A few years ago, we were visiting a family and everything in the home--I should say, estate, was perfect. A garden without weeds, a home in perfect order, a meal with no mess as all pots and pans had been washed and all put away. Yet, something about the environment seemed sterile and stiff to Clay and me and to our children. We did feel that the children were quite stiff and formal, and seemed afraid to move out of the context of "reserved politeness." The atmosphere seemed sterile, and there was something uncomfortable to all of us--like a mysterious air of performance and judgment. The mom repeated three times, "I am so exhausted, all the time."
A strange atmosphere of stress and strain permeated the air we breathed, even in the midst of perfect order, and we talked about it as we left in the car because it was all so right and yet felt so wrong--the atmosphere of strain almost palpable. In some ways it felt like a cardboard, colorless home.
There seemed to be form without art or life.
I am not condemning order, how I love it! Or high ideals! I am guilty of high ideals.
But if the ideals of our home consist of performance and not heart, all will be lost.
And that is what it felt like to all of us while we were there. And frankly, we all felt a subtle pressure to perform and not say the wrong thing! All the eyes of those around us seemed to dare us to step out of line and feel the consequences.
Our God, the artist who created our world with color, pleasure, surprises, variety, did not give us a home on this earth that was sterile and void of form. As the source of all pleasure and beauty, God would have us imitate the life he gave us to enjoy as we construct the atmosphere of our own homes.
As we rule over the moments in our home, God's pleasure would support our creation of joy in the atmosphere. He would say, "Woohoo! You sat with your child and watched me paint a sunset! You were patient with that spilled milk and fuss one more time--you listened to that weepy teen and didn't even correct him, even though you were exhausted! You are my precious one and I love that you are doing your best. I love you. I am with you, I am proud of you for keeping going!"
A home is a place of life filled by a mother whose life is contagious because of her sparkle in the midst of messes, her laughter in the midst of duty, her song pervading the whole place--the music, feasts, art, joy of life--flowing out of a heart that has found this joy in her God.
Tonight, we will celebrate my new book, The Lifegiving Home and discuss traditions and ways to cultivate a place of welcome, a place of comfort and inspiration.
We had such a great time with our launch week that we're going to continue with the party today *and* of course, tonight--have you registered for the big official Online Launch Party? If not, don't miss the fun! Go to this link, or click the button on the sidebar to register to attend--and join the list to win some of the wonderful giveaways we've been saving just for the celebration! Launch Party Registration!
(Registration for the webcast will end at3:00 MSTime)
Today's giveaways are ...
#1. One Art Print from Red Letter Words!
The winner can choose any 11x14 or 12x12 print she likes from RedLetterWords! (U.S. shipping only)
#2. Body goodies from Beauty Counter!
Stephanie Peter is offering these Beauty Counter products just for you! A wonderfully hydrating body lotion and peppermint lip conditioner will help you get through February's drying cold. Find more natural body goodies at her Beauty Counter site.
#3. Crystal Sutherland painting!
This is an original acrylic painting on 5x7 canvas boards and then mounted to white-washed displays 8x10 in size. Mounted to a whitewashed plaque that can either hang on the wall or be placed in a decorative stand. Crystal says, "I depicted a pair of angels in my pieces because they represent protection, comfort, and guidance God gives us as His children, and I thought a representation of a mother and child would be perfect for the focus of Sally's book!" Find more from Crystal here!
#4. Book of Inspiration for Girlfriends, and Raising Kingdom Kids from Tyndale Publishers!
Enter today by leaving a comment. Let us know what you're most looking forward to in reading The Lifegiving Home! Then use the entry form below to enter. a Rafflecopter giveaway
And don't forget to join us tomorrow night for the big Launch Party! We will have fantastic giveaways including a weekend at Sally's! Register here: Online Launch Party Invitation!