Welcome! I’m so happy to have you hear for our maiden voyage of the Everyday Graces Book Club! We’ll be having our weekly discussions here, on our Facebook group that I would love to have you join (just hit the request button, it’s closed so all our conversations son’t pop up on your Uncle Joe’s newsfeed), and on Instagram with the hashtag #EGreads. Then on Tuesday afternoons we will be having a real-time conversation on Periscope.
Our first book is The Lifegiving Home by Sally and Sarah Clarkson. I’m a long time fan of Sally’s encouraging words. I can’t wait to dig in to this book with you over the next 8 weeks. If you miss this week, don’t worry. There’s 7 more to go and you can always come back and read this later. Now, on to the adventure!
The Adventure Begins (introduction)
Sally introduces us to an incredible week long writing adventure, and then another 12 years later. I love how encouraging it is that even though God can lay an idea on your heart, it doesn’t always mean you need to do it right then.
The segment that really struck a cord with me, both as encouraging and convicting, was this.
“During these years, God seemed to Whisper to me in my quiet times, Give foundations of strength and inspiration to these precious ones, but give them wings as well. Prepare them to take risks, to live by faith, so that they can take the messages and cherished values they learned at home and share them with a hurting world.“
What a way to view our role as a homemaker and mother. The creator of a foundation and the encourager of flight, all for God’s glory.
And yes, I did make tea and curl up under a blanket as I read. Sometimes it’s just the right thing to do.
A Lifegiving Legacy
I love Sally’s history of Biltmore. I’ve visited there several times, but not since becoming a mother. It is a truly remarkable home. Even in it’s grandiose splendor, it still feels warm and welcoming, not like some other large estates. The questions mentioned made me begin a list of things I hope for our own home to be and to inspire.
- A place to create, and to have those creations celebrated.
- Conversation “areas” that are comfy and inviting.
- Solitary but cozy spaces for when we want time to be alone.
- A gathering place full of laughter and love and learning for us and for our friends.
- A home that exudes the kind of hospitality that is radical and full of grace.
- A feeling of being loved and a comfort that is part of who we are, not just where we are, as a family.
And the gut-check moments.
In the midst of demanding, constantly pressured lives, we all need refresher courses from time to time about what we are building and why we must be intentional about doing it.
There is little time or space for instruction about life or discussions about truth. Our souls seem to be filled with the sawdust of a lost generation.
With all my planning and striving and listing and doing, my aspirations were overtaking my actual reasons for wanting to homeschool, for wanting to have teatime each week, for making home cooked meals a priority, etc. Have you ever struggled with the to-do’s becoming too much and causing you to lose sight of why you were doing whatever it was in the first place?
On page 9, Sally share’s her blueprint for what the Clarkson home should be. What are 3 things that make home “home” for you?
What is one thing you can do, change, add, or subtract today to make your home more in line with what you envision?
Made for Home
Sarah paints many beautiful pictures in this section. The idea that our longing for home is a holy desire is something I’ve grasped at for a long time. The hearty “Amen” echoing in my head at several quotes made me realize just how lonely the online society we have now really is.
As a culture, we have disregarded the connections of physical place and personal relationship that named and defined our ancestors. We are busy and driven, and even if we have families we prize, we struggle to maintain connection.
Ouch. I know that I have been guilty struggling with connecting. Have you ever felt that way?
Incarnation and Restoration – Pondering the truth of the Incarnation of Christ and what them means to us as Christians in the midst of a fallen world is a great way to open up discussion of what home here can actually mean. The Genesis reference is one I hadn’t considered in regard to homemaking. I love the way Sarah put it:
We were made to delight and ground ourselves in the goodness of creation; to tend, to cultivate, and keep a specific place on earth.
We must understand homemaking not as a retreat from the fallen world, not as a retrenchment from culture, but as a profound engagement with it.
Homemaking, creating a place where our loved ones can trust, rest, and enjoy a taste of the Kingdom through beauty, intentionality in making the sounds and sights full of beauty and comfort, and knowledge that they are being deeply cared for. It is all part of our holy calling. How incredible is that?
How do you create the sense of comfort and connection in your home or the space where you are, even if it’s temporary? How, like Sarah, can we make barren spaces full of the light of home, no matter where we are?
What were your favorite takeaways from this weeks reading? Don’t forget to join me Tuesday afternoon on Periscope for discussion and hashtag your posts and takeaways #EGreads so we can follow along on social media. See you next week for Chapters 3-4!