Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Beauty in Daily Living

Today may seem like an ordinary day.
  We get up, we eat breakfast, we do chores, then schooling, lunch, followed by free time,
 then naps and more schooling, dinner, stories and bedtime.
 Seems normal and plain enough.
  However, one of the things I like to do the most in my homemaking 
is create something beautiful and lovely out of the mundane.

Ordinary days like today can be as meaningful and beautiful as the special occasions in our lives,
 it just takes some ingenuity (or copy-catting, *which is absolutely fine*) 
and deliberate planning. 
 The results are well worth it.

In her highly influential book, Living a Beautiful Life, Alexandra Stoddard says, 
" Making daily tasks into times of enrichment 
through planning 
and special personal details
 is a way to live a richer, more satisfying life."

I do believe that is a very Biblical principle to live by 
if it does not require self absorption or materialism to be achieved. 
 God is the designer of beauty. 
 He created this incredible world for us to enjoy, 
and though for believers, it may not be our ultimate "home"
 there is no reason we should not mimic God in his creating beauty and order,
 using great creativity cultivating a wondrous abode for our family. 
 He did, so should we.

There is great power in the little things-
joyful acts of love that enrich and ennoble our lives.  
The question is, what little things?
What little thing(s) could be done as we get up?
  As we eat breakfast?
How about chores?
  and so on. 
 Think it through. 
 I would love, love, love to hear your ideas!

Here are a few of mine:

-Snuggles and hot drinks when we get up

- Singing and sharing what we are thankful for at meals
- Playing classical music during housecleaning
- Adding an essential oil, such as lavender to the dish water

- Praying for the one whose clothes you are ironing
- Setting a beautiful table for dinner

- Light candles
- Sing to the children before naps
- Read aloud to the family before bed

Rituals such as these enable you to
 enjoy the ordinary more deeply
as you flow through the day. 

 Think then, not just of everyday, but also of the weekends. 
 Weekends too, are made extra special by adding thoughtful rituals.
  At our house, the children sleep in on Saturday.  
They get up leisurely and listen to Moody radio while mama fixes a large brunch. 
 After extended housecleaning chores are done ( O glory!)
 they are free to play/watch a movie.
 Sunday then, we take for rest. 
 Rest from our regular daily life. 
 Sunday naps for all, a day off from laundry and housework, 
 and time to fellowship with others, make it a day set apart from all others. 
The usual Sunday pot roast awaiting us when we arrive home from church is an awesome weekend marvel.  One can smell it the moment they step out of the van...
mouths are watering fiercely by the time we are in the door.

Monthly rituals are harder to plan for in our busy lives,
 but, like daily rituals, greatly enriching and worth it.
A once a month trip to the big town with my husband for groceries and such is a necessity,
 but we have made it a habit to stop by a favored coffee shop each trip
 to just sit and relax and visit over a hot drink. 
 On this trip, too, we often listen to an audio broadcast sermon of some sort, 
usually chosen by content to some personal current interest. 
 Another wonderful  ritual for me, is the once a month overnighter at nanny's,
 where all the children have a day and a half to spend with their grandma at her house...
leaving mama home...alone.  
  Mama's day off.
  Boy, this is a life saver of a day and a half for me! 
 Sunday afternoon the children leave, and I typically have a long nap, a walk, 
and read something just for fun, then close the day with dinner and a movie with my handsome husband. 
 The next day, I sleep in as late as I can, 
then go visiting or sew or some other such crafty thing. 
 By the end of the day I am refreshed and longing for my children to arrive safely home.

"In a culture that richly rewards achievements 
and accomplishment, 
it is left to us to create a balanced life, to master the art of creating a life worth living.
 -Wally Arnold, Illiminations

Managing a home and mothering is much more than surviving life in the trenches.
When we apply those nourishing touches that come
from deep within a woman's soul,
we warm not only our family's souls,
but our own as well.

Here's to drinking deeply of God's great love,
until our cup is running over,
 and living beautifully this holiday season. 

Blessings to you this day,


  1. hello julianne. i have been following your blog for over a year now and am so extremely blessed by your sweet spirit and beautiful love for the lord and your family. I am a wife to my dear sweet husband of nine years and proud and extremely blessed stay at home mama to three under five. just lost our baby a couple of weeks a go at 15 weeks along. beautiful rituals throught out the day... read a loud time for an hour, wearing an apron while doing housework, scripture verse and a lit a candle and putting it next to the sink while doing dishes, sweet peaceful music..candles lit at the table for breakfast and dinner.these are the simple things i am thankful for.

  2. Hello Julianne,
    My, how I wish someone had imparted this wisdom to me when I was a young mother and still had children at home. But, it still works for Hubby and I. Deliberate living. Cherishing every moment God has blessed us with.
    Thank you again for your gift of tea. My order arrived today and you were right! There is a lot of tea! I have already put some into jars to give as small gifts at Christmas. I can't believe the difference it has made in my sleep. Thank you so much.

  3. I really enjoyed this post. Being a homemaker is more than staying home, it's making the home where your husband and children want to be.

    I like to make breakfast fun with cinnamon biscuits or cereal. Hugs and kisses greet the sleepy-eyed children as they awake. We have a time of snuggling also. This helps with those who are not morning people. :)

    I like to have music playing and candles also. I like to adorn the house with white Christmas lights with greenery all year. The softness is so beautiful in the winter. An apron is my uniform and I love it.

    We do our school and then eat lunch and have play/nap time. I like potpourri simmering on the stove to add a lovely scent to the air as well as humidity. This gets us ready for the afternoon. I start supper and I use the good dishes at all the meals. My family are the best. I like to use tablecloths and cloth napkins in all colors for all seasons. It makes me happy.

    Bible stories in the evenings with popcorn for a snack. Hot tea and iced tea are both favorites, along with Peppermint and Spearmint hot tea, mmmmm.

    Radio Theater is always nice to help us relax before bed. I have made each of the children rice bags that we warm in the microwave. We tuck these under the Down comforters and it keeps them nice and toasty through the night.

    I have a few clothes pins in a jar and when I see someone being nice, or taking time to help a little one, I clip it on his/her shirt and comment on the nice gesture. This makes each person "look" for kindness in each other.

    Just a few things we do.
    By Grace Alone,

  4. Julianne,
    I always find these posts so encouraging and inspiring.
    You have a special gift of breathing life into your home and then sharing it here.
    Thank you!
    Merry Christmas...

  5. Dear Kim,
    Oh how happy I am to hear of all of these wonderful beauties in others homes! It is, I fear a dying art. Thank you for sharing. Blessings to you and yours this day,

  6. Dear Anonymous,
    I simply put a frozen roast in the dutch oven, heavily salt and pepper, add chopped garlic and onions, and cook on low heat for several hours. It is always falling apart, juicy good.yum!

  7. Hi Julianne! LOVED loved loved this post! I agree completely. My oldest is 6 now, and I am just barely realizing how important this is now. I've been running around with my head cut off trying to survive the "trenches", and forgot to really enjoy the process. For the last year, I've been trying very hard to enjoy the little things and to make lasting traditions for my little babies! Thanks for this reminder! I love it! xo Amber

  8. Beautifully said. Thank you so much for this encouragement!


Your comments and input are very much appreciate
- Blessings!

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