January causes me to be reflective about many things, especially about the ways I use my time and energy.
For the past several years I've thought a lot about this blog and about why in the world someone like me would write daily about "mundane" things like laundry, dishes and vacuuming. I mean, I could see a more Martha Stewart-like person (highly organized and extremely creative) taking it on and showing the world how it should be done....but me?
I'm the one who naturally puts off all those things in favor of daydreaming and making up stories. Making piles, er "stacks" is my signature organizational style. Hardly something to emulate.
And yet, here I am. For the past six of my seven blogging years, I've posted daily Small Things - simple, easy tasks - that revolve around the home. Not because I'm passionate about cleaning, but because I'm passionate about sanctuary: the idea that my home should be a place of refuge and grace for the people I love. I want this place to feel good to come home to. Housekeeping is (unfortunately) a big part of creating that for my family, but really, it's just one piece of the puzzle.
You see, I've learned that a home sanctuary is a three-legged stool. It takes three things to make home feel like a place of belonging:
Peace, Order and Beauty.
I've written about them many times before, and I always seem to come back to this trio because they are so interwoven. When I have some semblance of order at home, there is a sense of peace that comes. Being able to find a matching pair of socks brings an incredible feeling of happiness to me. Seeing a sink, empty of dirty dishes, makes my heart soar. I've found amazing beauty in a coffee table devoid of candy wrappers and soda cans. And making small changes in my attitude has affected my family relationships in a big way. Every single task I do seems to fall into one of these three categories - and I find that just knowing THAT gives me a sense of purpose.
I've learned that Small Things matter.
I'm passionate about sharing that sanctuary is not just for the Martha Stewarts of this world. Tired women with too much on their plates can make it happen - in small ways every day.
You don't need to be able to reupholster a chair before breakfast to be a supermom. You don't have to create an amazing centerpiece out of fresh greenery you've cut from your backyard and then photograph it beautifully in order to be a successful homemaker. It really is OK to clutch your cup of coffee like a life raft in the morning and shuffle around until you are conscious. It's OK that the laundry is piled up and that your kids are having cold cereal for dinner again. Really, making a sanctuary is about so much more than that.
Sanctuary is about loving one another inside these four walls.
Sometimes loving someone means sorting socks for them. Sometimes it means planning a menu or setting up a housekeeping schedule so you can focus on other things. Sometimes it means locking the door and taking a long bubble bath without anyone bothering you. Sometimes is means that you rearrange a bookshelf or empty the dishwasher - tasks that are housekeeping in nature but are in fact, ways of loving yourself and your family. And when you see these mundane tasks for what they really are, suddenly you see sanctuary happening all around you.
Today's Small Thing is to commit yourself to creating a home sanctuary.
You are not committing to being a superwoman - we know we can't keep that up for more than a week, tops. What you ARE committing to is a deliberate choice to find beauty in each day, no matter how difficult your circumstances. It's there, and God will help you find it - I know he will. Commit to doing ONE thing - a Small Thing from here at Home Sanctuary or something of your own choosing - that brings a touch of peace, order or beauty into your home. I'm here to help you do that each day.
What we do here isn't hard. It's not rocket science. It's not revolutionary.
But it's powerful.
Small steps have the power to create sanctuary.
They have the power to change your life because big things happen in small, daily efforts. God takes the tiniest bit that we have and adds to it in a mighty way. If you have just a shred of faith and hope that he can make something good happen, then stay along with me this year, 2014. We'll do our little part....and then leave the rest to him. Watch a miracle take place in your home - one Small Thing at a time. I hope you'll subscribe to the daily blog feed via email or blog reader (link is at the top right corner of my blog) so you won't miss a thing. And then subscribe to my newsletter, which comes out only occasionally. These are easy ways to stay connected with me and the rest of the Company Girls as we create home sanctuaries together.
What is one thing you can do today to bring a bit of peace, order or beauty into your home?