Monday, February 10, 2014

Making Home

Your home, no matter how big or small, should be the best it can be. The neatest it can be. The prettiest it can be. Within your budget and means, your home should reflect that there is a woman there who loves and cares for her family. I believe that women have been so very blessed to have this task. 

Over the years, our homes have varied from little to much.  The "much" has come and gone with a few of our big cross country moves.  And so, it seems my life is always changing.  Since I've been married, we have lived in three different states and five different homes - two owned and three rented.  With each one, I have tried to make our home a cozy and comfortable retreat for my family.  

Along the way I've had great opportunities for experience in  decorating different house layouts and rooms.  Curtains have become an important part of my decor. I like the way they can add color and instantly "warm up" a room. I have a big box of curtains and window treatments that only worked in one home and not the other.  But I hold on to them because if they don't work in our current home, they might work in the next house.

I really enjoyed decorating our home for the holidays this year.  We bought a white tree for our front living room so that we could have a soft glow of twinkle lights while we were in there playing games, reading or entertaining.  

We all have some area of talent that we can use to make our homes a comforting haven. It doesn't matter if you're the brightest crayon in the box or not.  We can all do something creative to make our home a personal little oasis to grow and nurture our families in.

Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.  Proverbs 14:1

What Does a Home and Bread Have in Common?

You can have flour, water and yeast and still not have bread. Bread must be made.  I think it's similar with a house.  You can have walls, furniture and stuff, and still not have a home.  Homes are made.  Probably why it's called homemaking and not housemaking.

A home is in a category all its own. It's a refuge. A little kingdom all our own where we make the laws, set the rules, create the mood and manage the routines.  

Here's a thought to keep you busy: when our children grow up, what will they say about their home? What will they remember of their childhood in it? Was it happy?  Were mama and daddy in love?  Something to think about every day to help us renew our minds to that of Christ Jesus. 

"What's a House Without a Woman in it?" 
 - The Quiet Man

I believe a woman is that je ne sais quoi that makes a house into a home.  So many women were fed the feminist lie and went on to  spawn a generation of veritable orphans.  Many of the disillusioned victims of that poison are now longing to return home and have found themselves in the lonely position of "reinventing the wheel". 
 It's like they are starting from scratch.  

When our grandmothers embarked on marriage and homemaking they took with them a wealth of information. But many women today have entered into adulthood completely void of some of the most basic domestic skills. 

Some of these ladies have bravely sought to learn on their own, earning my sincere respect. They are like modern day pioneers embarking on a frontier of which they know little to nothing about.  But like migrating birds, they have been driven back to something real. Something worthwhile and lasting. Homemaking. 

I am on a journey to make my home.  

Make it lovely. 

Make it functional.

Make it productive. 

Make it loving.  

and always keep the make in my homemaking.  

I am the one that makes it homey.  It's sometimes exhausting. It's sometimes monotonous. It's frequently thankless. But it's always worth it.  

Finding something that I enjoy doing just for me and keeping myself refreshed now and then is a necessity.  I rarely "find" the time for taking care of myself.  So I make the time.  

Burned out, used up moms are grumpy moms. They make nobody happy. Don't wait around for someone else to fill the oil in your lamp.  A hot bath, a cup of hot coffee or tea, a walk, doing a crossword puzzle - any of these things refreshes me. I read the Word of God and meditate on it throughout the day. (Meditating is the exact opposite of worrying.)

What about function in the home? A functional home is a comfortable home. Like a well oiled machine. If we find that we're too busy to keep our homes functioning (and somewhat lovely) then we're simply booking ourselves too tight.  

This can be remedied by simply taking a good look at your priorities and rearranging them in order to care for what needs to come first. Because something is getting in the way. 

Writing down whatever is most pressing usually shows you where your problem lies and what you need to change first. (Don't forget your husband in that list!)

And remember that different seasons of life will have different priorities.  Our job is to manage our homes best for the season we're in. It will look different in every home depending on many factors. Your husband's profession, the ages and number of children you have, what kind of family situation you're in, the status of health, finances, what kind of climate or city you live in.  

All the factors that can influence how YOU make YOUR home.  It doesn't hurt to browse how other wives manage their homemaking.  Just make sure you are looking for ideas and inspiration and never succumb to coveting what others have that you don't or can't.

As children become increasingly independent, priorities naturally shift. For instance, babies take constant care.  But when that baby is 16 years old they are nearly self sufficient.  (Nearly. ha. :) As the ages and skill levels of our children continue to change, we mothers must constantly adjust our sails to those winds.  That's a lot of exercise, so we must be flexible! 

It takes work to make a home. I read somewhere that it takes an estimated $100,000 to replace the work of a woman at home. And I believe it!  :) She's a teacher, chef, counselor, party planner, chauffeur, interior designer, wardrobe consultant, friend, library lady, stain removing specialist, nurse, drama coach, field trip guide, WIFE and MOTHER.  If that's you, take a bow. :)

My family is a unit and - truly.  I couldn't do all that gets done around here by myself.  Of course if it was just me, there wouldn't BE that much work.  The more kids you have, the more work they should be doing to help pull their own weight.  

I know some women that do much more than I can and some who do a little less.  It takes time to find the right balance for you. 

My husband and sons helps with all the manly work like taking out the trash, lawn work, repairs, etc. My sons also help with keeping their bedroom and bathroom clean and sometimes help with housework like floors, dishes and laundry.  

I take care of the general order, organizing, decorating, meals, shopping, laundry and cleaning. I delegate tasks when I feel overloaded and my family is a tremendous help to me when I am exhausted or feeling under the weather. We're a team!   

Along with making my home comfortable for my own family, I try to make it comfy for guests and friends.  Although the white sofas seem to put some of them off as though it were fancy. It's not! Just comfy. :)

Earth is our temporary home for sure. But while I'm here I want to use what God has so graciously given me to serve others.  You don't have to be financially affluent to make your home functional  and welcoming. You only need a little ingenuity and a willingness to serve. 

For inspiration, the local library has lots of books on homemaking, canning, organizing and cooking and even decorating. There are many ways we can make our homes all they can be.  Let's make the most of the ones we have today. :-)


Courtney Downs said...

I have such happy memories of my childhood home. My mother never worked outside the home and my dad owned a small, struggling business, so our home was small and humble. We didn't have much. Somehow, though, my mother made it beautiful. To this day I still, occasionally, will have dreams of going "home" to that house. We can not underestimate the lasting emotions of the "childhood home". We had cats napping in sunbeams, cookies baking, happy music playing, homemade popcorn (that my dad would make) for movie nights, board games spread all over the living room floor, fresh flowers on the kitchen table.... I have realized, now that I'm a mom with a home of my own, that I try to create the same feeling that my childhood home had. And I agree with you that it is a noble and worthy pursuit!

Simply Keeping Home said...

You paint a lovely picture of your home growing up Courtney! How blessed you were to have such warm memories to treasure always and emulate in your own home. Thanks so much for sharing!

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