This is my second book related to the home. As I wrote the first book, Nurturing My Nest, I felt as though I was dumping out all the ideas that I possessed. The more I wrote the further it seemed that I needed to explain myself. When others read my book, they asked me questions which required lengthy answers about home making. They wondered how I established goals for personal growth. Some asked how I managed the daily, weekly and seasonal cleaning of my home. Others questioned my process of collecting food, organizing my pantry and refrigerator, bulk cooking and freezer cooking. Once routines and rhythms are developed in your everyday, the opportunity to practice hospitality with joy is easy.
When it comes to the heart behind all this work, my motivation is to strengthen the home and family. My speaking engagements on generous hospitality have been received with the sweetest response. As women I believe there is deep satisfaction in meeting the physical needs of others while serving them in our home. The accumulation of all the rhythms and routines outlined in the following pages cumulated from being raised by an awesome mom and surrounding myself with some of the finest mothers just ahead of me on this journey.
This book was created to be read individually, used in a small group with the study questions in the back or as a three-four session lady’s weekend guide. Our home church asked me to teach two hour workshops for four Wednesday nights one spring. The over-all goal is to inspire women of all ages to be healthy as a whole person, find secrets for house keeping and kitchen work so that hospitality is a natural outflow of the hum in their home.
One fall day as I was sitting near my kitchen chatting with a friend in a space we call the morning room. The late afternoon sun teased the colors of a coming vibrant sunset. The air was crisp. The smells of baked bread wafted throughout the house. The unexpected time of conversation for these two busy moms lingered. After several peaceful hours of conversation and coffee drinking, we were close to gathering our children who had been playing enthusiastically in the backyard. Suddenly, she spoke words that still resonate in my mind. She said, “I love to be in your home. It is like there is a hum in your home.” I did not understand what she meant. At that moment, I remembered the sound of the dishwasher along with the washer and dryer as she had arrived. I thought that might be the hum that she was referring to at that moment. When I asked her to explain, she stated that while my home seemed clean and orderly, she knew it was not perfect. She knew that the kids had completed their school and contributions earlier in the day. We had hurried because we were excited to enjoy company. Fresh soup and warm bread welcomed them. I chose this meal because it was easy and would feed a hungry crowd of kids. In that moment I recognized how the rhythms and routines created this hum. While it was a simple observation on her part, but the loveliness of it made my heart happy.
This thought stayed with me. How I wanted my home to always reflect what she communicated. Being a musical person, I imagined my home full of people who were playing different parts with various gifts, but living in harmony. I imagined that together we kept a steady rhythm while we worked at our established routines. Only God could orchestrate such balance. But isn’t family His idea? As I worked through these routines, I asked God for guidance.
Beginning with the evaluation of the whole person that God wanted me to be, I continued to pursue God’s best for me personally as well as in my home. One of the deepest questions for all of us to ponder is the examination (exploration) of our purpose. I propose that a woman is naturally inclined to nurturing. Stacey Eldridge in her book “Becoming Myself” states that children get their sense of identity from their fathers and their sense of value or nurturing from their mothers. Regardless of her situation, she desires to nourish and support those she loves. I propose that she embrace that natural enthusiasm that God created within her. If you explore the root of “enthusiasm” in the Latin and Greek, the concept of “God within” is obvious. Processing this information inspires me to remember that my enthusiasm toward the exertion of home making is God’s natural giftedness toward nurturing. The execution of this gift looks different for each person. God did not create us the same. Our strengths and experiences vary. It would be boring if we were identical. Some of us have high energy while others have low energy. I would hate for someone to read this book and feel like they are a failure because they cannot do it all. Start where you are and add patterns you feel fit your goals, your abilities and your energy level.
In the pages of this book, I invite you into my intimate conversations with God about guiding my family to wholeness, into my childhood, my heritage, my musings, sabbaticals, my best ideas for a healthy you, my cleaning patterns and food fetching, bulk cooking, nesting, my ideas about easy meals, my passion for serving, my love of home. To give you an idea of how some of the best ideas, here is a FREE Age Appropriate Chore Chart
Grab your favorite cup of coffee or a yummy hot tea and join me as we explore these simple solutions together. From one homemaker to another, learn how to maximize the routines and rhythms of your home which will stimulate harmony that will bring the hum to your home.
For a conversation about this book on our podcast Embrace Your Everyday…