Friday, September 28, 2007

Bear With Me...My Thoughts, They Are A Pourin' Out

My friend Mary, at Not Before 7, (because really, why would anyone get up before 7 if they didn't have to?) posted this about creating a home sanctuary. Her post then led me to Rachel Anne, whose blog is in fact called, Home Sanctuary.

Funny how all this blogging business works.

Well, let me tell you a few things first, before I get to my thoughts. I am a fairly religious person. I occasionally wear a cross around my neck and I make it to church on most Sundays. And I say 'most' because I am not a fan of getting up before 7, as I've already mentioned. I would just be lying to you all if I said I was there every single Sunday morning. I was raised Catholic, and attended Catholic schools. I have had my children baptized and send them to Religious Ed. classes. I attend a Mothers at the Well group, which I really enjoy.

I pray daily and attend weekday masses when I have a free morning. My husband and I have sat together many times and asked the Lord to lead the way for us. I encourage my children to pray by asking them if they've talked with God lately and I read children's stories to my kids based on bible stories.

That all being said, we do not pray before meals, nor do we sit as a family and pray. There's nothing wrong with either, and we've got friends and family that do, we just don't. Never started the habit, I suppose. I am not a what you might call a fanatic, I do not read my bible every single day, and I think I can only quote about 4 bible verses from memory. BUT, I do believe, and I am happy with the relationship I have with God. For me, going to church is a great source of comfort. It is about traditions and routines and it seems to be the one place in our world that hardly changes. Sitting through a mass today was almost exactly the same as sitting though a mass when I was a young Catholic schoolgirl. And that is what is comforting for me. Change rattles me.

My faith has been tested and I have been angry with God on more than one occasion. But, God has also come through for me plenty of times, and one time, in a really big way. When I needed a prayer answered, the most important prayer of my life, He came through. And so, even when I am angry or have doubts, I still believe. Because I have seen His work, first hand. My son is alive today because my prayers were answered.

Okay...that sounded bad, and it was, but that's another post. He's fine now!

So anyway, now you know just a bit about my faith and the role it plays in my life, so I can now tell you just how awesome it was to read Mary and Rachel Anne's post on creating the sanctuary that is our home. Seriously...I had like an AHA moment, as Oprah would say.

I was reading this at Rachel Anne's and near the end of the post she talks about trying to apply lessons from the first sanctuary, Eden, to our modern day home sanctuary. And then it hit me. This is what I'm trying to do. This is what I struggle with day in and day out. Creating a place that feels, smells, and looks good, a place that brings a sense of peace to all who walk in. Sure my home looks fine, it looks good actually, and it doesn't smell bad, I think. But it doesn't have the peace that I want it to have. There is too much clutter and chaos. My house looks clean and organized to most anyone who enters. And for the most part it is, but when I say there is clutter and chaos, I mean not only in my home, piled into corners unseen, but also in my heart. And this is not the vision I have for my home.

In Mary's post on the home sanctuary, she talked about creating a sense of belonging in our homes for our children. Oh, how I've found myself many a time wishing they would "just go back to school." It's true, sometimes Monday morning just cannot come fast enough. But if there was more peace, and a lot more order in this home, I doubt I would feel that way. I feel as though as soon as they all walk through the door at 3:50 in the afternoon, chaos explodes and I just want to hide.

My kids need me front and center, and to let them know this is their home, their haven where they can find structure, discipline, laughter, and unconditional love. A place where they can find the sameness and routine that I crave and can only find in Church. Establishing this foundation now will remind them down the road, that they belong to a family that loves them very much, cherishes them, and values them as individuals. By doing this now, hopefully it will eliminate the need for them to reach out to the 'wrong' crowd to find a place to belong. Thank you Mary, for reminding me of this. I knew it all along, I was just too busy and overwhelmed, and had gotten away from taking time to really cherish my children.

