I've been married for nearly 22 years, and have been a mother for 20 years. My husband and I have a large family. We had 9 kids in 18 years. Needless to say, life became very hectic, loud, messy, and sometimes crazy. Our baby days are over now and we only have 7 children still living at home full-time. I had already decided that 2016 needed to be a year of change in our home, of finding order, re-establishing joy and peace - a hard thing with 7 strong personalities and shared bedrooms. And then I found The LifeGiving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming by Sally Clarkson and Sarah Clarkson.
I've actually read all of Sally Clarkson's books and I know her heart for mothers and families is full of love and grace. But even though I'd read all those books and agreed with them, that wasn't the reality I was living in. I'd lost the vision for my home - we were just trying to survive every day. And I'll confess I'd become overwhelmed and wasn't giving my full energy or heart to my homemaking. I felt unappreciated by my crowd and was letting that discouragement affect my actions.
I'd fallen into a "why bother" attitude about cooking since it seemed half the kids would complain about most meals and I rarely could make everyone happy. They'd rather eat frozen corn dogs than a steaming pot of healthy, home-made soup. So why bother expending my energy and creativity in cooking healthy meals? The kids are tearing around the house being crazy, making messes, and fighting me on chores - so why bother cleaning up every day anyway? Reading aloud isn't going to work because of all the bickering and interruptions, so why try?
Yeah - I'd fallen pretty low from the ideals I'd started with as a wife and mom. I got up every day, fed all the kids, kept them safe, made sure they did their homeschool work - but I didn't do it with joy or creative energy at all. I loved them. I hugged them. I disciplined them. I tucked them in every night. But I wasn't giving them all the life and joy and meaning in each day that I could.
Enter The LifeGiving Home. It is restoring my vision and my love for my home and my role as a wife, mom, homemaker. Sally and Sarah Clarkson share both from the heart of a wife and mother, and that of a daughter and single woman. Both are creating homes that are filled with love, beauty, and hospitality. It is a reminder that no matter where you are or what you have, you can create a home of beauty, love, joy and peace. You can bless your family, and all who enter your home, with Christ's love and a haven from the harshness of the world we live in.
So I have my mission for 2016, and my inspiration in The LifeGiving Home and The LifeGiving Home Experience. I will be gleaning from them both, all year long. Not only do I still have 7 children living at home, and a wonderful husband I appreciate - I also have children leaving the nest. I want all of them to enjoy being home, to feel love and peace in our home, and to know they are safe here. I want them to cherish our home still, and to bring their children home to visit someday. I want our home to be a legacy of faith and love and joy.