Thursday, September 11, 2008

Simplicity?



Have you ever noticed that some of the things we do to "simplify" our life are not, in actuality, very simple at all? Sometimes the very things we gravitate towards because they are from a simpler, gentler time are things that require more work, not less. Things like cooking for our families, hanging clothes outside to dry, knitting or sewing, the list could go on and on. So why is it then that is seems there is a resurgence of people from all walks of life wanting to get back to the basics of life?
I look around and can see that the very things that were supposed to give us so much convenience and more simplicity have simply dumbed down our very quality of life. A microwaved t.v. dinner may be quick and easy, but I think no one will argue that it is of better quality than a home cooked meal. It's so easy to run to the store for everything from linens to breadboxes...and now we all have homes filled with things that have no family history attached to them.
Sometimes I feel like it is so easy to fall into a trap of living a very superficial life - simply because the lifestyle in this day and time makes it so easy! It takes thought and time and patience to go the extra mile, to put homey touches on things, to make something with your own hands that you could just as easily purchase and have use of within the hour. And please know that I am preaching very intently at my own self here much more than others! I find myself so often at the end of the day questioning - "What memories did I create for my children today?" "Was the house in order in such a way that they will remember a clean and cozy home?" "Did my children see me in the Word today?" "Did I spend at least a few minutes working on something (needlework) that I can pass on to them?"
I so desire to do all these things and do them the right way. We only get one chance at this life - only one. And not one of us is getting any younger. Perhaps I feel such an urgency right now because my oldest is much closer to being grown and gone than she once was. I feel my years with my children dwindling before my eyes. Oh how I wish I had known in the first few years the things I know now! Every single day is so important! I cannot stress that enough.
These are the days we have been given. Let us live them well.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

The Sound of Music


I would like to take just a moment to talk about the sounds in our home. We all take such care and thought to how our homes look and feel, but I also love to fill my home with music. I think this is very important. There are so many wonderful music choices and I think it a very good thing for one to have a few different types of music to choose from in their home.
What better way to set a mood and tone in your home that with some relaxing music playing softly in the background? I have found that it can not only relax adults and children alike but pets as well, lol. A few of my favorites are Enya, Jim Brickman, and most Celtic music. I love classical as well but find that I am more partial to what is considered "light classical" as opposed the "heavier" type of classical music. (Though both certainly have their time and place.)
We even go through periods when we will softly play music all through the night. We have a simple, cozy little routine we go through before bed. The children will already be tucked in for the night and my husband and I will be reading or on the computer or doing whatever thing has caught our interest on any given night. When it's time for t.v.'s, lights, etc to be turned off so we can go to bed my husband simply gets up and turns on our light classical music ever so softly and that is our silent signal that the day is over. We both end up going to bed at the same time and it is very relaxing.
Having music playing in the background of your home is a wonderful way to expose your children to different types of music that they would not pick out on their own. They can still listen to the things that interest them, but they also get exposed to other wonderful types of music that they would not otherwise. Think about it, if mom does not expose them to these things in the home then they simply will not get exposed to it at all.
And just on a personal level, I have to admit that I love coming into a room and seeing a fat little dog and a fat little cat who have both been lulled to sleep by peaceful music. I once heard it said that if everyone down to the dog and the cat in the house are happy then you must be doing something right. :-)