The last year life has felt scattered, chaotic, and stressful. As the stress mounted, so did the tension in our house. As I had more and more demands placed on me, I had less and less time to make our home homey. I was just getting by, and not very well at that.
I want 2017 to be different. That is why one of my goals for the year is to declutter our house (we’ve lived in our house for 2.5 years now, and it’s definitely time to declutter). Another goal was to set up a regular chore routine for my kids and myself. I want our house and our family life to be different, more homey.
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To that end, I’m reading several books to help me. One of those books is The Life Giving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging & Becoming by Sally & Sarah Clarkson. This book has a lengthy intro and then has a chapter and “assignment” for each month of the year.
I’m joining several other bloggers who are working their way through this book throughout the year. (Thanks, Kids, Crunch, and Christ for hosting!)
The intro of the book talks about how Sally made a decision to create a comfortable, relaxed home for her family. Even though she and her family moved several times while raising kids, sometimes moving abroad, she always made it her mission to have a tidy, inviting home. One gets the impression that entertaining and welcoming friends is very important to Sally.
I loved this passage from Sally:
“A treasure chest is full of sparkly jewels, shiny gold coins, valuable booty of every kind. As a young woman, I began to picture my children’s hearts as treasure chests of a different sort, and I vowed to fill them with intrinsic treasures; the best stories, memorized Scripture, priceless images of classical art, excellent books, memories from great feasts enjoyed together and special days celebrated, great Bible stories and wisdom passages, plus heart photographs of love given, holidays cherished, lessons learned. I hoped my children would be able to draw from this chest of internal treasures when they needed wisdom or comfort in there adult lives, that they would have soul resources that would speak to them for a lifetime.”
Alternatively, Sally’s daughter, Sarah, writes about how important this type of home is to her. She tries to replicate the lessons her mother taught her so that her home, too, feels inviting and welcoming.
January: Creating a Framework for Home–Rhythms, Routines, and Rituals
Our kids have always thrived on routine, so when Sally talks about having dinners together, not using technology at the table, and creating a bedtime routine, we’re covered. We already do those things.
However, she mentioned two areas where I could definitely be stronger. One was establishing a devotional routine, and the other was the routine of a morning blessing.
As far as the devotional routine, I tried that last year, and then it slipped by the wayside. I plan to start saying the Angelus with the kids after lunch. If that goes smoothly, we may add in a Divine Mercy chaplet at some point during the day.
The routine of a morning blessing is when you greet your children as soon as you see them in the morning with a hug, a smile, and a warm word. Sally likes to say to her children something like, “Good morning, Mr. Sunshine. You make me happy to be alive!” Sure, it’s over the top, but what a nice way to greet your children and start their day in the right way. I’m not naturally a morning person, so I like to be left alone when I first wake up, but I’m going to try this type of greeting. I think it will help me and my kids start the morning the right way!
Have you read this book? If so, what did you think of it?