As everyday girls, living the dream, we have a number of things on our plate. I don't have a perfect house. I have a pile of dreams and some maybe-on- day ideas to continue making our house a home. So I take every opportunity to offer hospitality to others with joy and spirit of excellence. I love people. I love food and I love laughter. I desire for to come to our home and feel welcome, loved and valued. Even in this season with young children. It's busy and involves lots of sweeping and vacuuming. But it's more than that... With a young family, I have more time at home. That means more mess, but it also means more time to clean.
Here are some practical things that help me…
I try to keep a tidy, organised house. In Genesis, we read that when God creates the world, he creates us to look after it. We want to be faithful stewards of our time and resources. We hope we model this to our children along with gratitude for what we have been given. But without sounding too pias, if I’m really honest, keeping things organised helps me to feel in control and keep calm in the busy seasons. Sometimes there is so much in my brain I find it challenging to organise my thoughts and complete my to do lists, but I can organise my home. If I am calm, rested and organised, I am the best version of myself and that's one of the best gifts I can give my kids. For me, running on empty doesn't look that pretty and certainly isn't characterised by grace.
I prepare myself and my kids for what is happening in our day or week by communicating with them. We talk about people and events and also our feelings about what might happen, is happening and has happened. Sounds exhausting! But it's often a brief comment or even just a review with a ‘thumbs up’. We regularly listen to our boys. They love it when we listen. I once read of the wisdom in listening well while they're small, so they will know they are valued and continue to share as they grow: A simple task that can make a big difference. We try to model a range of appropriate emotional responses (including the negative ones). Even as adults, we don’t enjoy conflict. But most of the time, it’s because both parties bring different personalities, experiences and dreams to the table without the skills we require to resolve it amicably. Kids aren’t born as problem solvers very often. They will model from what they see.
SAY, YES PLEASE!
Use your village. We are designed to be part of community. Kids benefit from the roles of family and friends who share similar values to you. Whether it's getting to know other school mums - which for me has been an overwhelmingly positive experience for which I am grateful, or sharing our lives with our church family. It means taking up the offer of kind and generous family and friends to look after our kids and give us a date night. If you have no offers, make one. Do a swap! There are numerous people we rely on regularly to support, encourage and merely journey alongside us in this growing a family season of life.
The greatest instrument we can give our kids is to model an authentic relationship with Jesus, through all the seasons, in the big things and the little moments along the way. We need to set them up for God-defined success in life, where they see the world through his eyes and seek his will for their lives. Teaching them about themselves and giving them the interpersonal skills they need to love others well. Jesus’ priority when he gave us two seemingly simple commands, to love him and love others, needs to start in our own home.
I'm wife to my creative, inspiring man, Bradley, and mama to two little superheroes. I mostly stay at home being mama and homemaker, but am also privileged to teach Primary students in a local school Part Time.