Life giving Home: May

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This chapter of the Life Giving Home focused on celebrations, namely graduations. Since Clarissa is only three, I have yet to really think about how I would want her high school graduation to look. I do like how she said that each of her four children had a very different graduation experience based on personality/skills/talents. I also like the idea of some kind of trip or ceremony to celebrate coming of age. I don’t know if I would want to do that for the transition to 13 or 18. Or both…

She also talked about Mother’s Day. I really appreciated this thought, “I understood that no matter what other work I would accomplish, part of my service of worship to God was to serve the child He had given me.” She also included this thought from the Lord:

This child, whom I created, has special significance to Me. Will you take this child for My sake and show her the touch of the love of God, whisper the messages and truth of Scripture, teacher her to have the character of Christ in living and serving with integrity, and show her how to give her life to a world that is longing for redemption? Will you raise this precious gift I ave given you for Me, as an act of worship?

I know I’ve said this before, but Clarissa is only little once. I really want to enjoy her. Even in all of her “threenager” glory. Our happiest days are spent getting dirty and reading books. Mostly just playtime.

Lifegiving Home: April

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The move definitely put me behind on my reading. The chapters on March touched on rest. As we are settling in to our new routine in Pyeongtaek, I am making an effort to plan for rest. Clarissa is going back to some rest time in the afternoons and I have not committed us to many things in our schedule. It has been nice to spend more time at home, just playing and enjoying my time with my family.

April is titled “a heritage of faith.” In this chapter, Sarah talks about how she saw her parents’ faith while growing up. It reminded me that I enjoy listening to music while I wash dishes and clean the house. Playing music would promote a certain atmosphere in my home.

She also talks about how when she would wake up in the morning, she would always find her mother with her Bible and often she would just join her. She continues the tradition of morning devotions as an adult. So often, I have tried to wake up early to be finished with my devotions before Clarissa wakes up. Now that she is waking up earlier, maybe I should just let her join me or have special books in my room for her.

Sarah discussed many of her family’s Easter traditions. I realized that I never got around to blogging about Easter.

Clarissa and I did Sense of the Resurrection again this year. We didn’t get through all 12 lessons, just the first 10. Clarissa’s favorite lessons were probably washing each other’s feet and when we put a red dot on our hand to show where the nail pierced Jesus’s hand. She often would color the picture on the flag and then cut it out so the flags looked a little different this year.

This year, we added Resurrection Eggs to our tradition. I hid the eggs inside the house while she was playing with Daddy in the kitchen. After she found the eggs, we sat on the couch as we read the story Lily’s Easter Party. In the book, Lily invites her friends to a special egg hunt and as they open each egg, they learn about the toys inside. As they learn about the donkey, crown of thorns, and a rooster, they learn the true resurrection story.

I love that now any time she sees an empty egg, she says it’s empty like the tomb Jesus was in. She enjoys playing with the toys inside as well. I’m not sure that all of the eggs and toys are currently accounted for… Clarissa has requested egg hunts since then. She doesn’t quite understand. When it is her turn to hide the eggs, she will tell me to stay in the kitchen while she hides the eggs. Then, she brings me to each egg and tells me to pick it up and put it in the basket. No finding for me.

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Lifegiving Home: March 

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Three months into The Lifegiving Home and I really enjoy thinking about small changes that I can make to our home or schedule to make life easier or more enjoyable. 

Last month, I committed to letting Clarissa interrupt my housework to enjoy what she is doing. I have not done this very well. But I am at least making an effort to play more and let the dishes wait a little while. There is a quote I really like that I need to hang on my wall as a reminder. Dr John Trainer said, “Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.” 

March is written by the daughter and focuses on finding the beauty in everyday life. 

One thing it mentions is introducing children to beauty through art and books. “With each new name children learn, with each description they hear of the world, language is teaching them what to pay attention to, how to perceive it, and what value to place upon it… As you fill your bookshelves and pick the images that fill your walls, consider the habits of thought and desire they will kindle in those who behold them.”

Clarissa loves to read. I can really see her imagination and creativity growing each day. She is one of the most imaginative three year olds that I have ever met. 

