Our current season of life is challenging. So I’ve fallen behind on posting my readings, but I hope you are still working through with us! I’m also working through the The Life Giving Home Experience. It’s a great companion guide that breaks down activities for building your life giving home into months. We are having January in May! I highly recommend it for furthering your development of a shelter that truly uplifts your family.
January – Starting Fresh
I love Sally’s mentioning of planning with purpose for each new year and that January (your fresh start “month”) can be whenever you choose. I need a fresh start often. Do you?
The questions she poses to herself are excellent guidelines. The focus on routines rather than schedules is very helpful for me since I’m a creative by nature and feel bogged down by actual schedules 😉 The FIRST acronym on page 46 really stuck out as a way to help organize my typically disorganized through processes.
How does this FIRST acronym help you?
I know the planning for fun is something I’m not good at. We have plenty of things to utilize, but I never really “plan” for it. I love the list of ideas on page 50. We do enjoy audio books together in the car, but don’t make as much time to enjoy them together at home as we could.
I struggle with keeping a devotional routine. What steps do you take to keep yourself on a regular routine? With hypothyroidism, I find rising early difficult and sometimes impossible if the boys have one of their late nights of fighting sleep. I do try to read a devotional, a chapter in the Bible, or do some Bible Journaling every day, but I’d like to be more regular in it.
We’ve implemented the soft music and candle lighting and the boys help set the table for dinner now. It has made a remarkable difference even on the nights when Mr. J isn’t home. I recommend adding in some of Sally’s mealtime routines for sure!
I’ve also taken to heart the Morning Blessing and Nighttime Blessing routines. I was so convicted that I was often quick to reprimand my children first thing if they got up and went straight to the kitchen or straight to tearing up the school room. While it is not a magic pill, starting the day with blessings has made us all more pleasant in the mornings. And the nighttime blessings bring such smiles to the faces of the boys. It’s like a verbal hug and it makes me just a calm and realized as it does them.
What tidbits of wisdom have you been implementing?
February – A Culture of Love
Sally’s story of the sunset hit home. I’ve been learning over the last year how much my yes and no means to my children. I can always tell by their attitude toward me if I’ve been overusing my “no”. Do you ever notice an attitude change in your children during busy seasons? Does it aggravate you or cause a reevaluation of schedule and responses?
God designed us to both give and receive love. We are created for relationships. On page 63, Sally talks of the cost of building interface with others. I love this:
Keeping house – picking up those messes one more time – is a service of worship to God as we craft a place of beauty and comfort for all who enter our sanctuary of His very presence.
I know my own heart is often rebellious and looks at house keeping as a mundane chore. I’m trying to remember that in blessing my home with serve, I’m blessing my family and serving the Lord. Is house keeping a struggle for you?
The Heart of Good Manners
Manners are big in our home. And it’s because they were big in my home growing up. (If you have a toddler, this series might interest you.) I love the Stop! Look! Listen! tips on page 67. Which one was your favorite?
There are so many good, practical ways to show love and Sally shares so many in the end of this chapter. Which one speaks to you? What says love to you? For me, it is acts of service. When the boys clean up without being asked, when my husband empties the dishwasher or brings home new flowers for the table just because, it touches my heart. Each of my children has a different “love language” and learning and tapping into those has made all the difference in our own relationships. How od you keep the love cup filled for your children and spouse?
In ending, Sally’s proclamation is that “Love wins. Love always wins.” I must say, I agree. It builds relationships that are stronger than trials and it heals us from the wounds we get just by living in this broken world.
How are you making your home a sanctuary for developing loving relationships this week?