The hope chest: what image does this conjure in your mind? Maybe you think of a big wooden chest with kitchen linens, china, silverware and the like in it. Or maybe it's that big heavy box full of crocheted potholders and embroidered dishtowels your mom turns out by the dozen. That's what the hope chest is at a glance, a storage box for things you'll use later in your future home, but upon further inspection you'll find it's a lot more than that- it's a whole philosophy about being ready for a family and a home of your own. Here at the Mower house we call it the art of training your hands.
My mom has been trying from about kindergarten on to help me develop certain skills and train my hands to perform them. I was born into 4-H, a youth program which has a lot of projects geared toward home economics. There are cooking, baking, sewing, crochet, embroidery, and scrapbooking projects- and I've done them all. It has taken a while to learn to do these things. When I was younger I was a little afraid of all the equipment, like the sewing machine, and the iron, and needles. Over time, though, I've gotten better and better and now have a veritable wardrobe of skills that will help me later in life. I know how to feed people. I can follow a pattern and sew things. Even the crafts projects have taught me some odds and ends about beautifying things (I think I could probably stencil every wall in the house if I wanted to.) I am becoming ready for future life and I have confidence because I have been training my hands all these years.
So it turns out that the hope chest isn't just a box to store material goods for when you need them later in life. You need more than dishcloths and silverware to be ready to be on your own. You need to know certain skills as well. I think it is a lot better to go into married life with confidence than to go into it without a clue as to what you are doing. Training my hands now has helped develop that confidence and peace of mind, which will ultimately help me have a happy home.
Respectfully submitted by Miss Abigail