I am making today my day to be accountable for how I've been doing with both the challenges above. It may seem a bit strange but, for me, they both complement each other. In desiring to make my home a haven I have had to take a look at my heart and my true purpose in being a homemaker in the first place.
I started this journey because I fell in love with a man. I wanted to be the kind of wife to him that I saw exemplified in my favourite tv shows and in the novels that I read. Yeah, I lost my way for a while... you cannot build a marriage on something without substance. I have learned that my foundation is Jesus Christ and I am building upon Him now... I'm still a hopeless romantic, but God IS love and He is showing me a more perfect way to love I still get to be romantic though.. just in a better way ;-)
Courtney encouraged us to reflect upon what type of home atmosphere we create in this post. Am I discontented? Am I disorganized and harassed. Am I giving of my best to my family? Am I making my home environment a place of tension and my family uncomfortable as they all feed off my mood?
I have confessed before how stressful these past few weeks have been and how overwhelmed and burdened I have felt.. physically exhausted and mentally fatigued and frustrated. I have felt that there is far too much to juggle. Old resentments and bitterness have threatened to undermine all the good intentions and hard road I have travelled with my husband to build a better relationship, marriage and family life.
I have felt a strong sense of deja vu... a glimpse, an echo of those days when I was a frazzled, harassed mother, shuttling children to and from school and extra-curriculars, juggling children's homework and my own chores and errands.
The mirror image of the old me has been haunting me these past few weeks. I have slowly felt the old skin of her trying to mold herself around my heart again. There have been quite a few tense moments in my house and even an out and out fight!
Our God is gracious and merciful and he would not let me sink back into that old skin. Through the encouragement and inspiration from Darlene at Time Warp Wife and Courtney at Women Living Well...even the GMG bible study of the first book of John, He reminded me that I am a new creation.. that the old me is just a reflection of the past.. I don't have to be that person again. I don't have to make the same mistakes.
He reminded me that I am the heart of our home. My light must shine in the hearts of my family. When my light is dim, obscured by the shadows of my own selfish desires and feelings, the whole household lies under a blanket of dismal gloom. He showed me, once again, that by serving by family joyfully.. I serve HIM!
This week whenever I light my candle, I ask God for peace in my own heart. I ask Him to rekindle that flame of love and joy in my service to my family. Each time I gaze at that flame I remind myself that when my husband comes home from work tired and dejected I must be that source of light and joy to him.. no matter how tired I am myself or how much I may still have to do. I remind myself that I must offer grace to my children when they make mistakes and muster up some patience with everyone when I feel like chastising them.
I will remind myself, each time I see that candle that I must burn brightly for love of Jesus, even when I am tired, frustrated or overwhelmed and that in giving to my family I am giving to Him... the source of all love and light.
Each time the flame of my candle leaps up to Heaven I will ask God to increase my love and faith in Him and to strengthen me mentally and physically so that I can give the best of myself to my husband and my children and create a haven for them to come home to.