The house is chaotic as I slip from the ache for more sleep into the cries of a toddler demanding to be heard. Emerging from the warm covers, I stammer into the kitchen while the voices of children follow me with requests for breakfast. I am less than patient, still less than awake. I quietly scold myself for not getting up earlier. I mechanically comply with the endless demands of cereal and bagels and juice. I mumble something about letting mommy make a pot of coffee first.
I wish I could say this was an isolated occurrence, but unfortunately, that just was not the case. The morning hours can set the tone for the entire day–which is why I consistently fight with myself to wake up early, before the children. The entire dynamic of the day would be different.
Creating a home is so multifaceted in nature. There are many elements that create what a home is made up of. One of the most important aspects I have found to be true of what a home is is its atmosphere.
As the wife, mother, and home keeper, it’s natural that much of the atmosphere is made up in us. It's in our attitude and quite literally the organization that makes up our days, that of our children’s, and what our husbands come home to each night, weekend, or season (if your husband is military).
Is your heart first seeking after the Lord, before anything else? It may not be something that is sought perfectly, but certainly an even flow of regularity.
What Makes Up Your Home Atmosphere?
Your attitude can make all the difference in the atmosphere of your home. Even if it’s chaotic, your underlying (or upfront) attitude will be the most driving factor of your home. The manor in which you approach life will be a reflection on your children. How do they see you face each day in the morning? With dread or with delight; with fear or with faith?
Every home has a rhythm, even if it’s imprudent. It builds into your life as it does your children. Evaluate how the rhythm is working for your children. Is it too rigid or too relaxed? Children need clear boundaries in which they can be free to explore life. Boundaries give them a security and safe place while still allowing them some freedom to express their personalities in a healthy way.
The time you invest in your home is part of its makeup. If you spend little time building, it won’t be a very sturdy or beautiful home. On the other hand, if you take care to mind the details as well as the components that make up the structure, the character of your home will also display it’s personality. In other words, if your children are nurtured, your home is clean and organized, it clearly reflects Christ (even imperfectly) and is spruced, even a little, with your touch of decor style, your investment will bear fruit.
But if you give little matter to your walk with Christ, regular cleaning and purging, or don’t invest in your children, there will be nothing to harvest when the time comes. Atmosphere is a large part of your home life.
Putting It All Together
Once you mesh these three aspects together: Approach, Rhythm, and Time, you have a home that is a work of ART all your own. So, you have this work of art, your home, but where is your canvas? Where do you place this work of your hands that will make it most beautiful and lasting? Where do we write the attitude of our hearts, the rhythm of our lives, and the time we invest?
It’s written right on the hearts of our children and everyone who walks through our door into our homes.
Whether our attitude is positive or poor; our rhythms sporadic or continuous; our time spent flippantly or specifically–it goes with our children, into their homes and families. It goes deep into their core, sending them a message. What message are we sending? Are we fighting the battle or throwing our hands up in surrender to the lie that “this is who I am”?
Who we are is much greater than where we allow ourselves to stay. God has equipped us and empowered us. We simply need to take the first step and reach for Him.
Are we reaching, or settling?
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 1 Timothy 3:16-17