I was inspired by several ideas that have all mixed together to (hopefully!) make October an extra special month! Angell at Passionate and Creative Homemaking is running a Make Your Home a Haven challenge during the month of October. The idea was originally run last year by Courtney at Women Living Well.
Every week there will be a challenge that helps to Make Your Home a Haven. This week the challenge is to light a candle and, whenever the flicker catches your eye, you pray for peace in your home. Such a little thing to do, but it really keeps my awareness focused on something so important! (And I can always use all the grace I can get...so extra prayer is always beneficial!)
Creating an atmosphere of peace in my home is really important to me. I want our home to be a loving, safe and fun environment that gives all who live, and visit, a reprieve from the weight and cares of the world....a place to recharge and find peace.
In some ways, it sounds comical. I mean, really, peace in a house with 10 people? My blog is named 'Normal Chaos' for a reason. But, despite the hustle and bustle, peace and life giving love can be achieved! It takes a lot of work, but the results are so worth it!
Where do I see these peaceful moments the most? (And, no, it's not just when everyone is asleep!haha!)
I see peace and companionship when we all sit down to dinner together. I see it after Mass on Sunday mornings when we are all sitting around the kitchen putting breakfast together or having a conversation with the teens over a cup of coffee when we are cleaning up after breakfast. I see it when we are all sitting in the living room enjoying a favorite family tv show(our fav right now is The Middle) or sharing a movie together. I see it when Jay lays on the floor playing with the little ones. I see it when one of the teenagers opens up and shares about their day.
Unfortunately, I also see opportunities for peace ripped away too often because, at times, one or more of us let our own moods or emotions run away and, instead of making an emotional deposit into the family's love tank we are making withdrawals. Too often, that person is me.
Sometimes I just miss opportunities to make emotional deposits in my family's love tanks because I'm too busy just trying to get things done. I miss living in the moment because I want the moment to wait until I've finished the laundry, or the dishes, or made dinner, or written a blog post, or checked my emails, or facebook, etc, etc......
Like I've said before, multitasking can be a great tool, but it can also be a great distraction. Sometimes, those you love need your full attention, including eye contact. Too often my kids, and sometimes even my husband I'm sorry to say, are talking to me as I'm washing counters, sorting through mail and I'm only half listening to what they are saying. An occasional, "Uh-huh" or "really?" is not a good substitute for giving people the attention they deserve.
Along with lighting a candle, the Making My Home a Haven challenge included a reflection for this week: Being a Distant Mom or Being an Engaged Mom. (For my guy readers...this can easily be adapted to Being a Distant or and Engaged Dad!) There's so much included in that reflection...which could easily be labeled as "things that make you go Hmm!?!"..that I will share more in another post. Making My Home a Haven fits in very well with my intentional "Living in the Moment" theme for October as well. I still want to expand on where I started and where I'm going with that theme more, but it will have to wait for later in the week.
Today's "Living in the Moment" moments...at least so far...have been taking advantage of snuggle time with a clingy baby and pretending to be ninja turtles with Luke(I am the "mommy ninja turtle" and Kate is the "baby ninja turtle" according to Luke). I also walked away from writing this post multiple times to change a blowout diaper for Kate, make an early lunch because it was obvious they were hungry, and to give Luke some extra attention since he was trying to "fix" the window sill that he started "fixing"(read; break) a few months ago.
So, onward October....hope you get a chance to check in tomorrow as this exciting month of growth and challenge continues!:)