Planning & Building a Life Giving Home (A new Podcast Series!)

I often think of my home as a kingdom where i am ruling over it to cause it to be productive, influential, a place of life for all who come into its walls. The rooms should hold inspiration and place of the instruction of truth for all who are served here. As a queen rules so that her subjects may be safe and grow strong and prosper, so I have the authority and power and stewardship to make sure I am ruling and subduing (bring growth and order) in such a way, that these goals are moving forward. 

Perhaps another analogy is that a  mom is the CEO of her home, the one who determines and cultivates the life, activities, values and soul development. To do this work, she must be working from the depth of her own soul. 

This is a long term call--a long distance run.  Pacing ourselves, making sure our own emotional cups are full, seeing that we are growing in grace and beauty is essential to modeling that to our children. 

As I enter a new season each fall, I always take time to plan the year ahead. What kind of a woman do I want to be? How can I become more excellent? How I am doing on growing more in grace and civility each day?

Today, Kristen and I are beginning a new podcast series to discuss our home philosophy, to hopefully give new inspiration to your own vision of home during this season, as well as to give some real practical ideas that can be implemented in each of our homes. We hope you will enjoy our new podcast series and that you will add your own ideas and comments to help other moms here. 

Each week, we will have a small assignment for those who want to craft new ideas along with us. I will also have a Bible verse for 6 days (Sundays off!) to help with some verses to ponder, and we will have a new tradition or movie, music or recipe each week. Sarah will top off the Fridays with Resources and ideas for the Life Giving Home all the way from Oxford. If you want to follow some of the ideas that we are taking straight out of the book, The Life Giving Home, you can purchase it to underline and add notes as we go for the next 8 weeks. 


Traveling hundreds of miles on trains, gathering with  friends over tea times and munching fish in pubs, gathering with a couple of hundred parents in a conference and chatting with people in hotels while I was away in the UK, has convinced me more than ever for the need for  homes to be established all over the world to build righteousness and to preserve truth.

In a world awash with differing messages, and worldly influences through every sort of media, children and adults need to live in a home that is safe, true, cultivating the life of Christ and building on foundations of the word of God.

Leadership is an essential part of giving our homes such direction. A godly leader is one who knows the way God wants them to live and is moving in the direction of God's wisdom and will, and then shows and takes others on this sure path. In order for us to lead in our families and with our friends, we must be working from an internal store of convictions built from a collection of God's Word and application of it to every day life. 

My most famous quote is, "In the absence of Biblical convictions, people will go the way of culture."

in other words, if you are not leading your children and making your decisions from Biblically based truth and convictions, then you will be subject to the voices of the world, of peer pressure, of feelings.

To know how to lead your children requires that you are always growing in wisdom and insight from God, HIs word and the encouragement of the Holy Spirit as you make decisions. We hope in the weeks ahead, we will be able to discuss some of these ideas and help all of us move this year on a sure path of living in the safe boundaries in our homes, by building on the right foundations. 

Giving leadership to those in your life, (other friends, women, children, family members) requires us to know where we are going and what we want to accomplish. Leadership makes us feel secure, protected, provided for. When we lead well, our children know what to expect, what expectations to fulfill. Good leadership invests in the growth and development of those under the influence of that leadership. 

Verses for Pondering

Here are verses about leadership in scripture. Read one verse a day several times. Ponder it, pray it, evaluate it. At the end of the week, write down a personal statement about what you think are some of the most important virtues of a godly leader. 

Phil. 2:3

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;

Luke 6:31

"Treat others the same way you want them to treat you.

Matthew 20:26

"It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant,

John 3:30

"He must increase, but I must decrease.

Proverbs 11:14

Where there is no guidance the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory.

Proverbs 16:12

It is an abomination for kings to commit wicked acts, For a throne is established on righteousness.

Psalm 78:72

So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, And guided them with his skillful hands.

I particularly like the last verse--we shepherd according to the integrity of our hearts. I have to ask myself, is there integrity in my heart that influences the way I behave every day?

The second part of the verse is so comforting-"Guided them--showed them the way--gave instruction--with skillful (confident) hands. 

The Weekly Assignment

We read in scripture that "Jesus grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man." Luke 2:52

Based on these 4 areas: Wisdom, Stature (physical health and strength), Favor with God--growing in our relationship with God, and favor with man--in relationship with people, write down goals for these areas for you personally, for your children and for your marriage.

Write down goals, what you would like to see happen in your life? Name one character quality in which you personally want to grow?

Same for your children’s lives? What one virtue do you want the them to grow in?

Your marriage?

Write a sentence for each one. What are your goals for these areas?



Favor with God:

Favor with Man:

A Clarkson Fall Tradition (Listen to the podcast)

Making a picnic basket with everyone's favorite treats, my sweet ones would chatter, bring favorite music, crowd into our van and sing and giggle all the way to an Apple Orchard about an hour from our home. Going on an outing to an Apple Farm and picking our own baskets of apples has been a yearly trek for many years. Only in the past few years, if we are out of town, do we miss it.

Upon returning home, the whole crew gather on towels on the floor to peel, slice and cut apples into big stainless steel bowls. Eventually, we pile these into large pots with a little boiling water, (you can find recipes by Googling Homemade Applesauce). Our treasures become jars of applesauce and apple pies and apple cake. We prefer the sweet ones to the sour ones. While doing this every year, we watched Anne of Green Gables and then Anne of Avonlea. I still love this tradition and I will be watching these shows soon, even without the kids, to give myself some sweet, innocent pleasure. It is times like this, the togetherness and common shared life values, that tied us to each other. 

What is one fall tradition you practice each year? We would love to hear.

Try to schedule a fun, unexpected one for your family in the next few weeks.

We will talk about more ideas on the podcasts each week, so stay tuned!