There have been many lessons learned in our new life. Some have been simple. More than a few have been hard-fought. Others continue to be a struggle. In the coming days, I'll share some of these lessons with you. Most are principals I already knew in my head, but had no room for in my heart.
Today I'll share two lessons I've learned about our home.
Breathing room is essential.
Meaningless knick-knacks, pretty as they were, sucked the life out of our home. They are gone. We are surrounded by pictures, family treasures, and words of encouragement - things that matter.
Fewer things to dust. More space to live.
And we do live in our home. Even when piles of laundry beckon, I am able to look around at the surfaces and see space. Space allows me to relax, to breathe easier.
Fewer unimportant things to keep track of. More time to live.
2008 was the Year of Peace & Simplicity in our home. I learned that our family functions better when life is calm. When I am calm. Not having to remember where important papers are (because they've been put where they belong) or being a slave to a complicated organizational system keeps me calm.
Homemade is worth the effort.
Laundry detergent, dish detergent, household cleaners, apple sauce, bread, ice cream, and even mayo. The planning and the time spent are a small price to pay for what we've gained by eating better.
Making pancakes from scratch creates room in the budget for real maple syrup. We buy eggs from pastured hens instead of boxes of cereal.
The trade-off works well for us.
There are some things I will always buy, but many I've committed to making at home because the benefit is greater than the cost.
The quality of our choices takes our focus from the quantity.
Our home is still (and will always be) a work in progress. Yet I think for the most part, my family would agree that it's a sanctuary for all of us.
Any sacrifice I might make pales in comparison.