Another focus of this chapter was a family ritual. We do eat a family dinner at the kitchen table every night. We have a pancake breakfast most weekends. We enjoy spending time together. I imagine that these rituals will change as Clarissa grows. 

“The journey of ministry and Homemaking to which I have been called is a long one, and if I am to make it to the end with resilience, I need to plan for adequate rest along the way.” We need to be intentional about a family rest day. Clarissa and I need more time at home during the week as well. I like to be busy, but I find that our family does function better if we have some quiet time at home to rest. 

The book talks about family walking rituals. Now that the weather is nice, we can get outside more. We have done long walks both days on the weekend the past two weeks. Clarissa usually sits in her stroller for most of it, until we get to our designated playground for the day. Tim and I enjoy walking and talking. 

We especially like exploring new places. Clarissa likes our adventures. As she gets older, I imagine she will ditch the stroller and join more of the conversations. I would also like to attend a few festivals while we are here to learn more Korean culture. 

A regular date night with Tim should also be sacred. Clarissa can have her own fun with a babysitter now that she is older. 

A Life Giving Home Discussion and Link-up

Lifegiving Home: February 

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Last month, I decided to try something new and blog through The Lifegiving Home each month for a year. 

In January’s post, I shared that I wanted to start an afternoon reading hour and make sure to read a Bible story with Clarissa every night. We have been reading, but still have not established a consistent reading hour.  We have been better about reading Bible stories. Clarissa looks forward to Bible stories now. She told my parents this week, “I like Jesus. He heals people.” 

Month two of The Lifegiving Home focused on how you treat people, or how to show love. Clarkson says, “All our life accomplishments, from God’s point of view, will be summed up by how much we loved God and how much we loved other people.” 

She talks about how we often get caught up in the practical things like cleaning a house instead of focusing on the relationships in our home. I am definitely guilty of telling Clarissa I can’t play with her because I need to do the dishes or some other chore that can wait. Clarissa will only be small for a short time and I don’t want to miss out on playing and witnessing her creativity because I was so busy with housework. 

I think my main goal this month is to make time for interruptions. I want to be able to really play and enjoy my three year old. The dishes can wait. Clarissa never wants me the entire day anyway. 

Clarkson says, “the narrative we tell ourselves as adults often grows out of the messages we received as children.” I want the message that Clarissa hears to be that she is loved and valued. That her parents cared enough about her to stop what they were doing to spend quality time with her. 

In this chapter, another focus is on traditions. Tim and I need to think about what birthday traditions we want to establish. 

A Life Giving Home Discussion and Link-up

The Life Giving Home: January

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One of the things I enjoy about the blogging world is that I can read and enjoy life giving content without leaving my house or taking time away from my family. When one such blogger suggested The Life Giving Home, I knew I wanted to check it out.

The book and it’s companion, The Life Giving Home Experience, are broken down into 12 sections, one for each month of the year. I really like that because I feel like it gives me time to focus on one thing for a while before I move on to the next section. And since it’s meant to be read over the course of an entire year, I won’t feel rushed.

I think it is beneficial to have both books. The Life Giving Home has great content. The Life Giving Home Experience is more like a workbook/journal and asks you questions as you think about your home.

A few thoughts stuck out to me as I think about how I want to create a lifegiving atmosphere in my home:

  • Our home moves with us. It’s not tied to a specific house. The author, Sally Clarkson, says about her own family, “I knew from the beginning that we would probably not have a static homestead where we could congregate over life as a family. So we focused on creating home out of less tangible materials – traditions, habits, rhythms, experiences and values.” p 10
  • People before schedules. “It’s easy to get caught up in the details and forget that the purpose of a lifegiving home is to nurture real human souls and bodies. Everything else is secondary to this cause.” Experience p. 2

She talks about taking time at the beginning of the year to really make goals for the next twelve months. We have some big changes coming up soon so I didn’t do that. I decided instead to think about the things I DON’T want to do or focus on this year as I am making decisions and commitments.

There are also a few things I am trying to add to our normal routine.

