Hope Chest Journey

by Darla on September 11, 2009


Have you ever walked into a furniture store and saw a piece of furniture that spoke to your heart.  You knew just where to put it, how it would look and that it would function just the way you hoped.  Hope chests are that piece of furniture for me.  They speak to me of hope, love, faith and charity.

During my growing up years, my mom spent time teaching me the necessary skills I would need in my future home whether it included a family or not there are skills that are necessary to living.  We started with sewing and cooking.  Over the years, we added to the list and put treasures in a drawer that would protect them until the time was right to use them.  I had dreams of a hope chest like the one above but you know somehow it didn’t work out that way.

What did happen was even better.  My parents found a trunk similar to this one at a flea market.  It was rough inside and needed some work so they took the time to freshly line, paint and put hardware that functioned on it.  They even put the cedar blocks inside so that it smelled nice.

Twenty two years into my marriage, multiple moves and it is still storing the treasures of my heart.  Now it holds precious memories that I don’t want to be damaged such as my children’s blessing outfits, baptism dresses that my older girls have outgrown, and photo albums.

My oldest daughter has been away from home to college for the last two years and she came back within the past 6 months to work in Qatar and learn.  She found while she was away that there were things she thought she new well but didn’t.

The hope chest would often contain:

  • Household items, such as quilts, linens, dishes, and silverware.
  • Family memorabilia to help preserve memories, such as, and family pictures.
  • A family Bible with pages to record births, marriages, and deaths, ensuring that family religious traditions of bible reading would be carried into the new home.
  • Perhaps an heirloom Christening gown for future posterity.
  • Perhaps an heirloom wedding gown.
  • Fabric to sew clothes from.
  • Cherished heirloom seeds from the family garden, to take to the new home.

For years I’ve looked for something that would help me raise my daughters and son to be prepared for life on their own and in particular prepared and able to take care of themselves as they explore their life’s mission.  I explored several avenues and just wound up frustrated.  After reading about the Life Skills program through Thomas Jefferson Education Companion, I decided to create my own classes.  About this  time, I learned that Donna that was writing her thesis for George Wythe College about this very topic, Princess Academy.

Donna at Princess Academies has begun a journey that was inspired by her daughter Mary.  Her story inspired me to begin the journey.   There are circles for all ages and descriptions.

Little Princess Circles- Young Ladies up to nine and their mothers.

Princess Academy Circles- Young Ladies ten to thirteen and their mothers.

Lovely Maiden Circles- Young Ladies fourteen to seventeen and their mothers.

Prairie Princess Circles- For mothers and daughters, any age, focusing on provident living skills.

Art of Queenship Circles- Adult women, married or single, with no daughters in the Princess Circles, and is for all those who desire to develop and flower in their potential, as queens in their own homes.

It hasn’t been entirely clear where I should go, although my recent website adventures feel like they might have been part of this journey as they were something that I have always wanted to learn how to do.  I’ve enjoyed it so much that it is could possibly be an avenue for income in the future.

A brief description of the possibilities.

The Hope Chest Journey can build motherhood, family life, and community. This is a practical education, with easy to implement ideas. Starting a Hope Chest Journey with your daughter(s) and sharing that journey with others by creating a Princess Circle in your home, builds community and  enriches the journey.Creating a Princess Circle in the home is a vehicle to help mothers and daughters be successful in their journeys, by building a community that is mutually supportive.

These are some of the lost arts that we will consider:

*Beauty vs. Glamour

*Beauty of Femininity, the core of Godly Womanhood

*Beauty of the Heart: Filling the Reservoir Within

*Beauty of Intellect: The Well Furnished Mind

*Grace, the outward expression of our beauty vs. Postmodern Tolerance

*Grace of Comeliness

*Grace of Eloquence

*Grace of Writing

*Grace of Sisterhood

*Grace of Diplomacy

*Grace of Generosity

*Grace of Etiquette

*Grace of Handwork

*Grace of Hospitality

*Grace of Home Making

The holidays are coming up shortly and my husband expressed in our recent FEC that he would like to look at some of our traditions.  This conversation was sparked by a talk at LDSEHE home education conference this past May.   It is our hope that these traditions will help us to remember who we are and where we are going rather than act as a distraction.

Laura and I have been working on some ideas that could be incorporated as new traditions.   This list is a beginning of more to come.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Gina October 7, 2009 at 1:11 pm

This looks very interesting, thanks for sharing it. I need to spend some more time there, do keep sharing your experiences with it!

2 Darla October 24, 2009 at 2:38 am

Thank you for the encouragement, It has been hard to blog about this journey. Mostly the preconceived notions in my head of what this journey will look and feel like. As I’ve read others posts on the main blog, I keep thinking our journey isn’t like that and have been getting hung up on it. I need to let go of their experiences and share what is working in our family. Isn’t that the way with most things. 🙂

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