I always said I wanted my children to feel at our home as I did not feel at my home as a child. Welcomed, wanted, and cherished. I try, and I really think I do the best I can. I think I have good kids, so I must be succeeding, even a little bit. But I can do better. And I will. This sense of belonging, love and faith, will happen if I work on our home sanctuary.

K and the 3 older kids are taking a road trip with some of K's family, it's very last minute, but they are heading to Cincinnati, Ohio to, hopefully, see the Cubs win their division and clinch a playoff spot. I would've loved to have gone, but Gracie, at 3 she can barely sit through a children's movie in the theatre, so I think that 2 days of baseball games with her would just put me over the edge. And that would not be fair to her, for me to be aggravated and short with her when we were the ones that put her in a situation we knew she was too young to handle. So Gracie and I are home alone this weekend. We have no plans, Gracie is still recovering from her recent trip to Urgent Care, which I had mentioned on Wednesday. She got bit by a dog, our beloved family pet to be honest, and we are still reeling. She is going to be fine. Maybe I'll post some more on that this weekend, I believe I was speaking of creating my own home sanctuary, but if you've ever read a post or two on this blog before, you'll know I tend to get sidetracked very easily.

Sorry for that. Thanks for sticking with me. There is a point coming, I promise.

And that point would be, that I am not doing as well as I want to be in creating this sanctuary for my family. And I'm not talking about a trip to Pottery Barn here, I'm talking about bringing some calm to my home.

This weekend, I am going to make some time to tidy up the loose ends around here that are driving me crazy, and also take some time to write down what type of routine we all could follow so that the chaos and messes stop wreaking their havoc on our home.

And, when my family returns Sunday night, we will start fresh. I will be hopefully be more relaxed, calmer and ready to 'loosen' up and just enjoy our space.

After having read and been inspired by Mary and Rachel Anne, I was reminded about what is important; peace, beauty and order in my home and my relationships. What is not important is perfect decorating, countless hours spent running around outside the home and a frazzled, short tempered mother who snaps at children, not because of the children, but because she is over extended.

Yes, Market Day will carry on with out me I'm sure, I have more important things to do.

Maya Angelou once said something to the effect of "when you knew better, you did better."

This week, Rachel Anne and Mary have reminded me of things I've always know, but had just lost in the shuffle of everyday life, causing my vision of my own home sanctuary to get sidetracked. I posted a while back on building a cathedral within the walls of my home, and I've realized that in doing that, I've become a bit bitter. The thankless job of being a stay at home mom has taken it's toll. But I've been reminded that it is what I make it to be.

Thanks for the reminder.

And thanks for sticking with me through this long post. I expect that my rambling, sarcastic self will return next week with all the mediocre blogging you can handle.

Enjoy this beautiful weekend, and your families.


New Diva on the Blog said...

I suspect that you are being too hard on yourself. However, your goal of creating peace in your home is an admirable one that I think most parents strive for. Now, I must go break up a fight between my kids -- maybe peace will arrive tomorrow morning. I'll keep trying.

kari said...

Thanks for this really spoke to me. I, too, have four children, and find that so much of our time at home is chaotic. It's important to me to work on making our home more peaceful. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts.

Jenny from Chicago said...

Wow! Great post. I haven't read the links yet but I can't imagine that they are as thoughtful and well written as yours. Really something to think about. Thanks.

Mary@notbefore7 said...

Wow! Boy did those posts take you on quite a journey. (Rachel Anne's did for me as well...clearly) I hope this weekend allowed you some time so set up your home. We are in this together - share how it is going, girl! I'd love to know.

Stie: My Favorite Things said...

Amen, sister. That was just beautiful. Touched my heart and really struck a cord. Came here via Jenny from Chicago and will come back often. Thanks.

Rachel Anne said...

How did I miss this post??? I am really, really touched AND so excited to know that I am not the only one who wants this for my family. It has become something so dear to my heart...and yet sometimes very elusive. I love your thoughts on this.