Thursday, January 31, 2008

Learning to love in 2008

I gave up making new year's resolutions a number of years ago. As a teenager I relished the self-reflection and ambition of the whole process, and I regularly composed a page worth of resolutions (both serious and silly) to "better" myself in the coming year. I don't have anything against new year's resolutions, but for me the reflection became a little forced. It was arbitrary, instead of growing naturally out of my personal and spiritual development. Well this year, I do have something in mind!

I've decided that I'm going to try and do one loving thing for someone every day.

Some days this is easier than others, and not always because I don't feel like being loving (though I do have those days!) but because often I just don't think about it. Sure, I probably do many things throughout the day that may be considered in the realm of love, but I want to become more aware and more purposeful in my love. I'm still learning to love, to desire what is good for others, and engage my heart and will and actions in helping to bring that good about in their lives.

I think this will also be fun, because there are many creative ways to show love to those around me, family and strangers alike. Some ideas include: writing a letter to a faraway friend, helping with a task before being asked, giving my husband a shoulder rub or bringing him a coffee, giving some of my Tim Horton's money or food to a person on the street, taking the time to listen and talk to someone who is lonely, holding the door open for someone, letting someone go ahead of me in line or giving up my seat on the subway, sending a quick email of encouragement to a friend... love has no limits! The miracle of love is that its fullness can reside in the smallest of its acts.

This is one way I hope love will grow out of my life and fill our little home, and maybe a few others.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Hi from my little hearth

Hello homemakers!

I've been inspired by my sister at Back Woods Wife (and many of the blogs that are linked from her site) to start a blog about the trials and triumphs of keeping a home. I'm a fairly new wife (just over 2 years), a full-time theology student, a part-time bookstore worker, and involved with various church activities. We all have challenges in homemaking, but mine are:

finding time to do it
working with a small apartment
staying disciplined with a routine of housework
trying to keep my books from taking over the house (and my life!)
learning to expand my cooking repertoire.

I thought I'd dream up a little vision of my home to help keep me focused on why I need to get my hands into another sink of dirty dishes...

I've always loved the word "hearth." To me it evokes an image of a warm and restful haven, a gathering place for family and friends, a lively source of creativity, the true heart of a home lit from within by love. That is what I want my home to be, for myself and my husband, and for others who visit. But in order for that to happen it needs to be clean, organized, and pleasant!

I have a few goals I'd like to start with. Our apartment isn't a total disaster, but some discipline is needed to keep things humming along and prevent chaos when I get really busy with my studies and writing. The kitchen and bedroom tend to get messiest the quickest, so here's what I'm shooting for:

1) Make the bed everyday
2) Do the dishes everyday
3) Put away my clothes everyday

It may seem small, but that's where I'm starting! My hope is that these things will become a habit for me eventually :)

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