Home and Family, Parenting

The importance of home

Spent another afternoon at a follow-up evaluation for one of the grandkids.  One comment made by the therapist continues to ring in my head.  “Often, I will recommend therapy here in clinic, but what really helps is making changes at home, and utilizing strategies there. It’s the little changes and strategies that make the difference.  You’re already doing those.  He doesn’t need therapy; you’ve got this.”

Yes.  The compliment was appreciated by my daughter and I.  But more importantly, it was yet another reminder that what happens in our homes outweighs so many other things.  Whatever challenges, frustrations, set-backs, and bad days come our way, home is the place to tackle them.  Our children need our input and our support more than all the therapy, specialists, and office visits in the world.  I understand that those things are needed, but they cannot take the place of a loving home, parents who take the time to arm themselves with tools for helping each child, and trusting the powers of heaven to help.  Special needs children are just that-special, and their needs can be met by us.  That’s why they were sent to our family.

Nothing will ever take the place of a loving home.  Ever.

Home and Family, Parenting

Babies are a joy!

A new little sweetheart entered my life this last weekend.  Her dark hair, dark eyes, and sweet spirit reminded me why I have chosen to make motherhood and home the center of my life.  She was born in the wee hours Saturday, and watching my youngest son support his wife (who was a champ!) during labor, and then hold his daughter for the first time was one of the most moving experiences of my life.  His parents will be amazing; they are committed to doing all they can to care for, teach, protect, and encourage this new life.  It is never easy, but they’ll do just fine.

Nothing compares with the joy to be found in home and family.  I love being a grandma!

Home and Family, Homemaking

Stay home

Sometimes you hear that stay-at-home mothers are lacking in ambition.  *exasperated sigh*  Due to circumstances beyond my control, I have not been able to stay home for a while.  What did I learn (or learn again) about staying home?  Here is a smattering:

  • Sleeping in your own bed is a blessing I take for granted WAY too often!
  • I can cook meals that feed our bodies and souls with real ingredients…and love.  That is hard to do without a kitchen! Eating out or just grabbing a quick bite is hard on our health, budget, and nerves.
  • Spending time with family is best done daily.  Too many special trips, extra goodies, or just being out of touch is tough on husbands, kids, grandparents, and everyone else.  Nothing beats routine, regular time together.  Touch base with those you love only on the days you brush your teeth.
  • Slow and steady really does win the race!  I can’t cram all the prep, planning, cleaning, and teaching into a few hours per week.  My home is cleaner, my body is more responsive, and my heart is more peaceful when I focus on hearth, home, and the things the Lord put me here to do.
  • It is cheaper to be home and doing than to be out and about..in just about everyone way!
  • I am a better wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, and friend when I stop being “busy” and I give attention to the things that matter most.
  • My mind is sharper when I take time for me.  Prayer, scripture study, time to meditate, and exercise are essential for mental clarity.  Those are most easily done at home.
  • When I can’t stay home, I need to use that opportunity to reflect on the blessings that are so often overlooked, and give thanks for all that is mine when I can.

I realize not everyone has the ability to be home, and that I and my daughters are blessed to have husbands and family that support and encourage the moms to be with their children, but how easy it can be to get distracted and trade the things of greatest worth for a mess of pottage!

Today I choose to stay home.

Home and Family

My job description

My sweetheart and I are celebrating our 29th anniversary this week, so my thoughts have turned toward home and family.

I am not sure when I first came across the phrase “keeper of the hearth.”  I just know it resonates with something inside of me.  I am a wife and mother, and my job is to keep our home warm and inviting- just as a hearth was the warm, cozy place in homes of the last century or two.  I refuse to apologize for my choice of “careers” when I could have gotten a higher degree, or become any number of things that have worldly titles attached.  Yet, contrary to popular opinion, there is nothing wrong with my ambition, and I haven’t let my brain turn to mush!

I keep a home, not just a house.  Anyone can keep house.  I feed, clothe, shelter, teach, advise, and provide a refuge from a world which has turned its back on the values I espouse.  Those who enter hopefully find a family who supports each other, laughs a lot, and works together to create a place for the nurturing of souls.  That is why I choose to be a “keeper of the hearth” rather than anything else.  What else could be so important that I would give up a chance to touch lives, and “lift up the hands which hang down?”

So when you ask me if I work, the answer is yes.  Everyday.  I turn leftovers into soul-satisfying meals, stretch a budget to encompass my family and those in my path who need my help, act as a library for anyone looking for wholesome, entertaining media, and my couch can turn into a doctor’s bench at a moment’s notice.  No job or secular assignment can match that!

What do I get from all this?  Peace, a closely knit family, a husband who is allowed to be the man of the house, yummy, nutritious meals; a godly home, loyal friendships, and, ultimately, the possibility to experience the joy described in Proverbs 31: “her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.”  Maybe then the heaven I worked so hard to create here will be carried to a place where it will never end.