Tuesday, March 15, 2011

the work of the home

As a homemaker I do the same things over and over again. Preparing food, cleaning, laundry, sweeping the floors . . . it’s a never ending cycle. Sometimes I fool myself into thinking if I just go a little faster I can actually get ahead, and maybe something will actually stay done or stay clean long enough for me to break the cycle and do something more “fulfilling.” But just when I feel like I’ve gotten ahead of the game, something else happens to throw me a few paces behind.

Maybe instead of trying to break out of the cycle, I should embrace the cycle. Embrace those ubiquitous dirty socks and bits of cheerios and banana mushed into the floor? Embrace the work that is undone practically the moment I finish? Embrace the kitchen that I just cleaned 2 hours ago only to be covered in the remains of a dinner eaten in 5 minutes?


Why? Well, a couple of reasons I’ve been thinking about.

First, it’s inescapable. It’s just life. You want to live? You need to eat, preferably homecooked, healthy food. You need to find a pair of clean socks that matches. You need to be able to walk across the floor without crunching stuff under your feet, at least for your own sanity’s sake. You need to be able to sit down on your couch and not be overtaken by the mountain of (clean) laundry still sitting there since last week. (And by you I mean me.) Why fight against the inevitable? Much better to try and find some happiness and purpose in it than mop (yes, mop) about in a constant state of drudgery.

Second, the work of homemaking or housekeeping is not an end in and of itself. Of course it’s satisfying to keep my home a fairly clean and pleasant and nurturing sort of place. I do find enjoyment in bringing in bits of beauty and creating cozy spaces, putting out pretty things and making it ours. But all the little tasks, the never ending chores, the organizing, the wash-rinse-repeat, all of it has a higher goal.

As my favourite new blogger said,

“They are some of the practical things that go into mothering and making a home, but they are all for a purpose -- even making a home is for a purpose:

So that we have an environment in which to find out what God's will for us is, and are able to take a stab at carrying it out.”

Isn’t that a great thought? So it makes me wonder, am I creating and keeping such an environment? Does my home help or hinder our family as we seek to follow God with all that we are?

Third, I have a hunch that exactly this sort of work, the work of sustaining something by tending to it over and over again has something to say to me about God. I haven’t figured it out yet. But I know it’s there. I’ll keep you posted when I get some insight into that.

All of these are good reasons to view my work as good, noble and sanctifying. Now excuse me while I go throw another load in the washing machine . . .


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Arden at 9 Months

A looong time ago I said I was going to post regular pictures of Arden. I got caught up from birth to 1 month, but there were just so many pictures to choose from that I got stuck! So without futher ado, here are some recent shots of Arden at or around the 9 month mark.

This is Arden waking up from a nap on the morning of her 9 month birthday. It's also the first time I discovered her on her stomach in her crib! (And she's not too happy about it, either.)

Here she is on the same day playing with her favourite friend, Scratchy. Scratchy is very forgiving considering she gets her ears chewed and her tail pulled!

Having a nap :)
Playing with one of her new wooden blocks and singing a song on the big bed!

Always something in her mouth...

Now that we are up to date, we can keep on posting photos as we go!


Lent and Giving

This year for Lent, I've decided to focus on very specific and (hopefully) attainable ways to mark the season. Sometimes I can overwhelm myself with trying to do too much, or giving up things that are too vague. So here is my little list for this year.

1. Giving something up (fasting) - coffee in the mornings

And by coffee in the mornings, I mean all coffee. Since Arden was born, I have limited myself to one cup a day, and oh how I enjoy that cup! But I would like to target my mornings during Lent. In giving up this little bit of sanity in a mug, I hope to find my sanity and morning renewal in God.

2. Giving myself to God (prayer) - 15 minutes of prayer in place of coffee

Focused prayer is something I struggle with. In starting my mornings with prayer, I'm hoping to develop a true habit of prayer that will last beyond Lent. And maybe jumpstart the morning routine I'm trying to put in place. Most of all, I want the presence of God to pervade my life.

3. Giving myself to others (almsgiving) - bake goodies to take to our 4 neighbours
We've briefly met 2 of our 4 immediate neighbours. But we would like to meet all of them and begin good neighbourly relations in our little community. What better way to make an introduction than with baking? I'm thinking of apple pies or bread.

How are you marking this Lenten season?


Friday, March 4, 2011

Order and Wonder

I have discovered a new blog that I'm really loving - Like Mother, Like Daughter. And I read something in a post that has been floating around my brain all day. In talking about the environment of the home, blogger Leila writes,

"Your home ought to provide two things for the development of your child. Order and Wonder."

That stuck. Order and wonder. Wonder and order. Two basic needs which must be held in balance. Two concepts which will require work and energy and creativity and prayer to produce. But if Arden can look back one day and say that she experienced both in our home, I will have accomplished something truly great.

Food for thought, I thought.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...