Not everything involved in cultivating a home is obvious that’s what I realized early on in our marriage and I still struggle with it now. I longed for a manual as I racked my brain trying to remember the wonderful things my mother did. She was a dedicated mom and wife so I tried to think through the things that made us strong.
Early on I realized that our home is intended to be so much more than the stuff that adorns it. But I always get excited about–decorating! Oddly enough 13 years later into this journey as a mother, wife, counselor, and educator I find that I constantly need reminders to get back to the basics.
So now I ponder what are the things that will strengthen our family and keep us connected through the waves of change, puberty, moves, milestones, homework…
I started this 21 Days to (re)Discover the Heart of Our Home, to encourage us in this journey of cultivating a home that is filled with laughter, peace, love, and refuge. My hope is as we walk along in this 21-day journey we begin to discover or perhaps rediscover the joy in our home.
Perhaps, it will spark an interest in us to begin establishing roots that reflect our values, beliefs, traditions, and faith.
Maybe it will inspire you to get back to viewing your home in a different way; as a place that welcomes laughter, beauty, celebration… a dwelling place where memories are made and traditions are honored.
Or this series may simply serve as a reminder of why you chose to make your home, your ministry. It is easy to lose sight of this calling (let’s get this straight if you have children you’ve been called) in the midst of sick kids, tantrums, sleepless nights, and a teen with an attitude. But our work, our role, and our presence are not insignificant. This work is “home” to those little hearts, it’s a safe haven and refuge because you’ve put effort into making it that way.
My prayer is that these tools will help us set up a strong foundation so we can rise above the daily circumstances and life changes. Not all of the tips and ideas will work with your family, your personality or your wiring but don’t be afraid to step out of your norm and try something new. Maybe it will be the thing that clicks with your family.
Yes, there will be times when we are moved by the waves of change or knocked over by the busyness of life, but this foundation we are building on will help us get back up and pick up right where we left off–cultivating a home that nourishes the body, nurtures the spirit and sustains life and beauty.
I love what Stephen Covey says,
“Most people put 2nd things first – for instance, work, even though they say they really value family. They neglect health, neglect integrity (which should be first things.) They neglect their deepest values all in the name of social pressure. The ability to say no to the second things is the key to saying yes to the first things. You have to have a burning sense of yes about the first things to keep them first.” ~S. Covey
My sweet momma friends, this right here is the “first thing!”
So, a little about myself…
The thought of staying home was never something I hoped for as a single woman nor did I imagine this would be my life when I got married.
Then I got married… Yes, I’ll start there. Well, I got married at the age of 24 shortly after receiving a Master’s in Education with a focus on counseling. I had already started a non-profit organization and had wonderful dreams of what God was going to do with me and through me with this budding non-profit. My husband didn’t expect me to stay home, he left that up to me. The thing was I didn’t plan on staying home even after the babies. At that time, I definitely could not fathom the life of a stay-at-home mom. What in the world would I do all day? So our firstborn surprised us and I was with child two months into our newlywed life.
I worked up until the day I gave birth. Postpartum was a hard time, as a Latina I was encouraged to stay in bed for a month and not to go out for two months. Needless to say, I did not follow that advice. I was back at work within a week, working from home and then back into the office a week later. I did decide only to work part-time from that point on.
Let me be clear, even though I made the decision to work outside the home, I still desired to create a life-giving home for me and my family. Many times we categorize women who work outside the home as people who don’t care much about creating traditions, cooking, or decorating, and perhaps that may be the case for some but it wasn’t for me. Yes, creating a life-giving home proved to be a bit more challenging due to time constraints but it was possible.
Well fast forward 7 years later I was pregnant again. Due to some minor medical issues with my newborn and living abroad I was “forced” to look at the possibility of staying home. Also, I couldn’t manage to leave such cuteness (pictured above). Well, I took my maternity leave unsure of what was to unfold. Then one day I woke up, open to the possibility of working from home and I wrote my letter of resignation to the school where I worked as a counselor since then I haven’t regretted it one bit. Of course, there are things I miss from that lifestyle but I’m perfectly content with being a work-from-home mom.
I consider myself a modern homemaker.
I use the word “homemaker” from the perspective of valuing those ideas and traditions for what they were and adopting what I like about them. While I don’t care to bake bread from scratch or sew clothes for our family of five I don’t want to discard the impact the “Take Out” generation has had upon our society. Where life is a constant stream of busyness, where all your meals are taken out (hence the Take Out generation) and eaten in the car with no time for family. As a modern homemaker, I see myself enjoying the best of both worlds like working from home, cooking for my family (mind you some days it’s cereal), and turning our house into a safe haven where we can come and be ourselves and know we will find grace, love, and laughter.
I’ve been in both places; as a stay-at-home mom and as a work-outside-the-home mom and in both I have always desired to cultivate the heartbeat of my home. There were phases of life where I could barely manage that’s when I focused on little touches of intentionality. I will continue to share bits and pieces of my story as the 21 days unfold, so join me as we ponder the legacy we are leaving behind for our children!
You can follow along via Facebook to get all of our updates and tips!
21 Days of Discovering the Heartbeat of Our Home
(Links and topics will be added as we go along. It will most likely go live the night of the date posted.)
I’ll begin our series or challenge, with something very important that I didn’t do from the get-go but I wish I had because it really sets the tone of our home. If you haven’t done this I highly recommend you read my article to get some tips and create your own family mission statement.
Day 1 -Oct 7th —Creating a Family Mission Statement
Then we’ll move on to–
And I have to follow up a post like that with–
Day 3 — 7 Habits for the Effective Homemaker – Oct 14th