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To Love, Honor, and Vacuum: When You Feel More Like a Maid Than a Wife and Mother Paperback – June 10, 2003

4.6 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

To Love, Honor, and Vacuum offers encouragement for the overwhelmed, freedom from perfectionism, and a vision of life dominated by care. (Faithfulreader.com 2004-06-03)

. . . A must read for any woman who finds herself too busy, too tired and too frustrated to enjoy and cherish the most important blessings in her life mainly her husband, her children and her Lord. (Author's Choice Book Reviews 2004-06-03)

. . . Make[s] a great spring board for discussion groups. . . provides a stimulus to do practical things to make life happier for everyone and also shows that one's feelings of frustration and anger are shared by others in similar situations. (Christian Observer 2004-06-03)

Before you give up and let cat litter take over, read this book and get ready for a whole new approach to home management. (San Diego Family Magazine 2004-06-03)

If you find yourself stressed by housework, this is the book for you. (WRGN 2004-06-03)

This book is about taking control. Itís too easy for a womanís day to be dictated by otherís needs; however, when a woman exerts some control over her activities, sheíll be happier, sheíll receive more respect and sheís even likely to get more help. Gregoireís enthusiasm, real-life examples, and emphasis on healthy relationships will encourage women to embrace their responsibilities. (CBA Marketplace 2004-06-03)

To Love, Honor, and Vacuum is full of helpful, practical ideas that any mom can use to simplify and bring balance to her life, no matter how hectic it has become. (Living Light News 2004-06-03) --1

From the Back Cover

This is no “women’s lib” book. Nor is it a five-step program for becoming a human doormat.

To Love, Honor, and Vacuum encourages women to deal with their hectic lives by prioritizing relationships and fostering responsibility and respect in all family members. When women apply these real-world, real-life insights, they will discover what it means to love and honor in spite of the vacuuming.

“Sheila is about to challenge your thinking about your role as a wife and mother. I don’t say that lightly. I read more advice about mothering and womanhood in a week than most people read in a year. But Sheila is on to something here.”

—Carla Barnhill
Editor, Christian Parenting Today

“In To Love, Honor, and Vacuum, Sheila speaks to both the heart and habits of the woman who is wife and mother. The lessons in this book are biblical, do-able and affordable! I highly recommend it.”

—Margaret B. Buchanan
Author of Famous Jerks of the Bible

"I was grabbed from the start . . . I think Ms. Gregoire has been peeking in my windows! This is a ‘must read’ for any woman who has wondered why she doesn't derive pure joy from her role as Domestic Goddess!”

—Mia Cronan
MainStreetMom.com

“Filled with spiritual wisdom and practical tips.”