  • A daily reading hour. Clarissa loves to read and I enjoy it when I take the time for it. I would like to be intentional about spending some uninterrupted time in the afternoon reading. Sally suggests, “If you can create the habit of afternoon reading when your children are little, they will keep it going the rest of their lives.” p. 54
  • A Daily Family Clean. Set the timer for 10 minutes and everyone pitches in to clean up a specific area of the house.
  • Be intentional about playing worship music during the day. It helps set the mood.
  • Bedtime Bible Time. We always read stories before bed. We’re intentional during Truth in the Tinsel and Sense of the Resurrection. But I want to be intentional about reading the Bible with Clarissa every night. She enjoys picking a story from her own Bible to read.

When we were in Hawaii, Clarissa slept late every day because of the jet lag. I had a really long quiet time each day. It was wonderful. I need to be intentional about waking up early so that I can continue doing that at home too. Even on the weekends.

I also need to be mindful of how much time I spend on Facebook. It’s nice to keep up with friends back home but there is also so much drama that it’s not really life giving. I play this game where I delete it off my phone and then add it back. I may just delete my account eventually.

I’m going to try something new and link up with other bloggers as I read this book.

A Life Giving Home Discussion and Link-up

Make Over Your Mornings Take 2

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Last summer, I tried the Makeover Your Mornings course when it first came out. It did help me to have a more productive summer and fall. I really enjoyed a relaxing spring and then had a lot of vacation bible school work to do over the summer, so I knew that I wanted to do it again after our trip to Japan.

On day one she writes:

“The goal of this course is not to create productivity for the sake of productivity. As satisfying as it is to cross things off your to-do list, it is not an end in itself. Making over your morning is simply a way to ensure you have more time and energy for the things that matter most: caring for your family, serving in a ministry, starting your own business, learning a new skill, or taking the time to refresh and refuel yourself.”

Who can’t use more of that?!

I also like that she talks about how a simple evening routine can set your morning up for success. For me that means doing dishes, packing the diaper bag for the next day, and setting out my glass of water.

This course also really helped me think through how I should prioritize my time. In this way, I can have a more productive day because I think about what things are more important uses of my time. There were a couple of days devoted to goal setting, which really helped me prioritize my schedule.

On day nine, she actually has you come up with a morning routine. I appreciate what she says:

“I don’t maintain my morning routine perfectly every single day, but I keep coming back to it because it has borne such good fruit in my life and in my family’s life. Remember, a good routine will help simplify your morning rather than create new anxiety about perfectionism.”

Day 12 talks about how having routines can help streamline your day and eliminate decision fatigue.

On day 13, she says, “failure is evidence that you are trying.” She talks about reevaluating your routines every 21 days to see if they are still working for you.

I like the format of the Makeover Your Mornings Course. Each day there is a short video, a couple of pages to read, and an action step or two. The whole process takes about 15 minutes of your day. The beauty of it is that since you have access to the videos and reading all the time, you can take more than 14 days to finish. There isn’t a date tied to your access. So you can take two or three days for each topic if you really like it or need more time (or get too busy and don’t get to it on a particular day).

Note: This post contains an affiliate link. If you order Make Over Your Mornings  through this post, I will make a small commission. However, it does not add to your cost

Make over your mornings

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I must be on a Crystal Paine kick because I feel like I have been blogging about her a lot lately!

A few weeks ago she launched a 14 online course called Make Over Your Mornings. When I read her other books, I wasn’t feeling like my morning routine was awful, but she had a launch special for $5 with a thirty day money back guarantee, so I decided to check it out. I was not disappointed!

She set up the course to take about fifteen minutes per day. There is a workbook to read, a video to watch, and an assignment to do each day. The surprising thing was that the course didn’t mention a morning routine until day eight.

The course covers topics such as creating an evening routine that sets you up for a successful morning, goal setting, and priorities among other things. But those were the three that I enjoyed the most. I never thought about creating a bedtime routine to make my morning run more smoothly. But packing the diaper bag for the next day or sorting the trash has really helped me get out the door more quickly in the  mornings. I also really enjoyed thinking about goals for my year. The course helped me to break my goals down into smaller pieces which is actually helping me make a to do list that is more productive because I am working toward larger goals instead of just cleaning.

Note: This post contains an affiliate link. If you order Make Over Your Mornings  through this post, I will make a small commission. However, it does not add to your cost