for the layout of this book at all. That being said it is worth the read but see if you can borrow a copy. As a women it was uplifting to read but I didn't take away any concrete steps to make any changes in my homemaking.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Antonia

    This book reveals the beauty in our homes, not as showplaces, but as real homes and the enduring beauty of loving generously within them. The overall message resonates deeply, but I found a particular nugget of wisdom that felt designed for me. The pictures are lovely, but when one looks closely you can see they are ordinary spaces within our reach because a home is beautiful not from perfect, unspoiled decor, but from something more eternal.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dianne Oliver

    This is a lovely book, with beautiful, simple photography and with a theme that is lost in our modern world that devalues homemaking. Though I am not Catholic, I found it a real encouragement. It upholds the role of women as sacred and vital, and as the heart in a home. A good reminder of the ability we wield to make a home into a place that serves God and those we are in contact with.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sheri

    Although I'm not Catholic and have differing views with the authors on several topics of faith, this is one of the most inspiring, beautiful books I've read on building a home that honors Christ. Doing the hidden work of homemaking, marriage, and motherhood for His glory - & finding His grace, fruitfulness, and purpose in every simple act of love. Although I'm not Catholic and have differing views with the authors on several topics of faith, this is one of the most inspiring, beautiful books I've read on building a home that honors Christ. Doing the hidden work of homemaking, marriage, and motherhood for His glory - & finding His grace, fruitfulness, and purpose in every simple act of love.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Kirchoff

    I really enjoyed this book even more than the first one. I think it was because this book was what I was expecting it to be based on the title. If the authors do write another I would love to see them expand past their inner circle of friends for pictures and interviews.

  19. 5 out of 5

    JoAnna

    This is a beautiful book. It's aesthetically pleasing, and the quotes, thoughts, and women's stories add a layer of truth and beauty to what could easily have become just another coffee table book. Absolutely gorgeous. This is what I wanted from the first Theology of Home book! This is a beautiful book. It's aesthetically pleasing, and the quotes, thoughts, and women's stories add a layer of truth and beauty to what could easily have become just another coffee table book. Absolutely gorgeous. This is what I wanted from the first Theology of Home book!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tanya

    A new favorite! The first book is a great addition any Christian woman’s personal library, but this book is a must have! This will be one of those books you just don’t read once and pass along, you will want to read this one over and over again.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Julie Tegtmeier

    A moving, insightful and soul-inspiring collection of stories and photography that altogether felt like a piece of art. I really enjoyed this book for women, by women and clearly produced with God’s guidance.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shanna

    Beautiful celebration of and encouragement in homemaking, filled with gold. Written from a Catholic perspective, but definitely worthwhile for any believing woman, Catholic or not. I am so glad I read it.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sosa Coleone

    Clean your bed

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen Kirchner

    Loved

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gabrielle Abrahamsen

    Great read. Thought provoking as the new year begins. Enjoyed this book just as much, if not more, than the first Theology of Home. It’s a must read in my opinion.

  26. 5 out of 5

    l

    less about homemaking, more about motherhood

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlin

    Not for the single ladies. I enjoyed the photos and some of the features of real women.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Alexis

    Got about 100 pages in. Just couldn't get into it. Got about 100 pages in. Just couldn't get into it.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Laurissa

    Such great food for thought, beautiful pictures too!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Trish

    I liked that this book focuses on mothers.

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