Home should always be a retreat for the soul,
filled with uplifting beauty
and the shelter of each other.
As the temperatures drop outdoors,
all things Hygge flourish within our cabin walls.
We are folks who adore bad weather.
Life below zero is another wonderful excuse to nestle in a cozy blanket,
hearty mugs of tea in hand,
and enjoy the pleasure of reading aloud to the family an extra chapter or two.
The sweetly cheerful scene of children engrossed in a good book,
lunch bubbling away on the cook stove,
an abundance of wool clothing displayed
provides a wonderful sense of tranquility
that floods my soul on these quiet, albeit cold days of winter,
and never ceases to make me smile.
We try to keep life simple
by making home a refuge and retreat for the soul,
and forging a homelife filled with all that is good and inspiring and invigorating.
These old fashioned ideals have found a comfortable place in our midst.
I think the enduring classics of family life are the table,
order in daily life,
and reading aloud together.
The mainstay of this vintage family is our faith.
Our ever present standby to a vintage family life is valuing what we have.
I have found that having a functional and nurturing routine helps keep us all moving forward together and helps to limit the chaos of family life.
By a nurturing routine,
I mean one that invites warmth and a sense of belonging.
The act of lighting candles quiets and warms a room, immediately bringing life.
I always light a candle at the table before a meal,
and another one gracing the coffee table in the living room each morning.
Candles are *my one weakness.*
As we gather at the table for meals,
and this act is so very important, even for those pb & j lunches,
we have opportunity to inspire, encourage, uplift our family,
and give them a sense of belonging to something greater than self-
of being part of a whole,
and of being missed if they are not occupying their place.
The table too can be a tender place,
holding a trove of treasures, not just for the appetite, but for the soul.
By giving thanks, another old timey tradition,
we take a moment to open eyes and heart wide to the beauty in everyday life.
Each day is a gift, and to me, it should be treated as such.
It is the consistency of these little moments,
added up, that have the most value.
The power of routine
is that it takes us the places we most want to go, need to go..
especially when our will power wanes, we weary and are tempted to slack.
Routine, softer and more flexible than scheduling, gives us a gentle road map for our day.
It also provides us a time and place to nurture in the midst of school, lessons,
and all we have going on a daily basis.
Our daily routine takes us thru morning time, schooling and then lunch.
Afterward, a ramble through the woods,
more reading aloud...
because...is there any better way to gather children up than a candle, a hot drink, and a good story?
I think not.
This tradition is the quintessential mark of our home life.
The power of a good story shared fosters kinship, at the very least.
My most brilliant piece of parenting advice is such:
read aloud to your children every chance you get.
Any time of day, reading aloud fits the mark.
Before school? What better way to inspire them to be on time for breakfast,
than a fabulous story read aloud to them as they eat each morning?
Light a candle, ring a bell instead of yelling that breakfast is ready.
There is a favorite saying that goes:
"Life is like a cup of tea...it's all in how you make it."
I ache for the homes aplenty that have no sense of life giving in them,
where the mamas dread each day, each task,
as if raising children well is not the most essential thing a body can do.
Want a beautiful life? Make one.
It can be done.
It should be done.
There is a great sense of joy and peace that comes
from the immense effort it takes to create and carry out
a home life that is intentional about
invigorating people to live heaven on earth.
I believe it is what we were made to do,
which is why it is such a satisfying work.
Sally Clarkson put it well when she stated that,
"Where there is vision for building godly generations in the home,
there is God's grace and energy for the task."
Twilight fades, lights dim, bringing forth the hush of evening.
(praise the Lord, how I need it!)
A fresh snowfall kindles all the elements of winter comforts;
flannel, a blazing fire, comfort food, and don't forget wool socks....
and we, being pulled snugly around the table once again
bow our heads as Father prays...
just like in the good old days.