As we continue through the LifeGiving Home Book Club, we're entering into the summer months which opens up so much possibility!
A Heroic Heritage
We love history in our family (as do the Clarksons) and one place we have really enjoyed visiting each summer is a local historical village called "Greenfield Village". There sit old houses from the early 1900s to mid 1900s, some are actual and some are models.
Some are even live exhibits where there are people cooking meals inside the home as they retell the history of that home and it's previous occupants. It is such a delightful time!
On Memorial Day weekend they have a Civil War reenactment where people set up camp all around the village, soldiers on horseback and on foot march down the streets, and cannons and gunfire are common.
For weeks following, my boys pretended to be soldiers in the Civil War, under the orders of Abraham Lincoln.
In addition to reenacting pieces history, it's important we allow our children time to explore and form an imagination. I love what Sarah says here,
Heroism isn't an act that begins in a moment of crisis. It is an atmosphere, a sense of self, an identity formed through many habits of thought, memory, and experience. Because the home is the center place of life, the ground in which action begins, you have the opportunity to create an atmosphere in which the heroic is valued, rooted, and grown.
There are several ways to achieve this heroic mindset: read great books, memorizing great literature, quotes, stirring speeches, and music, watching historical films, traveling to historical places if you have the means, remembering celebrations such as Independence Day, Memorial Day, President's Day, etc.
The Story of Us
It's also good to shape and celebrate our own family culture. How do we determine what that is?
Consider what sets you apart from our culture. What are your values as a family? What do you do that many other families don't do? What is unique for your family? This is part of your family culture.
Maybe you're a family of technological geniuses or you have several interested in humanitarian efforts or scientific research or any number of gifts! Writing, reading, and music is only part of the many gifts God has bestowed upon His people.
Our family definitely has a gift for writing, art, dance, and music for sure. It's not surprising to me as I grew up with many of the same interests and they have automatically passed down to my children. This isn't always the case, but so far it has been, and it could certainly change in the future as my children continue to explore their gifts and interests.
How are you writing the story of your family culture?
When Seasons Change
When summer begins to come to a close, it will be time to shift gears a bit to traditions back in the home as the weather cools. Sarah says,
The point of home in all its fullness--the point of good meals, full cupboards, or ordered rooms--is not just to provide creaturely comfort or to prove some sort of competence. The point of hime is to be a refuge for the soul, a place where beauty can be encountered, truth told, goodness touched and known. It's why home needs hush as well as bustle, silence as well as song.
It's a time for each to find a cozy spot in the house and make it their own for times of quiet or creativity.
It's also such a great season for reading aloud. If this isn't already a habit in your home, it's definitely one I recommend adopting. But prepared! Your kiddos may need to learn to become used to the idea, so you may have to start off with 10 minutes bursts and work your way up.
I can read aloud for a good hour to my children, ranging in age from 5 up to 13 years old. I often print a coloring sheet for them to color while they listen. Some will draw. Sometimes my littlest ones get antsy and I allow them to roam in and out, as long as they are quiet. It's such a sweet time!
Another ritual we do is have a quiet time each afternoon for one hour. Each child goes to their bed with a book and can either read or sleep for one hour. This gives everyone (including me!) a chance to catch their breath, have a break from one another, and rest in the afternoon.
These ideas didn't just happen over night, though. They took time to develop and train my children to mold into and some days they are even happy for and welcome it!
What are some ways your family finds rest as the weather cools down?