Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Create a Peaceful Day


Have you ever had one of those days where you feel like you're stuck in a whirlwind? I know I have! With little ones around (and big ones too, I'm sure!), it's easy to start the day that way, and stay there. Here are a few tips to avoid a crazy day, and have a great day filled with peace and order instead!

    1. Get up before everyone else! This way, at least you are sure to have some time to yourself! Fix yourself a cup of tea or coffee and ease into your day instead of hitting the ground running. 
    2. Spend some time with your husband before he's off to work. Oftentimes this is the only time of the day when it's just you two, and you don't have to compete with the television or your little ones to get a word in. Better yet, have a devotional time with him. Pray for each other's day to go smoothly. If for whatever reason you can't connect with your husband over a spiritual discussion, well...just spend time with him, have that cup of coffee or breakfast together and talk about the day ahead. For many at home moms, this might be the only grown up conversation you get that day- so take advantage of it!
    3. Spend time with God! Take at least a few moments every day to read your Bible and pray. Some days it might have to be "condensed" because you hear the baby crying in the other room, but at least you had some time! Ideally it should be done at the same time and place everyday, but sometimes you just need to be flexible and take whatever time you can get. Some days that may mean praying in the shower, but that is certainly more condusive to you having tranquility in your day, than not praying at all. To make it even easier, print out a Bible reading plan like the one here and keep it in your Bible, or use a Bible plan app
    4. Plan your days ahead of time. In my house, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays mean vacuum days. Now, I'm not going to add to my stress and commit to doing it every day (though sometimes it may need it!) but at least I know that a "vacuum day" is coming up, and I don't have to think about it. Likewise, you can plan which days to do laundry and other chores. Keep a list on your computer of which tasks are done each day, that way you know that each thing will get the attention it needs...eventually. 
    5. Take a shower and get dressed- even if you aren't going anywhere and nobody (but your babies) will see you! This can be a struggle for a stay at home mom, but it really makes a big difference in your attitude and approach to your day. You will feel much better, and get that positive momentum going for your day.
Obviously, there are probably many other things you can do to add to your peace throughout the day, but this is just a start!

What do you do to create calm in your day? Share in a comment!

Friday, June 25, 2010

My Journey to Stay-at-Home Motherhood

Getting pregnant was a piece of cake for me (stop snickering!). Being pregnant was (mostly) fun; and I pretty much thought that I would resume life as usual once the baby was born. I worked full time at a job that I loved, for employers that I was devoted to. In fact, I was working in the same office as my husband, and we shared enthusiasm for our work. It was meaningful and fulfilling. Toward the end of my pregnancy, however, I had the notion that I should try to work out more flexible hours at my job. I managed to reach the agreement of working part time (which meant four days per week, five hours a day).

Then it happened. My darling baby was born, and I fell in mommy-love. My amazing employers allowed me to keep him in the office with me, as they believed that newborn babies slept most of the time (they didn't know my darling P had other plans!) and they supported my breastfeeding relationship, thus they thought it would be easier on me to have him right by my side (and it was to a certain extent). Well, that worked out for about two and a half months. It was extremely difficult for me to focus on my work and give P the kind of care he expected (I always lovingly thought of him as a "first-class baby"). Well, after much prayer and an agonizing decision process, we enrolled him in the on-site day care facility. It did not help matters that the first day he attended he came home with hives all over his body (a reaction from the detergent used on the baby swing).

Ultimately, that arrangement lasted until he was 19 months old. There was a longing in my mommy soul that was pulling my heart to my home and my family. And the fact that I kept coming across Titus 2:4 "...admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet, chaste, homemakers..." Wowsers. Something had to change. I was being pulled in too many different directions, and not doing a great job at anything. My work was important...but my child is more important, and as God would have it, someone else ultimately came along who filled my job description in my place.

The Word of God says "Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart." (Proverbs 37:4 Amp.) Well, my petitions weren't so secret. I had been discussing stay-at-home-mommyhood with my husband for months, this even in the midst of him saying things like "if you worked full time we could...". Well, eventually my prayers paid off, he finally said that I could resign from my position and we could go to one income. Mind you, we didn't go through any kind of financial preparation...we were deep in debt and really behind in our bills. But I knew that coming home to take care of our son was the right thing for me to do. When you follow the voice of the Lord, He causes things to line up for you. A couple of weeks before I ended up giving my notice, my employer began talking about needing to "make some changes" due to financial concerns. He mentioned needing to put people on shorter hours/shorter work weeks, etc, and I knew that it was the right time.

When I went to my boss, I explained my decision, and my conclusion that it was the right time for me to stay home. He was supportive, and actually said that my position was one they were planning to eliminate. I stayed in my position until the end of the year, which was about another six weeks.

Deciding to become a stay at home mom has been one of the best parenting decisions I've made. God has provided every step of the way, and admittedly some times have been seriously lean, and we've been close to having no place to live more times than I care to admit, but note that I said "close". By the grace and provision of God, we've stayed in our home, and my husband got a much better job than he had at the time we decided that I would quit my job.

For me, and many other women, staying at home means a lot less stress (even with financial challenges), happier children, and a happier marriage. What about you? What positive changes have you seen since becoming a stay at home mom?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Soft Answer-How My Peaceful Response Matters in My Home

"A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Proverbs 15:1

This afternoon I noticed my son had taken his snack from earlier, crushed it up into a bazillion pieces and scattered it all over the living room floor. Admittedly, my first reaction was to launch into the heated lecture. I mean, really...how many times DO I need to tell him not to do that? Well (miraculously), I paused and began to calmly explain why we don't do that; and started to help him pick up the pieces.

That went over much better than all of my yelling ever would have. No hurt feelings, nobody digging his heels in at my insistence to clean up the mess. It's a much easier (and more effective way) to get what I want.

The Word of God is so clear on instructions for dealing with other people (it even applies to little people!) The Strong's Concordance describes "wrath" in the context of this Scripture as "poison". Wrath can poison the atmosphere of our homes. Certainly life with young children can be provoking, but when we answer softly, we are not only fending off the poison that can so easily infiltrate our environment, but also teaching our children a valuable lesson.

What Biblical lessons has motherhood taught you lately?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Welcome to my Happy Christian Home

Happy Christian Home is birthed from my passion for strengthening families (including my own) and providing resources and support for my fellow Christian wives and mothers (and non-Christian wives and mothers, and even non-wives and mothers.)I want to be a blessing to those that may be reading, and I hope I am, though I sort of feel like we're in this together! Some days I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing, but with the help of God's Word and His leading, we will figure this thing out!

I'll admit, I am a newbie...a newbie to marriage and family, as well as a newbie to blogging. I started to feel a bit overwhelmed as I was setting up my blog...I realized that there are countless blogs out there, on all different topics. Some a personal account of family adventures and everyday life, and others dealing with products and services. Mine will be somewhere in between. I really feel that there is a need "out there" for my blog (though there are many blogs that are very helpful). I don't aim to compete with my fellow bloggers, but to add to the support and encouragement that is available for wives, moms and families- wherever you may be on your journey.

Some other things I am enthusiastic about that you can expect to see me write about in the future:

  • Marriage enrichment
  • Spiritual growth
  • Child development
  • Breastfeeding
  • Infant/toddler/child nutrition
  • ...and more!

Thank you for reading, and I hope that you will visit me again!