For my first sharing of just how this lady of four daughters makes her house a home I share a simple and profound quote that was shared with me last week. It comes from the last Ruth Bell Graham:
" I was raised in a Happy Christian home".
This spring our household had an "ending of an era" as it were. In the span of one week my youngest daughter of two years old became potty trained,ending nine and half years of diapers, moved out of the crib that has been up nearly continually for nine and a half years, my third daughter, 4 at the time, grasped the power of reading for the first time, and my two big girls in 2nd and 3rd grade in public school at the time, had traded in American girls for "Beber Fever".
After I stopped dancing in the street for joy over no more diapers, it struck me that I had a household of young ladies on my hands. Gone are the days of simply surviving: pregnancy (I had 4 pregnancies in 6 and half years, and am sick the entire pregnancy), sleep deprivation, sore backs from a continual baby on my hip, and of course mountains of poop.
Exciting and scary.
And when you feel the dual adrenaline rush of excitement and fear, you best get on your knees and start paying attention.
This is what I came away with:
I want as Ruth Bell Graham recalled, my girls to sit around a kitchen table one day as adults and recall a happy Christian home.
In short, how can I expect my girls to follow in my footsteps as a homemakers if the home I make is not a happy one?
Here is how I deliberately go about making a happy home.
1~ Limit the amount of activities we as a family participate in. That includes the big people and church stuff. Shuffling children continual in your smelly, dirty van, because you are always eating on the go, running around to cart members of the family to various sports, activities, and church functions that in 20 years, when your children are gone,will not matter, does not make for a happy home. It makes for frazzled adults, tired children, and parent/child relationships that are a thin topsoil of crammed in "quality time".
Right now my girls are in zero after school activities. They take piano, and since we have on, lessons are at home. My husband and I serve at our church in ONE area of ministry that we are gifted in, and do our serving on Sunday, so our week nights are not filled with running up to church. It has not always been that way. It will not always stay that way. But for now with four little ladies and a husband who works very hard, and mother who has a to-do list continually rotating in her brain, this is what I believe to be our God giving calling to order our home, the best way.
2~ We keep a tight limit on the amount of technology our family members zone out in front of. Because that is what technology does. (Even as I write this inspirational little blog, the babe has been getting into who knows what this last half hour. How is that not zoning out?)
This zoning out creates little islands of existence in our homes. Homes, if they are to be happy, will be centered around people being together. When we are together we have fun. We love food. We love conversation. We love jokes and telling stories. Don't let me paint you a too rosy of a picture: We are a passionate and loud lot, so on any given night there is yelling and disciplining too. Tears, and shouts. Fits of rage even, from daughters and mother dearest. But that is real and authentic. The computer, TV, ipad, texting, youtube, wii, nexflix,facebook, blogs, are not.
Ten years ago it was radical or least counter-cultural to not own a TV or PC. Today it is, if you only own ONE of each; which we purposely do.
I want to my daughters to follow in my footsteps of being a home makes because to them home is synonymous with happiness. Human beings are wired to try to find happiness, but it is only through God- inspired wisdom that any of us find it.