“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.”
Being a stay-at-home mother and a homeschooling educator, I spend most of my time in our home. I also spend most of my time awake. Running up and down stairs, preparing food (SO MUCH FOOD ALL THE TIME), checking homework, diagramming sentences and breaking up quarrels. Reading books out loud, buying books on Audible (the best app in all the world), ordering them from Amazon, reviewing them and reading some more. Reminding children to use manners, say their prayers and stop sassin’.
It’s a good life. A really good life.
In fact, I can’t imagine living any other way. Well, actually I dream daily about owning a huge lot of land with hills and trees and twirling around all over it, similar to Maria in Sound of Music. But where I am right now is where God has me, and I do love it for many reasons, even without a wrap-around porch. I’ve been growing and learning much about contentment lately. It’s a choice and I’m choosing it. My friend and I have been mulling over the concept together and it’s been beneficial for me.
I find that each day is even more enjoyable with a few small daily traditions. Perhaps rituals is a better choice to describe what I mean. These are things that I can do to put a small spark in each day, even though each day has plenty of its own. I’m growing in contentment while also observing lovely things and allowing each day to move slowly and organically, as the Lord leads.
When my days include the following, everything is a bit more lovely.
I’m a vintage-collector, so I frequent estate sales. At one particularly large home, I found a treasure trove of books. I’m not sure I can explain just how elated I was. Underneath the stacks and stacks, I found this small devotional. It has become a cornerstone of my days and brings me such simple assurance. If you’re anything like Susanna Wesley, and only have a few moments to spare each day, throw that apron over your head and give those minutes to the Lord. Now go and try to find this book online. It’s worth the price and was certainly worth climbing around in a dusty attic.
Candles have been and will be my downfall. I have them lit, each and every day, and they warm my soul. This is a current favorite and while costly, absolutely ushers in the feeling of Fall. I’m able to be reminded of the beautiful seasons the Lord provides. There was a time I questioned our budget line-item for candles. But smell is and always has been so important to me. It’s a nostalgic trigger and almost always a pleasant one. It’s equally important my children have the chance at that too. Perhaps that’s weird but I’m sticking with it. I feel justified when we are out and smell something and my daughters share memories tied to their childhood, based on a scent. Both good and bad. Just think about your favorite smells and allow your mind to venture down memory lane (and take a gander at this interesting article, too.)
Music is a non-negotiable part of our homeschool day. It’s always on (music was my way of releasing the need for the news to constantly serve as background noise). If you have an Amazon Prime account (you simply must), head over to the music section and enjoy the abundant selection of free music, at your fingertips! Our favorite “Prime albums” are: “100 Must Have BACH Masterpieces”, “Classical For Learning”, Tiersen: Pour Amelie Piano Music” and “Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue, An American in Paris”. There are loads more, but these are our favorites. Along with this, this and this soundtrack.
I listen to The World And Everything In It and The Briefing daily. They are my source for daily news, from a Biblical perspective. I also receive this monthly magazine. These are both invaluable, inspirational and continually resources which bring me back to the foundation – God is in control. I am not. This is a good thing. I check no other news sources in the morning until I have checked these.
I hope several of my “rituals” might bring you renewed joy and bring gladness.