March 13, 2009

As the Keeper of the Home

Now for the last part of Jennifer's question. Once again, I asked R what his answer would be.

Your consistency.

(I told you I have a great man! Although you may not have read it, because Blogger was acting up.)

You see, for years...and I mean YEARS...our home was a shambles. I would throw things in the closets and hide the mess when company was coming, because I never had took the time to really clean. All the clutter overwhelmed me. There simply wasn't room for everything, so I could never truly "put it away".

God changed all that. Not me. Him.

I could write volumes about the work He did in my heart and in my home. In fact, I have. If you're new here & you're interested, you can click on the "In Pursuit of Simplicity" label at the bottom of this post and read more.

Lest you think my house is always perfectly neat, let me assure you that it's not. More often than not, it can be picked up and pretty clean within 20 minutes. I've learned that an environment of simplicity doesn't just happen, it must be cultivated. In addition to drastically reducing the physical clutter, I've taken intentional steps to create an atmosphere and attitude of simplicity in our home.

~We watch limited television during the week. Often we listen to classical music while eating dinner, homework, and going through the nightly routine.

~I've introduced CJ to The Waltons and Little House on the Prairie on DVD. Trust me when I tell you I underestimated the influence these shows would have. We had become desensitized to the rudeness and laziness of children in current shows. By watching these older shows, CJ's seen that children should be more responsible and that they can't have everything they want. She's realized that she's tremendously blessed. And she's helping out more around the house, without my nagging her. I'm praying it will last!

~We stay home more. Since things are calmer, we love to be home.

~We rest on Sundays. Naps are not only permitted, they're expected! We come home from church and spend the rest of the day together relaxing and having fun.

~We have a routine that's structured, yet flexible.

These are small changes that have paid big dividends. Think about it for a minute. If you could do one thing today to cultivate an environment of simplicity and peace for your family, what would it be?

I'll be back on Monday to read your responses. In the meantime, I'm going to see this lovely lady for my birthday. I can't wait. Have a great weekend!


His Girl said...

Today is too busy for simplicity (oh yes, the irony dos not escape me) but I think this weekend we're going to talk about nightime routine for our family. Our morning one is so awesome, I think it's time all of us (adults included) start forming a better habit of routine before bed.... I'll keep you posted...

And enjoy your conference!

mholgate said...

I love your thoughts on Little House on the Prairy! It is so true that shows these days have kids in them that are disrespectful and disruptive. I don't let my kids watch a whole lot of tv, just a little in the morning and some on Saturdays. But even cartoons have some shady characters in them these days.

My one thing...I think it would be to try harder to get the ENTIRE meal on the table and eat together as a family more often. I have five children ages 7 and under, so it's hard for me to get everything I need on the table so I can sit down. It seems like by the time I get there, someone is inevitably done already. I need to teach them to slow down, calm down, and savor meal time. (A bigger table would help! By the time we all get around it, my DH feels clostrophobic!)

Hope you had a great time with your friend for your birthday. : )


Carrie said...

Have a WONDERFUL birthday weekend! ANd what a lovely post! I didn't realize all of this about you and it is inspiring for me to read. Thanks for sharing!

Kim@Seasons of My Heart said...

What a WONDERFUL post! I so enjoy your blog...and thank-you for sharing such wonderful thoughts.

Jill said...

First, happy birthday and I hope your weekend was wonderful and special for you. Second, my family could all work more on savoring the moment more, and this mama could certainly use the blessing of slowing down and smelling the roses. I'm gone from home so much and when I am here I feel the need to fluff and clean and cook instead of just....being at home. You're very special to me and your posts always leave me thinking and learning.

Anonymous said...

This was my first visit to your blog, but I can't wait to go back and read some of your older posts. But I can't do that now, because this post convicted me about an issue that God keeps bringing to the top of my list.

I struggle with maintaining order in my home, and as a result, my home isn't always the peaceful haven that I so desire for it to be.

Thanks for your practical suggestions. I need to think about your question about cultivating an environment of simplicity and peace. I'll be back Monday to see what your readers had to say!

Joanne : The Simple Wife said...

Hey Birthday Girl!

I so loved this post and thought I'd already commented. Oops!

Love you much and wishing you a happy day tomorrow!


Providence Church said...

I can't wait to read more!! I was just talking to my husband about having the time to focus on getting my home in order now that I no longer have my job. It's amazing how sometimes when you are in ministry you spend so much time focusing on others that you let your own home rest in shambles. Great post!