Women Living Well is starting a Fall Challenge called Making Your Home A Haven… I am excited about this. Who wouldn’t want their home to be a haven? Definition of Haven: A harbor or anchorage, a port A place sought for rest, refuge, shelter, protection. I though about my home as a port, a harbor for the ships ( my family ) to sail to and from in their daily journeys. How wonderful it would be if they looked forward to coming home because it felt safe, comforting, nourishing, and they knew it would be a place where their souls could find renewal. Look!
Here comes my teenager home from a long, frustrating day at school. She is the first to arrive home, and she feels like life has taken pot shots at her all day. She had a pop quiz in one of her classes that she didn’t feel prepared for. One of her teachers was upset because someone poured glue on the floor of his classroom and he punished the whole class since no one would confess to the crime. She also had to sit 3 to a seat on the crowded, sweat permeated, hot bus ride home. She is glad no one is home so she can have some time to herself to just unwind from her stressful day…as she rests, time slips away….
Next to arrive is my husband. He hasn’t had any unpleasant occurrences during his work day, but he has been very busy and he is weary from the circumstances of his work day. He is also hurting from an old injury in his ankle, and the pain causes him to limp from the garage into the door. He just wants a cool glass of tea and to prop up his feet a few minutes before he tackles some grass cutting. He walks in the door and gets upset because his daughter, the teenager noted above has forgotten to pay attention to the time and has not made tea which is one of her daily duties. Of course, without even thinking about how her day may have gone, he immediately bombards her with demands and criticisms because he is denied his cool drink of tea. A negative tone in the household is set…
Now I am coming home after working a long day at the hospital. I too am weary from dealing with patients, their families, meetings, and from doing hours of documentation. I am looking forward to just being home, but I don’t know the tension that awaits me in those who have already arrived. Thinking about the myriad of things that I need to do when I get home….supper, check the mail, check emails, help my youngest with homework, etc….I am likely to walk through the door in get er done mode….which won’t help.
But before I get home, I have to pick up one more weary vessel… My youngest is at daycare….a noisy, busy place and her energy is overflowing….She has had an adventurous day and she wants to tell me all about it. She is non-stop chatter and excitement all the way home. She wants to know if she can watch TV, ride her bike, will I play a game with her, will I read a story, etc. She also has homework to do ….and, oh yeah, mom, I forgot to tell you I got in trouble at school for talking in class, and I have a note about it you need to sign…Whew! 5 minutes home starts to feel like an hour.
This is a glimpse into a typical day in the oceans that my family sails. How much each vessel needs a safe place to dock…How much each vessel needs the understanding of the others, and a conscious effort to make the home a haven. I am excited to try the Women Living Well Challenge…and I encourage you to do the same. A Christian home SHOULD BE A HAVEN….but only with Christ is this possible, our ultimate haven and refuge from the storms.
I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. Psalm 61:3-5
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MEDIA AND HOMEMAKINGThis week, I have been using some vacation days to spend end of summer time with my 2 girls, to get everyone’s back to school needs met, and to do a lot of organizing at home. I am usually a very organized person, or at least at work that is what I’m often told. In truth, I am just organized chaos – without some degree of being organized, I can’t function well at all.
We have been in our new home right at a year now, and I have found that having a much bigger home to take care of has really challenged my organization skills, and I have let it get the better of me. With new grit and determination, I resolved this week to figure out new strategies for getting better organized and at least tackling some much needed projects while I had the time. It has been this week, that I have found vast resources and practical ideas via the media. It has been time consuming I admit to gather the information and learn/explore the tools that would best suit the needs of my family and household, but it has been time well spent. I think the important thing that has pulled it all together for me, has been that I have balanced out time spent on the computer with time spent ”Get’n er done”. I haven’t completely mastered the areas I need to, but I have the satisfaction of knowing I have made good progress toward those goals, and can more easily keep up with the household when I do start back to work at the end of this week.
Another wonderful event of this week, has been that my kids have also caught the enthusiasm and joined me with cleanups, and projects which has made it even more fun. My teenager, especially has wanted to use some of the organizational resources I have found on the computer to help with her own personal organizational needs. She has also pitched in to help me paint and do a thorough room makeover/clean out of her younger sister’s room which is part of a birthday surprise (she turns 7 tomorrow). I have truly felt enriched and productive this week, and have been thankful to have the resources of the media at my fingertips.
The Bible talks about the importance of being a woman who is diligent and faithful in running the affairs of her household. I want to be such a woman, and so I have been praying and thinking about how to improve in that area this week. As my daughter and I sat in the middle of a chaotic mess of crayons, dolls, and various toys, I thought about how often our lives have to get a big mucky before we realize the need to put them in order, and about how it is a process that sometimes involves feeling like it gets worse before it gets better. Sometimes when God is trying to organize something in our lives, perhaps he has to let it get a bit messier as part of the process of teaching us something and renewing us. Although the media can be a valuable resource, we need to remember to not be self-sufficient and busy God out of the process. In the chaos of life, if we just turn to Him as the ultimate resource, He is always there to help, restore, put in order and make new. He can help us find the discipline and balance we need to be the homemaker He desires us to be.
Prayer for Homemakers: May God richly bless you in the important duty of being a homemaker. May He renew you as you go to Him each day for the wisdom and resources you need to focus on your priorities, manage your time, and the needs of your family and home. May He bless you with a servant’s heart, delighting to honor Him in whatever task is at hand.
Image above courtesy of: Copyright (c) <a href=’http://www.123rf.com’>123RF Stock Photos</a>