—Karen Stiller
Associate Editor of Faith Today magazine

Sheila Wray Gregoire, a born entrepreneur, writes for numerous magazines and speaks to a variety of audiences across North America, combining the realities of a family with Scripture for real-world, real-biblical answers. In addition, she and her husband, Keith, “tag-team” homeschool their kids.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 215 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications (June 10, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0825426995
  • ISBN-13: 978-0825426995
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #651,786 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I admit I rarely read books that are targeted at married mothers. I'm not married and I'm not a mother. Go figure. But since I moved in with my parents and two younger brothers a few months ago (got laid off, minimizing expenses while looking for a job, you know the drill), my healthy, if distant, appreciation for home engineers has developed into downright deification. As an adult member of the household, I'm frequently overwhelmed by how much needs to be done on a daily basis.
Perhaps that's why TO LOVE, HONOR, AND VACUUM strikes me as one of the best books I've read in a long time. Written by home schooling mom and entrepreneur Shelia Wray Gregoire, the book is chock full of practical tips for doing everything around the home from cleaning to keeping spending in check to stoking the romantic fires. A lot of her suggestions aren't necessarily rocket science, but she presents them in a fresh way and gives the business of running a family a new spin.
One feature of the book that I found especially insightful is a section profiling one day in the life of three women living at three different points in American history. These short fictional accounts reveal that while women over the years share many of the same concerns about the welfare of their families, the tangible nuts and bolts of running a household have evolved significantly. This will be an epiphany for the many modern women harboring guilt-inducing notions that the housewives of earlier generations were better at running their households despite the absence of the time and effort saving conveniences that clutter homes today. On the contrary, Gregoire convincingly points out that these technological advances have actually added more lines on today's to-do lists.
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Format: Paperback
Stay-at-home and working moms often feel stressed about house chores, their spouse and their children. If you're a stressed-out mom and are feeling disconnected from your role of wife and mother, it's time to rearrange your priorities and focus on what's most important in your life.
"...To Love, Honor, and Vacuum," by Sheila Wray Gregoire, is just the book to help stressed-out moms learn how to improve their lives. It gives many examples, helpful tips and ideas, includes things to think about, and provides checklists to help manage your stressful life.
MyParenTime.com recommends this book -- although the book contains Christian-based ideas, this book is appropriate for Moms of all faiths. "When you feel more like a maid than a wife and mother," the suggestions in this book can help you change that :).
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Format: Paperback
As a wife, grad student, and new mother, it seemed my joy in life was getting lost in exhaustion. I have a great husband, an exceptionally "easy" baby, supportive grandparent-care, and flexible hours...and I was still running out of steam. Reading this book may not have changed what I have to accomplish in a day, but it refreshed my perspective. In this book, Sheila Gregoire gave me encouragement, specific and useful tips on how to simplify and prioritize life, and (perhaps what I needed most) sympathy coupled with hope. Sometimes all I need is someone to tell me that "yes, it IS hard!! But you're doing okay."

As an example, the day after I finished reading the book, I still had to: get everyone ready for the day, express milk, work all day in the lab, go to the gym, come home, do laundry, cook dinner, wash the dishes, pick up the house, entertain my 6-month old while doing all of this, feed and bathe the baby, put her to bed, express more milk, start another load of laundry... But this time, I did all of my morning chores with some fun music on, had lunches ready from the night before, took care of my evening housework with a timer on to finish in a hurry, and had time to go for a walk around the neighborhood with my daughter and my dog while the casserole was in the oven. It was one of the best days I've had in a very long time, although almost nothing besides my attitude (and a few organizational tips) had changed! I even had enough energy left to get romantic with my husband (and I can tell you, he appreciated it!).
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Format: Paperback
Sheila Wray Gregoire�s "To Love Honor and Vacuum: When You Feel More Like a Maid Than a Wife and Mother" is an engaging read, packed with practical advice and original insights. Though this book is especially aimed at women trying to juggle children, households and husbands, even those like myself who only have the husband and the household can find useful tips on time management, re-ordering priorities, and spiritual balance.
The chapter �In the Mood� about sex and romance is worth the price of the book. Her gracious advice in this area will help women to understand their husband�s very different responses to sexual intimacy. She explains the need for genuine independence and mystery as a key to keeping romance blooming.

The book applies timeless Christian principles to the thoroughly modern predicament of today�s wives and mothers. Wray Gregoire traces the differences in the lifestyles and levels of support our grandmothers and mothers had to the lives we live now where the nuclear family is often isolated from other family members in anonymous neighborhoods. She tells how those principles can still work, despite these changed circumstances, if they are applied with a proper balance. She acknowledges that sometimes certain aspects of Christian teaching have been misinterpreted to promote the idea that a woman should be like a doormat or a maid in the home instead of a loving wife in a relationship of mutual respect. She effectively shows the difference between servanthood and subservience in a way that�s penetrating and original.
I found this book hard to put down because Wray Gregoire�s style is so accessible and fun to read, but this is a book that would just as useful for a group study. At the end of each chapter are some deeper questions to ponder that would make ideal assignments between meetings. This book could be reread several times because so much wisdom is distilled into it, and its style is fresh enough to make rereading a pleasure.
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